Support Alley Cats

Monday, December 31, 2007


Originally uploaded by Hotash

Marlee is not always the nicest dog in the world...

Just ask Rain & Cali... both have holes that prove, even though Marlee is deaf, she is the BOSS! Marlee knows some ASL commands and sleeps through anything!

When I want to wake her up I knock on her iglooo (when she's outside) or just touch her when she's inside. Waking Marlee is funny... she is wide awake instantly!

AKA: Lizzy, Mean Marlee

Marlee came to us from Tracy, CA from the same rescue group that Cali came from;


Mean Marlee

came to us a little over two years ago. She was passed off as deaf and aggressive towards other dogs-very aggressive.

So aggressive that she was separated from our other two dogs for months before even introducing them. She would chew on her wire cage and slobber/foam at the mouth she would become so enraged by the mere sight of another dog. She has been known to bloody her nose and gums in her effort to "get" that other dog. Cali has one scar and Rain has many (as she is a butt most of the time)
Rain's war wounds

With constant vigil and acceptance of the occasional dog scrap we have been able to bring Marlee into the house and even take her around my families dogs-but Marlee does not go in public.

Now begins Marlee's story to date-a beautiful day on the beach in the company of strangers and dogs-you must read this, if it helps one other person out there then her job is done~

When Marlee came to live with us she came on a special diet of rice and pumpkin and she had severe diarrhea and coat issues. Oh, did I mention that we drove nearly 7 hours to get her? chris just figures I'm crazy-but something about her drew me in. We had a fenced field, a large outdoor kennel and I thought I could handle the aggression-who knew it was really "that bad?"

Anyway, Marlee went to the vet, got antibiotics 'for an infection" and recommended a "special diet." I switched her to an all raw diet along with our other animals and within a few months this symptom cleared up, mostly.

The hair and skin problem just continues to worsen. She has only fuzzy, fluffy hair, like puppy fur and itches/chews at herself all the time. She gets sores and she goes back to the vet (with a muzzle on of course). She comes home with more antibiotics and the diagnosis of "skin/food allergies." Shortly after this, her hind end skin has turned black/dark form her pink/white color and has began to thicken into a bare "elephant" like skin. Marlee also develops (suddenly one day) a very bad drunken walk and begins falling and tripping. She is only able to climb stairs with much effort and a person along side her. She goes back to the vet with ALL these symptoms-she comes home with more antibiotics and a diagnosis of "congenital deafness complications." Hey, I fell for it (sorry Marlee.)

Now, in between all this I tell the doctor (and anyone who will listen) that Marlee won't play and she just "sleeps all the time." In fact, she has developed these callouses on her legs and elbows from sleeping all the time. Again, it's chalked up to her deafness - quoted by vet "some deaf people describe deafness/movement as feeling queasy-did you ever think it might make her feel sick?" Well, no. So, I take her home (after wedging her nearly 90lb body into the truck as she can not and never has been able to jump.

-oh, did I mention she is just turned three this year? I tell you (and the vet) there is something not right with this dog. but, alas it's just "allergies."

This summer her skin became infected and her feet also became so bad, so fast, that I set to work online trying to figure out just what was happening to this poor dog. - I said screw allergies, the antibiotics never seemed to clear anything up and I refuse to believe it's diet.

Now, this is the part that really sets me off. Within minutes of researching words like "skin allergy", "black skin", and the like I find this site. (THANK YOU Dr. Ron Hines DVM PhD ) which leads me to even more detailed research and a prompt call to my vet (again.)

I drop Marlee at the vet with a list of current symptoms and a request to test for Hypothyroidism

They call me to pick her up, she has a bandage on one foot (she had a bad infection) they said "allergies." I said what about the test? Oh, okay we can do that too. Anyway, three days later I get the call.
Apple cider vinegar

Marlee's test levels return. Now let me first tell you that a normal Canine TSH (cTSH) is < .41 - Marlee rang in at 1.7 - so we have her on a ($25.00) med/high dose of thyroid medication (along with the 350.00 worth of allergy/antibiotics) Man this is a long story~

The best part. . .

Within 48hrs Marlee has shown marked improvement and is less lethargic, more alert, more responsive to touch. Three days later she goes for a 4 hour car trip with three other dogs and three humans to the beach where she encounters more humans and more dogs and she is not wearing a muzzle-it's awesome! She loaded herself into the truck and allowed herself to be walked tethered with Cali tugging her everywhere at full speed.

I'm telling you-four days ago I would have told you you were nuts to take her anywhere with that many other dogs.

We have nothing but hope for her to have a long, healthy, happy life now-thank goodness for the internet or I'm certain she would still be suffering this lonely, depressing life of deafness, lack of energy, dulled senses and constant itching-this is no life for a 1 year old (3 now) dog!

I can only wait and watch as Marlee turns into herself.
Big tall dog Marlee

The moral of the story = Be the "advocate" for your pet - they can't talk or they would tell us just how silly we really are!

Walk this way

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this story! Esp the ending of course!!! And the moral...ain't it the truth :)
A scratch behind the ears to Marlee!

(sick of me yet?I'm just loving your blog!!!! I keep more, one more...)

Bonanzle!!! with me & my daddy

"James" by Ysabella Brave