Golden Retriever Sam may soon be on his way to good health! – Updated

August 18, 2009 Update

Sam’s surgery has been completed and he is in recovery. His liver shunt was, indeed, inside the liver and was the largest this Doctor had seen. He is hopeful that Sam’s liver develops more blood vessels over the next couple of days. His liver pressure was at the high end of normal, so he was given an aspirin to slow clotting at the site of the coil.

He will be monitored 24-7 for the next two days and we will find out the next step then! Let’s hope Sam continues to recover well. He had no seizures, etc. that can be early complications, which is a good start. If all proceeds well, he will be released Thursday to return to his foster home.

August 3, 2009 Update
I just learned that enough money has been raised so that Sam can have his surgery, which has now been scheduled for next week. Here is what has been reported at his blog:

A big thanks to all of you who made donations to enable GRRACE to provide surgery for Sam! We are all very thankful for your generosity, kind thoughts and prayers!

Sam is holding his own. He has good days and bad days. He spent the night at the vet’s office last week receiving IV fluids which helped perk him up a bit. They also changed his antibiotics which has reduced his vomiting to become less than a daily experience.

On his good days, he plays like any other young golden boy. He is quite social and spent a few hours with his foster Golden brother at doggy day care for the experience and playtime and we’re happy to report he did great and really enjoyed himself! On his bad days, he doesn’t have much appetite and has bouts of vomiting. Through the good and bad, he remains a happy, loving boy.

The surgeon at MSU has his prior vet records and we plan for his surgery to be scheduled the week of August 10. He will spend a few days at their animal hospital while he recovers and will be closely monitored. We will keep this site updated with his progress! Please keep Sam in your thoughts and prayers!

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When I read this latest rescue story, my heart just about broke. I really hope folks can pitch in so that he can have the life-saving surgery that is needed. I know my check is in the mail. Here is his story from Golden Retriever Rescue and Community Education, Inc. (GRRACE) in Indianapolis, Indiana

Sam is a special needs Golden boy that is just over a year old. He has spent most of his life in the shelter; adopted and then returned due to a liver condition called PSS (Portosystemic Shunt) that his adopter could not afford to correct. There was something special about Sam that the shelter immediately recognized, so GRRACE was called instead of having Sam euthanized.

Sam’s body cannot filter toxins out of his blood. He takes daily medications, which help control (not cure) his condition, but the medications make him feel sick. He cannot eat protein so he cannot build muscle properly which decreases his energy level and endurance.

Sam needs to have surgery to correct the PSS. Once surgery is completed, he can live a happy, healthy life. His surgery must be completed as close to one year of age as possible, so time is of the essence. The cost for surgery with pre and post surgical care will be about $3,000.


Sam is a true golden personality. He loves everyone he meets; dogs, cats and most of all PEOPLE! He is a very smart boy who loves walks, car rides and his big basket of toys! When he’s out on his walks he will actually sit down if he sees another dog or person approach, in the hopes they will pet him and play. He is also the biggest cuddler his foster parents have ever met! If you sit down close to Sam, you’d better plan on him taking up residency in your lap!

Sam is just a lovable, sweet, happy boy who we would like to provide the opportunity to live the happy, healthy life he so deserves.

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