Thursday, October 23, 2008

Prince Charming

Prince was adopted from Puppy Mill Rescue in May of 2005. His mother had been rescued from an auction and was pregnant with 4 puppies. Like many poorly bred dogs, Prince has a host of medical problems. He has hydrocephalus - also known as water on the brain, so far his only symptom is a head shake and then a few seconds where he is disoriented. He has never known any other way to live so he takes all of this in stride. We've been told he may live out his life with no other symptoms or he may start to have seizures in the future. At age 4, he is still seizure free. At the vet's recommendation, we put him on lasix for a month or so to see if it would help with the fluids but we did not see much of an improvement so he is no longer on lasix. If his condition appears to worsen in the future, we will revisit a lifetime of lasix.

He also has a condition called Microvascular Dysplasia (MVD) where the proteins are not properly cleansed through his liver. He has been on a prescription diet for three years and his bile acid tests indicate that his MVD is under control.

His last two medical problems have to do with his teeth, he's had 32 teeth pulled in his short life. We suspect because his mother was in poor health and not receiving proper nutrition, his teeth as well as those of his brothers and sisters are poor. Every time this little guy has a dental, he loses more teeth. Luxating Patellas also plague him, although because we watch his weight, don't allow him to jump down from sofas, ottomans, etc. they have stayed at a grade 2. Hopefully they will not get worse as he ages and require surgery. One of my pet peeves is when a vet says "Small breeds are prone to bad teeth an luxating patellas." No, they aren't. Poorly bred dogs are prone to bad teeth and luxating patellas. Those breeders who care about their dogs (and there are a lot of them) do their best to breed out both of these conditions.

Prince does not seem to understand he is just a tiny little dog, on a good day, soaking wet he tops out at 4 1/2 lbs. We refer to him alternately as "Prince Charming" and "The Devil Dog." He understands that he is the cutest little thing and can charm anyone into giving him his way. We often cave to his demands and agree to belly rubs, ear scratches and hand outs of his favorite treat Pup Corn quite readily. The Devil Dog designation comes from the fact that if there is a fight brewing or trouble occurring, we know without a doubt that Prince will be in the middle of it. He loves to tease and harass Mason, chase Sweetie and Callie and basically rabble rouse at the drop of a hat. His middle name is Ornery.

Prince was born with his medical issues and has lived with them all his life, to him this is all normal. He does have higher vet bills and he needs to see a neurologist periodically to make sure he is stable. We have to take extra care when he has anesthetic but other than that, he is a happy go lucky little dog who most definitely has his Daddy wrapped around his adorable little paw. Of all the people in his life, he loves his Dad best.

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