Meet Pixie, our two year old American Pitbull Terrier and Bloodhound Cross!
She's had an extremely rough life thus far in her short two years.
She's a survivor of three major illnesses: Canine Parvovirus, Distemper, & Glaucoma. Two of these illnesses, Parvovirus and Distemper, are generally fatal.
A Brief History
At 5 months old she and her siblings came down with the 2C strain of Parvovirus. This strain is immune to the standard Canine Parvovirus Vaccine and thus they, unfortunately, contracted Parvovirus anyway. Two of her siblings, Cisco and Yogi, passed away while she and her sister, Moxie, survived.
After she survived Parvovirus she came down with Distemper. She contracted it at the Vet's office that treated her Parvovirus. She had to hold back on her vaccines during her treatment and for a couple of weeks after per vet's orders. This made her extremely susceptible to contracting the disease. This vet, honestly, did not impress us much. Read on to find out why.
Distemper is typically 99% fatal within just 1 week of being diagnosed. Pixie survived Distemper for 3 months! She had grand mal (full body) seizures and that is what first had us take her back to the vet. She also had petite mal (chewing gum) seizures where she appeared to be chewing gum frantically while drooling uncontrollably. At first I thought she might have come down with Epilepsy as she was the right age to. Her regular, albeit former, vet said "No, dogs don't get Epilepsy. She has distemper, you need to put her down as she will die." I am sorry, I know dogs do get Epilepsy. This vet severely pissed me off. I refused to think that with all of our advances in medicine, both human and veterinary, that they haven't found some way of treating this neurological disease. Off to the interwebs I go!
After doing some research online I found out about an experimental treatment that literally saved her life. Dr. Alson Sears, a retired veterinarian formerly of Lancaster, CA., has developed this serum that can effectively treat and save a dog infected with Canine Distemper. Dr. Sears discovered this serum in the late 1960s by accident, trying out an experimental procedure. He made a mistake in following this other protocol and unintentionally created his serum. However, suddenly dogs with Distemper were getting better because of this mistake. He doesn't know how or why the serum works, and to find out would cost money that he doesn't have.
I emailed Dr. Sear's directly and he pointed me to Dr. Liat Zilkha, an Israeli-born vet in my state of Texas. Dr. Zilkha had to perform a Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) Tap and insert a special serum made from the Newcastle Vaccine and antibodies made from donor blood of a healthy dog. The Newcastle Vaccine is given to the healthy donor dog and then his blood is taken from the his carotid artery and does not harm him in any way.
A successful candidate dog for the honor of becoming a lifesaving blood donor must meet specific criteria. A prime candidate is a young large mixed breed dog between 60 to 100 lbs and between 8 to 12 months of age.
Pixie responded immediately from her Distemper treatment and is now 100% immune from ever contracting it again and never needs the Distemper Vaccine again.
At 9 months old we noticed her eye was starting to turn white so we took her back to her regular vet which was all we could afford at the time due to the economic hardships of treating her Distemper. This vet misdiagnosed her as to having a corneal ulcer and gave me some ineffective eye drops.
I then took her to an animal Ophthalmologist who diagnosed her with severe Glaucoma and said her eye must be removed. We didn't hesitate at all and took her back to the vet who performed her Distemper treatment because she knew her case and her high risk nature.
After her eye was removed she felt 100% better. She's finally playing like a puppy and her quality life has improved tremendously.
UPDATE - OCTOBER 5, 2010
I'm completely overwhelmed by how many people fell in love with Pixie, it is heart-warming reading all of the sweet comments.
The Ophthalmologist feels that Pixie is close to being, if not completely, blind in her remaining eye. However, we still love her very much and will continue to be blessed by her charming self.
UPDATE - JANUARY 17, 2011
Pixie is completely blind and will have her other eye removed and a prosthetic put in. A lot of people will say we should put her down, but her quality of life continues to thrive. She really enjoys playing and wrestling with her sister and mother and she loves to play with her toys and cuddle with anyone who will hold her. She has a great life despite her disability. As long as she shows she is enjoying her life and is fighting, we will continue to fight with her.
It isn't my decision on how long she has, I am not God. I feel God has given her a fighting spirit for a reason and put her on this earth as an inspiration to many others battling illnesses. If a little dog can fight and not give up while not understanding what is going on, surely any human can do the same!
UPDATE - JUNE 7, 2011
Pixie's completely blind now and because the Glaucoma continues to increase her eye pressure causing her pain, her Ophthalmologist suggested to just have her eye removed.
She can't see anyway so honestly why have the eye there when it is hurting her? Her doctor never once mentioned putting her down as he has other patients with no eyes at all and they too have full and happy lives. Pixie is no exception. She may be blind but she has a great life with her sister and her mother who take care of her and include her in playtime. She uses her nose and ears to get around now as it is. Her doctor feels confident that with her being half scent hound (Bloodhound) which generally rely on their noses a great deal, that she is going to continue to thrive despite not having eyes.
So, as soon as I can afford it we will have the surgery and she will go from having a permanent wink to a permanent blink. But, we will obviously still love her just as much because we don't love her for her physical appearance. Although she will still be beautiful to us.
UPDATE - JULY 9, 2011
We were planning to have Pixie's eye, enucleated surgically removed and the eyelids sutured shut, but I got lucky and found a vet who performs the other option we were given for her at the same price as the so called less expensive enucleation if performed by her primary Ophthalmologist. So, considering we could get the more cosmetic option of evisceration at the same price as an enucleation, which is what she had done to her other eye as her photo shows, we obviously chose the evisceration.
So, on Saturday morning, July 9th, Pixie had her remaining eye eviscerated, meaning that the contents of her inner eye (iris, lens, vitreous humour- the clear gel that fills the space between the lens and the retina of the eyeball, retina, choroid) has been removed and a prosthetic ball has been added to fill her eye in. We would have had the other procedure done and as I mentioned had already planned on it. But, I will not lie and admit that I am so thankful to God for leading me to an Ophthalmologist who did both procedures for exactly the same price and all we had to do was choose based on Pixie's needs.
After he examined her that Saturday morning he told me that he agreed with her primary Ophthalmologist. Either procedure would work just fine for her and that since he charged the same amount I only had to choose. He highly suggested I choose the evisceration due to her already losing an eye. With evisceration only the inner eye is removed. The cornea and eyelids remain. So, by having her keep an eye at least we would be able to see when she is asleep or awake and we wouldn't startle her. So, we took his advice, plus we honestly really love her permanent wink. She is an absolutely preciously darling girl who can steal anyone's heart!
UPDATE - JULY 11, 2011
Just two days post-op and she is having a tremendous amount of pain. It is quite heartbreaking to hear her whimper, moan & cry. The doctor said that this procedure would have more intense pain for a while longer after the surgery, but that she didn't need an e-collar while healing. I disagree when she rubs her eye and cries very loudly and starts trembling. Also, she has walked into quite a few things she normally doesn't due to still being effected by the anesthesia plus pain medicine. The doctor prescribed one 50mg Tramadol (Ultram) three times daily but a couple of times her pain level was so high that I gave her one and a half or even two. At least then she could get some rest.
When she doesn't hit her eye by walking into something then her klutz of a sister, Moxie, will swat it with her tail as she walks by poor Pixie. Man does that make her cry.
I know the vet said that an e-collar wasn't necessary but I put the one on her she wore after her last surgery just to see if it would help. At least when she walks the edge of the e-collar would hit before her eye so she then knew to stop and change her direction. It also kept her from rubbing it and hurting herself that way. Seems to help at keeping Moxie's tail at bay as well!
UPDATE - JULY 25, 2011
Pixie is feeling 100% better and is playing a lot more. Her pain is completely gone. She is back to being able to navigate around the house as she could before going blind. She is getting her appetite back as well since for several months prior to her procedure she'd be in to much pain from the Glaucoma which feels like an extremely severe, constant migraine headache. In just about a week we find out how she is doing and if her healing is going okay. A bit concerned with the amount of blood surfacing behind her cornea. Hope it is nothing bad.
UPDATE - JULY 30, 2011
Pixie went to her 3 week post-op check-up with her Ophthalmologist today and to be honest I was a bit concerned with how her eye appeared to be healing and was dreading that the vet may not have the best news for me.
We were told to expect "bloody tears" while she was healing and that since the contents of her inner eye were removed she would have blood seeping out from behind her eye. However, directly behind her cornea you can see a thick ring of blood that seems to have collected there over the last couple of weeks. It doesn't bother her in the slightest but I was very worried that maybe she was getting some sort of infection despite her taking anti-biotic drops and anti-biotic capsules for 3 weeks after her surgery.
So, we meet with Dr. Rainbow (Yes, he has a funny sounding name but he knows his work and it kind of fits his bedside manner, he is extremely sweet and loves his patients very much), her Ophthalmologist, and he gave her a thorough examination. He then gave me the great news. Her healing process is exactly where it should be for 3 weeks post-op and she looks exactly as she should in regards to the way the blood looks in her eye. She is progressing beautifully!
He discharged her completely from his care! She can also stop taking the anti-biotic drops! No more doctors visits... no more medicine... wonderful news!!
Than you for all of the comments, prayers and well wishes you all have given Pixie during all of her illnesses. We sincerely appreciate it very much!
UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 20, 2011
Pixie's adorable little nose is bent all out of shape and she is not being a gracious host to 2 month old Roscoe, the abandoned Plott Hound my brother found abandoned in a junkyard living in an old car with no food or water. As my brother's current residence does not allow pets he asked if we would puppy sit for him for a few weeks. Of course, we all knew he really meant "Hey, want another dog? Five just isn't enough!!"
The first day Roscoe met Pixie, Moxie & China Rose everything was fine. Tails wagged, butts were sniffed and all was a-ok in doggy world. And then came night time and Pixie quickly realized that this visitor intended to stay the night. And sleep in the same bed as her and her human mommy!!
That entire night Pixie refused to get in bed with Roscoe and I and dared to sleep on the floor. Like a dog! We all know Pixie is a people, not a dog!! Oh the indignities!
The next couple of weeks the girls wouldn't let Roscoe play in any doggie games and that is all the sweet and handsome little guy wanted! It was heartbreaking to watch Roscoe carry a ball over to one of the girls and them either snarl at him or ignore him! Every snarl, snap or growl was punished, by the way! However, it got to the point where I had to bring out the playpen, aka "Puppy Prison" for Roscoes' own safety.
While in the playpen though Moxie at least sniffed him and acted friendlier, trying to play chase down the side of the pen.
Slowly all three girls are starting to accept Roscoe into the pack. He is just a little love and is such a handsome charmer and major cuddle-bug!
UPDATE - OCTOBER 25, 2011
Pixie and the girls have finally accepted Roscoe as a pack member. Even more adorable? Pixie has officially adopted Roscoe as her son! They are connected at the hip! Roscoe follows her wherever she goes and will wrestle and tackle her anytime he sees her... usually while she is asleep! This is great though as he is making it to where she doesn't sleep so much and gets more exercise.
I personally think Roscoe & Pixie needed each other! Roscoe was very young when he was found and Pixie is teaching him the in's and out's of being a dog... all the way down to her "pawing you" to get a treat. He is Pixie's protégé /apprentice! Pixie needed Roscoe to keep her from sleeping her life away. Plus, he plays with her AND Moxie and China Rose and will always include Pixie in a wrestling match.
Just the other day I saw the dogs in a "4 pup pile-up" with Pixie on the bottom with Roscoe straddling her, chewing on her neck, China Rose straddling Roscoe, chewing his ear, & Moxie straddling China Rose chewing her face while Pixie had a mouthful of Moxie's leg! I would have given anything to have had my camera with me!
UPDATE - NOVEMBER 15, 2011
Roscoe saved Pixie today! My brother was working on the fence in the backyard but left the gate open. He did not tell me so I didn't know and let Pixie & Roscoe outside together by themselves as I often do.
They were outside for about 30 minutes before I went to let them in. I called and called and they never came so I went outside to find the gate open! I panicked! You guys know that Pixie is blind; she could have so easily gotten lost, walked out into the street and hit by a car or have fallen down the barge ditch on the other side of the street from our house... I was freaking!!
I quickly ran outside to the front yard to look for them and found her being held up against the garage door by Roscoe who is only 3 months old now! I sincerely feel he led her to the garage when they got out because he knew she can't see. In my eyes, he saved my Pixie!
I can't imagine how scared a little blind dog would be to get lost. Roscoe is a little hero! Just another reason why I think Roscoe & Pixie were in need of each other.
I'll upload a photo of Roscoe soon, keep a look out! He's quite the handsome gentleman!!
As some of you may know, I am in the planning stage of writing a children's book about Pixie and everything she has been through and how strongly she showed just how much of a little fighter she is.
My goal is to write a book in Pixie's point of view, yes I will write it as if Pixie is writing it as I feel children would like that better. The book will have Pixie talk about all she went through emotionally when we all found out she was ill with parvovirus then distemper. It will focus on feelings of hopelessness and days where giving up doesn't sound all to bad but then how she decided that she wasn't a quitter.
I am also creating Pixie her very own website with a shout-board and/or forum so that her supporters and fans can interact and send messages to Pixie and family. I'm sure a few of you are going "she's a dog, she doesn't care about messages..." Well, maybe and maybe not. Every time I read messages from you guys directed to her outloud she'll usually stop whatever she's doing (I.E. Scratching, playing, walking around the room) and sit down, pointing her pretty little black nose at me and at least pretend to listen. So, you skeptics out there, show me proof that she doesn't care about what you all say to and about her!
Anyway, the website will include webpages for Pixie's biography, the book information & synopsis, photo gallery of Pixie photos, the shout-board/forum, & a contact information page.
This next section is where I'm asking her fans & supporters to come in! Per suggestion from a dear friend I wish to include a tributes/dedication/fan art page.
What does this have to do with you? Well, you guys are the ones who will be supplying these pieces for inclusion in the website, with full copyrights and credits complete with working URL to your deviantART profile or your website gallery of choice!
So, for those of you who want to participate, you are very welcome to! Either post a URL to your "Pixie Art" here, or you may send the URL to me via note, or you can email an attachment to me at email@example.com.
Please add a note in your artist description that you are granting Casey L. Jones of =DamselStock/*ADamselInDesign the right to display your "Pixie Art" on the under construction website, OneEyedPixie.com.
I've decided to make a stamp for those of you who are supporting Pixie with her on-going battle with Glaucoma.
If you support sweet little Pixie and wish to display your support on your profile and do not have a premium membership you may paste the following codes wherever you choose, but Pixie says she deserves to be on everyone's profile pages... spoiled little butt!
Remember to COPY BOTH CODES just the way they are and do not put spaces anywhere!
If you leave rude comments or are otherwise unkind, I will flag them or hide them. She is the sweetest little dog in the world. No we didn't put her to sleep because as long as she fought to live and as long as God fought for her, we fought for her.
You can use the photo for your artwork granted that you follow my rules. The photo is a transparent PNG and thus will open in any graphics editing software.
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More