Showing posts with label Charlie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Charlie. Show all posts

Friday, March 13, 2009

Charlie's Memory

For those of you who followed Charlie's tragic story I have some very happy news. Stephen Tschida of ABC 7, who has done a wonderful job of bringing both Charlie and Sam's stories to life, told me yesterday that he was contacted by a Chihuahua breeder who offered to donate a puppy to Charlie's owner. Dr. Minch called Charlie's owner yesterday to give her the good news and she is ecstatic. Since she has been having such a difficult time lately and we all loved Charlie dearly, Friendship is helping her by donating a puppy plan and new puppy essentials to her new pal. This will cover the cost of all his or her puppy visits, vaccines for the first year and fecal testing. We will also perform the spay/neuter surgery at no cost to the owner. While this new puppy will never replace Charlie we hope it will help ease the pain of losing him.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Goodbye to Charlie

I am very saddened to report that Charlie has passed away. He went peacefully and after a long fight; he is in a better place. I commend the entire hospital staff who worked tirelessly to ensure that he had the best possible care and every chance to survive this tragic ordeal. There is often death in veterinary medicine, and while you never get used to it you do learn to accept it. However, in cases like this where a sweet patient has a horrible disease that does not respond to treatment, it just breaks my heart. Goodbye Charlie, we will see you at the Rainbow Bridge.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Charlie - Day 6

Charlie remains in critical condition today. Thursday morning we were hopeful as he ate well but by the afternoon his seizures had worsened from focal facial seizures to more generalized, full body seizures. He responded initially to Valium which is used as an anti-convulsant, but soon after the seizures returned. We have tried the remaining anti-convulsant medication available with no success. His seizures have been waxing and waning in severity. Overnight and this morning he has been able to get some rest which is promising. In addition to his neurologic signs he is also having difficulty oxygenating his blood due to the severe damage to his lungs. To help with this he is in an oxygen tent and has a direct supply of nasal oxygen via a tube in his nose. We were able to place a feeding tube this morning which will help support his nutrition needs. Other than Thursday morning he has not eaten since the fire. The plan remains the same, aggressive supportive care and time.

We understand that Charlie's owner has been discharged from the hospital today and is planning to visit. We hope that contact with his owner will help Charlie keep fighting.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Charlie's Story

We have a heart-wrenching and very critical case in the hospital right now. Charlie is a one-year-old miniature pinscher that was caught in an apartment fire early Sunday morning. He and his owner awoke to a smoke-filled apartment after their stove exploded. Though it was difficult for her to breathe, Charlie’s owner saved her dog and herself by kicking out the air-conditioning window unit and jumping three stories to the ground--with Charlie in her arms.

DC Animal Control brought Charlie to Friendship for emergency care. When we first examined him, he was having difficulty breathing and could not open his eyes. Chest X-rays revealed severe damage from smoke inhalation. In addition, Charlie’s corneas were damaged by heat and exposure to smoke. We placed him in an oxygen tent and started aggressive supportive care.

Meanwhile, emergency medics rushed Charlie’s owner to a nearby human hospital, where she was placed in an induced coma so doctors could address her multiple pelvic fractures. Not surprisingly, her lungs severely damaged from smoke inhalation.

Here at Friendship, we are all in awe of how this heroic woman saved her dog. When we learned that she had recently been laid off from her job, and that she would not be able to afford Charlie’s extensive veterinary bills, we found a way to help: We turned to Friendship’s Brudder Sullivan Fund, which will now cover the cost for the majority of Charlie’s care.

Earlier this week, Charlie seemed to be improving: he was alert, responsive, and breathing more comfortably. On Wednesday morning, however, he took a drastic turn for the worse, developing blindness and seizures. These symptoms are consistent with Delayed Neurologic Sequela, a term used in human medicine for a condition that has been seen to occur 3 to 200 days after severe smoke inhalation. Human doctors do not know if it is caused by lack of oxygen to the brain, carbon monoxide or cyanide toxicity. Prognosis for recovery is 50/50.

We are doing our best but all we can do now is hope that Charlie will pull through this. He is receiving constant, 24-hour care from Friendship’s amazing technicians and his doctor - Hannah Minch - has been at his side constantly. As of Thursday morning he ate for the first time since the accident, which is promising. He is receiving medications to control his seizures as well as pain medication, antibiotics, fluid, and oxygen therapy. Charlie is a brave little dog in very serious condition. I will be posting daily updates on his progress, so please check the page often.


Please check back in Thursday afternoon for Charlie's full story and update, in the meantime you can see ABC's coverage at: