Lilly was almost dead when she was found on July 2nd, and I believe she would have died that day had she not been found & taken by a caring person to a vet. She weighed only 5 lbs 2 oz when found. Lilly came to us the next
day for foster care.
We attributed her condition to starvation, a diagnosis with which two vets concurred. She was so weak she could not walk more than a few steps before her hind legs gave way and she fell over. We began feeding her 1 tsp food
every hour, which we eventually increased, to 1 Tbsp every hour. Lilly had no problem keeping food down but water was another matter. Each time she drank, she regurgitated copious amounts of clear or frothy "slime".
Our vet believed Lilly might have swallowed something, which was causing an obstruction so an endoscopy was performed. It showed nothing of significance. During this exam, our vet found that one of Lilly's lower canines was growing into the roof of her mouth. She had hoped to remove the tooth but Lilly's small, fragile bone structure made that impossible, so off Lilly went to a doggie dentist. He found after x-raying her jaw, that one side is larger than the other, and that she had another tooth which prevented her from closing her mouth. The imbalance of her jaw has caused
her tongue to hang out the left side of her mouth. He pulled one tooth, did a root canal on the other, drilled down the entire tooth & sealed it. He thinks her jaw deformity was caused by a botched delivery. Lilly was found
in an area known for puppy mills. Lilly is unable to lick the right side of her face and occasionally carries
her left rear leg. We can find no cause for these conditions other than probable results of a bad birth.
Lilly began to gain weight but the water problem remained. Finally, 7 weeks after she came to us, she had a barium-swallow X-ray that finally gave us the cause of her basic problem. Lilly had megaesophagus, which is an enlarged esophagus that allows food or water to pool in the esophagus rather than passing through to the stomach. There is no cure for megaesophagus, although it sometimes reverses if it is caused by a primary condition, which is not the case with Lilly.
Since her diagnosis, we have done extensive research and found that the best method for dealing with her condition is to feed frequent small meals with the dog in an upright position, and then have the dog remain in that position for at least 20 minutes after eating. An adopter of ours (thank you Kim & Jordan Rose ) who has a Boston with similar symptoms sent us photographs of her Boston standing in a mail box for her meals. We got a mailbox for Lilly, and it is working really well for her. In addition to helping with her megaesophaugs problem I think the standing position is helping to strengthen her leg, since she seldom carries it any more, in fact, Lilly can jump at least a foot straight up with no problem, and she can run like a gazelle. She is a little ballerina.
Lilly in her new highchair
We feed Lilly 4 times a day, a third of a cup of food every 4 hours, and then an ounce and a half of water with a syringe orally 2 hours after each feeding. Lilly is also receiving two supplements to help her gain weight and strength. It is our hope that Lilly will be able eventually to cut back to three feedings a day, but there is no guarantee of this.
Lilly is also being treated for a staph & yeast infection on her feet, which her vet feels was caused by her previous malnutrition.
Progress is being made, now that we know what to treat and how to treat it. As of her vet visit on September 27, Lilly weighs 10 lb 10 oz, a 100% increase since she came to us!
Lilly is a wonderful, loving, smart, typical Boston Terrier. In fact, I have to say I believe that Lilly is brilliant! Her eyes just gleam with intelligence. She loves toys, and loves to sit in our laps, and she is a real snuggle bunny. Lilly is house and crate trained.
If you would like to help us with Lilly's expenses (which now total more than $1200) please send donations to Lilly's sponsor, Boston Terrier Rescue Net, via PayPal to BTRN2000@insight.rr.com or by mail to:
P.O. Box 734
New Albany, Ohio
Please note in your donation that it is for Lilly. Your donation will be tax deductible to the full amount allowed by the law.
Lastly, but most certainly not least, we are looking for the perfect home for Lilly. Someone who will be able to devote the time needed to help Lilly but reap the wonderful rewards of love and companionship that she offers. If you would like more information please contact , and please put "Lilly" in the subject header.
April 23, 2007
Lilly is Ready for Her Forever Home
Those of you who have been following Lilly’s story know that she came into rescue in July 2006 and was later determined to have megaesophagus, a very small opening to the pylorus, demodectic mange, and a yeast infection. These conditions only became known over a period of months which delayed any treatment she needed, but the diagnosis was finally complete and Lilly began to receive the appropriate medicines in addition to the TLC she had been getting in her foster home all along. Now, nearly 10 months after her rescue began, Lilly is ready to be placed with a loving parent or family where she can get the special care she needs for the rest of her life.
Aside from the megaesophagus and pylorus conditions - which cannot be cured but can be treated and managed - Lilly is a happy, healthy (yes, healthy!), loving, and energetic Boston. She weighs 10 ½ lbs these days, twice her weight when she came into rescue, and she rarely has the "explosive" regurgitations that were regular events before her treatments began. The mange is gone, the yeast infection is gone, and she gets a dose of Cisapride 30 minutes before each meal to keep her megaesophagus under control, which it does to a large extent. She eats a combination of Wellness Fish and Sweet Potato (ground dry plus canned) and loves it, and it has been very good for her.
Lilly is now ready for the "right" home, that rare home where the people recognize her special needs and have the time and commitment to provide for them. She will never be totally free of her dribbling/spitting up/regurgitation condition, so she can’t just run loose in the home 100% of the time. (If she does, invest in large rolls of paper towels and the gallon size jug of stain remover!) She is content to spend much of her day in her comfy crate, but she does need and loves to be with people, especially sitting beside you or on your lap.
The perfect home for Lilly is one where the people are at home full-time or at least most of the time, where there are no other pets who need to have water or food trays out all the time (these are both no-no’s for Lilly, who has to get her food and water in her stand), and where the love for this special little girl makes it worth the time it takes to feed her, give her water, and watch her as she runs and jumps about, either in the house or in a fenced yard. She loves sunshine and warmth, and is not particularly fond of rain, snow, and cold weather. Lilly is a young dog (less than 3 years) and will have a long, happy, healthy life in a home that recognizes and sees to her needs.
Are you the person Lilly needs? If you think you may be, if you believe you can provide for her special needs and give her the stable, loving, permanent home she needs for many years to come, get in touch with us right away at BTRN2000@columbus.rr.com. Please include your phone number so that Lilly’s foster mom can contact you.
May 15, 2007
Lilly’s Story Continues
Many of you supported Lilly’s struggle for good health and a great home with your prayers and good wishes, and many supported her with monetary contributions that were applied to her considerable expenses.
We have taken what we believe is the next step in locating the right home for Lilly by placing her in an environment that has a much higher probability of finding a good home for her.
On Friday, May 4, 2007, we placed Lilly in the Saint Francis Animal Sanctuary.
Lilly has joined a dozen small dogs living in the owner’s home and will live there forever unless another family adopts her.
Follow-up telephone conversations with Debbie Parker, the sanctuary’s owner, confirm that Lilly is fitting in well with the other dogs and is eating well. Debbie says she has fallen in love with her new "baby".
We thank all of you who extended your prayers and provided financial support in getting Lilly to this point in her recovery, and we encourage you to continue to support her in her new home. You can show your support of Boston Rescue by sending contributions for Lilly to the sanctuary. (The sanctuary is non profit 501c3)
We will continue to track Lilly’s progress and will let you know of any further changes in her status. Also, BTRN will be posting another Special Needs dog shortly, and we hope you will help him or her as you have helped Lilly.