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Pet of the Month: Katie and Riley!

September 28, 2012

We would like to introduce you to Katie and Riley. They are two 10 year old Bichon Frises who are only a month apart. The girls were nominated for our Pet of the Month because of all they have been through medically and we are so proud of their mom for her love and dedication she has given to them over the years.

Riley and Katie started having skin allergies at a young age and had to go on a special hypoallergenic food and omega fatty acids to minimize skin flare ups. When Riley was 4 years old, she developed a cataract in her right eye which required eventual cataract surgery and long term eye medication. Katie at the age of 4 also developed cataracts in both her eyes but luckily has not needed surgery. Her eyes are prone to inflammation and she has to use antinflammatory eye medications.

At the age of 4, Riley developed hip dysplasia and arthritis in her hips. She responded to glucosamine/chondroitin supplement and pain medication. At the age of 6, her right hip arthritis progressed and she had to undergo denervation of her right hip joint capsule. This is a surgery done by a Certified orthopedic surgeon. Hip denervation is a procedure that involves cutting the nerve supply to the hip joint to aid in pain control from badly arthritic hips. Following the surgery, along with pain and anti-inflammatory medications, she underwent rehabilitation treatment in Newmarket to regain muscle and strength in her hind legs.

When Katie was 7, she developed arthritis in her knees and hips and underwent rehabilitation treatment as well.

When Riley was 8, she got into her antinflammatory medication and overdosed on the pills! She had to go to the emergency clinic, had to be induced to vomit, had to ingest charcoal and was placed on intravenous fluids and gastrointestinal protectants. She recovered well from this incident fortunately!

Last year, Katie underwent professional dental therapy and required a dental extraction based on dental radiographs. Dental radiographs are highly valuable in assessing your pet’s oral health.

This year, Riley developed elevations in her liver enzymes which required an ultrasound to further assess her abdomen. Her liver was found to be enlarged, her gall bladder was thickened and she required a liver biopsy. Thankfully, there were no signs of liver cancer but her liver copper levels were higher than normal. She is currently on zinc supplement and vitamin E to reduce her liver copper levels, SAME and Silybin which are antioxidants for the liver, and ursodiol to help her gall bladder.

As you can see, these girls have been through a lot! Aside from all the medications their mom has to organize daily, they are doing great. Luckily, both girls take their medication willingly. At home, Riley makes his mom laugh. She has a way of looking at her through the corner of her eye to see how she’s reacting. Katie is a free spirit who loves exploring the neighborhood during her walks. When they come through the door, they are always happy to see us and greet us with lots of kisses. They especially love their grooming appointments with Susan (our onsite grooming facility) as they love being pampered!

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