Written by Janet Birdsall
Dr. Center.... Canine Health Foundation..... Rosy's Memorial... Please Read
Most everyone knows that recently I came off a win that every breeder dreams of. Winning Westminster. But the win was truly a reminder to me of the commitment that I have made to this breed and the betterment of it. Not just the betterment of structure and type, but the betterment of health and welfare as well. It was a reminder of the responsibility that I have as a Havanese breeder.
Over the past two years I have heard of about 4 stories of Liver Shunt from various Havanese owners and breeders, and through circumstances of my connections with the University of Florida, have helped out two people go through the diagnoses, treatment and ultimately the death of two lovely little Havanese puppies with inoperatable multiple intrahepatic liver shunt. These puppies were not my breeding, but seeing what these puppies and owners went through was totally devasting.
One of the puppies was from out of town, and as I knew the owner quite well through a mutual friend, I offered to take the puppy to the University of Florida for diagnostics and treatment and to have the puppy stay with me until it was on the mend and ready to go back home. At the time I assumed that the case would be minor and probably not even a shunt.
When the puppy was born, she was normal. She grew normally, ate normally and was socially normal. It was during the weaning process at about 6 weeks that you began to see slight changes.
When she arrived to go to the University of Florida she was thin and not eating by herself. I think she was about 8 weeks old. I agreed with her owner that there was something wrong, but even if it was a shunt, we would just do surgery and everything would be fine. Right?? Wrong!
I remember the day I took her to the University of Florida, I never thought for a moment I would be given the devastating news I heard. Upon doing the ultrasound, they knew she had an inoperable multiple intrahepatic liver shunt. The bloodwork only confirmed this. Imagine holding an 8 week old puppy that is busy giving you kisses and some Doctor standing there telling you she is going to die and there is nothing that can be done to save her. When I asked that question of when?? I am told it could be a few days, a few weeks, a few months…. I cried for a couple of hours before I pulled out of the University to drive home.
Still I could not quite believe that the puppy would actually die, I actually thought if I loved it enough it would get well, so I asked the owner to leave the puppy with me until I got her treatment and meds under control. The coming weeks would prove to be some of the toughest I have ever endured. I made her food for her, fed her by a syringe every few hours as she didn’t eat by herself, The medicines gave her diarrhea and made her rear so raw. I struggled to find a balance in the medications. I prayed for strength and courage all the time as I knew the end was coming. She lived to be about 11 weeks old.
Through this tragedy, came the renewed commitment that I don’t want any of my owners to have to experience what I did. I have been lucky, but these 4 occurrences which were randomly brought to my attention, combined with Dr. Center’s research have taught me that it is only luck.
I went to hear Dr. Center speak during my time at Westminster earlier this month. Her research is fascinating and everyday she is getting closer to finding the gene responsible for Microvascular Dysplasia and Portosystemic Vascular Anomalies.
I beg of all breeders to realize this is in our breed. My Lines, Your Lines, everyone’s lines. Please don’t close your eyes to this devastating illness. Rather….. Join me in pledging money to Dr. Centers research project.
Just imagine if every breeder gives say $500 (25% of a puppy sold), or a portion of a stud fee collected or even $100 and every pet owner $25, how quickly we will have raised the amount we need. Perhaps take a portion of your advertising money if you campaign a dog, enter one less show this week, or even the portion set aside for eating out this week. Even if it is just $5.00 to say I believe in this… I wish I could help more, but It is a rough time. Just give something. Please.
On my website, I have set up a page for Rosy’s Memorial. http://www.myyuppypuppy.com/rosysmemorialfund.html You will be able to track the process on a daily basis what has been pledged. Those who wish, will also have their names listed on the page, though you can choose to remain anonymous as well.
On March 11th, The Canine Health Foundation board will meet and officially pass the grant for Dr. Centers Research. My goal is on March 12th, to present our money raise d to the CHF, earmarked for Dr. Centers Project. Our Goal is $7000.00!!
I have set up "The Rosy Memorial Page" and have pledged to spend the coming weeks raising this money for CHF. I think it is that important.
All checks can be made payable to "Canine Health Foundation" Please note in the bottom notes corner… Grant 963, and you can mark in "Memory of Rosy" or any other Havanese you know whom have suffered with MVP or PSS or even a person you want to donate in memory of.
If you want to pledge money but cant send it till after March 11th, please pledge and let me know when you will be able to mail it.
I a sk that you mail the checks to me and I will turn them all in at once and better be able to make sure I raise ALL the funds that are needed. It would be nice if you email me your pledge, so I can cross reference when the check is received. If you need to pay by credit card, please contact me privately and I will explain how.
Janet Birdsall, 18150 SE 20th Place, Silver Springs, FL 34488
Phone: 352 625 7926
Just imagine….. What we can do if we come together!! Please join me in making a difference.
Sandi, taking a new road with Smarty and Galen
Last edited by SMARTY; 02-29-2008 at 08:40 AM.