This is blind Penny, who arrived a couple of weeks ago along with Mad Max the Dachshund. She had also come to us from Becky's Brigade in Shreveport, which had seen her in a local shelter and asked us if we could take her. Like Max, she was also an owner surrender.
Penny was absolutely emaciated when she showed up here -- we could feel virtually every bone in her tiny body. Over the past couple of weeks we've been getting weight on her, but even so she tipped the scales last week at 4 pounds 3 ounces (1.8 kg). Her mouth is a mess and she needs to have a dental, but we had to get her on a full course of antibiotics before she could have that work done (to prevent oral infection from spreading as a result of the dental).
But Penny also just didn't seem well. We couldn't quite put our finger on what it was, but my hunch was she might be diabetic, or had some other problem. So last week, when I took Wilbur, Mitch and Max to see the ophthalmologist, I also took Penny over to see our internal medicine specialist, Dr. Tanya Donovan at Burlington Emergency & Veterinary Specialists, for a complete work-up. Here's Dr. Donovan doing an initial physical exam on Penny:
After a full battery of tests, including an abdominal ultrasound, Dr. Donovan found she did not have diabetes. However, her pancreatic enzymes were off-the-chart high ... indeed, one of those values was literally off the chart -- higher than the diagnositic machine could read. Dr. Donovan said that would indicate two possible scenarios: either she was having pancreatitis, or she has a pancreatic tumor. But in fact, based on the rest of Dr. Donovan's diagnostic tests, Penny shows no signs of having either problem. Thus it is a complete mystery why Penny's pancreatic values would be so high. At this point all we can do is monitor her for any further signs. If we don't see any other changes in the near-term, we will do a recheck in 3 to 4 weeks.
Dr. Donovan did find Penny to have a mild case of anemia, which could be from whatever undefined disease might be present in her, or it might be from an underlying condition in her bone marrow. We will recheck these in a month as well.
We mentioned to Dr. Donovan that Penny appeared hunched to us at times, and we learned why: on X-rays Dr. Donovan found evidence of an old disk injury, but it doesn't seem painful at all now.
But Penny has a great appetite, is bossy and demanding -- she's a vocal little thing -- and seems to have more pep and energy now that when she arrived. She's also very sweet and affectionate. She loves snuggling up next to Madison, a.k.a. "Granny," as you can see here:
And here she is again, with Wilbur on the other side (photo taken before his recheck last week - cone is now off):
[That's a completely shredded dog toy behind Wilbur, not a rabbit that got inside the house and didn't make it out alive.]
And if Granny isn't available, she'll settle for snuggling next to Wilbur inside a blanket (that's his tail sticking out on the left):
New Round Begins
The new Shelter Challenge starts Monday, April 9 and ends at midnight on June 17. Grand prize in this round is $5,000, plus $1,000 for weekly winners and $1,000 for state winners. There are also other categories ... please see the Shelter Challenge website for details.
*** We are now LISTED UNDER OUR NEW NAME, ROLLING DOG FARM. State is still NH for New Hampshire. ***
Please remember, you can vote every day ... consider bookmarking the voting page to make it easy.
We just won $1,000 as a weekly winner for Week 4 of the last contest, and thousands more in the previous contests. The Shelter Challenge really does bring in a lot of money for the animals here!
You can vote in the Shelter Challenge here.
Thank you for your votes!