Lilah came to GRREAT in the Spring of 2017 at 3 months of age. The reason given by the breeder was possible blindness; she was circling to the right and would navigate around the room by bumping into objects. After being examined by a GRREAT vet, it was found that Lilah was blind in her left eye due to glaucoma, and bloodwork indicated the possibility of other congenital issues involving her organs.
Once settled into her foster home it was noticed that Lilah drank an unusual amount of water, staggered at times when she walked, was difficult to train, and lacked bite inhibition. She was taken to an Internal Medicine Specialist for an exam. Because of the unusual shape of her head and the cognitive issues described by her foster mom, hydrocephalus (water on the brain) was suspected. Lilah was sent home with 4 eye medications to reduce the pressure in her eye and a medication to reduce possible pressure on her brain. A few days later her lab results indicated the possibility of renal insufficiency and that a recurring urinary tract infection had not cleared up. A third round of antibiotics began for the UTI.
At 6 months of age Lilah was taken to a neurologist for evaluation. The assessment indicated she showed delayed learning, demented behavior, and abnormal coordination. Congenital hydrocephalus or other brain malformations were suspected and an MRI of her brain was recommended. The diagnosis was listed as “guarded pending further tests.”
Eye medication was not able to control the glaucoma pressure so Lilah’s left eye was removed when she was 8 months old. She was wagging her tail as she went into surgery, while the vet tech was applying an ice pack to reduce the swelling, and when she returned home. Her sweet, happy demeanor made her an instant favorite of the entire hospital staff. Within a couple days she was her normal self and spent much of her time trying to turn the E-collar into a chew toy.
After recovering from the eye surgery, Lilah was scheduled for an MRI. The MRI indicated she has severe hydrocephalus. Comparison of Lilah’s image beside that of a normal dog showed the gray matter of Lilah’s brain is about 50% smaller. Treatment options include medication and/or a shunt. She is currently receiving medication to reduce the pressure on her brain and for pain management. There has not yet been any noticeable improvement since beginning this treatment protocol so additional medication or shunt surgery may be in her future.
Lilah’s condition will require lifelong management and she may never understand the concept of house training, impulse control or bite inhibition. Even with all that, she loves everyone she meets and has an indominable spirit. She greets every day like it is Christmas morning, with a big golden smile, a wagging tail, and lots of happy bouncing. Although her behavior and lack of understanding can often be challenging, Lilah is the most loveable little girl you will ever meet!
You can follow Lilah on her Face Book page: https://www.facebook.com/grreat.org/
Lilah is currently undergoing treatments and therapies to help her quality of life in hopes that she will be able to find her very own Forever Home someday. Click the button below to Sponsor Lilah, she would be most appreciative of your support