I am so glad to find and read about your foundation. I am so glad that you are trying to make humans aware of canine liver disease. I myself was totally unaware of the devastating effects of liver disease on dogs.
We lost our very special sweet Australian Sheepdog Sydney to liver disease April 14, 2013. I would like to tell you her story, because she was such a wonderful dog and companion.
We bought Sydney in the back of a truck full of puppies in the thumb of Michigan. We loved her from the beginning, she was the Velcro dog from the start. She was a beautiful tri colored Aussie, very athletic , a wonderful walking companion, an an AWSOME frisbee player. Most of all she was a very quirky, funny loving Aussie, and very much a part of our family.
Sydney’s eighth birthday would have been May 2. Like your dog and so many others, we were completely caught off guard with this horrible disease. Sydney just started vomiting her food up. It started here and there and then more often and then she just stopped eating. We thought she just had a virus, and then she became lethargic and did not eat a thing. We took her to the vet, they said she looked jaundice. They said her liver was involved. She then ended up in the specialty vet hospital for four days , with a blood transfusion, because she was anemic, and they told us she was bleeding internally from somewhere. We thought she was getting better, they sent her home, only to end up back there for another two nights. She was very lethargic, not eating. They then did a liver biopsy.
This is where it gets really awful. It is a process of illumination, because it can be caused by so many things. Could it be cancer, no, bacterial (leptospirosis), no how about copper, no, how about something she ate, who knows, how about stagnant water, who knows, how about genetics, (she was a middle aged female, with a little bit smaller liver), how about some drug she had been taking all her life, perhaps heartworm, or some antibiotic she had in the past. The list goes on. Along with that goes heartbreak and guilt, what could I have done different?
We tried to get Sydney to eat everything and anything that she was allowed. She seemed very depressed and did not want to eat rice, chicken, mashed potatoes, bland food. She simply tried to bury her bowl. It was heartbreaking to watch. She had simply become another dog who looked and seemed in a lot of discomfort.
This whole process was not that long. A couple weeks of not eating and vomiting, then that specialty vet clinic, lots and lots of pills. Then the steroids, they made her stomach bleed.
I am writing this so that your readers and hopefully dog parents out there become aware of liver disease. I had never ever heard of a dog having this or was I aware that this could happen to my pet. It is horrible, I wish that they had something posted at my vet office to watch for warning signs. Sydney was our second dog, we has a Shetland Sheepdog that lived to be 13 before her. Never had I heard one time about liver disease, and my pets go regularly to the vet.
People need to be made aware, because when it shows symptoms, it comes on hard and fast.
She was fine one day and then boom not feeling well.
I hope this story helps in your foundation, we plan to donate. Sydney would have been 8 May 2. She should of had another 5-6 years ahead of her. She was a one of a kind and we will never . forget her. She was not the same dog in a matter of weeks, 10 lbs thinner. We lost our family member and our friend. This all happened within about a 6 week period.
I hope this helps in your fight against liver disease. Like I said I hope we can do something positive in Sydney’s memory.
Thank you so much!
The Davidson Family
In loving memory of Sydney Davidson (akc Sydney’s Glamour Girl) May 8, 2005-April 14, 2012) She was a wonderful dog!!!! A great friend, who gave unconditional love! And we miss her terribly!!