Every so often HRI gets a call about a special needs dog. This is a story about a very special one...and thank you Forum Members for all your support so that a little gal like this has a new leash on life!
Cindy Lou aka Vivi in PA
Vivi, whose new name was derived from superviviente (the Spanish word for "survivor") is a very special 6.6 pound, chocolate sable Havanese born on Dec.15, 2009. She has a congenital defect known as hydrocephalus.
This "water on the brain" prevents her fontanel from closing so she has what specialists have termed "the largest opening we've ever seen". This means her large soft spot, right up on top of her head, leaves her brain extremely vulnerable to trauma.
Vivi spent her first 4 months in a cage at a vet office down south, where she only had one little view forward out into the big world. She was advertised as available for adoption and not spayed when an alert Good Samaritan notified HRI Intake. Upon investigation it was obvious that Vivi needed to be rescued, evaluated and either given a chance at some semblance of a normal life or kindly let go.
Well, little Ms.Vivi has surprised many out here in the real world. She finds wind blowing in her face most delicious. And sunshine - well, she'd never been outside so the flickering shadows are still something to think about. Grass - it was too creepy to walk in but now she delights in the scents and checking out buttercups. Her tail now comes up and wags and she found her bark. She loves her puppy chow and took to playing with toys almost instantly. She is still happier when confined but is learning about space and not to be afraid. Her shyness is evident but improving. While somewhat delayed due to her history, she's making marvelous strides daily as she becomes socialized.
Vivi's head has to be protected but she also has to have supervised time to develop physically and do a little Havi RLH. Oh, it was difficult to let her go but we've taken in slowly and she's proved to have the typical Havie Velcro gene! Vivi has been checked from nose to tail and other than hydrocephalus she is healthy. Her vision is probably a bit compromised but she's compensating well.
On May 3rd Vivi visited the great neuro team at the UPenn's Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary School located in Philadelphia. While there she had an MRI which showed the severe extent of her condition. We still don't really know what Vivi's future might hold for her. The neurosurgeon says Vivi's prognosis is "guarded" and wanted to try several months of drug therapy (Prednisone and Omeprazole) before deciding whether or not a shunt would be indicated in her case. She continues to be happy, comfortable, and there have been signs of decreased swelling on her new meds. She is an active, feisty little pup now and loves live!
Vivi is being fostered in PA and is especially pleased to introduce Forum Quilt Hats Off to Havanese Square by Kara Craig Kaiser ---- 'Havanese Royalty",
My inspiration was from Queen Victoria's Havanese and the Animal Planet tidbit about them being dogs of 'royalty'