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Meet Xena

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Update: March 2013

In December 2011, animal lovers Theresa and Stephen visited Animal League America to look for a second dog to join their family, which includes daughter Courtney, son Ben and dog-in-chief, Max. When they saw Xena, “We could tell she had so much love to give,” says Theresa. Despite Xena’s special needs—or maybe because of them—they fell in love with the precious pooch and adopted her, devoting themselves to caring for her every need.

Theresa is thrilled to report that Xena has transformed from a frail, shy dog to a joyful and affectionate one in the year since the family adopted her. “Xena is awesome!” she says. “She has gone from not allowing you to cuddle her to snuggling perfectly into your legs for pets and scratches, and from rejecting treats from your hand to kissing your hand constantly. She is a very happy, spunky, verbal member of our family, and she brings us nothing but smiles!”

Read more about Xena and how she recently greeted her hero.

Update (July 2011)

Xena is still receiving daily treatment in the Animal League’s care. It has been a few weeks since her second corrective liver shunt surgery, and we are pleased to find that she is currently not exhibiting any symptoms related to the remaining shunt.

Animal League veterinarians plan to check her liver values in a few months and determine if a third corrective surgery is needed. Based on how well she is doing, however, we may be able to manage her remaining disease medically rather than with another surgery.

Xena's Story

The Animal League rescued Xena, a young hound mix, and placed her in the life-saving Help Me Heal Program so that she can get the extensive care she needs to be well.

Xena has a life-threatening congenital liver condition, called a portosystemic shunt (PSS) or a liver shunt. This condition causes toxins to build up in the body. Among many severe symptoms, this liver shunt can also cause weight loss and seizures, both of which Xena is experiencing.

To help Xena, The Animal League has already provided her with two corrective surgeries. It is very likely, however, that Xena will need a third. Xena is still in the early recovery stages from her second operation and is being monitored very closely. She will need three to four months of attentive aftercare during this difficult healing process and will soon be reevaluated for an additional surgical procedure. In addition to these surgeries, Xena will also need lifetime medications to manage this challenging condition. 

Because Xena’s ailment is extensive and ongoing, most small municipal shelters would not be able to accommodate her needs. Her care would be too costly and comprehensive. Instead, it is very likely that Xena would be put down. But the Animal League is dedicated to helping her have the best life possible.

Your support of the Animal League’s Help Me Heal Program is helping to ensure that Xena and many other animals get the care they need to be as happy and healthy as possible. Please help us continue to provide so many animals in need with this unprecedented care.

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