Lexie’s Corner: The Story of a Golden Potato
As we start the new year, we have some important but difficult news to share with you. In November, Lexie, our beloved clinic mascot and founder of The Lexie Fund, was diagnosed with Lymphoma. Already feeling impoverished from all that 2020 challenged them with, this news took the staff at Harmony down to their knees, but the story is not without hope.
Lexie’s family and the Harmony staff noticed in early fall that her energy and eating habits were off. She didn’t want to go on walks and was wearing out quickly. Her coat was getting rough and she was having trouble walking, all symptoms they attributed to older age. After all, Lexie is a ten-year-old Burmese Mountain Dog. They took an X-ray but nothing stood out and Lexie seemed to bounce back.
It was after a trip to the mountains in early November with Julia and Dr. Brown for their annual planning meeting, that the pair decided to X-ray Lexie again. She was not eating or defecating properly. The X-ray showed a foreign object in her stomach as well as an enlarged spleen. This raised an alarm as two months earlier on the initial X-ray, the spleen had been normal.
That same day, Lexie went in for a long and extensive surgery. It was 6pm on a Friday night, and she had four doctors assisting, including one from Animal Urgent Care in Arvada. They first removed her spleen which was covered in giant nodules. They then went into the stomach and removed the foreign object: a fingerling potato.
Yes, it was a golden potato from some chicken stew Julia fed her for breakfast that literally saved Lexie’s life. However, her fight was not over.
A Difficult Diagnosis
Lexie began bleeding from a source they could not locate, making doctors think perhaps she had a disease that wouldn’t let her clot. Finally, her medical team got the bleeding under control, closed her at 10:30pm and took her to Animal Urgent Care for 24 hours where she received excellent care. One week later, the biopsy results came back: Lexie had a rare form of Lymphoma, but one that could be responsive to chemotherapy.
Harmony staff worked with Lexie’s family to design the best treatment plan. Together with an oncologist from Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital, they have moved forward with a chemotherapy protocol, supported by acupuncture, herbal therapy, massage and medical Qi-Gong (energy work). They have limited her visits to the clinic so she can focus on rest and healing.
Lexie will end her chemotherapy in late-April, and she does not seem to notice the treatment. Her personality is back, and her human family is simply looking to give her the best quality of life for the time she has. At the age of 10, she is at the top of her lifespan for her breed. They feel blessed for every day they have with her.
What can you do to help Lexie?
As the founder of The Lexie Fund, it’s important to note that no charitable funds are being used to support Lexie. Harmony Veterinary Center and Lexie’s family are funding 100% of her care. Her legacy is her charity and she will continue to help other pets no matter how long she lives.
Explains Julia McPeek, Co-owner of Harmony Veterinary Center, “There is a path all animals take to leave this earth, and this may be Lexie’s path or it may be simply a part of her journey. Either way, she has time to continue teaching us so many important things, including resilience, the joy of life, the importance of community and the power of a hug.”
The knowledge transfer continues for Lexie in the dog world as well. She had an older sister, Freya, who taught her the ways of being a good dog, and Lexie continues to teach her younger sister, Sadie, those same lessons.
Remember, emotions and thoughts matter. If you want to help Lexie, send her love and keep sadness to yourself. More importantly, let Lexie’s story serve as a reminder to come together and love each other. We find this a fitting message in a time such as this when we are faced with COVID-19 and all that is on our national stage. We should each take a moment every day to listen to our pets and love one another.
Thank you in advance for your support. We will continue to keep you updated on the journey of our very special Lexie.