S'Dandi Shih Tzu
All Rights Reserved
2000 - 2008
Sally and Dick Watkeys
8235 Outer Drive South
Traverse City, MI 49684
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S'Dandi Shih Tzu
Just BePaws . . .
Something was definitely wrong! We were on the road where the furry kids use hospital pads in the shower to go potty while we are driving. Suddenly, I noticed one spot was really orange. At first, I didn’t really pay much attention, but when it continued, it was time to discover which dog had the problem. After investigation, Orie, our first bred-by champion, was the culprit. Something was DEFINITELY wrong. He had also stopped inhaling his food, barely picking at it.

As soon as we got to our destination in Illinois, I made a quick trip with a urine specimen to one of the vets recommended by the show committee. After examination, the vet, who seemed knowledgeable, advised admitting Orie for the day and probably night, as well, for IV fluids, further blood work and monitoring. His urine tests showed a high level of Bilirubin, high enough to alert the vet to a severe liver problem. He was also beginning to show a jaundiced color inside his mouth, eyewhite and on his tummy. So, shaken, I left my wonderful boy at an unknown veterinary clinic. Blood tests would be available in a few hours.

After what seemed like an eternity, I called for the results. All liver enzymes were very high, but Orie wouldn’t leave the catheter in his leg and was aggitated in the crate. You see, he hasn’t been crated in years-not since he finished his title. He is a house/bed dog who loves every minute of his life with us. He takes long walks with Dick every morning at the campgrounds; runs the house, yard and RV freely; is secure enough in his place in the group, that he rarely causes any confrontations and loves life. He is a “real gentlemen.”

I was told to come get him, that they had administered Sub-Q fluids. I translated that to mean that there wasn’t much they thought they could do for him. I hurried to bring him home accompanied by a bag of l/d food. He wouldn’t eat that either.

The next morning, we took him back for more fluids to hold him for the day and decided to leave after ringtime the following day for home and our own vet. I let all the other competitors know we wouldn’t be there the next day and the reason why.

At home my vet examined, probed, looked at the blood results, did an X-ray and set an appointment for a Bile Acid test the following day. It seemed forever for those results to come back. They were also high. Orie’s liver was shutting down and no one could give me the reason why.

I fixed homemade low-protein food, tried the l/d food again, cooked chicken, ground beef, anything to try to entice him to eat. He just didn’t feel good enough to try.

Then, I decided to call Marina Zacharias in Oregon. I had read that she could do miracles with problems like Orie’s as well as many other health issues. It was a chance.

Marina responded in her wonderful, cheerful way. After I related the above facts, along with the results of the veterinary tests we had done, she planned a protocol of Holistic remedies that she sent overnight. For the next month, all I did it seemed was medicate Orie. It was necessary to make a chart of which pill or drop to give at which time of the day. He was dosed four times with a combination of different things each time. It was time consuming to say the least. But…he started eating again. He regained some energy, he wanted to play a little and he wasn’t as bothered by the other dogs. Was his color improving? He seemed to be better, (or was it just my imagination?) But, he was eating. That in itself was a huge improvement. We continued the schedule while continuing to investigate what could have caused this problem.

A research scientist in Arizona, Arnold Takemoto, advised an ultrasound that would show more than the x-ray. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a vet clinic with the equipment plus a veterinarian capable of reading and diagnosing an ultrasound of the liver? We were looking for a blockage that could be causing his problems. Other than going to a major veterinary university that could take weeks for an appointment, there just aren’t many experienced folks in ultrasound diagnostics. With Ann’s help, we found a clinic in Greenville, MI, Town and County Veterinary Hospital, for all of you in this area, with the equipment and a wonderful young doctor, Sarah Killian, who had the knowledge to read the results. Hurrying Orie down for an appointment, we were given our first encouraging words. His liver looked very healthy. The tissue looked normal; the vessels looked good; the overall picture was encouraging. Dr. Sarah put him on a supplement called SAM-e. He will take one a day for the rest of his life. She also looked over the Holistic remedies that he was taking giving them her blessing. “It can’t hurt,” was her response. She also told me that if we could get him past this initial crisis where his liver would begin to function, he would probably live many more years as one only needs a small part of functioning liver to survive. Supplied with new hope, we left for our winter trip to the south.

Orie has continued to make wonderful progress during the four months since this scare. He body has returned to a beautiful, pink color, his urine is normal-color once again, he is barking for his food, eating well and back to playing and/or aggravating the girls. I guess that means he feels much better, too. I can only thank the friends and veterinarians who have taken the time to discuss all this with me. Those dedicated people were interested enough to try different approaches to an age-old problem.

As for the true diagnoses…we’re still not sure. After all the above tests, I just couldn’t put him through a wedge biopsy requiring anesthetic nor could I do the dye study which would have to be done at Michigan State Veterinarian University. Each would require too much trauma and stress for my boy. It seems that he may have an “old-age” internal liver shunt (inoperable) that can’t be seen unless we’d do the dye study. For now, he’s responding to all the above treatments well. Until we’re faced with further problems, we are staying status quo.

Below are the Holistic remedies that Marina Zacharias suggested to help Orie:
Hepar Comp II (liquid drops)
Galium Heel (liquid drops)
TerrainMax (liquid drops)
Herbal Hepaclenz (capsule)
Pure Liver Supplement (capsule)
Tibetan Liver Support (capsule)
Bioprin (capsule)
Hepar Comp injections
Galuim Heel injections

Marina’s plan for each animal is individual. She works with veterinary test results and owner observations. Orie’s original dosages have been reduced from the massive initial amounts to maintenance doses unless I see any type of relapse. He is doing so well I have to pinch myself to believe it is really true.

For those of you interested in the options available through Holistic therapy, Marina’s address and phone number are:
Marina Zacharias,

PO Box 1436, Jacksonville, OR 97530,

We have been blessed to have Orie in our lives. Now, it seems, he will be with us longer. We are taking each day as a gift from God. Isn’t that what every day is for all of us anyway?
Yellow Is Not A Good Color