This adorable little girl arrived a couple of weeks ago, and we kept her "under wraps" because we had so much going on. Meanwhile it quickly dawned on us that this senior was a whirl of activity and inquisitiveness who followed us around, wanting to know what we were doing, why we were doing it, and what we were going to do next -- because she intended to be there.
Now, she doesn't appear to be that assertive in the photo -- the camera flash was going off and it makes her nervous -- but Aurora is a bundle of energy who is timid one moment, then scurrying around the floor, doing play-bows and wanting to mix it up.
She came to us from Atlanta Beagle Rescue, who had pulled her from a West Virginia shelter where she had been described as a "sad, old blind dog" who was stressed out and not eating. Morgan from Atlanta Beagle Rescue told me in an email, "Turned out Ms. Aurora may be old, but not sad and not really blind." They had to remove her right eye because of corneal ulcers, but she can still see from her compromised left eye.
Morgan added, 'She is very active and plays with the tennis balls, then surgically removes the squeaker." (That sounded very familiar to us.)
Despite Aurora's cuteness, and despite having had her since last July, Atlanta Beagle Rescue had not been able to find anyone interested in adopting her. Hence the email asking if we could take her.
You can see how troubled her remaining eye looks in this next photo:
Thus Aurora made the trip to Burlington two weeks ago to see our ophthalmologist, Dr. Sarah Hoy, as well as our internal medicine specialist, Dr. Tanya Donovan, for a geriatric screening.
Here she is getting the slit lamp exam:
And here she is, happily hanging out with vet tech Patty in between diagnostic procedures:
In the summary of her findings, Dr. Hoy wrote, "Aurora presented today with a sighted left eye that has severe corneal edema centrally. There is no corneal ulcer present today, however she will always be at risk for recurrent corneal ulcers due to the persistent edema in her cornea. The edema (fluid) can coalesce into bubbles of fluid that rise to the surface of the cornea and rupture causing new superficial ulcers. The mild redness to her eye may suggest an inflammatory component to the endothelial problem underlying the condition."
That underlying condition is either corneal endothelial degeneration, corneal endothelial dystropy, or corneal endothelitis. At this point there is no way to know for sure which is the specific cause, but the outcome is the same: Aurora is at risk for continued development of corneal ulcers in the future. The treatment plan for now is a twice daily application of cyclosporine ointment for the rest of her life, and careful monitoring of her eye.
Then it was off to see Dr. Donovan for the usual, starting with the physical:
Aurora may only have one eye, but that's all you need to give "the eye" to the doctor:
(Click on photo for larger version to see the look she's giving Tanya.)
After some X-rays, the next stop was the ultrasound room. Here Tanya is scanning while vet tech Katie and fourth-year vet student Jennifer S. hold Aurora still:
The rest of her organs looked fine, but on the echocardiogram it was clear the mitral valve in her heart is undergoing changes -- some thickening -- and thus she will need to start taking heart meds. Her bloodwork and urinalysis all came back normal.
Just as I was finishing writing up this post on Sunday afternoon, I headed downstairs to the kitchen to put some bread in the oven and saw Aurora asleep in her basket again:
Aurora says, "I don't know who Goldie was but she was on to something here."
Shelter Challenge Contest -- Please Vote for the Farm!
The latest Shelter Challenge started Monday, January 7 and ends on April 28. Grand prize in this round is $10,000, $3,000 for second place and $1,000 for third place, 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.
*** You will find us listed as Rolling Dog Farm. The state is 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 in the 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!