College of Veterinary Medicine Home Pet Loss Hotline
  Maya-Temis 11-3-03 to 2-4-04

I don't know where to begin. Dearest Maya-Temis came into our lives a few short weeks ago and left us on Wednesday during surgery to repair what was believed to be a porto-systemic shunt that was causing severe hepatic encephalopathy. She was on lactulose and a liver disease diet and she rebounded beautifully although all her symptoms did not totally disappear they were greatly improved. It was almost hard to believe that she was the same dog.

  The Ultra-sound didn't find an intrahepatic shunt so it was believed that there was an extrahepatic one. When in surgery it was revealed that Maya-Temis had a very, very small underdeveloped liver that was nutmeg in color. At 17.8# her liver was smaller than that of a 4# Yorkie that had shunt surgery the day before. The surgeon took a liver biopsy and while closing, her heart stopped and could not be started again. She was 12 weeks and 1 day old, yet she had stolen our hearts. Rationally we know that we did everything we could form test, medications, and surgery to try and give her a good life but emotionally we're a mess.

Initially we had gotten her to help an older dog of ours, Loki, that was developing separation anxiety and was becoming severely depressed. When he joined our family he was one of 3 dogs, the other 2 have since died of old age (13, 15) and his best friend Nellie had moved away. At first Loki was the grumpy old man but she soon won him over and they began to play. Loki came back to life again and the cats were warming up to her. Maya-Temis was only in our house for 24 days but oh what a presence she was.

I know that we will get past this, as 8 of our other furries have passed on, but this one is so much more painful. The surgery was just supposed to be a blip in the road along the way to a happy and healthy life, not the end. We're trying to take comfort in that she went out happy and playful, not deteriorated into the blindness, lockjaw, drooling, quivering and terrified pup he had been, I know someday that will happen, but now it's too painful. It's almost like we took that happy playfulness away from her, even though the vet says her prognosis was very poor and she probably wouldn't have lasted much more than a couple weeks.

Thank you for listening. Temis is the native Maliseet Indian Language means, my ally, my friend. That name was bestowed upon her by a wonderful medicine woman who could see something special in this little one.


Posted Feb 18, 2004     |     Printer Friendly Version