Simon – August 10th, 2017

3/6/13: Meet Simon, a four month old puppy, we took to GVS with a liver problem. He is not doing well, undergoing evaluation right now. Hoping we can save him. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. He is critically ill. Simon had been previously evaluated (by his breeder) with blood work and was thought to have a liver shunt. No other work up was performed. After finding out how expensive surgical repair would be, she contacted rescue. In the last 12 hours his condition deteriorated considerably and when he was picked up today, he was taken directly to GVS. We have gotten the worst possible news regarding his condition. Ultrasound demonstrated that he has multiple internal liver shunts. There is no surgical correction for this condition; complicating his case is that he has developed a condition called Portal hypertension (blood pressure is too high running through the liver), probably stealing blood from his intestines. There is a chance that if we got the hypertension under control, we could medically manage his liver shunts, but prognosis is poor. We have decided to begin treatment tonight to get him comfortable and reassess his response in the morning. His condition at this point is grave, but we have to at least try to give him a chance. I have asked GVS to not use extraordinary means to keep him alive during the night if God should call him to the bridge. Thank you Valerie, Cheryl and Bonnie for getting this sweet boy to safety. Thank you Cheryl for making the decision to get him to GVS ASAP. Stephanie was only able to spend a short time with him this evening for some heavy duty cuddling!! He had to get back on his IV fluids. On an up note, the tech’s did report that he ate dinner this evening. We’ll take that
Update 3/7/13 am: Just spoke with GVS. Our boy is doing much better this morning. Ate well and went potty this morning. A bit more alert as well. Hoping we can bring him home soon. (possibly tomorrow).  He is on special food, lactulose and now metronidazole. We’ll be starting him on Milk Thistle as well when he gets home.
Update 3/7/13 pm: Simon is doing very well today; he looks perfect on the outside but has a terrible problem in his liver. Liver shunts can be treated with surgery if they are external. Internal liver shunts can now also be treated but there is no surgical treatment for multiple internal liver shunts; this is the condition effecting Simon. This condition is medically treatable for a short time but ultimately will lead to his death (in months). We can only pray that between now and that awful day a new technique will become available to save this baby’s life.
Update 3/8/13: Simon was able to leave GVS to go to his foster home.  He scheduled to visit UGA on the 19th. We will be met by the internal medicine vet, a radiologist and the surgeon. He will undergo another ultrasound first, then possibly more specific radiographic tests to assess the extent of the shunts. If something can be done, and he is stable at that time, we will proceed with whatever treatment is deemed necessary, or we will make arrangements to take him to wherever he needs to go for more cutting edge treatment. If he should become sick before that date he will be admitted immediately, stabilized and the work up performed. Thanks to some wonderful supporters of GEBR, there have been phone calls made all over the US today, consults obtained from many (even one from the top of a ski slope in Utah) all concluded that we needed more information before any final decisions or prognosis was made.
Update 3/12/13: Our sick little baby boy is a SPITFIRE. We were proud of the progress he made after 24 hours at GVS, but he’s doing even better now. Barking, whining, demanding attention, playing and then (to everyone’s delight) sleeping peacefully.
Update 3/20/13: Simon has been at UGA since yesterday and underwent another ultrasound, along with a CT scan today. Things are looking promising from an x-ray standpoint but there appears to be some type of underlying liver disease, the extent of which is still up in the air. There will be a meeting of the minds tomorrow to discuss all the findings and make recommendations. Will possibly need a liver biopsy before we will know for sure that he can undergo any procedures to correct the shunt.
Update 3/21/13: Simon is a candidate for Percutaneous transvenous coil embolization of portosystemic shunts.  He will have to wait until he is six months old to have the surgery.  He will be going to NYC to have the surgery. Here’s the article about the procedure that Simon will be having. It was also written by the vets who will be doing the procedure.  Copy and paste this link into your browser
Update 3/23/13: Simon got his Bully Blanket this past weekend!  He is doing great! He is responding well to the medicines and getting stronger each day. We were originally told that he had an internal shunt with portal hypertension and multiple acquired shunts in the left abdomen. They said he was not a candidate for a coil. Basically told to feed him the protein free food and take the multiple medication until he began to fail. Only treatment was medical. After an extensive work up at UGA he has only an internal shunt. No portal hypertension and no acquired shunts so he is a candidate for the coil procedure. All vets at UGA and in NY agree that he is the perfect candidate for the procedure.  He and Stepany will travel to NYC in early May so that he can have the surgery.
Update 5/16/13: Simon had his surgery in NYC on Wednesday and has made his way back to GA and is now at his new foster home.  He had 12 coils put into the shunt that will hopefully close it off over the next month.  He will have blood work done in a month so Dr Weiss can evaluate the success of the coils.  Until then he will remain on all of his meds and prescription food. If his blood work looks good then we will begin the wean him off one of his meds.  If he does well with this then we will wean him off the other.  If he continues to do well we will transition him from prescription food to Taste of the Wild.  Once he has grown and gained weight he will be neutered. But if his blood work does not come back normal we will come up with a new plan.  He may have to have additional coils added or remain on meds.  For now he is enjoying life and growing bigger and stronger each day.
Below is an outline of Simons Road Trip.  Please visit “Simons Road Trip” album on our Facebook page to see more photos of his trip. I picked up Simon from his foster home in Conyers on Monday evening.  He and Amanda spent the night at my house and we got on the road at 6.30am on Tuesday.  Around 8pm that night we arrived at my mothers in PA.  The weather was bad so the trip took longer than expected.  Simon did great for the entire ride!  The next morning we left PA at 6am and drove to NY for Simon’s 9.30am appt.  After meeting with Dr Weisse and Dr Nunley it was decided that Simon would have surgery later that day.  Of course the rain followed us to NY but Amanda and I had our GEBR umbrellas to keep us dry!  Simon had surgery around and 2.30pm and was then moved to ICU for the night. He did great overnight and was moved out of ICA around 10am on Thursday.  We were able to visit him then!  He had some diarrhea and was a little out of it when we got there so Dr Weisse suggested we take him outside for some fresh air.  The fresh air helped and by the time we got back into the hospital room he was crawling all over us and chewing our fingers. He spent Thursday night at the hospital and was released around noon on Friday.  Our friend Michelle who lives in NY came to the hospital to meet Simon.  Then we got back in Wally Wagon and drove to my mothers in PA.  We spend the evening there then got on the road the next day around 11am and drove to our friends house in NC.  Simon enjoyed meeting Cristi, Roger, Hershey, Deuce and Yogi.  He had another great night.  The following afternoon we headed back to GA.  I took Simon to his new foster home where he met his new bullie foster sister Georgia and his foster parents Michelle and Brian.  He has settled in nicely and is enjoying his new life. It was a long week but worth it!  Dr Weisse, Dr Nunley and the entire staff that we met at The Animal Medical Center were fantastic.  They made us feel comfortable with everything and they took great care of Simon.  I’m told he spent most of his stay at the hospital in people’s arms and not in a crate. Thank you Donna Gastinger (my mom) and the Satterfield’s for allowing us to stay with you.  When I originally made plans to do this trip I was planning to do it alone.  I have done the drive to PA alone many times and it does get kind of boring!  When Amanda offered to come along I was thrilled; it made the drive and caring for Simon a lot easier.  So thank you Amanda for coming with me. And to everyone that has donated to Simon’s care appreciate all of you for making this possible. And of course to our friend “Big Papa” for looking out for Simon, for donating to his care and for negotiating a rescue discount on our behalf. ~ Stephanie
Update 5/25/13: Simon went to see Dr Ross for a check up and to get his shots. He has gained two pounds and is doing great. He goes back in two weeks for a complete blood count and chemistry panel.
Update 6/17/13: Simons blood work came back and we are able to wean him off his meds and his prescription food. We will monitor his closely for change during this process and if he has a bad reaction we will consult with Dr Weisse. This will take four weeks and then he will has his blood work checked again four weeks after he is off all meds and on regular food. At that point we can discuss neutering him.
Update 7/12/13: Simon is off both of his meds a d prescription food! So far so good! If he continues to do well he will have a recheck of his bloodwork in four weeks. If it looks good then we can move forward with neuter.
Update 8/20/13: Simon has been neutered.  We are waiting on results from another blood test then he will be adopted by his foster parents.
Update 9/29/13: It has been a long 7 months for Simon but he has finally been cleared for adoption! His foster parents singed the paperwork last night and made it official. Congrats Simon, Michelle, Brian and Georgia Belle!
August 10, 2017 – Simon crossed the rainbow bridge unexpectedly in his sleep.  Please keep his family in your thoughts.  Rest in peace Simon.
Guardian Angels:
R Williams
D & B Howell
G & J Bethenod
S & L Karp
Bully Blanket
K & P Craft
D Baker
D Weiss
Baillargeon Family
S Chandler
T Aucoin & T Transou
R Harris
D & B Howell
W Stewart
T Helms and J Iannini
T McMillan
J Berkwitt
R Harris
P Kasparek
N Jabbar
K Pope
C Berman
P Ferell
L Aldridge
M Patrick
P Hochuil
R Stites
J Howard
M Snyder
T Helms and J Iannini
W Olnhausen
J Ellis
T Barker
J Ellis Carver
A Castella
S & H Tanner
C Kubik
Thriving Heart Counseling & Consulting
A Rawl
S Kyle
C & T DeMars
H Dickinson
J Menzoian
Y Burton
We would like to thank the following people for being a part of the auctions held to raise money for Simon’s surgery.

Moor Lutz for creating and donating the canvas photo of  Simon and Lucie Kanikova for placing the winning bid of $150

Roger and Cristi Satterfield for donating the Bulldog DogKnocker and Ron and Sonja Rice for placing the winning bid of $300

Huey and Anne Wheeler for creating and donating the Bulldog face jug and to Anne Nelson for placing the winning bid of $500

click photos to enlarge