Mabel's Got a Big Heart

Mabel is a sweet and loving little 9 year old chihuahua who was surrendered to us mid-February this year.

When we got her, she appeared overweight and we assumed her breathing problems were directly related to her size. She also had a very strong scent of cigarette smoke. Mabel needed some updated vaccines and a check-up to ensure she was otherwise healthy. On the surface, everything seemed great - just that she needed to lose a little weight.

Mabel went to foster care with Rene & Kari and their three pups to help her socialize and work off some of the excess weight. Over the first few days, they realized there was something amiss about her. Her urine smelled just awful, she had difficulties controlling her bladder, and more firghtening of all, she really struggled to breathe.

Rene & Kari took her to the vet to get some more extensive testing done to see what was going on. The initial x-rays showed Mabel had a back-up of feces in her system and an enlarged heart and liver. The uncontrollabe bladder was attributed to a VERY severe Urinary Tract Infection. She was prescripted a heavy broad-spectrum antibiotic to help with the oral infection and UTI. Much of these symptoms were easily writen off as she was previously on a poor quality of food (whatever was available at the Dollar Store).

Her UTI cleared up very well as did her oral infection. However this did not do a whole lot in clearing up her breathing difficulties. When Rene & Kari noticed she was wheezing on March 8, they arranged an immediate vet appointment for March 9. Additional x-rays were taken, and it was shown just how enlarged her heart and liver were.

In the photos included here, you will see that her heart is almost as big as her skull. Her liver is almost as big as an average man's hand.

Her heart is of the most concern. When the staff at Albany Veterinary Clinic inspect her teeth, they have to do it in short bursts because she will turn blue from lack of oxygen. Taking x-rays is a rapid thing, because she stops breathing when on her back or in any other position but upright.

Mabel's every breath takes so much effort and energy that she breathes as deep as she can so as to not need to breathe so often. She exhausts herself just walking from her kennel to the living room. As a result of the enlarged liver, she consumes a substantial amount of water to keep hydrated, and is known to be quite disoriented in her walk.

It is uncertain what has caused her heart to be enlarged but may even be related to her being a result of overbreeding. We need to get Mabel as healthy as possible.She deserves that.

The next steps we will be needing to take is to determine just how bad her heart is and if this is something that can be fixed. This means we have to send her for a cardiac ultrasound. We are getting quotes on this but we are asking that you let your heart be as big as Mabel's, and help her cause.

Throughout her recovery, we will be keeping everybody updated on her progress. She is a special girl and we hope she endears to your heart as much as she has to ours.

To Donate To Her Fund:

Simply click this link --> You will have an option to select either "General" or "Mabel's Heart Fund".