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Eddie Gonnerman

Pictures with Eddie is Tech CJ.

Born in June of 1998, Eddie is one of our longest-lived patients at Pets & Friends. He was tough from the beginning. He didn’t let losing a front leg after being hit by a car at one year of age slow him down. He lived a very healthy and happy life, until December of 2015. Eddie presented around Christmas for weakness, diarrhea, and decreased appetite. According to his owners, he had eaten some bacon, but nothing else unusual had occurred. His blood work demonstrated increases in his liver enzymes. On physical exam he had a heart murmur, so X-rays of his chest and abdomen were taken. His heart was somewhat enlarged but there was no evidence of congestive heart failure.

Eddie was started on a medication called Denamarin which contains anti-oxidants that help to support the liver. He was also started on a heart medication that opens up blood vessels, making it easier for the heart to pump blood throughout the body. He seemed to be improving, but about a week later his appetite decreased again. He also began having an occasional seizure and vomiting. Repeat blood work showed that his liver values had skyrocketed and his kidney values were also increased. Eddie was hospitalized on intravenous fluids, injectable antibiotics, and Pepcid, a medication that helps with stomach upset. He was treated at Pets & Friends during the day, then transferred to our local emergency hospital, Pueblo Area Pet Emergency Hospital at night so that his treatment would be uninterrupted. Anti-nausea medication was added to his IV fluids to help him feel more like eating.

Eddie’s owners and doctors were very concerned about his ability to recover from this serious illness. We were unsure of what was causing his symptoms, but suspected pancreatitis or acquired liver shunts (in which the blood bypasses the liver so that toxins are not filtered and removed). And he was already 17-1/2 years old! But he wasn’t ready to give up just yet. His owners opted to continue treatment at home after several days of hospitalization, thinking he might be more willing to eat there. They tried giving his subcutaneous (SQ) fluids at home, but he was less than thrilled with this, so they brought him to the clinic every day so that our technicians could administer them.

Because Eddie continued to have occasional seizures, he was prescribed Keppra (levetiracetam), an anti-seizural agent to be used on an as-needed basis due to its quick onset of action.

Eddie and his owners were still determined to continue treatment and gradually his blood values began to improve. The last time they were checked both his liver and kidney values were near normal! He continues to come to the clinic twice weekly for his fluid therapy but he is now eating like a champ. Eddie celebrated his 18th birthday with his dedicated and loving family in June. We hope he continues to be well and happy until 20 and beyond!