Enjoying his life now, having made it into adulthood with a fatal feline storage disease, is only one of Louie's miracles.
He was the only survivor of his litter, discovered outside in a bitter winter when he was about 4 days old.
A rescue group in another state contacted us to see if we would adopt him in light of his medical problems and his inability to stand or walk -- he moves in a creative way, sometimes tumbling from side to side, sometimes pulling and pushing himself along.
He instantly became a wonderful member of the family of special-needs dogs and cats who live in our home.
Here he is with Louie with Pandora, a one-eyed dog with a heart condition:
Our neurologist confirmed, on the basis of a MRI, that Louie has cerebellar hypoplasia, and our cardiologist confirmed that he has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
However, we've discovered that Louie also has alfa mannosidosis, a lysosomal storage disease.
Miraculously, Louie is still alive, active, and loves cuddling with the other special needs cats and dogs.
Here's Louie with his pal, Persephone, who has neurological problems:
A specialist in veterinary metabolic disorders at the University of Pennsylvania is helping us monitor Louie's condition so that we can make sure he has the best quality of life possible.
A pediatrician in Germany who heard about Louie asked for a small sample of Louie's blood. He hopes that discovering whatever it is that allows Louie to survive and thrive despite this disease will lead to interventions that may help human babies with storage diseases to survive.
Here's Louie sharing a nap with two of his pals -- he has draped himself over Maggie and has leaned his head against Pandora:
To see other members of the family of special needs dogs and cats who live in our home, please follow this link or choose one of the names in the menu along the left side of this page.