Cicelia’s Summer Illness

September 15, 2012
By , Scottsdale, AZ
Cicelia is my two year old teacup Maltese who is an absolute doll. This dog runs around, plays all day, and is always happy. That was until this previous July. We didn’t know what was wrong with her. She wasn’t energized and barely moved. Cicelia also would not eat anything.

The next day, my mom and I took her to the vet. The vet didn’t diagnose her with anything and filled her stomach with some fluids. The vet thought she just had a stomach bug or possibly an obstruction. We brought her home, the next morning she looked like she was on deaths door. The fluids the vet put in her didn’t help her condition. She was significantly worse. This frightened my mom and me.

We started researching online about illnesses and diseases Maltese are susceptible to. Cicelia had no energy, was very weak, and would not eat. We came across pancreatitis which often occurs in humans. Immediately we took her back to the vet and he diagnosed her with pancreatitis with a blood test. My mom and I were outraged that he didn’t take more time to properly diagnosis her the day before. The vet gave us some instructions on how to treat her. Besides being completely outraged at the vet, we were also relieved that she didn’t have an obstruction.

The following two weeks we had to give her water through a syringe every hour with corn syrup dissolved in the water to keep her blood sugar level. We also had to give her a mixture of chicken broth and instant mashed potatoes every few hours through a syringe since she refused to eat on her own. She was getting better but there wasn’t a serious improvement in her health. We started to notice that when she walked her knees were turning awkwardly. It looked as if she had dislocated her knee. This was distressing to us, because she still was not recovered from the pancreatitis.

We were concerned and started an online research for veterinarians that specialize in chiropractic care and acupuncture; which led us to Dr. Julie Mayer. My mom started emailing with her about Cicelia’s condition. My mom set up an appointment for Cicelia to see Dr. Mayer. During the appointment, Dr. Mayer spent a lot of time examining Cicelia, especially feeling her legs for any signs of dislocation or broken bones. The end result was that Cicelia had lost a significant amount of her muscle during the pancreatitis attack. She was born with luxating patellas which is also known as ‘floating knee caps.’ Dr. Mayer put her on special diet to increase her protein to strengthen her muscles and ligaments. She also gave us a long list of exercises to do with her daily as physical therapy. It was such a great feeling relief finding out that she was going to be fine with the diet and exercise regimen.

The next three weeks Cicelia was in the pool two times a day doing swimming exercises and climbing piles of pillows to strengthen her muscles and ligaments holding the knee caps in the track. The ‘work outs’ were actually fun for her and she has been doing very well. Dr. Mayer and my mom continued to email to adjust the diet and exercise for Cicelia. We are so proud of her, in the last three weeks Cicelia is eating and acting like her old self. She still needs a special diet and daily exercise to continue to rebuild her muscles.

Cicelia recently had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Mayer. Dr. Mayer was so impressed with how diligent we followed her treatment plan that she expects a full recovery. She was absolutely astonished on how well Cicelia had improved. Her saying that about my dog gave me great relief.

This whole experience has been nerve-wracking but I’m so glad she is almost back to normal. The past two months have been very tedious caring for her, but the accomplishment I feel saving her is immense. Pancreatis is an extremely painful condition for a human let alone my little five pound dog. I am so proud of myself and my mom for working so hard to help Cicelia have a complete recovery.





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