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Maggie July 10, 2007:   Little Maggie, a MaltiPoo, is a sick puppy, and we are hoping to "buy her a miracle". We know it won't be cheap, but if we don't try she will not live long. Maggie is a tiny 3 month old puppy who weighs under 3 pounds and is suspected of having a Liver Shunt.

Maggie Liver Shunts cause serious and sometimes fatal outcomes in dogs. A liver shunt, or a portosystemic shunt, is a normal fetal blood vessel that in the womb bypasses liver tissue, allowing the mother's system to filter out toxins for the developing baby. In some animals, however, the shunt remains open after the animal is born, compromising its liver function, slowing growth, and eventually resulting in death of many affected animals.

Maggie A technique developed at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK) several years ago implants an ameroid constrictor, a tiny C-shaped piece of metal ring. The constrictor fits around the shunt, causing it to slowly shut down over several weeks, and in effect normalize the liver's ability to handle protein.

SCMR is raising funds to cover the costs of surgery and additional diagnostic tests for Maggie. The estimated expense is anywhere from $1,800- $2,100. Maggie has had some preliminary testing done, and based upon the results of those tests her vet feels Maggie is a good candidate for this surgery, and she hopes we can give this girl a chance at a healthy life.

Maggie is a lively, adorable, sweet little puppy, but she is a very sick girl. She is currently on medications which are helping her to feel better but she needs the help of the experts at UTK. To learn more about Liver Shunt and read about how this surgery has made a difference for other dogs, please visit

Please consider donating to help sweet Maggie get this life saving surgery. She so deserves a chance to live! A donation to help Maggie would be greatly appreciated! You can send your donation (payable to SCMR) to P.O.Box 2005, Chattanooga, TN 37409 or we accept online donations via PayPal.

Any donation is welcome no matter how small or large.


Thank you!

July 12, 9 a.m.

Well, today is my big day. I am off to see Dr. Tobias at The University of Tennessee Veterinary Hospital. You know Dr. Tobias is very famous for her work with little ones like me who have problems with our liver. So I am very lucky that SCMR wanted the very best for me! Everyone was so nice at the hospital and could not believe how cute and sweet I was. I am having my scintigraphy done this afternoon and then everyone will know whether I will be a candidate for liver shunt surgery. My foster mom got all misty eyed when she had to leave me at the hospital but she knew I was in very capable hands--foster moms get emotional like that!

July 13, 9 a.m.

My scintigraphy was done yesterday and it showed that yes I did in fact have only one external shunt and that I was a candidate for surgery. So no breakfast for me and it is off to surgery. Lucky for me that Dr. Tobias has done this surgery many times and I will receive excellent care in her capable hands. Not only is she fixing me but I am also participating in a study that will hopefully help other liver shunt puppies recover from their surgery even quicker. Don't worry even though I am part of a study I will be receiving the same wonderful care from all the staff at UT Vet Hospital.

July 13, 2 p.m.

Hurray! My surgery was successful and I am recovering in the hospital. An ameroid constrictor device was placed around the blood vessel that was carrying blood around my liver instead of through it. It will gradually close that vessel off and hopefully I will have normal or close to normal liver function over the next 4 to 6 weeks. That is very good news for me as I should be able to live a long and happy life after this. Wow I may even get to go back to my foster mom tomorrow. I will let you know but for now I need my rest.

July 14, 9 a.m

Maggie and Anne Marie Yea! I am going home this morning. Not to say that Anne-Marie and the other vets have not been taking great care of me here but I am ready to pack my little bags and go home. Of course, everyone is sorry to see me go because they said even when I was receiving a lots of pain meds that made me very sleepy I still tried to wag my tail and give kisses! I guess you can see that my surgery involved making a very large incision in my tummy and that I have to wear a crazy looking collar to make sure that I don't bother them. I hope this doesn't scare my foster mom too much when she sees me!

July 14, 11 a.m.

Maggie's incision I am home and my foster mom didn't freak out too badly. It is nice to be back in my little bed and I really look forward to feeling better and not having a sore tummy. But within 5 minutes of being home I ate my lunch and went potty. Funny how little things like that can really excite my foster mom! Well, I think it is best if I take a nap now that my tummy is full--it has been a pretty exhausting 2 days.

July 16

Maggie can't get her hair done for a few more days! It has been 3 days since my surgery and I am feeling a little stronger and better each day. I am eating well and feeling as comfortable as a puppy can with a big plastic cone on her head! You know the whole bucket on the head thing was ok for a couple days when I didn't really care about getting up and around but it is definitely starting to get darn annoying. I mean how is a girl supposed to play with her toys? I am still urinating quite a bit and we will learn something from UT in a couple days if I might have an infection that needs a different antibiotic other than the one I am on or if hopefully as my shunt closes down that will improve too. Just keep checking back so you can follow my progress. Oh yea, I know my hair looks a little crazy but no baths for me for several more days!

July 18

I am feeling better all the time and am starting to get back to my feisty little self. I am thriving! I now weigh 3 lbs. 4 ounces!

We got back the results from the urine culture and it was negative so hopefully my frequent urination will subside as my shunt slowly closes off.

The biopsy of my liver indicated the possibility that I might possibly have some microscopic shunting and so I will need to stay on my special food and medicine for at least 3 more months. My foster mom is hopeful that that when I go for my 3 month checkup that all will be well and microscopic shunting can be ruled out. Regardless, if I do have MVD, I can still lead a normal life, just maybe need to stay on a lower protein food.

July 29

Maggie Hey notice anything different? I don't have a bucket on my head any more! It has been 2 weeks since my surgery to repair a liver shunt and I am feeling really great. I now weigh a whopping 3 lbs. and 10 ounces. I also turned 4 months old on July 27 so my foster mom has decided it is time to start teaching me some manners. You know things like come, sit, and walking on the end of a leash thing. I guess I can't get by on just my looks any more! I understand I even have to go to the vet next week and get started on my vaccinations. I really am such a good puppy and just love to play and cuddle (when I slow down long enough). And you should see me run! Everyone else at my foster home poops out long before me. Well, just thought you might like to know how it is going--keep checking back cause you never know what I will be up to next!

August 27

Hi there! Boy has a lot happened in a month... I found my forever home! My new dad came to Chattanooga, TN to pick me up and I got to meet my new Nana and Papa that day too. I think my foster mom was trying not to cry so I gave her lots of kisses to tell her how much I love her and appreciate her for all the good care she gave me! We got to take pictures together and I'll post those soon.

Boy howdy... at my new home, I have two new brothers and a new sister! I try to get them to play and so far I'm doing a pretty good job of it. I found out my sister was rescued from a puppy mill so I'm going to make it my mission to teach her how to play! My oldest brother is kind of grouchy but my one year old brother and I just play nonstop now! Dad's pretty cool, too - he feeds me and gives me paper towels to attack and kill - it's my favorite! My new doctor thinks I'm a great girl since I don't even bat an eye during exams and shots. Well, that's it for now. Gotta get back to that evil paper towel....

Even though I've found my forever home, SCMR still needs your help to pay my large vet bill. Any donations to help pay my vet bill would be greatly appreciated! You can send your donation (payable to SCMR, and don't forget to mention my name in the memo section of your check) to P.O.Box 2005, Chattanooga, TN 37409, and SCMR also accepts online donations via PayPal.

Any donation is welcome no matter how small or large.


Thank you!

Maggie and Karen Maggie and Mary

Maggie says farewell to Karen and Mary!