Little Zee’s vet visit

A little bit of rain did not deter us from making a visit to the vet’s office for a nice thorough exam, a full set of vaccinations, and some compliments on her cuteness. Zee is a bit of a sissy in the rain, but once she got Chick’s waterproof coat on, she hardly even noticed the rain drops that were falling on her head.

When I first met Zee at the shelter, she was 7 pounds overweight and had a bad case of conjunctivitis, some skin inflammation, upper respiratory infection, and a mysterious neurological condition. All we really knew was that she was a sweet girl, maybe eight years old, who would almost certainly be overlooked in the shelter for as long as she lived there. In a shelter full of beautiful, bouncy, happy dogs, it’s hard for a mellow older girl with special needs to compete– people tend to get stuck on her age and apparent depression and move on.

Zee had full bloodwork done when we had her spayed a few weeks ago, but she had not had a chance to bask in the glorious attention of a nice vet who would thoroughly check her vitals and answer all of our questions — until a few days ago. Not surprisingly, she did great, and the vet’s assessment was even better than we had hoped.

Zee’s weight is down to a perfectly healthy 44 pounds. Her ears, eyes, heart, and lungs are all in great shape, and her teeth are in remarkable condition for a dog her age, especially given the fact that she has likely never eaten high-quality food before. The vet was very impressed with her beautiful, thick coat that is as soft as velvet — so different than any of the other dogs we have fostered to date.  He also detected very little arthritis in her joints– so little that he did not even recommend a joint supplement, only a daily multivitamin. He thought that she may even be younger than the estimated 8 years old that the shelter had guessed — possibly 6 or 7. In other words, she is a perfect physical specimen!

The vet was also kind enough to spend some time investigating Zee’s neurological condition, which does not seem to cause her any pain or suffering, but does make her just a tad off balance — as though she were a little tipsy or walking on a boat sometimes. He did a few tests on her reflexes and coordination, watched her walk up and down stairs, and asked her to sit, stand, and follow him around the office in different directions and maneuver around corners.

The observation confirmed for our vet what we had already suspected, which is that Zee’s condition is likely the result of a trauma earlier in her life that has affected her balance and depth perception, and only very slightly her reflexes — it is essentially a form of brain damage. This type of condition comes on at once — at the time of the trauma — and tends to be stable afterward. For Zee, this means that her cute trot, her clumsy way of bumping into coffee tables, and her need to sit down when she sneezes are going to be lifelong traits, but are not likely to develop into more serious issues down the road. From the vet’s assessment, the way Zee bumbles happily through the day now is the same way she will bumble happily in five years.

 Zee left the vet’s office feeling a little off balance but with a belly full of treats and a body satisfied from pets and scratches, and we left feeling so hopeful about our little girl’s future.

 


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27 responses

  1. All good news, really! Zee will make someone a wonderful pet for years to come – bumbling will only add to her sweetness. I hope she finds her forever home very soon. Love the raincoat, by the way!!

  2. She is the perfect dog, bumping aside! We are almost ready to foster/adopt again as the JRT from the puppy mill we are fostering has 3 people waiting to adopt her ( yes, you read that right!), So I guess our fostering was a success. We are eager to add a pibble to our family and Zee would be the perfect addition if she weren’t 1100 miles away! ARGH…….. But I know there is a perfect pittie to be found here, just wish we could have one that you have reared! God bless you for the work you do.

  3. Such great news! It’s really the best of all possible outcomes. Little Zee is already starting a bright future. Her new family will be lucky to have such a wonderful Zee!
    Looking snazzy in Sir Chick’s coat!

  4. That’s so great that her appointment went well, but omg, a trauma that left her with permanent brain damage? Poor girl. That makes my heart ache for her even more with whatever she went through. She’s such a sweetheart, I hope she finds a forever home soon (hopefully before you move!).

  5. She is just beautiful!!

    “For Zee, this means that her cute trot, her clumsy way of bumping into coffee tables, and her need to sit down when she sneezes are going to be lifelong traits, but are not likely to develop into more serious issues down the road.”

    It’s sad that she had trauma that caused these symptoms, but thank God they aren’t serious issues! Fred and Angel walk into the coffee table, the railing up the stairs, walls … pretty much everything! The *thunk* it produces makes me run to make sure they are okay, and they always look at me like “Mom, really, we’re fine.”

    Best of luck getting Miss Z adopted!!

  6. Red is my favorite doggie color; Elka is jealous of that snazzy coat!

    Zee has to sit when she sneezes? That is completely adorable. I’m glad her vet visit went well.

  7. oh good news! the sitting down to sneeze is hilarious (if, you know, i don’t think about the trauma that caused it. poor girl.). we had a dog at my last shelter with neurological damage that caused her to walk funny- she lifted her paws up reeaaal high like she was a tennessee walking horse.

    how did the vet guess her age? you always hear they look at their teeth but last time i asked about this, the vet was like “oh you can’t really tell”. i just want to know how old my dog is!!!

  8. That last photo of Little Zee makes me want to lean forward and kiss her on the nose. She is absolutely adorable and more than any of your other fosters I just want to snuggle her and protect her and make sure she never feels lost and scared again.
    As for the bumping in to things, I do that all the time. I am the only person I know who managed to sprain both sides of her ankle by walking. I fall over flat bits of ground, so Little Zee has it all over me!

  9. It doesn’t get any more optimistic than that! I am glad she checked out so well with the vet. If that doesn’t make her future family hurry up and get here, nothing will.

    I love that little red coat on her. She reminds me a little of Lollie in it.

  10. If we weren’t full-up with pit bulls; if we lived closer; if four pit bulls wouldn’t put me precariously on the valid verge of being labeled a hoarder…this post would make me write to you to adopt her. Surely there is someone else out there who will read this and think, “She’s perfect for me exactly because she’s not perfect. I will make her happy for the rest of her life.”

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