Sweet Pea is a white, blue eyed pit bull who is also deaf. So Clarice did not start from a strong gene pool to begin with. We know nothing of her daddy, but he must have had genetic issues as well.
Just a week into their lives, the Sweet Pea pups began having serious medical issues. Ironically, Clarice was the first baby to be rushed to the vet. It was clear she was not thriving like her sibblings, and we were worried. Her trip to the vet would be repeated over and over and over -- with her and her sibblings. As one baby would start to come around, another would get sick.
The Sweet Pea babies were overly susciptible to mange and other skin infections.
We lost Danny Boy and Patches as babies -- less than 6 months old, in spite of their constant vet care. Bruiser and Sambo appeared to have outgrown their frailty and grew to be almost a year old when suddenly one died, and then the other less than a month later. The vet was unable to find any reason he could diagnose for either death.
That left Clarice and Little Sister as the survivors.
But both girls were very prone to mange and both girls would go through periods when their body weight would just plummet, regardless of what we did to try to get weight back on them. Special diets and diet supplements did no good. One girl would come out of it and start to put weight back on, and then the other girl would go into a nosedive and lose half her body weight.
The vet was never able to diagnose what caused this peculiar behavior.
About nine months ago, Little Sister was in one of those nosedives. She lost body weight in spite of vitamin supplements and special foods. She went to the vet twice and he put her on an IV both times, but even that was not enough. Unlike the other times this had happened to her, Little Sister did not pull out of it and one night, in the early morning hours, she died in our arms in the middle of our bed.
Jay Hellerich, executive director
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