In the few weeks that have passed since we rescued Grace, the five year old Pit Bull clinging desperately to life after years of neglect and abuse, there have been many moments when we feared she might not pull through. In hindsight, we should never have doubted her tenacity, spirit and strength of character.
Although trying to control Grace's diabetes and increase her weight were our primary objectives, it was also vital to confirm the tumors on her body were benign and that she did not have any internal signs of cancer. Last week, Grace visited Dr. Feldman in West Hollywood for an extensive exam that included an ultra sound, x-rays, blood work and urine tests. It was an extremely anxious wait.
We were delighted to discover her visible fibroid type tumors were non-cancerous and that the scans did not show any internal abnormalities. Although the tests did not rule out the possibility that some small aggressive tumors could be hiding, it was a huge relief to get such positive results and extremely good news for Grace's long term health. We were also buoyed by the news that she had gained six lbs in weight since entering our care.
Unfortunately, it was not all good news. Dr. Feldman's medical examination revealed a rare parasite had infected Grace, one that could only be cure with human antibiotics. He immediately prescribed a course of medication to treat the problem. Her blood sugar levels also remained extremely high, an issue that will be ongoing until she is spayed and hormones are removed from her body.
This week, Grace has been transferred to a wonderful animal sanctuary where she is receiving round-the-clock medical care to help regulate her blood sugar levels and gain weight, so that her body is able to cope with the rigors of spay surgery and the removal of her tumors. It will be at least a month before this can take place. Her blood sugar level on admission was down to 274 (which is still high) and she has been placed on short term insulin in order to constantly adjust the dosage to get her stabilized.
Initially, her doctors at the sanctuary were checking glucose hourly and giving Insulin R as needed in addition to her NPH insulin shots given twice daily. This process has now changed to every 2 hours as she is responding well to treatment. Intake lab work also showed some elevation of liver enzymes consistent with diabetes but her thyroid is normal. Hemp oil and SAM-e are being administered for liver support.
Yesterday Grace was screened for Cushing's Disease with an ACTH stimulation test, as approximately 25% of diabetics are also Cushing patients and her distended abdomen raises the index of suspicion. Results from the tests are currently pending.
Staff at the sanctuary report that Grace is happy, wagging her tail and jumping around. She loves going outside into the hospital runs for several hours and has developed a keen appetite for food!
Since sharing Grace's story, the outpouring of compassion and love for her has been amazing. Her story captured hearts and we would like to profoundly thank everyone who has helped to support her care and medical treatment. We are truly grateful to everyone who has held her in their thoughts and prayers.
Grace's struggle is far from over, but we are extremely hopeful that in the coming weeks and months she will make a full recovery and in the future, find a loving, forever home, to call her own. She is an amazing creature who has shown nothing but love to all those around her.