Sunday, May 27, 2012

Updated 11/14 Keelin's New Chapter

General fundraising for Keelin is now closed.  As always, if you would like to donate to the general fund or a specific dog on the site instead to help with general vet costs, you can do so by clicking on the donate button on the website:

Updates first, rest of the story if you have not seen it below - thanks! We are keeping this all in one post for now so that the original link works. 

Update 11/14: After that last visit to Cornell, where the occluder was totally deflated, she returned to her foster home with Keelin normal urination (and some leaking). Her doctors at Cornell wanted to try a very slight inflation to see if that would work, but at that time, the rescue decided to take a bit of a break due to the stress, uncertainty, transportation, and costs involved. It was during this break that Keelin and her foster met with a family who was interested in adopting Keelin, knowing that there is the possibility that she will never be fully continent (though certainly much improved thanks to all of you). They will be following up with Cornell to try that one last itty bitty inflation. In the meantime, Keelin has found her forever home, thanks to all of you again for that opportunity!

A note from Keelin's foster: 

Hi All,
Just wanted to send a Update on Keelin.  It has been a long journey with Keelin.  The road was a long and, at times, very scary.  We were riding on emotional rollercoaster with Ms. Keelin with
all her medical ups and downs.  Thru it all, Keelin fought to be a survivor.  Always a smile on her face despite all she had been thru medically and her past neglectful life.  

About a month ago, a family reached out to me inquiring about Keelin.  They had seen her on Petfinder and her story caught their hearts.  The family drove out to meet and greet to meet our amazing girl. 

Yesterday, 11 11 12, Keelin found her Forever Home and was welcomed into their family. What a Special Family. My Prayer is that Keelin has many Blessed years, being loved and cherished, never remembering her past life before coming to New York and I guarantee, their lives will be Blessed as well having loved our girl.  

Keelin makes an impression on the hearts of everyone she meets.  I have to admit, one of my most medically challenging fosters, but the rewards of having Keelin in my life was well worth every
minute spent with her. 
I want to thank all the wonderful volunteers with BDBH for 'going to bat' for Keelin.  Many miles traveled to and from Cornell, as well as our local vets for procedures and testing.  To all the wonderful people who donated financially as well as Prayers and Thoughts in our 'darkest' moments.   

To Keelin's adopters, they have found a TRULY AN AMAZING GIRL and Keelin is Blessed to have been chosen by them. Rescue provides a dog with a second chance at life, but also provides so much more.  You see the good in people who thru one dog, rallies together in support.  It provides an opportunity to meet people we would never have encountered or crossed paths in life, and of course to see our fosters move onto their Forever Lives.
MANY THANKS to all from Keelin and I
Keelin in her new home with her FAMILY

Update 10/18: Keelin visited Cornell last week Thursday, 10/11/12, for her first inflation of the occluder that was implanted in August 2012. 

Keelin was sent off, hopeful for a positive result after inflating her occluder. Well that hope soon "deflated" as well as the specialist needing to delate the occluder, just 36 hours after inflation as it restricted Keelin's ability to urinate.

So Sunday, Keelin made her journey back to to her foster, and the Keelin we all know and love, came back as happy as can be. 24 hours after her return, her foster noticed Keelin continuing to have problems urinating.

She forwarded a video of Keelin to the specialist and he recommended bringing Keelin into Cornell ASAP.
Keelin is in route right now to Cornell to figure this out. PLEASE keep Keelin in your Thoughts and Prayers that we can figure out what is best for Keelin and put all this behind and finally move forward. Keelin deserves NOTHING less than that in life.....

She just wants to be loved by a family, and give them all the special things she offers.

We will keep you updated. 

Update 9/28: From Keelin's wonderful foster mom: Keelin is doing really well, she is back to squirrel watch! She is happy again, running around in backyard in her 'old lady' spurrts...smiles ALL the time. 

She is still posturing around the backyard but maybe only 3 times and it seems that she empties her bladder as opposed to trying 8 - 10 times.  

Leaking seems to have slowed down quite a bit, I can now put a diaper on her all night and while I am at work and it doesn't overflow. 

Seems the infection is definitely under control, where we go with the inflation of the occluder, not quite sure yet. (note - the occluder gets inflated to slow or eliminate any remaining leaking - but she needs to be just so, health wise, before doing that)

Another three weeks and she has to go for another urinalysis, then another two weeks on medication if those tests come back negative....

THANK YOU ALL for caring about Keelin!

Update 9/24: Keelin has been in her foster home since Friday night. A definite improvement after 6 days of heavy vetting and antibiotic therapy has been seen! She will continue on the antibiotics for a month, and get that infection out for once and for all (you hear that, infection!). Keelin's foster reports that Keelin is doing well balancing activity with rest. BDBH held their annual picnic yesterday, and funds were raised to help with all the medical needs dogs, including Keelin. We are appreciative of all our adopters who not only gave to help, but have followed Keelin's story. Thanks to each and every person who has helped her, forwarded this, donated, thoughts/prayers sent and more! 

Update 9/21: Keelin will be coming home tonight! This morning she ate like a little piggy, ran around, played with her vet student and was as happy as she's been in a while. What we learn about kidneys and infections from our dog friends - that is pretty scary stuff. 

Update 9/20: With the third antibiotic, Keelin's fever has broken! Today, the surgeon is going to scope/look for indications of what is going on up there, as long as she is doing well. She is eating a bit better, just kind of picking, but eating. They are also hoping to discontinue her pain management as her heart rate has stabilized; it was quite high due to her discomfort. We are so hopeful that he will see something that will help us help Keelin best. As always, your help is appreciated as well! 

Update 9/18 PM: Keelin's fever did go up to 104.4 and they decided to add the third antibiotic...tonight her temp is down to
103.4 and she ate 2 jars of baby food.  They were very excited about that!

They called on the culture today and there is no preliminary growth in the culture as yet.  They said they saw a bit of spark tonight; even though it is raining they went for a 20 minute walk tonight. They mentioned how truly special Keelin is and how they love to be working with her.  

AM: A not as great update this am, as Keelin's temp has crept back up to 104. Want info on dogs and  fevers?
They are going to try to get a preliminary reading on the culture to see if anything has grown, if not, that information will be available tomorrow. They would add a 3rd antibiotic if the temp goes higher, but are hoping to get information from that culture first. We could also use your hungriest thoughts for Keelin as she is not wanting to eat so much right now.  

Update 9/17 PM:
We just received this update from Keelin's foster - you can hear the happiness in it! 
YAY !!!!  Ilisa just called me and Keelin's fever has BROKE...happy dance it is at 102.4
I pretty much blanked out after hearing that, but they feel it is a UTI that traveled up to the kidney.
They are hopeful that maybe she can come home on Wednesday on oral antibiotics, then possibly bring her back to assess the occlunder.
Ilisa said she would call me around 9:30 am tomorrow with an update.  Hopefully Dr. will call as well.
Update 9/17 AM 2: 
They ran another round of bloodwork.

The surgeon does NOT feel this is being caused by the occluder/inflammation, as there didn't seem to be evidence from sonogram of any inflammation

He feels it is a kidney infection that is being resistent to the antibiotics. The culture results won't be available till at least Wednesday. He does not feel it is a bladder infection as usually there isn't a fever or at least this high of a fever that occurs with Bladder Infection. With Kidney Infections it is more likely to cause high fever.

Her foster asked the level of concern of the constant temp and he said,once it is at 106 or higher, is when it becomes life threatening, and when they would get 'aggressive' with ice baths and enemas. They have a fan blowing on her around the clock and the IV fluids. She is pretty sedated to keep her comfortable.

He does not want to scope her in the condition she is right now. He would like to take a look in and past the occluder for evidence of her body rejecting (but again, he doesn't feel this is related).

SO, that's it for now!
Update 9/17 AM: Despite being given two pretty hard-hitting antibiotics via IV, Keelin continues to have a high temperature of 105. The thinking now may be that she also has to have the implant removed, as this may be an inflammatory response to that object in her body. Your help - donations, sharing this on facebook or via e-mail, good thoughts/prayers - would be gratefully accepted. Also any distance Reiki donations would be appreciated as well.

Update 9/16: 

PM: Keelin actually had a temp of 106, so we are very glad to have gotten her in for vetting. She was thoroughly checked: Blood work, chest x-ray, ultrasound and urinalysis. Again!

Ultrasound looked like it did the other day, chest x-ray was good, and blood work good, BUT, they found some red and white cells in her urine. At this point it looks as if Keelin has a kidney and bladder infection. 

If you have ever experienced this, you know it is a knock out punch. 

Right now she is more comfortable, on IV fluids, IV antibiotics, and pain management. 

Her wonderful surgeon is continuing to monitor her care and is hoping that the fever will break by tomorrow morning. 

We are so appreciative of the help we have received in donations and forwards, and know that the good thoughts and prayers have been working. 

Thank you so much - update tomorrow.

AM update: It is no fun doing updates that are not positive, and not wanting people to worry or get dejected, not posting (wow, sorry for the sentence structure) until something definitive happened has been the default. But today we need to let you know what is going on with Keelin:

First - since we started fundraising for Keelin, many months ago, we have been in awe of the generosity you have shown. Keelin was able to, on one fundraising effort, have TWO surgeries.

The first one was the laser ablation of the ectopic ureter. This gave us some improvement, but nothing consistent.

The second one was the implantation of a hydraulic occluder that would give her that wonderful continence (that we forget is not a given with anyone).

Initially the surgery was a success, but Keelin seems to be reacting to the implant. No one can quite figure out what is happening. Keelin act likes she has to urinate and postures to do so often.

She had recently gone to a board certified radiologist for an ultrasound, and also had her blood work checked.

All looked good.

Saturday, Keelin began to develop a fever - this after having cleared her medical earlier in the week with the ultrasound and diagnostics.

This morning, the fever spiked at 105 and she is at Cornell as we type this.

We are very concerned and confused. It is possible she will need another surgery to remove the occluder. We really do not know at this time.

If you want to help Keelin with donations to help with this emergency situation, we certainly would appreciate it. Or, you can donate to any of the other dogs on our site (and there are some under medical evaluation not on the site yet so as not to frustrate potential adopters with "hey a cute dog but you can't have them!" syndrome!) and that will also help Keelin. 

We do not know where this is going to go or what is going to happen as this is a mystery, and we are all so very upset by this latest setback. 

Donations could be made to BDBH or to Cornell directly through the billing office for Big Dogs Big Hearts. Donate button is on our website here:

We will keep you posted, up or down, on how she is doing. Let's all give our very best thoughts that it is up. 

Update 8/20: Keelin is home, recovering well from her second surgery, which is more invasive. The implant is in and will probably need some adjustment to get it just right so that Keelin will be continent. Very exciting! 

Update 8/15: Keelin was taken to Cornell yesterday for pre-surgery testing. All went very well! She is going to be going into surgery this morning. They will be implanting that "balloon" that will help to control her flow, hopefully completely. We are so grateful for the fact that enough funds were raised the first time that Keelin was able to have both surgeries. This has allowed us to help not just her, but other dogs. And that is thanks to everyone who donated, spread the word, and sent good thoughts to this wonderful girl. Thank you and we will post an update tomorrow to let you know how surgery went!

Did anyone pee here since I last sniffed?
Keelin and new friend Duke wait for the exam
New student doctor checking Keelin out

Update 8/3: Keelin will be going into surgery Wednesday, August 15th, getting the hyrdaulic urethral occluder. Generally they have it implanted, then it takes 4-6 weeks before they can adjust it to achieve continence. Thank you for your support of Keelin and BDBH! 

Update 7/26: Well, this is interesting! As you can imagine, Keelin is a different case than most, given the way her system was set up, and has not fully responded to the surgery. We were not expecting perfection, and we have had great (TRULY!) improvement, but doing some playing around with the Proin and other things, has produced unusual responses in Keelin. 

SO! What's next? That's the exciting and interesting part. There is a newer surgery, that could not have been done first - the repair that was done in the first surgery was essential and needed in order to try this second surgery. In other words, we could not have skipped straight to this second surgery. What is this second surgery you ask? 

It is the implantation of a hydraulic urethral occluder in Keelin. Cornell says,  "Hydraulic occluder implantation has a very high rate (>90%) of success for long term continence and a relatively low (<10%) complication rate." Frankly, we think this sounds like some very cool treatment for Keelin and a chance for her to live a normal life! We could not have done this without your donations, the help of Cornell, and because you were all so generous in our first fundraising attempt, the cost of this surgery is covered! 

This is all really good news and we will let you know as soon as she is scheduled for her surgery! 

Update 7/16: Keelin remains an interesting girl! She was doing really well with the Proin, but more Proin didn't do more for her, so everyone thought, hmmmm, maybe it's not the Proin, so she went off the med, and started leaking more again. So, the Proin definitely does help and she is back on it! However, even with the leaking while off Proin, she still was more continent than before, and on it, about 85-90% better, which is amazing. There are more options that can be explored and discussed for her, and she is enjoying herself in the meantime! Thank you again for all you have done for Keelin! 

Update 7/8: Up and down and very interesting but most definitely improvement! Approximately 85% better than her leaky faucet days. It's as if a plumber has slowed the flow into a drip, and the drip is much better! There have been "experiments" with the amount of Proin being given, up and down, and no real conclusion has been made yet - is it Proin helping or is her body understanding what to do more now that her giant ureter is smaller. Keelin's foster is in close contact with the doctors and students at Cornell as this process continues. And this progress! We are very thankful to all who have helped Keelin get to this point. 

Update 6/29: Keelin has been started on Proin. This is some information on that medicine: Proin 

There does seem to be some improvement while using this medicine, though it is not entirely consistent. We are not sure if this is still due to her body learning how to use itself well or what is going on, but Keelin's foster is in contact with the vets at Cornell. Keelin is still doing well and is a happy girl!

These are some pictures from Keelin's pick up and first night at home. She is doing really well with the recovery thus far. Because her structure was so unusual, and her ureter so not used to working, we have seen no improvement yet, but are still hopeful that this could change as the ureter understands it can work. Next week will be a phone update with the excellent and caring surgeon and a decision will be made about starting Proin to see if that will help in dealing with the leak. We understood this possibility going in and the laser surgery did all it could, and also gave us valuable information about Keelin's structure! 
Good-bye everyone, time to go home!

Bye Cornell, thank you for everything!
Glad to be heading home now!
I'm going to close my eyes for a little bit.
Ahhh, time to really relax. Thank you, everyone.
1.SURGERY: Keelin had her surgery. Anyone who follows BDBH knows that we have had some different and interesting problems come our way with dogs that we help - Jerry's "beanie baby leg" with no real bones, Reva with no lymph nodes in her rear legs, and others you can see on our website under special needs successes. So it comes as no real surprise to find that Keelin's structure was quite abnormal (urethra described as a big floppy balloon) and required more intervention with the laser than most of these surgeries. Because of this, we won't know for about a week just how successful the surgery will be as there is a lot of swelling. However, Keelin is doing really well, eating, drinking, greeting everyone. Her student said that Keelin doesn't even know she had surgery and isn't affected by it's success or non success, and what a great way to be. We will keep you posted! We thank everyone who is checking on her, and all those taking such good care of her.

2. We have raised all needed funds! Thank you for everything. We have over 50 donors and who knows how many people who have passed this along. Thank you for all the help and good thoughts so far. We will definitely be asking for more good thoughts with her surgery today.

3. Surgery info: This surgery has a 50-50 chance of being 100% curative. 50 percent of dogs have no leaks after. 50% have some leaking, but lesser amounts (she certainly could not leak more). Of that 50%, half of them can stop the leak with a daily dose of Proin. For the other 25%, there are other methods that can be employed and that we hope we will not have to explore those. We firmly hope and believe that Keelin will be in the top 50%!

Keelin (and invisible foster) outside Cornell
So many things to see in the waiting room!
Time to weigh-in
Keelin has a great student who starts the exam
Keelin knows this will be her good friend while she's there!
Waiting to see the surgeon
Some reassurance from a friend
This is relaxing!
Everyone listens carefully to the surgeon
Keelin feels good about all of this!

Thank you all again. Today we will let you know how surgery goes, the preliminary report. In the next few days we will know more about its success!

Thanks to the matchers:
Here is Keelin - on her way into the vet clinic to stay overnight for a bladder tap. She looks incredible - her coat is softer, her weight is perfect, and her eyes are sparkly, especially when she thinks she might get a second supper! 

Thank you ma'am, may I have another...meal?
This quote is from Keelin's foster mom who is doing an amazing job of keeping Keelin clean and dry - a round the clock job to prevent urine scald and infection:
Everyday Keelin is blessed to be here on this Earth, she is just so grateful and living so much joy. She truly does something amazing and comical everyday, and would be the 'human version' of a person that everyone gravitates toward because of their personality.
Keelin resting in her foster home after playing with ALL the toys!

Keelin on squirrel watch.
We so appreciate your generosity and for giving Keelin this chance. No one wants to think of it, but this is a life saving surgery. Keelin would not be an adoptable dog in her current condition. Thank you for helping us to save her life.
Keelin came to BDBH from TN. She is a bouncy, happy girl. She loves people, has fun doing things, and is grateful to be safe and cared for. This was a girl found in the mud, tied to a tree, abandoned and taken to a shelter.

Keelin has been diagnosed with an ectopic ureter, meaning that instead of the little tube delivering her urine into her bladder, it is taking it, in her case, to the vagina. Which fills with urine, and then it flows out when she is laying down. Here are some links with information on this condition:

Her foster is keeping her diapered, trying to keep her clean (and doing an excellent job - no more urine scald!), and with the hotter weather, doing more of it all as Keelin drinks more water! Her foster is amazing, as this is constant, difficult, and to be frank, there is a strong odor given the amount of urine being passed.

This is video her foster got of her flow. It is unbelievable.

As soon as funds are raised, we will be making the appointment for her to go to Cornell to correct this condition with laser surgery. Given the sweet and wonderful nature of this girl, we have to give her this chance.

Costs for Keelin:
Shelter fee, spay, boarding and care in TN: $300
Testing, evaluation, diagnosis including incontinence medications, blood work, renal panels, urinalysis, ultrasound, CT scan, bladder tap and culture, boarding while trying to get the urine from the bladder tap (hard to do when the urine has left the building, so to speak!), urine culture needs to be repeated prior to surgery: $700 
Surgery estimate: $1800-2400
After care appointments estimate: $200
(Total: $2800-$3400)

The fundraising flyer are above. We hope that you will be able to pass them around, and maybe even donate if you can. We will continue to post updates here to let you know how it is going! You can like this blog post on Facebook (at the bottom of the post) so that you can easily share this information! To donate: go to BDBH website or mail a check to help Keelin get her surgery!
Keelin in the CT scan - you see why we think that this is a girl who deserves a chance
Like this post below with the Facebook icon and other social media shares! 

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