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Here are some pics of my sweet boy. Bruce is doing better now that he is on some new medications and diet. Our goal is to get him to the University of Tennessee to have surgery for his liver shunt as soon as we are able. I am so proud of my boy, he is a little warrior and hangs in there through all that has to be done to/for him to keep him with us while we wait to get the surgery that will hopefully save his life. In the meantime....

I am Bruce Lee-tough as nails like my namesake!




I'm really happy that he's put some weight back on--look at that fine Chi form!


Stopping to smell the flow...err clover?


Ahh, sunny warmth on my nose!
 

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Awww, Bruce is just a handsome brave boy! What is holding you back on the surgery? My guess is cost...?
 

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You have such a beautiful pair of Chi's. I sigh every time I see your signature picture.

Bruce looks like he's doing well.
Chi's are such giant souls trapped in tiny bodies...
I'm sure Bruce will come through this all as if nothing ever happened !

Beautiful pics.:)
 

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aw bruce! look at u! gaining weight back again ;) good going boy! pls continue to get more in shape and dont disappoint ur owner okay? :) dexter sends lotsa barks too. love the pics
 

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Thanks for all the love guys! He is my brave boy. And little Lola is always healthy as a horse (knock on wood!) and playing like a maniac, she loves her Brucie though and is never far from his side. :)


Awww, Bruce is just a handsome brave boy! What is holding you back on the surgery? My guess is cost...?
yes, we are saving up and figuring out some things, but we will get there, I'm hoping before the year end.
 

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They're both so adorable! They look beautiful together.

I wish Jaelyn & Marek got along so well. Marek is too much of a fraidy cat to put up with her hyperactivity. LOL
 

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Bruce is beautiful!! Keep us posted on the surgery.
 

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Thanks for all the love guys! He is my brave boy. And little Lola is always healthy as a horse (knock on wood!) and playing like a maniac, she loves her Brucie though and is never far from his side. :)

yes, we are saving up and figuring out some things, but we will get there, I'm hoping before the year end.
Is it pretty safe to wait? Is the surgery real expensive?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, the surgery is definitely a risk, but without it his chances of living much longer are greatly reduced. I think, after many talks with various vets as well as with the enormous amount of insight I've gained from the liver shunt/mvd list, the key is to go to a surgeon and facility that is skilled and performs this type of surgery regularly. That's why, when we have it done, we won't be going to our local university as our vet had suggested. We'll travel the 7 hours down to Tennessee and go to the best. Dr. Tobias at U of T is a leader in this field. And, although Brucie is one of what seems like very few Chihuahuas in a sea of Yorkies on our Liver Shunt group ;), they too are very small dogs--many of whom have had successful surgeries at U of T.

Time is definitely of the essence...the sooner it's done the better. As it is right now, we are just trying to "maintain" him until we can get the surgery done. His diet is severely restricted--literally 4 meals per day of about a teaspoon of a very sad liver safe diet, each followed up with a dose of lactulose syrup, and of course his daily liver supportive supplements. His neurologic episodes have been few since the most recent diet change, but with every episode comes the reminder of the urgency of the situation. If it were possible, I'd have had the surgery done yesterday, but with all of the vet bills that we've accrued over the last few months--maxed out care credit card and used part of my sister in law's account--we just have to find another way.

Apparently though, U of T has more reasonable pricing than many in the country--roughly $1800.00 with no complications. Then we'll have the cost of travel and motel fees.

It's all sort of a gamble right now ( I cringe to even use that phrase when talking about my precious baby). No one can say how long Bruce will be ok being managed medically. Day by day is the name of the game. But I pray every day that God will help us find a way quickly.

But even with all that said, getting him there and paying for it will be the "easy" part. If all goes right, they will perform a diagnostic scintigraphy on him to determine the location and correctability of the shunt. If it is correctable, they will fix it and then he will go to intensive care post op for a couple of days. Surviving post op is a critical time. But if that goes well then we will be well on the road to recovery and our own "happily ever after". But there is certainly alot that could go wrong. His shunt may not be correctable. He may have MVD which is not curable but isn't a death sentence either. He may have multiple shunts. He may have a shunt that is correctable but may also have MVD (still MVD can be managed with diet and supplements for the most part). Sigh, it's a lot. But I just try to take it one step at a time.

I really want to thank you guys for your caring concern. I just love this little Chi family and am so grateful to have you all to talk to. ((((hugs)))
 

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See...I knew that movie should have been Kung-Fu Chihuahua. ;)

He's a darling little boy. I love fringe fur and his beautiful eyes. Add my prayer to the list of those hoping for a quick and successful surgery.
 

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Awww Beth how did I miss this post. I am so glad he is doing better. I have heard great things about Dr Tobias at the UofT. I read alot about him on the LS group. How did you get him to gain weight? He looks just great. Keep us posted. Do you get Chihuahua Connection? There was a article about LS/MVD in there.
Kay
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks Kay, yeah he's my lil' trooper, that's for sure. I'll tell ya, for months I was on the other liver group and really not going in the right direction, but after I got on the LS/MVD (the group I really needed to be on all along :-?), I finally got on the right track. They are the one's that actually got me going on the right food and to add lactulose. I went into my vet's office that Monday following the weekend I joined and got all my info with my guns blazin'! ;) I got the lactulose and that alone has helped him with his appetite and being able to eat enough to sustain a better weight! And now he eats the Hills prescription L/D alternating with the liver safe diet from the L/S group and so far so good!
 

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I am so glad to hear that. The Lactulose, you can get at Walmart for only 4$ (fyi). I'm glad you are finally getting good info. Keep us posted on his progress. Kay
 
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