CPR Fund K9 Rescue
*** Cookie update January 14, 2017 ***
Cookie went to Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove yesterday for a CT scan and possible surgical correction of a portosystemic shunt. This clinic was our last hope for helping Cookie live a long and happy life. His condition had significantly declined over the few days prior to this visit but we remained hopeful.
Cookie arrived at 7 am and was prepped for the CT scan that would definitively determine whether he was a candidate for surgery or not. Unfortunately, the news was not good. The scan revealed Cookie has not just one shunt but several. So many that the surgery would take hours and, because of Cookie's advanced liver disease, he would not be able to tolerate being under anesthesia for such an extended period of time. And even if he somehow survived the surgery the vets only gave him a 20% chance of surviving long after that. So the heart-wrenching decision was made to forego surgery and allow Cookie to enjoy whatever time he has left with us. Cookie did not handle the anesthesia well and could not be discharged yesterday but after an overnight stay in the ICU he seemed to make a complete recovery. The veterinarian took FIVE LITERS of fluid out of his abdomen and this little fighter seemed to be as good as new. He was able to return home to his wonderful foster family today. But first, a Petco shopping spree to buy all the goodies he was unable to have because of very strict diet restrictions. Then it was home for playtime with his foster siblings.
While this is not the outcome we wanted for this very special guy we are trying to focus on the positives. Even though we couldn't "cure" Cookie we were able to provide him with every possible opportunity to get better. He received the best veterinary care available, something that probably wouldn't have been an option if he was still with his previous owner. And he was cared for by an experienced and incredibly compassionate foster family who have shown him love the likes of which he has probably never seen. And they will continue to do so until Cookie's last breath. We are going to pack a lifetime's worth of love into each and every day.
Although the prognosis is grim, CPR Fund remains committed to making every moment Cookie has left count. He will continue his medication regimen and have fluid drained from his abdomen as needed until his condition eventually progresses to the point his quality of life is suffering. At that time we will let him go peacefully from this life to whatever is next for him.
The CPR Fund has incurred several thousand dollars in vet bills already and who knows how many more are still to come so please consider making a tax-deductible donation via firstname.lastname@example.org or through Cookie's You Caring page here. If you can't donate please send a happy thought, say a prayer and keep Cookie in your thoughts. Everyone at CPR Fund is beyond grateful for every but of support for Cookie.
OPERATION: Save Cookie
Meet Cookie. He wasn't always Cookie. He used to be just another nameless dog discarded like trash on the streets of Chicago.
A CPR Fund volunteer saw this young Pit Bull mix being dumped at Chicago Animal Control on December 4th. She watched a man who *claimed* to have found the pup as a stray yank the little dog out of an SUV and literally drag the frail body down the sidewalk. As the two approached our volunteer was horrified. This little dog's emaciated 30 pound frame was carrying a belly that had to weigh almost as much. The dog's abdomen was huge. HUGE. Yet the rest of this trembling pup looked like a skeleton draped in skin. The tail was tucked. The dog was weak. Ill. Suffering. The volunteer thought maybe this was an extremely pregnant female, although she had ever seen a pregnant dog with an abdomen that large. When the man and his dog finally got to the threshold the poor pup seemed to realize what was about to happen and put on the brakes. But the man continued to pull and yank and tug at the leash trying to force the dog inside. Enough was enough. Our volunteer stepped in to see if she could help. It was then that she found out just how awful the situation was. This was not a pregnant female but a young MALE dog. How could this be? WHAT could this be? Bloat? Doubtful. With this degree of abdominal distention the bloat would surely have killed him long before now. Worms? No way. An infestation of this magnitude would have also been fatal long ago. So what was it? Unfortunately, since this dog was being dropped off as a stray, there was nothing CPR Fund could do to help. The dog would have to stay at animal control for his mandatory stray hold. Animal control staff instructed the man to put the dog back in the car and drive him around to the side entrance, which is usually a death sentence. Our volunteer assumed that if whatever was ailing this pup didn't kill him within the hour he would surely be humanely euthanized.
She was wrong.
The next day this dog showed up on the CACC Dog Transfer Team's page as needing rescue. The volunteer who had seen him being surrendered immediately headed to the shelter to save his life.
So on Tuesday December 6th the shelter veterinarian personally brought a broken little body out of the clinic. She told me she had taken SIXTEEN LITERS of fluid out of this 30 pound dog's belly the night before. Think about that. SIXTEEN LITERS. That's like strapping on eight 2 liters of pop and wearing them around 24/7- at home, at work, while you sleep. Now imagine all of that inside you, compressing your lungs, squishing your stomach, crushing your kidneys. This dog needed help now. He also needed a name. CPR Fund gave him both.
We rushed the dog, now known as Cookie, to Animal Care Center of Chicago. After several hours and extensive testing we knew what it wasn't (heart or kidney failure, heart or intestinal worms) but we still didn't know what it was. The veterinarian suspected a liver problem and advised us to take Cookie to a specialist.
Cookie was then taken to Premier Veterinary Group of Chicago's emergency clinic where doctors removed another two liters of fluid from Cookie's abdomen and conducted even more specialized testing. The tests revealed Cookie has a portosystemic shunt (PSS) which is a defect in the liver's blood vessels that causes blood to bypass the liver and go directly back into the heart. This means blood is being returned to the heart straight from the intestines without having toxins like ammonia and other byproducts of digestion filtered out. Basically, Cookie's body is poisoning itself. The only treatment for this condition is an $8,000 surgery; an amount that seemed impossible for our small non=profit group. But even with all the money in the world Cookie still wasn't going to be getting the emergency surgery he desperately needed. According to this specialist, and two more after him, Cookie's case was so advanced and his body so badly damaged that he wouldn't survive the surgery in his current state. We were devastated. Cookie was placed on a strict prescription diet and a medication regimen designed to keep him as comfortable as possible until his body succumbed to its condition.
In foster care, things changed. Cookie started eating. He gained weight. He put on muscle. He discovered toys. Cookie was no longer a hospice patient. He was a DOG. Cookie's amazing transformation gave us hope. We found the only internal medicine specialist in the Chicagoland area who hadn't seen Cookie yet and made an appointment. And we are so glad we did. The doctors at Veterinary Specialty Center were willing to give Cookie a fighting chance by performing the surgery he needed to survive. But it was going to be expensive. Very Expensive. Upwards of $8,000. But Cookie is worth it. His life matters. HE matters. So we are reaching out to you for help. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation toward Cookie's surgery. You will literally be saving a life. Donations can be made using PayPal, Venmo or US mail here. You can also donate to Cookie's You Caring account here. Please help us give Cookie the life he has deserved all along.
Thank you for your support!