Clinic Stories


Though she was emaciated Gigi eluded Animal Control for a month. When she was finally caught and brought to the office not only did she look like a donation plea for a shelter but she was also bright yellow. Her eyes, ears and gums were yellow indicating severe liver disease. Normal bilirubin, a laboratory measure of liver function, is 0.6 or less reading 0.1 in over 90% of animals. Gigi’s bilirubin was off the scale which tops out at 35. I have seen a few dogs recover from poisoning that had a bilirubin in the high teens but I had never had a reading over 22 before. Her liver enzymes and white blood count were also very high.

Despite the miserable prognosis the shelter decided to treat her. After three days of treatment her bilirubin came into the readable range at 34.6. After a week she was still at 24 and the shelter decided to take her out of the hospital and treat her with oral medication and TLC. She was a miserable wreck, barely moving and refusing food. Until Wendy’s meals entered the picture. Sally, the shelter manager offered her Wendy’s and she ate it. Every day Sally would buy a 4 for $4, keeping the milkshake and giving the rest to Gigi. After a week she was looking brighter, was gaining weight and was more active. One month after she was caught her blood work had returned to normal and she went from a skeletal 35 pounds to an athletic 53 pounds.

With no history we can only speculate that while she was living on the streets she ate something toxic that damaged her liver. A year later she remains normal, friendly and affectionate, but is still looking for a home. I called Wendy’s and told them her story as a potential promotion. It was passed onto marketing but so far they have not responded.

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