Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Pennsylvania, United States
Posted January 5, 2014
Pita was five and a half months old when she was rushed into the Veterinary emergency center where I worked. She was in shock after being hit by a car with a shattered pelvis, broken femur and road rash. I never wanted a small dog, a female dog, or a puppy.my ideal dog was a large male pittie mix but life has a way of giving us what we need rather than what we want. When this little dog's pain medication began to wear off, she was hoisting herself up on her two front legs and and attempting to walk on them.....6 hours after being crushed by a car. There was something in her eyes and her fighting spirit that made me fall in love with her. Her owners were a young couple that could not afford her medical bills especially without knowing whether or not she would recover bowel and bladder function. I offered to adopt her to avoid euthanasia, so the young couple signed her over to me. We crate rested Pita for 6 weeks to allow her broken pelvis to heal before we addressed the broken femur. She slowly regained bowel and bladder function as her pelvis healed. Once the 6 weeks was up, Pita was walking on three legs but never regained nerve function in the leg with the broken femur. We opted to amputate the leg and she has done great ever since. Her pelvis and hips will still pop when she moves a certain way and she has been on a joint supplement since the accident. She was doing well healthwise until this past August when she got very sick with vomiting and diarrhea. After having to hospitalize her at work for dehydration, my boss recommended that we do an upper GI scope to test for what he suspected to be IBD. The internist suspected something called Lymphangiectasia because of her age. It is related to IBD but is a disorder where the body can not absorb fat and must be on a very low fat diet. When the scope was done, the biopsy came back as just IBD but the internist still suspected Lymphangiectasia and that it could be present in a part of the GI tract that was not biopsied. So we got her started on a steroid regimen. I consulted with a nutritionist to make a home cooked diet for her. She is now on a home made diet of sweet potato and lentil purée and gets scrambled eggs in the morning and hard boiled eggs for lunch and dinner. She also takes a supplement called Balance It canine to ensure she receives all of the nutrients she needs. We have had to alter her steroid doses up and down based on flair ups. I am proud to say that I have weaned her off of the Prednisone January 2, 2014 and she is doing well this far. She still takes Cyclosporine, and Budesonide daily, but the goal is to eventually wean her off of all of her medications and maintain her strictly with diet.
In addition to her GI issues, she also has seasonal allergies and needs bath three times weekly during most of the year. Jack Russells are proned to allergies, which is something to keep in mind if you are looking into the breed. Allergies can be very frustrating and costly to treat.
Being a terrier, she does bark...a lot. Also due to the fact that's he is a terrier, she is hard to break of that habit. She used to get along great with other dogs but has recently become aggressive which I think is due to her medications. Since she has started the steroids she has also become food aggressive towards my cat. If I had other dogs in the hous I'm sure she would be food aggressive to them as well but I can take her bowl and do whatever I want. I believe it to be the medications causing he aggression due to when the aggression started. I am hoping to eliminate this problem once I wean her off of all of the medications. She is not a naturally aggressive dog but almost every Jack Russell I have met is aggressive in some form. She is a great dog and though her medical issues are costly both with time and money, I can't imagine my life without her and would not trade her for anything.