Here's our newest one, little Pip ... and by little I mean 3.5 lbs (1.5 kg) little! He arrived Saturday a week ago, brought by Gale Lang's TLC Pet Transport. Pip came to us from Atlanta Beagle Rescue, which has sent us many blind Beagles over the years.
Now, I know what you're thinking.
You're thinking, "Son, I know Beagles, and that ain't no Beagle."
We'll concede the point. He's a Chihuahua alright. But Michele from Atlanta Beagle Rescue had seen him in a local shelter and asked if we could take him. She offered to pull him and have him fostered until we could get transport arranged. When we saw what his eyes looked like, we couldn't say no.
So he spent a couple of weeks being fostered by Morgan from Altanta Beagle Rescue, who named him Pip -- which fits him perfectly! We have no history on him other than he was picked up as a stray ... but how does a tiny dog who can barely see wind up as a "stray" in Atlanta, Georgia?
Our ophthalmologist, Dr. Sarah Hoy, graciously agreed to fit him into her schedule last week when she was doing the recheck on Max. Here's a photo of her vet tech Patty doing the initial screening exam while vet tech Rachel holds Pip:
Sarah found his left eye was totally blind, both from a long untreated corneal ulcer (the scarring is still very visible) and from a hypermature cataract. Pip had no visual responses in that eye, and there isn't anything we can do now to restore vision.
His right eye still has vision, though he has a developing cataract in that eye as well which will eventually cause him to go blind.
Pip also has a condition affecting both corneas called corneal endothelial degeneration, which Sarah says is commonly seen in Chihuahuas, Dachshunds and Boston Terriers. She described it this way:
"This means the pumps on the back surface of the corneas have deteriorated and no longer can keep fluid out of the corneas, which leads to edema or a blue-gray cloudy appearance to the eyes. Without treatment, the eyes will become bluer over time and the long-term risks with chronic corneal edema include recurrent corneal ulcers and discomfort."
The treatment options, she told us, include corneal transplants or a procedure called a Gundersen flap, in which a piece of the conjunctiva tissue is grafted onto the cornea. The graft helps "dehydrate" the cornea by allowing another way for the fluid to get out.
And, of course, there's still the issue of the cataract in his remaining visual eye, which means cataract surgery at some point.
Pip is also scheduled to see our internal medicine specialist, Dr. Tanya Donovan, next week for an ultrasound and cancer screening. We found a lump on his neck a few days ago that is worrisome. He's really thin and yet doesn't seem to have a great appetite, so that's also a concern. We don't know how old he is, though the gray on his muzzle suggests he's got plenty of miles on his tires.
Morgan had given us a heads-up about how Pip "communicates" -- by wailing like a human infant. She told us, "He sounds almost exactly like a baby, so you and Alayne can enjoy the sounds of an infant in the house without the worries of a college education. :)" Holy cow, the first day he was here Pip started wailing from the living room, and it sounded like a baby who needed his diapers changed. In a way, it was: Pip was letting us know he needed to go outside to do his business!
This little guy is just a doll -- he is sweet, affectionate, and only wants to lie in your lap or, better yet, snuggle against your neck. He is wonderful with all the other dogs. There are times when he's curled up in his basket bed that he looks just like a newborn deer fawn -- though I suspect a fawn is a bit quieter!
Weekly Winner for Week 5 -- And $1,000 For The Animals!
Yes, we were the most recent weekly winner, and thanks to you, we just won $1,000 through the Shelter Challenge! Thank you so much!
Please Vote for the Farm!
The new Shelter Challenge started 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 5 of this current 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!