We have a wonderful patient story to share with you today, featuring Piper, the resolute little beagle. Piper came to VCA SFVS on Easter Sunday with intestinal bleeding. (She is thankfully on the road to recovery.)
Here, Piper’s human companion David tells us a little more about this special beagle. Thank you, David and Mark, for sharing this story and the photos, for the volunteer work you do, and for being great friends to the animals!
We’ve been a two-beagle family for about 15 years. When our 13-year-old beagle Claire died in April 2011, our other beagle, Josie, seemed to enjoy being the center of attention, so we put off finding her a companion from Nor Cal Beagle Rescue. We’re regular volunteers with that rescue organization. Our role is beagle transport – usually from a shelter to a foster home.
That’s how we happened to meet Piper, a three-legged beagle. We offered to drive her from a temporary home near San Jose to a foster home in Sacramento. She was found abandoned, living in a field in San Jose. A real survivor – overflowing with that great beagle spirit.
About halfway to her new foster home, we realized what a uniquely wonderful dog she is and decided on the spot to head for San Francisco instead, and offer her a forever home with us. Because she came to us without a documented history, we don’t know much about her past. From the scar above her missing back leg, we believe she was hit by a car. We think she is about 8 years old, but she refuses to confess her real age so we’re not certain.
We live in a third-floor walkup loft – no passenger elevator, so we were prepared to do a lot of carrying up and down. Turns out she can easily maneuver going down the stairs and only needs a lift up. It only took her a few days to decide that our bed was where she preferred to spend the night. Josie was very gracious about that – the only problems we encounter are food-related – beagles, you know!
On Easter Sunday, Piper came down with some awful kind of intestinal bleeding so we zipped her off to VCA SF Veterinary Specialists to find out what was going on. Dr. Hansen quickly diagnosed Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis, a condition that can be life-threatening if not treated, and put her on IV fluids. (We got to see the X-rays he took, which showed a pin in her remaining back leg – confirming our suspicions that she most likely was hit by a car.)
She quickly rallied and was able to come home the following Tuesday. We got to visit her Monday night and take her for a spin around the block. We only live two blocks away, so she got to meander around her old stomping ground.
We love that little dog and are so grateful for the excellent care she received during this recent health emergency – thanks to everyone from the staff at the front desk to Dr. Hansen and Dr. Maretzki and the entire medical team that took care of her.
Other members of our extended family include our cat Edie, our tortoise, our canary, our Cordon Bleu finch, and our tropical fish – all living amicably together in 600 square feet.
Perfect, given that this town is named after Francis of Assisi.
- Learn more about hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE)
- See a list of situations that could be considered an emergency for your pet
- Visit Nor Cal Beagle Rescue online
Would you like your dog or cat to be featured in our Patient Stories series? Please email us for information. We look forward to hearing from you!