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Hello~

our family rescued a small chi about 6-7 yrs ago. He came with many issues, but we were willing and fortunately able to work with all of them ... today he is a happy and very loved member of our family.
We've fostered dogs for years, but have only kept two & generally have only fostered puppies, kittens, and large dogs.

5 weeks ago I was in a nearby town and ran into a rescue group (not the usual group I deal with) who had several small dogs in crates out in front of a pet store for adoption. I'm not in the market for another pet as we have 2 dogs, a cat and various other critters, but I overheard the woman in charge talking about needing a foster home for a little 3 lb long hair chi. This particular dog was in with 4 others and clearly unhappy ... plus it was a windy and cold day. I told her I foster for another org and offered to take the dog for a little bit. She proceeded to hand me the dog and tell me to be careful ... I was floored! No paperwork, no info about the dog, nothing! Not at all what I'm used to! :foxes15:I insisted on getting her name and number and gave her mine. As I walked away she said, "be careful ... she's a little snappy". It was crowded and busy and I was in a time crunch, so I didn't make an issue of it. Half way to the car sthe dog snapped at me .... now mind you this is not a dog that looks like Cujo ... she's absolutely beautiful. That said, she was missing huge patches of hair on her back ... no info on that either. I took Lucy home and once inside the door put her down, only to discover she could barely walk and frequently fell over. Not just the hind quarters were an issue, but the front legs splay out in front of her. While snappy, she is also quite sweet in spirit ... not a mean dog at all ... my first impression at home was that she might be old, arthritic, recovering from a flea problem, etc.
That evening I called the rescue woman and demanded more information. I was told that she had been rescued from euthanasia list at a shelter, because she was vicious, and that she'd seen a vet who took blood, and said she had fleas, but was fine otherwise.
I didn't mean to write a book ... so let me try to get to the point.
I'm not sure what forum this belongs on, but I need to know if anyone else has ideas, information, or similar experience ....
Fast forward ... Lucy has been here nearly 6 weeks. In that time I've demanded another vet visit with another vet & the visit was ok'd .... this vet seems to think she's only 6 yrs old and while her muscles are atrophied in the back there is seemingly nothing wrong with her. She is on flea medication, and an antibiotic for a possible skin infection from the fleas, however her fur has now grown back entirely at this point. She's also walking and even going up the stairs by herself which she could not do at all her first week here. It turns out that she's completely housebroken (unlike my other chi) and can be taken for a walk down the street without a leash. She sticks with us constantly. However ... she still screams and tries to bite when we pick her up ... no matter how careful or gentle we are. She is sometimes very lethargic, and has 'weak' days. My other chi has seizures and I think she does too, but they aren't the classic seizure. Or at the very least not as pronounced as his.
I think I've witnessed one, but I believe she has them quite often. My other Chi isn't on meds because they only occur every two months or so. The last vet that saw her has agreed to put her on a low dose seizure med that I'll pick up tomorrow.
I'm wondering if anyone else on this site has a clue, besides seizures .... what could be wrong with this little girl?? She was obviously taken care of at some point in time, but I have no idea what the past year has held for her. After 20+yrs of formally fostering animals I realize it could be any number of things. The snappy stuff is often behavioral & sadly she's become very attached to my daughter which will obviously make rehoming her difficult on several levels.
I just need help trying to figure out the whole tiny dog thing ... I've always been great with big dogs and my 5 pound Max I couldn't love more if I'd given birth to him ... but aside from the initial stuff & seizures he's been worry free.
I just feel like there might be something else wrong with her. :confused:
Again ...
Sorry for the book ...
If anyone has any thoughts, I'd love to hear them!
Thank you!
 

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What a wonderful person you are to take her on,have you looked up Ataxia on google ? it covers many balance problems
 

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I don't have much to offer other than welcome and your baby sounds so sweet despite the snapping issues. I would consider lifting her on a towel or blanket. Maybe that would make her feel a bit more secure and she won't snap. Sounds like she is fitting n nicely with your family and that maybe she has found a permanent home with you and your family.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all so much! This is exactly why I came back to this site (I was here 6 yrs ago when we took Max in) ... you all are a wealth of information!
I looked up and read a bunch about ataxia .... it fits her to a T! Now the thing is going to be trying to figure out the cause and how to treat it so she isn't miserable.
I suppose low blood sugar could be a problem, but she eats like a horse! I am thinking that maybe her eating patterns have been thrown off and perhaps she's used to wet food as opposed to dry which our other dogs eat.
Again, I really do thank you for the suggestions and ideas ... it really helps me try to figure out what's going on!
Tamara
 

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Lulushuman - first off, bless your heart for taking her. Second, have you done any research on the rescue group that gave her to you? Do they have a web presence, or are they 501(c)3, or any other indicators that they are legit? I volunteer for a rescue, and when I was looking for my Pablo I ran the gamut of the most fly-by night to the most reputable, and everything in between. It sounds like Lucy is a real challenge, and she's very fortunate that you came along...I hope you have good luck with her.
 

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Thank you! Yes, I actually have looked into them in the past 5 weeks ... and placed them in the appropriate authorities radar ;-)
No way would I let this go by the way side ... it's also the reason I need to keep her and try to work out her issues. God only knows what would happen if she were passed around from unsuspecting foster or possible home over and over again. It would be horrible for her. She is going to be a challenge though .... not in the usual ways however ... she's fully housebroken, stays with us when we're out, and is very well behaved most of the time. She does have bad days, and there are just times we can't pick her up ... I just don't want her miserable, or in pain & finding a vet to help me has been difficult.
Again, thank you to all of you .... you really are a wealth of information about this breed!
Tamara
 

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And by the way ... the great suggestion that I look up ataxia has saved her from seizure meeds. I realized after I looked it up that it isn't seizures I'm seeing, but this condition ... little question about it in my mind! When I looked at the meeds I picked up from the last vet I discovered he'd given me prednasone, not a light sedative as he said he would. Now that I don't believe she's having actual seizures, there's no way I'm giving her red ... just too hard on her tiny system for no reason. Back to square one with the vet ... rolling my eyes ....
 

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Multiple things 1st) Thank you for taking her in

2) I've NEVER heard of a rescue just handing you are dog, dear god!!! When I went to be a foster they had to do multiple interviews -phone- and a home visit and had to meet lincoln and my bf (we live together) then it had to go to council before they let me be one. This is not an appropriate rescue in my books at all! -I wouldn't even call them one deal lord!

3) get thee to a better vet! I'm sorry if i'm a bit harsh but it sounds like he/she isn't listening to you when you say mild or couldn't think about the diagnosis for her. Sounds to me that you've been the only one caring about her enough out of anyone to actually think about whats wrong with her an get a solution.

Hoping that things will look up for her, sounds like they already are now that she's with you : )
 

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Thank you for taking in this little dog. When I got Reggie, he had been either hit by a car or kicked. I couldn't pick him up without him screaming. What I did was have him jump into a dog bed and pick the whole thing up. She may have strained something or pulled something in her back. I see you are in CA, whereabouts? I'm in Bakersfield.
 

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Hello~
I'm in the SF bay area ... east bay.
She's good today ... not screaming nearly as much, but she was like that two days ago too ... seems like she has good days and bad days!
To anyone who sent me a private message ... I've tried to respond, but either it doesn't take, or I'm just really lame with trying to figure out how!!
T.
 

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hi there!! well done for taking her in! but it sounds to me that they were really desperate to get rid of her! maybe because of all her problems?! i can't believe they just handed her to you and you could walk off with her...! anyway I'm glad she found you! I am no vet so not sure what's wrong with her, but maybe it's shock and or an anxiety disorder? god only knows what she has been through! that must be why she doesn't like being picked up, maybe someone dropped her in the past or hurt her in another way while picking her up...you need to try to make the picking up sensation something possitiv again. hold a really tasty treat in front of her nose while picking her up and let her have it as soon as you lift her. repeat, repeat, repeat! good luck! :) do you have a pic of her? she does sound like a lovley little girl! :)
 
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