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This fundraiser ended on 03/25/12

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Please give our Piper the chance she needs. She is one of the sweetest/happiest dogs you'll ever meet to not at least be given a chance.....

When our special little Piper was born on Christmas Eve in 2009 she wasn't breathing. Our hard work trying to bring her back paid off and after a few days, while still very tiny and weak, she held her own. After a week or so she seemed to be out of the woods and we stopped worrying so much about her small size but when her little eyes opened at about 2 weeks old we knew that something still wasn't quite right. By the time she was 4 weeks old we knew it was time to see a doctor..her eyes were cloudy and one was quite a bit larger than the other. We took her to our local vet who gave her some antibiotics but told us he had no clue what was happening suggested we seek the advice of a canine eye specialist. At 6 weeks old, Piper took her first trip to New York from Maine and visited with one of the top eye specialists in the country. We were told that it wasn't any of the "normal" eye conditions Shih-tzu's are known to get. It wasn't glaucoma, which was good, but she did have several other things going on including a massive infection of the cornea of one eye and a less serious infection in the other. We were told that she would likely be nearly blind at best and they sent us home with a ton of antibiotics and medications to try to make her comfortable. At only six weeks old and less than two pounds in weight our only option was to hope that her eye would heal and not be painful or cause her other problems. For two years she has been the love of our lives. She is definitely "special". She walks in circles most of the time, has run off several times chasing her sister and gotten lost (there were two times where we thought for sure a wild animal would find her before we did) but we've been lucky and she is now watched like a hawk any time she's outside. Until recently, aside from some other minor medical issues, she had been doing very well.But over the past six months her eye infection has spread, the eye has grown very swollen, dry and painful, the medications we have aren't working and we are noticing that she is no longer keeping weight on because her tiny body can't fight off the infection anymore. At only two years old she is still amazingly playful and happy but she tires quickly now and it's obvious she's in pain a lot of the time. We have spoken with the specialist in New York and her only chance at a long, normal life is to have the eye completely removed. We have family in New York to stay with while she's recovering but the actual surgery itself will cost way more than we are able to afford, especially when we have her sister and mom to take care of. Our only other option is to put her to sleep so she doesn't suffer. None of us can even imagine our lives with out her..she is one of the sweetest, happiest dogs you'll ever meet and she's too young to not at least be given a chance..
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