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Discussion Starter #1
A few weeks ago I was contacted by the head of our rescue group to go see a GSD at a local shelter. They were going to euthanize her because she had luxating patellas. They wanted me to go evaluate her and decide if we would take her. Two things happened when I saw Kendra for the first time

1. I fell INSTANTLY in love and
2. I knew it wasn't just luxating patellas

Kendra knuckled on all 4 feet, she wasn't able to right her feet properly when she walked. I spoke with the rescue coordinator and we decided that I would take her as my foster and that I would work with her at my clinic to find out what was wrong.

Initially we thought it was spine..something in her neck and back. She was picked up as a stray so we thought maybe an injury from a car accident or else we were considering a disease called Wobblers. I made an appointment with an orthopedic specialist to run a myelogram to see what was wrong.

This last Sunday night at work I was taking Kendra outside to go potty and I noticed her eyes looked funny. I looked closer and realized there was blood in the lens. Kendra was hemorrhaging into her eyes. I ran further blood work to find out that her blood wasn't clotting appropriately. I started her on an antibiotic called Doxycycline and Vitamin K for clotting. We pulled blood to send off tick titers. The next morning I drove out of town to see an internalist. I wanted a specialists point of view. He ran a snap test for heartworm/lyme/ehrlichiosis and it was negative. We talked about many things like autoimmune but decided to continue meds and recheck bloodwork in a few days

Last night was bad :( I was petting Kendra during some down time at work and noticed her heart felt irregular. I grabbed my stethascope and she had a HORRIBLE murmur that wasn't present the day before. The xrays of her chest showed a massive heart. We believe that Kendra has Endocarditis. An infection of the heart. The specialist believes that since her condition is progessing so rapidly that her chances may not be good. We are ultrasounding her heart in about an hour.

Kendra is happy, non painful, playful typical shepherd puppy (forgot to say shes ONYL 1)!!!! All she wants to do is play and put everything in her mouth :). We dont think euthanasia is necessary right now since she is doing so well considering.

Kendra obviously can not be adopted out. I have been considering adopting Kendra the entire time Ive had her but wanted to find out what was wrong with her. I signed the adoption papers today. I want her to live the rest of her life here where she can be spoiled and taken care of. I hope that amount of times is years but we will make sure to live each day with lots of love. It makes me so unbelievably sad to know that Kendra is being cheated at such a young age, but I am a strong believer that things happen for a reason. Im so happy that it was me that walked into that shelter that day as much as this all hurts...now Kendra is finding out what life is like as a loved pet. And if she dies tomorrow or in 10 years she will finally get the chance to be adored and taken care of the way every shepherd should.

Please keep Kendra in your thoughts and prayers as we go for our Ultrasound..I truely hope its not endocarditis but if it is I hope we caught it early and can fix her. Here are some pictures of the time we have had together...I hope there are many many many more to come













 

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she looks like she's having tons of fun with your other dog. I'll pray for her :)
 

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Poor puppy! I am sending healing prayers her way.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Her and Izaak are definetly best of friends...she's about the only dog Izaak will share his ball with :rolleyes:!
 

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She is adorable and I hope she pulls through
 

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She is beautiful. Sending positive, healing thoughts out for her.
 

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Sending prayers and healing thoughts your way :hugs:
 

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She looks so happy in these pictures. She is so lucky to have you. After having just gone through a big cancer scare with my Ellie, I know what it's like to be waiting for the news and hoping it's not the worst. Thank you for taking her in!! She (and you) will be in my thoughts.
 

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Oh my gosh she is adoerable! THANK YOU for taking her in and giving her a happy comfortable home for the rest of her life. She as you are both in my prayers.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So the appointment went ok but didnt' tell us much. We are packing up and heading to Kansas State University in the morning to see a Cardiologist. The vet today was great but was very perplexed. We pulled more blood and sent it off for a Bartonella test. We are very suspicious of infection because of the sudden onset instead of a congenital problem but there is always the possibility of that as well. We also talked about Systemic Lupus again but we can't start steroids until we are POSITIVE its not infectious....hopefully tomorrow will give us better news

I had to take my son to the appointment with me (couldnt find a sitter on such short notice) and he walked her around the exam room on her leash.... (he's 13 months old). She's lucky to have me but I feel very lucky to have her as well. She is nothing short of amazing :)
 

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You are an amazing person for adopting Kendra. I will be praying for good news and that you have many years together. Thank you for giving Kendra this chance at life.
Jan
 

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She is just beautiful! I am sending prayers your way and hoping this all works out. Thank you for showing her what life is really like.
 

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I am also sending my best healing thoughts and prayers for this beautiful little girl. Thank you so much for what you are doing. :hugs:
 

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May she have a long and happy life!
 

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First off, sending tons of thoughts to you. I hope all goes OK.
Second, I love the name. It's the same as mine. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
LOL thanks. Her name at the shelter was Thelma...did not fit at all. For some reason she just looked like a Kendra :). Her tick titers came back. They were all negative...good but still leaves us wondering..her symptoms really fit this Bartonella which is also from ticks and fleas..this could have caused the endocarditis. I REALLY hope we find out some info from the cardiologist. It makes it even harder not knowing what is causing this.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
After 6 hours in the car and 5 hours at K State we have some answers but not all. Kendra definetly has some abnormalities with her heart. They did an echo and a bubble test that put air bubbles (yes AIR into the heart!!!!!!!!!!) to see where they would flow to. She has what is called a Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia: Congenital disorder that is due to malformation of the tricuspid valve during development. This causes excess strain to the right side of the heart due to volume overload. She also has Patent Foramen Ovale: This is a structure used for shunting blood in the womb, it should close at birth but Kendra's didn't It is allowing blood to flow from the right to left atrium. She also has aortic and mitral valve insufficiency. They believe this is trivial and isn't causing problems at this time. As far as the iris hemorrhaging and ataxia we are still working on it. Kendra recieved consults from every single department at the university. Orthopedics is concerned about a lesion in the spine, Internal medicine is concerned about neospora, toxoplasmosis, bartonella (we sent of test but it wont come back until Monday) and still ehrlicyhosis (titers came back negative but this isn't 100%). The blood work showed a small atypical white blood cell that makes them concerned about leukemia. They are much more concerned about a vector transmitted infection but we cant rule out Leukemia. They recommeneded CT, cerebral spinal fluid tap and something called flow cytometry to test for Leukemia. Im waiting to speak with the referring veterinarian in the morning to see where we go next. They dont want to start her on heart meds currently since she is tolerating everything. They told me what to watch for with her and we are repeating an echo in 1 year unless symptoms start to crop up with her heart. Amazingly the heart has nothing to do with these other signs apparently and it was just an accidnetal find...the veterinarian said she has seen dogs live with these defects for 5-6 years but there is a chance that Kendra could throw a clot at any time because of the foramen ovale. I do not need to restrict Kendra's activity and she is allowed to play as usual. She charmed everyone at K State and was the talk of the university with her odd symptoms. When they gave her back to me she buried her face in my lap and then proceeded to try and meet everyone in the waiting room. I am unbelievably exhausted so Im going to head to bed...I will update more when I know more.
Thanks for the support
 
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