Zeva turned 8 in April of 2020, but she has overcome more in those 8 years than most dogs do in their entire lives!
Zeva turned 8 in April of 2020, but she has overcome more in her 8 years than most dogs! When Zeva was 6 months old, she was diagnosed with Narcolepsy, a disease that caused Zeva to fall asleep at random times as when as chronic drowsiness (we went to Mass IVG in Woburn for testing). Zeva's regular vet was great working with us to figure out what was wrong but narcolepsy is so rare it was a little beyond her scope. I knew something was wrong, she was always sleepy; more than a regular puppy. She would fall asleep eating, drinking, and mid-play. We could be walking and she’d just stop and either stand and sleep or fall down and sleep. Turns out Narcolepsy is a recessive trait in field Labs and we just got lucky with her.
Two and a half years ago, I replaced her back knees with TTA surgeries at VESH in Brentwood. She had blown out 1 and before I could get her to the surgery she had scheduled, she blew out the other. We went through rehab at Horse and Hound in Hollis and we were finally back to normal after about 6-8 months of physical therapy.
The Accident That Changed Everything
About a year, almost to the day after she was healed, Zeva had a life changing injury. Zeva was upstairs with the same setup she’d had for three years. The glass portion of the window was open but the screen was closed. Zeva has never been a dog that jumps, barks, startles, or anything. She grew up with acres of land and is used to gun shots, fireworks, engine backfires, so she doesn't startle easily. She obtained her therapy dog license several years ago through Therapy Dogs International and is just an all-around calm and sound dog. She used to do a reading program with kids and was a rockstar, she proudly did her job as a therapy dog for years.
My dog sitter had just left from being over to play with Zeva and let her out for a few hours, she sent me pictures of Zeva rolling down the hill and having fun. I was on my way home when my neighbor, who lives 2 condos down, called me to tell me Zeva was laying outside on the ground on the backside of my condo. My neighbor stayed with Zeva until I got there so she wasn’t alone. Before we left, we shined a light up to the window and realized that the screen was pushed out a little bit, but not enough where it looked liked she tried to get out, more like she fell.
We both believe she must have been looking at something (which doesn’t make sense given her personality or the time of night) and fell asleep out the window. As soon as I got home and realized Z couldn’t move, we put a car cover under her to make a stretcher and put her in the back of my car and I laid in back with her on the way to CAVES in Concord, NH. CAVES recommend putting her down after they told me she was paralyzed which wasn’t an option I was ok with, so I did my own research. They kept her overnight and the next morning, we brought her to Southern New Hampshire Vet Referral Hospital and Veterinary Emergency Hospital of Manchester. They kept her in the ER (VECM) there until Dr. Jones from Neuro (at SNHVRH) could do an MRI. Turns out she had no broken bones, no internal injuries, just one herniated disk from a 3 story fall! Her prognosis was 80% for back-to-walking with surgery and rehab so we did the surgery (thank goodness for having pet insurance which we didn’t have for her knees). The fall caused a pinched nerve in her shoulder known as Horner’s syndrome, which causes one of her eyes to squint but luckily does not affect her vision.
Due to being catheterized for her surgery, she unfortunately wound up with a MRSA based UTI. The MRSA based UTI postponed us getting into rehab at Horse and Hound where she had gone prior for her knees. By the time we got there, the owner passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, so rehab was not only not quite the same, but they shut down before we could get what we needed. Also, we had such a delay getting in because of the UTI that the prognosis to walk again wasn’t looking great. Thank goodness we found Walkin’ Wheels and was able to get Zeva a wheelchair and, in turn, some independence. When they closed, we found another place closer to us in Hooksett but they really weren’t doing what I knew could be done and I wasn’t thrilled.
Unfortunately, they ended up closing down as well. We then went to Angel West Memorial in Massachusetts for a week stay over Christmas. Unfortunately we were unable to do a lot of water therapy because she had a slight skin infection but they did do a lot of manual manipulation with her. At the end of the session, we were pretty much told where she is…is what we have. She started having chronic UTI’s and we tried to manage them with her primary vet but needed to seek more specialized treatment. We now battle chronic UTI’s and see Dr. Rollings at SNHVRH every 3 months for a checkup to see if it’s progressing or staying stable, which luckily has been stable for the last 6 months.
Overcoming Everything Life Throws Her Way
We had an appointment recently because I was concerned about her skin, some growths on her foot and the fact that she’s both drinking and urinating more than normal. She is now on a cleaning regiment after every elimination and trimming of the keratin build up on her paws regularly. Zeva now has a cozy spot downstairs where she can be with the family, unless we are all sleeping. She enjoys the company of her furry siblings, loves all the scratches and snuggles that anybody is willing to provide. Zeva likes to pretend she can’t help you when you try to stand her up to help her eliminate, or when her bed gets changed, but when you bring out a bowl of food. It’s amazing how she’s able to push herself up and change her location from the floor to her bed or vice versa.
On 12/12/20 she went in to have an MCT on her side and an epulis in her mouth that is getting removed, thankfully surgery went well and she is home revolting, and stitches come out the day after Christmas. She also now has the clinical signs of Cushings Disease, so after her surgery ( 2 weeks and fully healed) she needs to go back to her specialist to get the test. "This dog has been with me through deployments, a divorce, relationships, moves and more. Zeva is my heart dog and is an integral part of our family…which we couldn’t imagine life without."