My name is Lillie and my story (for my new family) begins around May 5, 2008. That’s the day I landed myself in the Warrenton County Mo pound. I was traveling with my beagle buddy and we wound up in some nice lady’s yard. She called Lori the ACO to come and get us so we wouldn’t get hurt. I was actually pretty lucky. Lori is a nice ACO and she does a great job of finding us new homes.
My mom saw me on Petfinder the third day at the pound. Lori said she had to wait two or three more days and if no one came for me she would be first on the list. The next Tuesday on July 11th mom drove the sixty-mile to and get me. She never told dad or the boys that I was coming home. It was a surprise. When she came to the pound she looked like an OK lady so I thought what the heck, I’ll give her a try.
I was on my best behavior. I acted like I had known her for twenty years. I jumped right in the car and sat in the front seat all the way home. When we got to my new house there was a great big obnoxious dog they called Del Fuego. He instantly loved me because of my fabulous personality and award-winning looks, however, I hated him. I tried to chew his face off. Lori had told mom that I was not dog aggressive – haha I just wanted out of there so, I pulled a fast one on her. Anyway, to make a long story short, that obnoxious Del Fuego would never take no for an answer and now we are best friends. He never leaves me for a minute
Life was pretty good here but after a few days, mom saw that I had a cough and she took me to the dogtor and they said kennel cough. They put me on medicine and it never got better. This is where my story becomes very scary. I started having very strange spells. I would start to eat and drink very fast and then I would throw up. My eyes would glaze over and I would start to fall down. My heart would beat so fast and I was so hot and then I would start to freeze and my heart would go so slow that I couldn’t breathe. Mom rushed me to the emergency room the first time and they told her pneumonia. They gave me fluids and antibiotics and I started to feel better. I was feeling good for about a week and then the big crash as mom calls it. I started coughing again on Monday but nothing too alarming. Colin stayed home with me (he’s my new boy) and I seemed fine. On Tuesday Colin had a ballgame so I had to go into the crate for a couple of hours. When mom came home two hours later she found me cold and barely breathing. She scooped me up and drove straight to the emergency room.
I was dying. The dogtor told mom my body was shutting down. My heartbeat was 41 and I wasn’t going to make it much longer. They started me on fluids and heart medication but nothing worked. Mom sat with me until 8 AM and then she took me to my regular vet. They kept me for three days. Fluids, heart meds, broncho-dilators I was full of tubes and I couldn’t eat. I was so tired. I didn’t even pay any attention to anyone around me until my dad came to see me. I rolled over and the techs got me out of the crate and dad carried me to out to go potty. They said it was a good sign. I came home after three long days. In the meantime mom was frantic. She sent out an SOS on a Westie Rescue site and the next thing you know nice people were letting her know that help was out there.
Ms. Bette from WestieMed contacted mom and told her to take me to see the Cardiologist at VSS in Manchester. Dr. Marshall was a very nice lady. She put me on a thirty-day event monitor to watch my heart. I am also now on Thyroid medication twice a day. My Thyroid panel came back as virtually nonfunctioning. Mom was so happy to hear Thyroid meds because this would be easy and now we were finally getting somewhere. After seven dogtors and all that poking and prodding, you would think they could figure it out.
My dogtor bills were over $2,000 dollars. My cardiologist’s visit was $747.00 all by itself. WestieMed came to the rescue and got me to the Cardiologist. Today I am feeling pretty good. I get a little better each day. Mom says I’m about 90%. I’m eating and drinking and I’m getting back my fabulous personality. Throughout all of this, Del Fuego never left my side. He slept by me and watched over every day. He was very anxious and depressed when I was in the hospital. Mom said she thought he would need Prozac. I will have a new Thyroid panel in another week and hopefully, all I will need is a couple of pills per day for the rest of my life. Mom says this is “no problem”.
Lillie continues to do a little better every day. Unfortunately, her thyroid panel showed that her Thyroid Stimulating Hormone was also nonexistent along with the other two factors. The two specialists at VSS feel that this could be due to a tumor growing on her Pituitary Gland and the pressure inside her head is causing her to have atypical seizures. This is only a guess and cannot be confirmed without a CT scan. If she indeed does have a tumor, nothing can be done about it.
We are giving her thyroid meds and pretending that the bad news email never came. If she has another spell it will most likely kill her but, at least she will be at home with us and not on some road or in a ditch somewhere.
No one ever came to look for her. She had no tags or collar. It was very apparent that she had been cared for. She was fed, groomed, potty trained and spayed. Maybe someone knew something wasn’t right and they chose not to deal with it. It doesn’t matter now. We love her and she’s ours forever. She now has a mom & dad two boys and her own dog Del Fuego. My son Colin named her Lillie Mc Gee after Willie Mc Gee the 80’s St. Louis Cardinal. He wasn’t very good looking but he was an awesome ballplayer. Well, our Lillie sure isn’t show quality but, she’s’ a heck of a dog!!!!! We call her GEE GEE.
Thanks to WestieMed and the IL MO Westie Rescue. I appreciate all of the support and Emails that I have received from everyone. It’s nice to know that you all are out there.
Stacy, Richard, Nick, Colin, Del Fuego, and the Fabulous Miss Lillie
Update September 21, 2008
I just wanted to let you know that Lillie is still hanging in there. She has been having shorter and less intense spells than before, but they are more frequent. She usually has one every Thursday or Friday. It’s very bizarre.
She goes to the vet on Monday for her retest on her t-4. They do this every three weeks to readjust her meds. She started at .4 and we are now at .2 hopefully they will lower it and she can level out. The vet thinks her spells could be caused by her thyroid still being out of whack. When she was tested at .4 her thyroid was a 9.4 instead of a 1.2-2.0 which is ideal. He said not to give up just yet. Otherwise, she is fine. She has a few bad hours a week and then sleeps it off and bounces back. It’s giving me a nervous breakdown but she seems to handle it fine.
She has two new friends, my sister in-law’s 2lb Maltipoo and my son’s friend’s three-pound Toy Pom, she finds them fascinating. I think she thinks they are varmints. She like to hunt them throughout the house and when they stop she rolls over in front of them. It’s pretty funny.
Update November 16, 2008
Knock on wood!! Lillie has not had a spell in several weeks. her thyroid meds have been dropped to a .2 and this seems to be doing the trick. Her coat is coming in nicely. The wiry coat is also coming in and she is really starting to look good. She’s back to 100%. Hopefully, we will stay on course. So far no other problems have come up. I’m hopeful. Now if I could get her to sleep past 6:30 AM on a weekend we would really be making progress.
Thanks for everything and Happy Holidays.
Stacy & Lillie
Update January 29, 2008
Today is a good day. Lillie went for several weeks without any spells. Her meds were regulated at a .2 and she seemed to finally have leveled out. The first couple of weeks of January were rough. She has three spells and one of them lasted for two days. This was the first time that the Vet was able to see her in the middle of a full thrown spell. He feels that it is definitely neurological. He really feels that the spells are her form of a seizure and he would like to try and put her on seizure meds, however, he does not want to make anything worse. At this point, we have contacted U. of Mo. Vet school about having the CT scan and a visit with the Neurologist.
When she comes out of the spells she acts 100%. She is all Westie. She still has tons of spunk.
Here are a few pictures…her fresh summer haircut, her sunbathing (this is her morning routine in the summer) and her Christmas poncho.
Stacy & Lillie
Update April 21, 2009
So far so good. Lillie has been doing very well lately. No real spells, just a few upset tummy episodes.
I have contacted both the U of I and U of Mo and they both want $2,500.00 for a full MRI work up. They say that a CT scan is not good enough. They need to see soft brain tissue. It is a two to three-day process.
Good news, I did find a job. I work out of my home several days a week so I do get to spend a lot of time with her. She is not home alone for long periods of time. I can stagger my schedule around everyone else.
I am waiting for her insurance to process some info on her. The underwriter has it now. We will see what they say. I really want to encourage everyone to take out a shelter care policy with a pet care insurance co as soon as they take guardianship. If I had done this with Lillie within seven days of adopting her, I would not have had any of these issues. They would have covered 70%. I hope all is well with everyone at WestieMed.
We are looking forward to nicer weather. We have a new dog park and agility course in town. Lillie loves agility and the more she can run the better. A few days ago she took off after a goose at our pond (at least three football fields away) she is lightning fast.
There is hope for broken-down ol’ Westies. I will keep you posted.
The Fischer Clan
Update July 11, 2009
Lillie is still hanging in there. I have her on a holistic diet and we are working with a nutritionist and a natural pet food store. I came across an e-book on canine pancreatitis and the effect if prolonged and untreated. So we are back to the basics as dogs that have thyroid issues are predisposed to pancreatitis.
Stacy and Lillie
Update January 20, 2010
Update on Lillie. She is doing really well. She is on her holistic diet and has not had any spells in quite a long time. She has a new Westie sister Heidi from the HSMO in St. Louis, MO. Heidi has some leg issues due to being what I call a miller. They get along very well and they team up together against DelFuego. We will be moving to Santa Fe, NM this summer. They are looking forward to their new big fenced in back yard!!!!