Zuzu Petal's Autoimmune Disease

January 31, 2013

Tonight after dinner I sat down to read my messages on my "Corgis & The People Who Love Them", Face Book page, I came across this one message that touched my heart like no other. I was so affected by Sharon Brooker's plea for help I had to say something. Though I've written a few stories about Corgis and their personal plight(s) this one has left me speechless. It's easy to copy and paste information to make a story. The real story is told by the owner of the pet in need, not by me. Sharon Brooker cared enough to post the plea for help on my Face Book page. My problem is who is really listening?

It was not surprising to me that CorgiPals had already heard of ZuZu Petals plight and without reservation put forth that ever loving helping hand. CorgiPals a non profit organization needs our help as well. That's why I'm helping to spread the word as well. Trust me I'm not doing much of anything. All the work is being done by CorgiPals.

This was the message on my face book page.

Sharon Booker shared CorgiPals's photo.
36 minutes ago
This is Zuzu Petals. Please help if you can, if you can't, please share. Thanks! :)
Meet Zuzu Petals, our newest Helping Paws client! She has an autoimmune disease and needs our help.http://www.corgipals.org/Fundraisers/HelpingPaws/ZuzuPetals.aspx


Once again CorgiPals is helping like never before.

I am begging, not just asking, I'm am BEGGING for people to help ZuZu Petals' mom Patsy.

This is her story.

January 31, 2013

On this final day of January in 2013, I find myself looking back and feeling very grateful that my fur kids are happy and healthy. I see and help sick dogs every day, and I can't imagine the terror that Corgi parents feel when their babies get sick... especially when no one knows what's wrong. This, unfortunately, was the case for Corgi Mom Patsy. Her Corgi girl Zuzu Petals recently and suddenly became very ill. Here is Zuzu's story in Patsy's words:
"Zuzu Petals is a 6 year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi I have had since she was a puppy. She was named after a character from “It’s a Wonderful Life.” How fitting because she has made my life so wonderful! Zuzu thinks she is queen of the cul-de-sac and thinks everyone is there to pet her and tell her how cute she is. Her best friend is Gabby, her kitty sister. Gabby is often “herded” by Zuzu. Gabby thinks it is a fun game and usually plays along. Gabby thinks Zuzu is her baby and often grooms her. Besides herding Gabby, Zuzu’s other favorite past time is monitoring your socks. She starts to go bananas when you take your shoes off because she knows the socks come next. She will run and play with them all by herself, but prefers you to throw them up in the air for her to catch. The other thing that Zuzu loves is food. All Corgi parents know about a Corgi appetite. Zuzu takes it one step further. When anyone is eating she stands there and starts to drool, so paper towels are a must have at any meal. There is no way anyone could resist that face, so she gets her share of doggie safe “people treats.” After all her activities it is time for bed, so Zuzu, Gabby and I all hop in my bed and sleep the night away in a pile.

I started to notice that Zuzu was acting strange. She started sleeping under the bed instead of on top of it with us at night and pooping and peeing in the house, which is not at all like her. This went on for a week or so. On December 26, 2012, I let her out in the morning and she fell down the front porch stairs and could not immediately get up. Needless to say I rushed her to the Vet who said she was in critical condition because her red blood cell count was at 7. Healthy dogs are between 40 and 50. I was in disbelief because I always tried to make sure Zuzu had the best of everything and I could not imagine how this could have happened! She was rushed to the emergency veterinary clinic where she was immediately given a blood transfusion with blood donated from a Greyhound that one of the veterinarians had as a pet. It turns out Greyhounds are universal donors. Thank you Mr. Greyhound! The veterinarians could not figure out what caused this and thought she must have eaten something she should not have such as Tylenol or aspirin. I assured them that that was impossible. After spending the night there she was released with a red blood cell count of 33 and a bag of 5 different medications. After a re-check the next week, her blood level was 30, not good, but not real bad. I still had hope that she would recover. Then after 2 more weeks she went for another re-check and I was told that her red blood cell count level had dropped to 20. I felt like my world had ended. Why was this happening?? She was then referred to a specialist who gave her another blood transfusion and performed numerous tests, including a bone marrow biopsy. It turns out Zuzu had Canine Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA). This is when the red blood cells are not being made resulting in low red blood cell counts. The mortality rate for this disease is very high. My heart broke in a million pieces. How could this have happened? No one knows for sure, but some think that it can be caused by vaccinations and flea preventatives. The Vet told me that she could never be vaccinated again. After all this the Vet does think there is some hope if she is given a very expensive special IV fluid that may cause the disease go into remission. She had this done on January 28, 2013. Her red blood cell count was at 33 when she left. That has been as high as it has gotten with treatment since her illness began. She goes again on Monday for a check up and if the results aren't what Dr. Walker likes, she will have to have another treatment. I certainly will let you know the results from the visit.Please keep my little Petal Girl in your thoughts and prayers and thank you for taking the time to read our story."
I will post the results of Zuzu's procedure from Monday as soon as I receive them. Zuzu Petals needs $4,035 to cover the cost of diagnosis and treatment for Canine Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia. Let's do everything we can to help this sweet girl feel better and get back on her feet!

Posted by Michael Dennique
Mdennique Mdennique
Feb 1, 2013