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#1388181 - 03/24/15 04:13 PM Neuro Damaged Suggie Zoey - The End...
TiPu Offline
Out of Pouch

Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 51
Loc: NY
Hey everyone,

This is a (long) message I had hoped I would not have to write for a few more years at least. For those of you have followed the saga with my girlie Zoey, know the many hardships and obstacles we have overcome together with her neurological damage.

This past Wednesday, I took her in for her 3 month checkup with my vet. Everything looked fantastic all things considered. Her weight was alright, but she had notably lost some muscle mass in her shoulders. Zoey has had difficulty adjusting to her amputation of 4 digits back in December, and did not really open her hands all too often. She has adjusted to mainly walking on her hind legs and sitting on her haunches and holding her front hands as if she was Mr. Burns from the Simpsons and planning something devious. Pretty cute really :-P. The vet noticed that one of her nails was poking into the paw of her hand, so they trimmed it and a little cut was left from the nail being slightly embedded into her paw. Nothing too major we thought.

Fast forward to this past Sunday night - Zoey was laying on her side looking really lethargic. I had fed her some of her food and massaged her for a little bit. Yesterday morning, I found her laying on her food plate. I rushed her to the vet a few hours later and we believe her paw got infected. There were other signs of some other things going on as well, and my vet recommended I take her to the Animal Hospital at Cornell University. Being Cornell has one of the top vet schools in the country, she knew they would have the resources to best help Zoey. I made the 2 hour trek from Rochester, NY down to Ithaca, NY and saw a wonderful exotic specialist named Dr. Reidel and her 3rd year student assistant. Zoey ended up staying down in Ithaca overnight, and I came back up to Rochester. They ran lab work (came back normal), but also did an extensive radiology exam. She made it through the night just fine, and got a call this morning telling me they were waiting on results from radiology. Tissues ready....

I got the second call and the specialists have discovered a mass in her left ear, which may explain the head tilt she's had from before I got her in 2011. The Dr. believes there may have been an ear infection that never properly healed or was deeper in her ear such that it wasn't noticeable. Zoey's upper spine is more or less like a staircase with some notable separation between the upper vertebrae near her neck. It is possible the attack from the other cage mate back in December was worse than any of us had thought, but it is impossible to tell. The Dr. believes Zoey's sudden deterioration is in part of an infection, but is a significant sign of the deterioration of her immune system from the progression of her neurological issues. The vet and radiologist were surprised Zoey was not paralyzed from the existing spinal damage and has managed as she has this long.

This is something that cannot be fixed.

The vet is currently looking at past x-rays from my Rochester vet to see if she can notice any changes or progression we may not have seen before. It's almost 5 pm here in Rochester and it's getting late for me to make the 2 hour trek back down to Cornell to meet the vet.

I was told I will likely have to say good bye tomorrow morning.

This is a decision that is for the sake of the quality of life for Zoey, and is one I really wish I could avoid. I recognize it is likely in her best interest to not prolong the inevitable, but d*mn it is tearing my insides apart. Considering all the dedication and accomplishments I have with Zoey compared to the other two girls, it is really really hard. The final decision has not been made as I'm waiting for the last call from the vet, but I was told probability is not in her favor.

I don't look forward to the 2 hour drive tomorrow because I know I'll likely be driving another 2 hours coming home with an empty cage. I am however happy that I was able to get Zoey to Cornell. Being a learning institution, all of her records and data will be kept and used for learning purposes for future veterinarians and specialists that go to the vet school. I know Zoey is a rare case with what she has dealt with in the last 5 years of her life; however, as a girl of science, I am comforted in knowing her experiences will help others learn and progress towards a better understanding of this species we love so much.

I wanted to thank everyone on here who has supported me on this journey. I'll continue to update where I can. *hugs*

Here is a picture the folks in my Rochester vet took last Wednesday for a photo contest. She may have won second place, but she'll always be first in my heart smile




Edited by TiPu (03/24/15 04:14 PM)
_________________________
The artsy engineer with a pouch full of cuteness

:bb: Amelia :grey: Aurora

:rbridge: Zoey

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#1388190 - 03/24/15 07:33 PM Re: Neuro Damaged Suggie Zoey - The End... [Re: TiPu]
Feather Offline
Administrator

Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 12068
Loc: Wisconsin
I am very sorry to hear that you may have to make that difficult, heart wrenching decision to ease her over the Rainbow Bridge.

hug2 hug2 hug2 hug2 hug2
_________________________
Kimberley
Feathers-Sweetie, Sklyar Blue, Mister Peanut, Big Mack & Ibo
Fur-Guinan, Mr. Spock, T'Mir, Micheal, Stevie, Cho & Maharet :bb: T'Pol, Elizabeth & Curzon :wfb: TY, TJ, Khayman & T'Pring :rtmo: O'Ryan :leu:
Forever in my heart, Gizmo, Tucker and the rest of my babies over the :rbridge:


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#1388202 - 03/24/15 08:33 PM Re: Neuro Damaged Suggie Zoey - The End... [Re: TiPu]
TiPu Offline
Out of Pouch

Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 51
Loc: NY
Hi Feather,

I appreciate your kind words. I'm sorry I posted such a long post, I needed the outlet to let out my thoughts smile

I got the final call about a half hour ago, and the vet and I made the collective decision it is in the best interest of Zoey to let her cross over the bridge. As alert and eager to eat as she is, she is unable to feed herself currently. It's also just too uncertain of the improvement in the quality of life they at Cornell or I can offer her. As dedicated as a mommy I am, I don't want to prolong a difficult life for her longer than I need to.

I have made the decision to donate Zoey to Cornell University so they may be able to perform a necropsy at their own discretion if they feel it would be a benefit to academia. The doctor mentioned there are a few researchers who are studying some scanning methods and other things where Zoey's condition will likely be of interest. She said that most likely they will be able to work with Zoey afterwards.

It's not news I want to give or have to think about, but I know it's in her best interest moving forward. I'm going in at 11 am tomorrow to take a final review of everything before we make our final decision. Thanks everyone for your support, I'll likely make a final post when we get to that point. <3
_________________________
The artsy engineer with a pouch full of cuteness

:bb: Amelia :grey: Aurora

:rbridge: Zoey

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#1388213 - 03/25/15 06:24 AM Re: Neuro Damaged Suggie Zoey - The End... [Re: TiPu]
mechnut450 Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 03/02/14
Posts: 594
Loc: Delaware
So sorry to read this. I have really become dedicated to sugar gliders in general in the just over a year we had ours. I get teary eyed just reading these kinds of post.

I even rescued and re homed several in the same time frame. I can never understand how people can just be like here and walk away without getting choked up a little.

TiPu you will alwys have the memories of your time with her so she never truely be gone.
_________________________
Freya, Leeloo, Muffin, ,Vino :grey:
Momo :plat:
Marshmallow :leu:
Sterling :cream:
Kahless :rtmo:

rehomed and missed Sasha, Sammi, Elda,

My opinion is not endorsed or reflected by my employer or others they are my personal thoughts. If you have issues with my post take it up with me!!!!

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#1388214 - 03/25/15 06:28 AM Re: Neuro Damaged Suggie Zoey - The End... [Re: TiPu]
Ladymagyver Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/07/14
Posts: 2110
Loc: SW Missouri
I was thinking of you and her just the other day wondering how she was doing. In her her picture above, she is so adorable. The perfect little tilt to her little head makes her look like she's listening. I'm so sorry she is so sick, but she will be in a better place over the rainbow bridge where there is no pain, and she can play and jump and glide like she was born to do.

Bless you for sharing and for being the person you are for caring and giving little Zoey the best possible care and comfort she deserved. Please know your time and love was never wasted on this little one. She knows she is loved and won't be forgotten...

hug2
_________________________
Dawn

https://www.facebook.com/uptilldawngliders/

Inhale the future...
Exhale the past...




Fiona :grey:
Dot :grey:

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#1388290 - 03/25/15 09:19 PM Re: Neuro Damaged Suggie Zoey - The End... [Re: TiPu]
TiPu Offline
Out of Pouch

Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 51
Loc: NY
Hello everyone,

Zoey has crossed the bridge peacefully this morning after strong consideration and discussion with the doctor who was taking care of her down in Cornell. I opted not to watch the procedure such that my last memory is of her contently curled up in my hands before handing her off one last time.

Cornell has graciously accepted my donation of Zoey to the veterinary school, and the veterinary radiology department are going to perform a full CT scan, at no charge to me, of Zoey so they may be able to take a closer look at her condition and the deformities in her spine and a calcified mass in her left ear. From there, they will decide if they want to perform a necropsy of the affected areas, and they will cremate her remains and send them back to me so I can provide a proper burial for her. The information collected will be kept for research purposes and be used to help teach other students of the species.

Thank you to those who have offered kind thoughts and words through this heavy situation I have had to endure. It's been a tough but valiant fight together over the past 3 years. March 31st marks Zoey's 5th birthday, I'll be sure to eat a few extra cherries in her honor.


_________________________
The artsy engineer with a pouch full of cuteness

:bb: Amelia :grey: Aurora

:rbridge: Zoey

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#1388293 - 03/25/15 09:48 PM Re: Neuro Damaged Suggie Zoey - The End... [Re: TiPu]
Terry Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 04/29/12
Posts: 4975
Loc: Maryland
Ah, I remember reading about Zoey, she has been in my prayers from time to time. I'm So sorry for your loss and for her failing condition that lead to your heartbreaking but love filled decision. Find peace in knowing she was a trooper, but even so was ready to have much deserved rest. Also, the knowledge she'll offer through your wise decision will benefit other gliders in the future, thanks to you for your thoughtful consideration of that matter in your time of sorrow.
_________________________
Lives with:
1 God
1 dog, (Willow)
2 Sugies, (Ollie & Skadoosh)
R.I.P. Lulu (2/28/12-10/13/17)

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#1388296 - 03/25/15 11:38 PM Re: Neuro Damaged Suggie Zoey - The End... [Re: TiPu]
Ladymagyver Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/07/14
Posts: 2110
Loc: SW Missouri
May the force be with you... sniff...sniff... :hbreak: :rbridge:

Thank you for sharing with us....
_________________________
Dawn

https://www.facebook.com/uptilldawngliders/

Inhale the future...
Exhale the past...




Fiona :grey:
Dot :grey:

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#1388323 - 03/26/15 07:31 PM Re: Neuro Damaged Suggie Zoey - The End... [Re: Ladymagyver]
theresaw Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 07/02/05
Posts: 310
Loc: United States
I am very sorry for your loss. I'm sure Zoey new how much you loved her and you gave her a very happy life. Thanks for trying to help others through your experience. Theresa

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#1388350 - 03/27/15 09:26 AM Re: Neuro Damaged Suggie Zoey - The End... [Re: TiPu]
Kris_N_Zoe Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 08/25/14
Posts: 1816
Loc: Longview, Texas
I'm so sorry you had to say goodbye to your baby, my heart breaks for you. :hbreak:

Glide free little Zoey. :rbridge:
_________________________
Pibble pup Jenson jump Glide free: Smoke (6/16/15) and Zoey (10/2/15) :rbridge:

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#1388380 - 03/27/15 02:12 PM Re: Neuro Damaged Suggie Zoey - The End... [Re: TiPu]
TiPu Offline
Out of Pouch

Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 51
Loc: NY
Hi Everyone,

I greatly, greatly appreciate the kind thoughts and words. It has helped me greatly to start moving forward from the events on Wednesday. smile <3

I got a call from Cornell a few moments ago, and they let me know that because I donated Zoey, they will not be charging me for her cremation and return of her ashes to me, in addition to the CT scan and necropsy that they were covering already. I had not expected this gesture and it made me well up a little bit.

If any of you have a little loved one that has been going through difficulties like Zoey has, I can't recommend Cornell enough for their expertise and genuine love and care for the work they do. If you're not in NY or close to the region, please consider benefiting other research institutions and vet schools to help them learn more about our loved ones. I can say the choice is not at all easy from a mommy standpoint, but for me it felt rewarding to help benefit others.

Thank you again everyone. Once I get the necropsy results, I'll post them here on the proper thread. Make sure to give your loved ones a little extra hug, things do change in an instant.

Love you all :love:
_________________________
The artsy engineer with a pouch full of cuteness

:bb: Amelia :grey: Aurora

:rbridge: Zoey

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#1388389 - 03/27/15 03:57 PM Re: Neuro Damaged Suggie Zoey - The End... [Re: TiPu]
Feather Offline
Administrator

Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 12068
Loc: Wisconsin
I am very sorry for your loss. May you find comfort and peace in your memories of her.

Glide Free Little Zoey :rbridge:
_________________________
Kimberley
Feathers-Sweetie, Sklyar Blue, Mister Peanut, Big Mack & Ibo
Fur-Guinan, Mr. Spock, T'Mir, Micheal, Stevie, Cho & Maharet :bb: T'Pol, Elizabeth & Curzon :wfb: TY, TJ, Khayman & T'Pring :rtmo: O'Ryan :leu:
Forever in my heart, Gizmo, Tucker and the rest of my babies over the :rbridge:


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#1388483 - 03/30/15 01:02 PM Re: Neuro Damaged Suggie Zoey - The End... [Re: TiPu]
Berg Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 09/04/09
Posts: 490
Loc: Champaign Co., Illinois
Tipu, our thoughts are with you. We have walked the same road as you (as I know many have) having to make the decision to let our gliders go. Two sisters that were rehomed to us developed mammary carcinoma, and we sought treatment at the University of Illinois Veterinary College. Our exotic vet was incredible - caring and willing to learn what we knew about our gliders and pursuing specific knowledge out the cancer affecting our girls. They eventually both underwent surgery, on the same day. One sister survived another 6 months before the cancer returned, and her sister 6 months after that. The staff at the U of I was skilled and compassionate. A research grant covered some of the vet costs, and in both cases the cost of the necropsy was covered. Our girls' case study was presented in a paper at an exotic vet conference this past fall. The sadness we felt on the loss of our girls was tempered by knowing that their case may help other gliders in the future.
_________________________
-Steve-

:grey: Foehn, CB, Rossby, Sprite, Flurry, and Pascal

gangel Virga 9-10-2012
gangel Cirrus 4-29-2013


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