Berklee came to Secondhand Hounds this spring at 7 weeks old, when she was about a third of the size of her littermates, vomiting up every meal, spinning and tipping over, and presenting with a significant heart murmur. We knew before she came that there were a lot of odds stacked against her, but SHH didn’t hesitate to say yes anyway.
We figured out a good feeding routine so she stopped vomiting and started to gain weight, and got her on steroids to help with the neurological symptoms. She stabilized and grew, but unfortunately the U of M confirmed she has hydrocephalus (water and pressure on her brain), pulmonic stenosis (a severe heart condition), and bracycephalic airway syndrome (her airway is too narrow, and her esophagus is partially paralyzed, causing regurgitation). We were hopeful that if we got her to six months, we could reevaluate for possible heart surgery and then a brain shunt, but unfortunately her growth spurts seem to impact her neurological symptoms, and her vision and neurological response have continued to decline.
Berklee can only see light and dark (most likely only out of one eye), and has a significant permanent head tilt. Some days her spinning is horrible, then other days, she seems more stable and relaxed. Unfortunately her growth spurts seem to impact her neurological symptoms, and her vision and neurological response have continued to deteriorate. We are at the vet often, but she is still happy, and she doesn’t know that she is different.
Yes, she has a LOT stacked against her, but this little girl is a spitfire and she LOVES her life. She hops like a bunny when she is outside, she loves attacking the vacuum, she loves lap snuggles, and she adores meal time – she gets quite a few to keep her meals small and avoid vomiting, so we jokingly call them all ‘second lunch’ now. She has decided she likes car rides recently, and enjoys walkies in the stroller with her big Frenchie brother Franklin. When she is happy and relaxing, she will burrow her nose into her surroundings (me, Franklin, her bed, etc) and take deep sniffs as she gets sleepy. Every single day we get with her is a gift, and we are so grateful! Follow her journey on instagram at @fairydogmommaView Berklee's Wish List