I just received a call from VCA About Our Little Lilibet. It’s Not Good News. I Am So Very Sorry.

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Thursday Evening, October 13, 2022

Gem of the Day: “Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them and filling an emptiness we didn’t ever know we had.” Thom Jones

Dear Small Pawsers,

If you missed the first three newsletters about Lilibet, here they are.

First Newsletter 

Second Newsletter

Third Newsletter

It is with a broken heart that I write to you this morning about our darling “Lilibet”.

I received a call this morning from Dr. Karuhn, DVM, at VCA Aurora, near Chicago. They have cared for so many of our Small Paws rescues over the years. Our little girl took a turn for the worst, this morning.

This is a letter we just received from her doctors. They told me that several veterinarians at VCA Aurora had seen Lilibet and they all agreed.

“VCA Aurora Animal Hospital
2600 West Galena Blvd. | Aurora, IL 60506 | 630-301-6100
(57918) | Lilibet | Canine (Maltese Mix) | White | F: I | 8y (10/14/2014

Dear Small Paws Rescue,
Lilibet was transferred to our care on 10/14/22. On presentation, Lilibet has a severe heart murmur and harsh lung
sounds on both sides. Lilibet began treatment at the primary veterinarian for suspected heart failure +/- pneumonia.
She had been started on a medication to help remove fluid from her lungs (furosemide) and antibiotics for potential
pneumonia at this veterinarian. A side effect of the furosemide medication, is increased kidney values. Prior to starting
this medication, Lilibet had bloodwork performed that did not show increased kidney values, however, since starting
this medication Lilibet’s kidney values have risen to abnormal limits. We withheld giving Lilibet additional furosemide
last night in attempt to see if her kidney values would improve. However, this medication is needed to treat her heart
failure. She was hospitalized in an oxygen cage and started on a medication to help increase contractility of her heart
and we continued antibiotic medication in case she had pneumonia. We discussed that we recommend Lilibet have an
echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) to determine the exact cardiac abnormality. We discussed that we presume,
Lilibet has mitral valve disease, which is common in older small breed dogs. We discussed that although we need an
echocardiogram, we have already instituted therapy to try to get Lilibet out of congestive heart failure. We discussed
that even if we get Lilibet out of congestive heart failure at this point, she will likely go into congestive heart failure
again in the future. We discussed that she would need continued care with a cardiologist and life time medications.
Additionally, Lilibet has mammary masses. When discussing canine mammary masses, we discussed that 50% of canine
mammary masses are malignant, and 50% of those mammary masses have spread at the time of diagnosis. We
expressed concern that Lilibet may have had metastatic spread of these masses. We recommended chest x-rays and
abdominal ultrasound.
Lilibet has had chest x-rays performed on 10/14/22. Initially, we discussed that we believed the lung patterns were
indicative of congestive heart failure and that we did not see obvious metastatic disease. We discussed that a
radiologist would still evaluate her x-rays. The radiologist has reviewed her x-rays and has deemed that they are
concerning for congestive heart failure and potential for metastatic spread of Lilibet’s mammary tumors. It was
recommended to have repeated chest x-rays after controlling her heart failure.
Lilibet had an abdominal ultrasound performed on 10/14/22 did not show overt evidence of metastatic disease.
Overnight, Lilibet had several episodes of coughing and a blood clot was found in Lilibet’s cage. It is unclear where
exactly the blood clot came from, however, we suspect that Lilibet coughed up this blood clot. Additionally, Lilibet is
currently oxygen dependent and is unable to leave the oxygen cage for extended periods of time.
We discussed that in order to improve Lilibet’s increased kidney values, we would have to give Lilibet fluids to help
rehydrate her. We discussed that by giving her fluids we would worsen her heart disease. Furthermore, if we give her
medications (fursemide) to help with her congestive heart failure, this would further worsen her kidney values. We
discussed that due to this, we are at a stalemate at what to do next to best help Lilibet as every option has
consequence. We discussed that due to her comorbidities, we suspect it would be very difficult to maintain her cardiac
disease. We believe euthanasia would be the best choice for her.
Meagan Karuhn, DVM
Rachel Kantola, DVM”

Since Lilibet had multiple comorbidities, a grade 5-6 Heart Murmur, Congestive Heart Failure, secondary kidney disease due to the fluid treatments for congestive heart failure, probably metastasis to the lungs from breast cancer, had become oxygen dependent, and had thrown a blood clot, our Board of Trustees and I just gave the order to let her go home to God.

Though I am heartbroken, as I know many of you are, I want to thank you for your thoughts, kind words, and prayers, while we tried to save her.

We got this e-mail from long time Small Pawser in Florida, Deb Smith. Deb was hoping to be able to fly to Chicago and take Lilibet home with her for whatever time she had left. I called her before writing this newsletter and this was her response. 

On 10/15/2022 9:53:42 AM, debsmithhomes@aol.com <debsmithhomes@aol.com> wrote:

The Lord calls & says follow me. Leave all behind & follow me   I waited a day after I saw the post about her, but the feeling grew stronger that I was supposed to try.

I am heartbroken but I also know she is at peace in the fields of Heaven.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of her story..  she would have been deeply loved for the rest of her days had she made it.
There is a reason, it will present itself soon enough.  
Godspeed Lilibet.
I also want to thank Anna at Girrado Stray Rescue in Chicago. They offered to get her a second opinion, if needed, for her and to give her a hospice foster home.
Sara Rhodes, our IL. Team Leader, wondered if Lilibet’s owner had possibly brought her into CACC, as a stray, because of her illness. She had been groomed and had pink bows in her hair.
Though we knew Lillibet for just a few days, she changed us all. She was loved by thousands.
She is at peace now in the Arms of our Lord.
And she knows all about it, now. She knows she was loved. Godspeed precious girl. We will hold you and love you on the Other Side.
All My Love and Tears, Robin
“Lilibet” Small Paws 2014-2022