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Caring for a really sick puppy

June 14th, 2005, 04:29 PM
Hello all. I'm caring for my seriously ill puppy and would really appreciate any tips anyone can give me as far as encouraging to eat and generally keeping him comfortable. I should give you a little background first - so please forgive a potentially long post:

Our puppy's name is Moose. Moose has lived with us for three too-short weeks. Now I have had plenty of people tell me that they don't understand how I can be so upset about a puppy I have only known three weeks.. but to me it would be like telling someone they shouldn't be upset about their three week old infant being sick. We didn't adopt a pet - we adopted another family member.

Moose was adopted from a lady with a 'free to good home' sign. The next morning we took him to the vet for his first puppy checkup and worming/shots etc. He got a clean bill of health and Moose settled into our family life. He followed us everywhere and slept on our feet. He loved the baby! (And she loves him too...) And everything was fine. This past Friday (June 10) he had his second wellness checkup with the vet and his second round of shots. He had doubled his weight and was free of worms. All very good news!

The next day - he slept for most of the day. Honestly, I assumed it was from the shots as my other puppies over the years would be a little droopy for the 24 hours following them... But by Sunday (June 12) he seemed more than a little droopy. He wasn't getting up when we called him. He refused to eat. I got him to drink water easily but frankly he just looked darn bad. My husband called the vet who said to make an appointment for Monday. About an hour passed and I told my husband that Moose could not wait til Monday. He was breathing heavily and had become completely listless. We packed everyone up and drove to the emergency clinic an hour away.

The clinic ran a lot of tests - for Parvo and chemical profiles and so on. There was nothing. They repeated the fecal exam for worms and they could find nothing. All they knew is he was anemic and lethargic and agreed that he looked horrible. His temperature was low and he was breathing rapidly. After a couple of hours we left for the night. Moose stayed at the emergency clinic where he had a blood transfusion while they ran more tests. By morning they knew nothing new really. He was in the same condition and the transfusion didn't seem to help.

They had done a blood clot test and an xray over night. It was discovered that his clotting time was rather slow and also that his heart was enlarged and there was some fluid retention in the abdomen. He was then transferred to his regular vet here in town. We drove him in along with the prescribed medications and he was immediately admitted to in-patient at the vet's. They put him on oxygen as the vet looked at the xrays. He said he appeared to be in congestive heart failure and that he wanted to try to 'drain' the pericardium and do an ECG and get it to a specialist to analyze. A few hours later he called to tell us that he was surprised to find there was no fluid to drain .. and also that the ECG was normal. He told us he was at a total loss and that he had no new theories and no idea how to treat the puppy but that he would keep him on the oxygen and watch him overnight to monitor for clues.

Overnight there were no clues. And this morning the vet called to say that he was taking Moose off of the oxygen. He warned us that he probably would only live a matter of an hour two without it but told us he really didn't know what to do for him since he didn't know what was wrong with him. An hour or two later we called the vet and asked him if we could bring Moose home with us. The vet agreed and said that there was nothing he could do for him that we couldn't do at home at this point although he warned us again that his prognosis is not good at all.

We know this quite well. He's a sick little dog. But as long as he doesn't appear to be suffering we are trying to keep him comfortable at home. He relaxed immediately when we got him home and onto his favorite doggy pillow in the kitchen and actually got up about an hour later to urinate and to drink water on his own. Both vets prescribed medication for him and we talked with them both to find out if we should be giving him everything prescribed or if anything has changed.. they agreed to try all FIVE medications. They're all in pill form and it was quite a feat getting him to swallow five pills - but I did manage. Since then his breathing has become much more regular and he seems comfortable but very very weak.

Whew that was long. Like I said at the beginning of this though.. If anyone has any advice about offering food or drink... general puppy comfort or any clue what else my vet should be looking for - please please let me know!! If not -- just lend me a broad shoulder for support. I know deep down Moose probably won't pull through this... but I want to give him every single chance.

Thank you!!

pags and moose

doggy lover
June 14th, 2005, 05:31 PM
Sorry to here about your sick puppy and even though you have only had him a short time i understand and I'm sure everyone here knows how fast you can become to a puppy. Wow you have had a terrible time, I'm not sure what tests you can have done, I'm sure someone else can help you more. I just wanted to say that you are a remarkable person for having done so much for this little fella most people would have just put him to sleep. I have heard of people giving their sick animals pedolite it is for sick children it adds electrolites and all that stuff to the water, maybe give that a try you can get it at any drug store. I wish you and Moose the best of luck he is in my prayers.

Dog Dancer
June 14th, 2005, 05:42 PM
So sorry to hear you are going through so much with poor Moose. Don't have any suggestions for you Pags, just know that you're in our thoughts and prayers and know that you are doing all you can for your puppy. Making him comfortable is the best you can do and he knows it. Good luck - stay strong - Moose needs you. :grouphug:

Lucky Rescue
June 14th, 2005, 05:58 PM
This is so sad. You'll get all the moral support you need here. And you never know - Moose might just pull through with all the tender loving care he's getting.

Just make sure he doesnt' get dehydrated - very important. You can try feeding him watered down canned food in a large syringe if he won't eat.

If he keeps it down, that's great! Please keep us updated on how he's doing, poor little guy. You and he are both victims of irresponsibility.

This is a pitiful reminder of that "Free to Good Home" thing. The price in pain and dollars may actually be more than anyone wants to pay,especially the poor animal.:(

June 14th, 2005, 06:00 PM
Thank you both so much for your replies. We need all the prayers and encouragement we can get right now!

And thank you, doggy -- I keep pedialyte in the house for my 20 month old daughter -- it just might come in handy for fighting dehydration for Moose too.. Very good suggestion..

June 14th, 2005, 06:11 PM
This is a pitiful reminder of that "Free to Good Home" thing. The price in pain and dollars may actually be more than anyone wants to pay,especially the poor animal.:(

Oh Lucky - this is so true! My furry family members had always come from responsible breeders with two exceptions -- one was a shelter kitten who was euthanized within one week of adoption when she suddenly started bleeding from the eyes and mouth... And of course the other is Moose. Woe to those who don't spay or neuter their pets!!!

Thank you for the encouragement and the advice... I'll try the watered down canned food the next time I try to offer some food and see if I can at least get him a little interested.

On the bright side he looks a little more alert at the moment... but we all know how up-and-down these things can be. I'll keep you updated.


June 14th, 2005, 11:51 PM
Hi all. Everything is really minute-by-minute here with Moose - so I hope you'll understand frequent posts. If anything happens at all I just feel like I have to tell someone.

Around dinner time tonight Moose actually slowly moved himself to his old favorite nap place in the kitchen. We took the hint and moved his pillow and water along with him. From there he stayed awake for a good long time - head up and watching us move around. It's the most alert I've seen him in days.

Not long after that it was time to give him his second dose of all of that medication... and this time he gave me a good hard time. I was actually pretty happy he had the energy to resist... But it took a bit longer to get all of those pills down since I kept giving him long breaks in between so he wouldn't tucker himself out with all that jaw-clenching.

The most exciting news though is that I took Lucky's advice about the watered-down canned food in the syringe and after a taste of it he was rather eagerly taking it. My husband and I were thrilled to see him so interested! A small step - no doubt - but it gives us a tiny bit of hope.

Cactus Flower
June 15th, 2005, 12:08 AM
Great news!! And please DO keep us updated, no need to apologize for posting often. It's much better than the feeling that we've been left hanging, wondering how he is doing.

Oh I hope he keeps that food down! This may just be an unexplainable episode that will PASS! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for just that.


Cactus Flower
June 15th, 2005, 12:11 AM
P.S- Big hugs to LuckyRescue for giving such good advice!

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

Hang in there, Moose! :pawprint:

June 15th, 2005, 07:14 AM
It's been almost 4 years, that I went throgh the same (enlarged heart) with my Harley, originally diagnosed with broncitis, and she too was put in an oxygen incubater, pag If you need some one who knows exactly what your going through and i don't know where you are but i can give you some insite on what the canadian vets had offered for Harley I think we have the paper work some where, but there were meds that were offered.

just out of curiosity is moose the runt of the litter and what breed?


June 15th, 2005, 07:32 AM
Pags,not that not everyone on this Forum would do everything possible to save our animals,but you are amazing and maybe,just maybe little Moose will recover,if love alone could cure he would be one healthy little pup :love:
Whether it's good or bad news,please keep posting..maybe all the positive vibes from us will go through to Moose :love:
Hugs to you,Moose and your family! :grouphug:

June 15th, 2005, 08:16 AM
Angie -- if you run across the paperwork it would really be nice to be able to compare meds. Did your Harley actually have bronchitis or was he finally discovered to have been misdiagnosed?

Moose's mom was an Australian Shepherd and his dad is a deadbeat. I was told he wasn't the runt but he was still on the small side compared to some of his twelve brothers and sisters. He's a true foster child as I know SO little about his background... I am not even sure if his mother was Aussie as the lady didn't have his mother with her (but I must admit he's beginning to show some merling in his puppy 'socks' and does tend to herd the children when he's playing). You see.. I broke all the rules of pet adoption for this little furball!

June 15th, 2005, 08:27 AM
pags. I dont think that the person gave this pup knowing it is hard to diagnose, broncitis was the mis diagnosis, it struck our baby so quickly (over about 4 days) I'll try to see if the paper work is around we asked for copies because we were angry at the first vet (then we calmed). if the vet recommends meds start them ASAP.

:grouphug: :grouphug:

June 15th, 2005, 08:35 AM
Pags,not that not everyone on this Forum would do everything possible to save our animals,but you are amazing and maybe,just maybe little Moose will recover,if love alone could cure he would be one healthy little pup :love:
Whether it's good or bad news,please keep posting..maybe all the positive vibes from us will go through to Moose :love:
Hugs to you,Moose and your family! :grouphug:

I've got to give so much credit to my husband. He's an amazing man. We have three two-legged children and another on the way by August. I'm a stay-at-home mom. In other words - we're not rolling in money. :) At the emergency clinic on Monday when they brought us the estimate for services before we made our decision to leave him for treatment I looked at him and told him we couldn't afford it. And technically - we really can't... but he told me he would use the money he had been saving to beef up his truck.

We so appreciate the good vibes! I'm sure Moose does too. My husband took over dog-sitting at around 5 this morning so I could get a little rest and I'm told that our puppy got up to lay nearer to him - took plenty of water - and actually stood to urinate. When I got up I was able to get him to take some more syringe food but it apparently wasn't going fast enough and he lapped up the remainder from a large serving spoon. (I tried it in a shallow dish at first -- but he had nothing to do with it... there's just something about being spoonfed...) His meds are due in about an hour so I'll have to get ready for that soon. Send me vibes for pill-taking time!!

Thank you thank you for all of the loving support!!

Lucky Rescue
June 15th, 2005, 08:48 AM
So glad your pup is feeling a bit better! Hoping for more good news.:)

Many people would have just had him killed so it's heartwarming to see people try so hard to save one little puppy. And your hubby is a sweetie!!

June 15th, 2005, 08:53 AM
you know i strongly beleive love and attention can go a long way in helping a sick pup fight its way back to health again.

I think it gives them the will to fight whats ailing them.

you and your husband are certainly showing this little fella love and devotion, im sure that that is only serving to help him get stronger.

keep up the good work, and we will send all the healthy pup vibes your way!


June 15th, 2005, 08:56 AM
Pags,give you hubby a BIG hug from us,sacrificing his truck for a wee pup,he's certainly made of the right stuff!!!
I am sooo hoping to get some more good news :love:
Just one question,if the vet does not know what's wrong with Moose,why so many meds,is he just hoping one of them will do the trick??? But so far it seems to work,right?

June 15th, 2005, 08:56 AM
if the vet recommends meds start them ASAP.

:grouphug: :grouphug:

Boy have we got meds! He's got a diuretic, an ACE inhibitor, a steroid, an antibiotic and something to aid in blood coagulation. Since they have no idea what's wrong they sort of threw something in each direction.

So yes, chico - that's what they are trying to do. They are hoping to treat some of his symptoms and give his little body a chance to fight back at whatever this mess is. So many meds in such a little creature sort of scares me too -- but we don't have much of a choice right now.

You're all so sweet!!! I can't tell you how much you are all helping!!!

Now it's time to crack out the peanut butter and get to work on those pills. :)

June 15th, 2005, 09:41 AM
It's so difficult when a pet is sick and even harder when they are young and fragile.

I hope things improve daily wishing the very best for your family and this pup! :grouphug:

June 15th, 2005, 09:53 AM
i think the blood coagulaton is probally so that the blood does not go in to the lungs (thats what happened to harley, the boold was in her lungs and sufficating her). diaretic i beive will also keep fluids out of his lung. antibiotic we all know what that does.

Pags I dont want to sound negative but what did the vet say about survival and the quality of life of the dog if it pulls throgh?

with harley it would of been 1,500$ a night for oxygen at the clinic and the vet said that if she did pull though it would just be a matter of time before she had a relapse, we decided that for her sake it was best to stop hers and our suffering but she was 5 years old maybe for a young puppy the possibilities of recovery are better...

I'm sorry if this hurts you my intentions are good just you say you dont have alot of money you should find out the long term needs and wiegh your options,

:sorry: :pawprint:

Lucky Rescue
June 15th, 2005, 10:01 AM
Don't be sorry Angie. Your post is realistic and your advice is good. I know nothing about this type of illness, so it's helpful to hear from someone who does.

June 15th, 2005, 10:34 AM
No no angie - don't feel bad for saying it! You're absolutely right to be the voice of reason and remind me of where all of this can end up. We intend to take it step by step and are fully ready to do what's best for little Moose if he's not improving.

One of the problems with Moose's diagnosis is that his lungs are clear of fluid. The day we took the pup home from the confused vet he had said that he could no longer even give a clear diagnosis of congestive heart failure as he could find no fluid building around the heart and/or backed into the lungs. The coag medication was prescribed by the emergency vet when it was discovered that Moose's blood was very slow to clot -- I didn't mention that he still has a catheter in his left arm in the event we need an emergency IV and there was a fear that the catheter site could start free bleeding again... and also to take some measure of caution against the possibility that Moose was bleeding internally from some injury we were unaware of.

The oxygen cage actually ended up not helping or hurting in the end... but the emergency clinic vet was at odds with his regular vet over whether or not Moose actually needed it. I can tell you this though -- had it cost 1500 per night our little Moose would have opted out. Geeeee!! The oxygen therapy was still pricy at $91 per night.. but there's no way we could do that.

Moose's vet made an appointment for him to come back next Monday if he makes it. Right now we're just trying to work toward next Monday. But we've all agreed that if there is no considerable improvement by then -- then we have done all we can do. We're staying in contact with the vet and have asked him repeatedly for his professional opinion as to whether or not we should simply give up -- and to please let us know the moment he changes his mind.

Just promise you'll all be here if and when the time comes -- I'll need a few hundred shoulders to cry on.

June 15th, 2005, 10:40 AM
i'm happy i didn't hurt you :grouphug:
and happy you are keeping everything in persective....

I'll be here for you :grouphug:

and i do hope the little tike comes through :pawprint:

Daisy's Owner
June 15th, 2005, 10:48 AM
You are an incredible mom and dad to the little guy.

I hope everything goes well for you all. It does sound like there has been some improvement, so that is encouraging.

I can't give you any advice, but you can count me in for support.

June 15th, 2005, 11:06 AM
Did you happen to tell your vet that Moose was one of a litter of twelve?? That might make a difference in the types of tests they can do or what they look for. I have heard of pups that came from large litters having health problems because of too little oxygen getting to the individual pups during pregnancy. The most recent that I can think of is a coworker whose dog had epilepsy, diabetes and cushings disease. Although the epilepsy is prone for the breed, their vet said that the other two were probably the result of oxygen deprivation in the womb. Out of the twelve dogs in that litter, 9 of them had serious health problems. If you can keep getting some nourishment into him, he definitely has a better chance of surviving whatever it is. Good Luck to you and Moose! I'll keep you both in my prayers! :fingerscr

June 15th, 2005, 11:47 AM
Thank you all!

And kandy - that's really interesting about the large litters and health problems. I also learned recently that Australian Sheps are prone to von Willebrand's disease (something akin to hemophilia) and this is something he could have picked up from his mother.. it would explain the free-bleeding and the anemia for sure. My husband and I have both been wondering just how those other puppies have faired. :(

In the meantime - while he's taking his late morning nap I thought I'd post a few pictures of the furrball... I needed a little pick-me-up. So if you want to put a cute little mug with the name:


June 15th, 2005, 12:11 PM
If it helps at all my pup was very sick when I got her as well and it took weeks to get her better. Not the same illness as yours but I just wanted to relate. I took some of her treatment into my own hands and started to heal her more naturally with fresh foods and not prepackaged dog foods, she started to improve this way and it definitely helped to boost her immune system. After many meds and vets saying lets wait it out, she got much better after I started preparing her food myself. My vet was not too happy about it but could say little after she began to improve.

Just a thought, it may help you too :D

June 15th, 2005, 12:16 PM
You and your husband are animal heroes. Period.

I am really, really pulling for Moose. My own little Moose, a black kitten, is draped on top of the computer, trying to send positive vibes!

Hang in there.

Lisa and the gang

June 15th, 2005, 01:00 PM
If it helps at all my pup was very sick when I got her as well and it took weeks to get her better. Not the same illness as yours but I just wanted to relate. I took some of her treatment into my own hands and started to heal her more naturally with fresh foods and not prepackaged dog foods, she started to improve this way and it definitely helped to boost her immune system.

Oh yes it always helps to hear a success story -- same illness or not. Hope is a delicate thing!

And as a matter of fact - I just got off the phone with one of Moose's vets a little earlier. When he found out that he'd been keeping down a couple of ounces of watered-down canned dog food every couple of hours (We love you Luckyrescue!! :)) he told me to also try offering an ounce or so of chicken broth a couple times an hour. So as you were posting, Luba, I was boiling some chicken. :)

He's much better hydrated then he was when we got him back from the vet at least..his skin looks good and his eyes have improved dramatically. He was completely incontinent when we got him home too and continuously leaked -- the poor thing. But that seems to have improved today as well.. His bed has been dry since late last night and he's been getting up to potty. (It's nice to take a break from sanitizing doggy beds for a little while..) If we can just get a good handle on that pesky nutrition thing!!! He's looking skinny... :( But on the positive side this may mean that a lot of the swelling is going down.

Any news is good news today.

Oh and I have to say: WE LOVE MOOSE THE KITTEN. Thank you for the good kitty vibes!!

doggy lover
June 15th, 2005, 03:51 PM
Moose is too cute, I glad he is feeling a little better, we all have our fingers crossed for him, so he has a large support group here. Hang in there baby.

June 15th, 2005, 07:24 PM
Well all - the vet called again around 5:30 to check on Moose. He asked for more details about where and when we got him and who gave him to us.. and then he told me that a young couple came into his office this afternoon with a puppy that looked a lot like Moose. You guessed it -- he was suffering from the same symptoms. He said he pulled Moose's file while they were there and put his xrays next to this pup's xrays and you couldn't tell them apart.

It also sounded like they got the puppy from the same lady -- and we were both pretty convinced when I told him that there were 12 puppies in all.

So as the doctor said - that's one part of the mystery solved -- but not very good news for any of the puppies: Moose included. :(

We were both a little droopier as we got off the phone.. but he told me to hang in there and keep him posted on Moose. We'll keep taking it day by day.

June 16th, 2005, 06:44 AM
Well it is good that the puppy went to the same vet as you did, and that they have the same symptions and x-rays (not good for the pups) but at least if the mystery is solved in one it will be solved with the other hopefully.
so that is actaully good news, how is Mr.Moose this morning?

we're still here for you,

June 16th, 2005, 07:52 AM
Not only am I glad Moose has you on his side,but also what seems to be very caring vet,I know they charge a lot for their services,but some are not as concerned as yours seems to be.
The owner of the mother of the pups,should be found...the mother should be fixed,so no more unfortunate pups will be born.
I am hoping sweet little Moose is doing better and with the help of the other pup,hopefully you'll find out what is wrong with them..

June 16th, 2005, 09:11 AM
Good morning. I'm so tired I can't see straight - but here I am!

I wish I knew some way to find the lady who gave away these puppies. I keep hoping maybe our vet can find a way to find her... She had said she had a farm....

Moose is much more active today - he was sitting at the kitchen gate when I came to check on him. And I mean sitting. But he looks horrible.. Horrible. And I still can't get him interested enough in food. I've resorted to trying to get something down him every couple hours whether he likes it or not... It's time for medication now so I have to get that started.

I'll update everyone a little later when I actually wake up completely. :) Hugs and thanks.

doggy lover
June 16th, 2005, 09:14 AM
Give him a kiss for us too.

June 16th, 2005, 09:50 AM
pags did you try wetting the dry food or heating in, not the same but our breeder suggested it when we brought our guy home, to attract him to it if he was home sick

but happy to hear he's alert

June 16th, 2005, 10:45 AM
pags did you try wetting the dry food or heating in, not the same but our breeder suggested it when we brought our guy home, to attract him to it if he was home sick.

When I read this I got a little sad for a minute simply because I was thinking about sort of 'being in denial' since we brought Moose home. I have been wetting the food (with water or sometimes broth) and warming it for him since probably the second day we had him in an effort to get him to eat. Don't get me wrong -- he did eat before but he never displayed much of an appetite... And I knew that wasn't a good sign. Sometimes I could get him to really jump into the bowl and take a few eager bites and then he would suddenly stop and I'd have to bring him back and encourage him to eat some more. Most of the time it was like he was eating to please me and nothing more.

I had told my vet this - but remember in three weeks he only had those two vet visits anyway... We were going to monitor him for a while but at the time the vet felt that he was doing alright since he had doubled his weight in spite of it. We were thinking maybe he had been weaned too early -- and maybe he had been. But now that he's so sick and it's so important that he start eating I feel so discouraged!!! If it was so hard to get him to eat when he was doing so much better, then... well... you know.

June 16th, 2005, 11:46 AM
I hope that Moose will continue to improve. You and your husband are amazingly compassionate individuals.
Moose is such a little cutie and I hope he pulls through! It sounds like he is putting up a good fight!
Good luck to little Moose!

June 16th, 2005, 12:00 PM
Oh how I feel for and understand what you are going through, I truly truly do.

I remember sitting with my pup on the sofa my mom looking over at her saying 'is she still breathing'

I think I shouted at her and started crying at the same time, she was so frail at that time I wasn't sure if she'd make it BUT She did and there is so much hope!

I fed every hour at first, one little teaspoon of food with water mixed with it. I boiled chicken and potato , and then put it in the blender with water. If I didn't have this site to come to I would have been up the creek. Thanks to some really awesome advise and support, everyone made it through!

At first she would only eat from my fingers...licking this mush mixture off, but that was okay...she was eating :D and keeping hydrated at the same time with the water I put in the mixture.

At first I kept it really bland just boiled chicken, potato and water BLENDED so it was easier to digest and it WORKED!!

Then I started to add some cottage cheese to help her gain some weight and it helped as well with her liquid poop OMG those were bad days! After blending the chicken and potato and water I would add some cottage cheese to it but I wouldn't blend the cottage cheese. SHe LOVED it and her appetite started to grow. As we got along in days, hours even I could see an improvement so I would start to not blend the mixture as I did before. It went from PUREE to CHUNKY and it worked, still adding water.

I supplemented her food with baby food as well, potato and beef...that was a big hit!!

Hang in there and make sure you keep yourself healthy....Moose needs you :D And we are ALL here to help you through this!!

Mashed potato's I can't tell you how they saved her life!!
You can see them in this picture :D

Lucky Rescue
June 16th, 2005, 12:31 PM
I supplemented her food with baby food

Oh, baby food! That's often a hit even with sick animals. Can't hurt to try it.

Gee Luba, Sadie's dinner looks so good I could eat it myself.:p

June 16th, 2005, 12:36 PM
I can make you a plate :eek:

June 16th, 2005, 12:47 PM
Hi guys. I'm boiling some chicken and potatoes now. :o And I have plenty of baby food to choose from around here - so I'll see if I can tempt him a little.

My optimism has taken a blow though... he's not as interested in food as he was yesterday... and he seems listless again. The worst though is that his breathing seems to have gotten worse over the last hour or so... If the medication is not helping him by this point then I don't think anything can. He's still anemic so I am basically fighting a losing battle... He's not going to start pumping up red blood cells if he's not eating... and I honestly don't know if he CAN pump up red blood cells anyway... The transfusion was a bust. But I do know that he's not going to be getting any oxygen without the cells to carry it.

I have a call in to the vet and my husband both... so I'll have to wait and see what they have to say. :(

June 16th, 2005, 12:51 PM
If he's that listless and weak you'll need to PUREE the food in a blender. Add LOTS of water or it won't work.

Try letting him lick baby food and / or this mixture from your fingers while you stroke his head. Hold him while you feed him, it's calming to them and I found if I held Sadie to my chest and she could feel my heart beating it would encourage her to eat!

Don't give up hope, I'm saying prayers :angel:

doggy lover
June 16th, 2005, 12:56 PM
Me too Luba me too. :angel:

Cactus Flower
June 16th, 2005, 01:26 PM
Me three! :fingerscr

June 16th, 2005, 01:37 PM
Oh man, we are too. It's so unfair.

Hang in there,
Lisa and the gang (and especially Moose the kitten).

June 16th, 2005, 03:28 PM
Hey all. So here's the sitch: I'm still waiting to hear from the vet and I intend to ask him if it's safe to stop any of these medications he's been taking. I don't want to stop anything that he HAS to have and I also don't want to stop anything cold that would further shock his system... But I do feel horribly nervous about giving such a little thing so much potent medication. Also - these medications were prescribed by two different vets...the second vet simply said to go ahead and try them all but I don't think any of us were thinking Moose was going to live long enough to be concerned about interactions, etc.

So here is what he's taking:
Lasix 40 mg per day - this is a strong diuretic -- it was prescribed to reduce swelling in and around inflamed organs
Clavamox 62.5mg twice per day - this is a sort of general purpose antibiotic which they said was just in case there was infection present
Vitamin K1 50 mg per day - this is supposed to aid in proper blod clotting
Enalapril 5 mg per day - this is a blood pressure medication.. the idea was to reduce blood pressure to reduce stress on the heart
Prednisone 5 mg per day - this is a steroid which does everything from increase circulation to purposely suppress the immune system (in case the immune system itself is the problem...)

Luba has pointed out several nasty side effects from some of these drugs - including the antibiotic which can cause diarrhea and vomitting... At this point diarrhea would be a relief as we're not getting any significant BMs today -- not enough solid food to get the system going. But of course this is so self-defeating when you're battling dehydration! It should be noted that his white cell count was normal and they said there were no signs of infection otherwise. I was told they did a stool culture at the emergency clinic.

I have also been researching and have found that the others have some serious interaction problems. I'll try to cut and paste.
"One of the most common drug interactions to be aware of is the interaction between furosemide (LASIX) and vasodilating heart medications (especially the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme inhibitors such as ENALAPRIL and captopril)." It goes on to say that Lasix causes decreased blood flow to the kidney and of course electrolyte loss.. and that the kidneys should stabilize before Enalapril is added to medication. It goes on to say that if the kidneys are not stabilized prior to taking Enalapril -- the kidneys WILL fail. Not might. Will.

It also cautions: "Furosemide is often used in combination with prednisone to reduce serum calcium levels. It is possible for this combination of medication to lead to a reduction in potassium level significant enough to require potassium supplementation." The symptoms of a dangerous drop in potassium are lethargy and weakness and these symptoms are to be reported immediately. Nice - but considering that Moose was already lethargic and weak... it's kind of hard to tell don't you think?

That's actually only part of the interactions that I've found... And like I said I'm going to ask about possibly either reducing or eliminating some of these medications.

Everything was prescribed on a 'what-if' basis -- a real shot in the dark. And now I'm concerned that some of these medications may be exacerbating the problems... Any ideas on this guys?

June 16th, 2005, 03:53 PM
Very good post and you're right to second guess this treatment in my opinion. I agree this may be over medicating.

If there's no sign of blood born infection personally I would stop the clavamox myself. You don't need a dog who is sick and not wanting to eat....feel ever moreso that way. Clavamox UGH I hate it! Sadie was sick with that and wouldn't eat, switched her to a dif med because she did have an infection and she was much better. IF no sign of infection then I say dump the clavamox.

Prednisone can be very good for some things but to give it to such a little puppy, if he does make it he could end up with problems with his joints and bones, it can be nasty.

I don't want to say hey stop all of it but if it's all being given to see if it 'may' help and there's no improvement oh I dunno I would be suspicious in thinking it would be or could be making things worse.

Without the clavamox his appetite willl prob improve and thus the out put of urine and stool.

How did the puree'd chicken and potato and water work out with/w/o baby food? VERY small portions at a time and try the letting him lick it from your fingers.

I didn't research all this medication, and I could see continuing to prescribe something if there were a definite diagnosis. But when there isn't, it may be doing more harm then good? IMHO

June 16th, 2005, 04:05 PM
Hey Luba - good point about the Clavamox.. the last thing we need is something that would kill his appetite!!! And it certainly seems to be. I got his to take most of about 2 tablespoons of the chicken/potato puree (it smells pretty good really... Would be great over rice I bet.. Wonder if my husband would notice it was actually the dog's food if I added a little parsley and garlic to his? Giggle) and a spoons worth of baby food. He just looks at me like I'm torturing him when I approach with food now and it's so sad. He has baby food hanging off his chin at the moment so I need to clean up...

June 16th, 2005, 04:22 PM
Ah Pags,I soo feel for you and little Moose,it's so very sad :sad:
If he was my pup,I would listen to any advice Luba has to give...she's one concerned and ernest young lady...
I would give the pup only what is absolutely necessary to make him stronger..
I am so sorry you are both having such a hard time :grouphug:

June 16th, 2005, 05:15 PM
I would question that amount of Lasix too, especially if he doesn`t have excess fluid anywhere. I`m in heart failure and even having obvious amounts of fluid retention I only started out at 20mg. I take 40mg now, but for a little guy I would think that is a huge amount and would expect him to be getting dehydrated and having kidney problems. Your vet may have a reason in mind for such a large dose, but I would definatly ask.

Prednisone does have a lot of nasty potential side effects, but most of those are things I wouldn`t worry about unless it turns out he needs to take it for a long time. It is often a miracle drug for short term fixes anyway, and it can increase his appetite.

I`m not any kind of medical professional, just a 'sickie' who has taken a lot of meds.
Hoping alongside you all. :fingerscr

June 16th, 2005, 05:28 PM
Be sure there's a lot of water in that puree, that will keep him hydrated.

Is he drinking ANY amount of water at all on his own? If he's eating the puree that will help but you may want to also crush some ice cubes and let them melt in your hand and let him nibble and lick at them.

I still eat Sadie's food, I usually season it the same way I like it LOL then just take some aside and add pepper to it hahaha!

Thank u for those kind words Anita (HUGS)

And the puree should be about the same consistency right now as the baby food, maybe a little thicker. You're doing an amazing job :D

June 16th, 2005, 05:35 PM
Praying for Moose to pull through this, My thoughts are with you and my fingers (and my cats paws) are all crossed :fingerscr :grouphug:

June 16th, 2005, 07:51 PM
I would question that amount of Lasix too, especially if he doesn`t have excess fluid anywhere. I`m in heart failure and even having obvious amounts of fluid retention I only started out at 20mg. I take 40mg now, but for a little guy I would think that is a huge amount and would expect him to be getting dehydrated and having kidney problems. Your vet may have a reason in mind for such a large dose, but I would definatly ask.

Prednisone does have a lot of nasty potential side effects, but most of those are things I wouldn`t worry about unless it turns out he needs to take it for a long time. It is often a miracle drug for short term fixes anyway, and it can increase his appetite.

I`m not any kind of medical professional, just a 'sickie' who has taken a lot of meds.
Hoping alongside you all. :fingerscr

Your post was VERY helpful, pahma.. Thank you so much. I spoke to the vet and he told me that if I wanted to leave out any medication tonight I could do so - but we're going to bring him in tomorrow morning. Just over the phone he suggested that we at least keep him on the prednisone... So, pahma -- I think the Dr. agrees with your assessment of that.

Thank you very very much though -this sort of insight is SO helpful when it comes to asking the right questions and making such decisions. I really appreciate it!!!

June 16th, 2005, 07:59 PM
Is he drinking ANY amount of water at all on his own? If he's eating the puree that will help but you may want to also crush some ice cubes and let them melt in your hand and let him nibble and lick at them.

He is drinking, Luba. That he does for sure and he hasn't stopped that today. (a relief)

I've given him some more of the puree about twice now- and yes - I have it about the same consistency as the baby food so that's good right? I'm just having to harass him until he swallows some of it. He is literally turning his nose up at food right now... and several times today when I approach him with spoon or bowl or syringe he'll gag like the smell got to him. He's also drooling a bit so he seems to be rather nauseated... but he has not vomitted.

Thank all of you for your wishes and support. I'll never ever forget what you're doing for us!!!

PS Who is Anita? Is chico Anita? Or me? See... I'm curious cause I'm Anita.

June 16th, 2005, 08:07 PM
Oh so we have two Anita's you and Chico are both Anita's cool!!

I bet it's the Clavamox, I'd stop it, he'll prob start to eat that!

If he is drinking water, fool him and put a teaspoon of babyfood/the puree in with some water wink wink!

June 16th, 2005, 08:36 PM
I didn't read all the posts straight through, but did anyone suggest adding a dab of Nutrical to the puree? This will give the little guy some extra vitamins. Moose the kitten went nuts when I whipped out the Nutrical to supplement the canned food I was giving to my orphan kitten. Maybe Moose the dog will like it too.

Strong thoughts your way. Also, although this site really truly rocks, try as they are FULL of amazing info about meds and obscure illnesses.

Lisa and the gang (and especially Moose the kitten).

June 16th, 2005, 09:19 PM
You are all my heroes. I have come to this thread all day long and been really encouraged by all of your hugs and support and crossed fingers and paws. Thank you so much.

And so much information too... Thank you. I snuck some puree into Moose's water (wink wink) and now I'm going to try to get a little rest while my husband keeps watch. I will update you all as soon as possible...

Goodnight for now and thank you again.

--pags the tired

June 16th, 2005, 10:02 PM
I came back on off and on through the entire day to check on you Moose's mama Anita!

You get some rest and we're all hear for ya :D

June 17th, 2005, 11:42 AM
Pags hows the baby today?

and the vet?

June 17th, 2005, 11:47 AM
Mooosieeeeee how's u doing today?? :D

June 17th, 2005, 01:31 PM
Just after I posted my last message last night -- and just before I managed to get in bed -- my husband called me. Moose was having a very hard time catching his breath. We had gone an hour past his medication time by then and I called the vet back to tell him what was happening. The vet said to go ahead and give him the blood pressure medication and the diuretic -- which we did.
Then we spent the night with Moose.

Moose would no longer lie down and after hours of this he was staggering with exhaustion. If you could see what a courageous puppy he was!! He was fighting with everything he had. It was like he was afraid if he laid down he would no longer be able to get up. We took turns holding him and talking to him all night... we told him what a good dog he was and that we'd be okay without him. Around 4 am with much coaxing he finally laid down. My husband and I fell asleep too - quite sure that it was possible he wouldn't be with us when we woke up.

When we did wake up at 7 am we found him sitting up again -- still swaying with exhaustion. Still fighting. By then I could hear him wheezing -- now there was fluid in his lungs. We took turns hugging him as gently as we could -- sweet puppy!! But now when we picked him up it seemed painful to him and we knew we had to keep our promise. We swore we wouldn't let him suffer.

With the help of the gentle vet and in my husband's arms - Moose passed on at 9:35 this morning. I have cried a mother's tears all day -- and I know there are more to come.. but I also know that it was time. He's okay now. I know he's okay now. And I won't forget this brave little puppy who tried so very hard to stay with us.

Nor will I ever forget each and every one of you - who fought alongside us even from thousands of miles away. Thank you for every kind word and every prayer and wish. For the advice and the understanding. Thank you, Luba, for the extra hugs. Thank you all. You are an amazing group of people - and though I've never actually met you.. I love you all.

We're going to take some time this afternoon.. to simply allow ourselves to mourn. And maybe reminisce about our three short weeks with the best puppy in the world.


RIP Moose - April 2005 - June 2005

June 17th, 2005, 01:43 PM
So sorry for your loss ... I too am shedding tears for Moose :sad:

June 17th, 2005, 01:44 PM
I am truly devastated for you Anita and your husband. I am so so sorry. I only wish there were more people like you in the world; people willing to do anything for their babies. Moose was (is) one lucky dog.

I can't tell you how much your story has affected us. Please let us know how you're doing.

Lisa and the gang (and especially Moose the kitten)

June 17th, 2005, 01:48 PM
Anyone who reads this and does not shed a tear is made of STONE. What a sad end to your ordeal. 'A mother's tears'. You and your husband sound like pretty special people. I am so sorry.

Dog Dancer
June 17th, 2005, 01:56 PM
:sorry: God bless you for all you did for Moose. I'm sitting here crying and wishing I were at home to hug my two furbabies right now. Stay strong. :grouphug:

June 17th, 2005, 02:13 PM
:sorry: I'm so sorry, i'm having trouble seeing, you did right by your promise you did everything you could for the little guy you should have no regrets. you and your husband are very stong. it was from you moose got his stregth and determination, but the little angel must of had other duties to fill....
I wish you well and I'm here for you and i'm sure others are....

Anita your an angel too.... :angel:
take care still can't see straight...

June 17th, 2005, 02:34 PM
Oh my goodness Anita. God Bless you and your husband for doing all you could for this sweet angel pup.

There was obviously more going on with him then what anyone could figure out. He was loved and that was the main thing, the most important thing.

I am so very very sorry that your hearts are breaking right now, I'm sure we are all sharing your grief and sorrow.

Again, God Bless you for all the love and care you've given Moose.

:angel: No more pain.

June 17th, 2005, 03:45 PM
Oh my gosh, I just read your story and I am so sorry for your loss! What a brave little puppy Moose was and so fortunate in having you and your hsuband there with him. It does make one wonder about his littermates and the people who were giving them away, sighhhh!!! Thank you for caring so much and I hope the good times you and your family enjoyed with the brave little fellow can sustain you through these tough times! :grouphug:

June 17th, 2005, 04:06 PM
Oh no...I feel like I knew this little pup,was hoping for him with all my being,really believed he could make it with all your love and care....boy,this is hard,I am crying a river right now....but sweet little Moose is at peace,we all loved him,even if we did not know him.
R.I.P little baby Moose.

doggy lover
June 17th, 2005, 04:08 PM
Moose is now an :angel: rest in peace baby. I feel for you I pts my dog of 9 and a half last year, due to cancer,it broke my heart. I know it was the right thing to do and I had a week with him from diagnosis until his final day and each day was special for him we spoilt him rotten, but we all know when the time has come and we don't want our pets to suffer so the time came when we all have to say goodbye. You made the right choice and it is a shame that such a little guy should go through so much at least he is at peace. Take some time for yourselves to greave you have earned it, take care we are all thinking of you.

Cactus Flower
June 17th, 2005, 06:47 PM
Oh gosh. I'm so very sorry.

Bless you and your husband for trying so hard, and also for not letting Moose suffer needlessly.

Rest in peace, little angel.

June 17th, 2005, 06:54 PM
I'm having trouble typing, as the tears hit the keyboard.

I am so very sorry for your loss, and I know Moose is in a better place where he is running and playing, just like a puppy should, possibly with some of his brothers and sisters !!

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, you did everything you could, and let go when you should, Moose is now looking over you and your family, I believe he is now your guardian angel :angel:

RIP sweet little puppy Moose :grouphug:

June 17th, 2005, 09:34 PM
I am so sorry to hear this. I am crying with you as well. You are truly an angel for all you did for this sweet baby! Hang in there it will get easier and remember you did all that you could to help this baby! You are a wonderful person. You are in my thoughts and prayers! :grouphug:

June 17th, 2005, 10:56 PM
I am so sorry about your loss. :sorry:

June 18th, 2005, 12:23 AM
Hi everybody. I have lurked around the board off and on all day.. uh.. or did all day yesterday at least.. it's after midnight now... I read all of your kind posts throughout the day and I hope ya'll can forgive me for not answering right away. But I want you to know that they have all helped both my husband and I a lot. It's a comfort to know that there are people out there who really do understand.

We had a really strong thunderstorm here for a couple of hours in the afternoon.. and we agreed that it was appropriate somehow that it was raining. And the violence of it was, I dunno, like nature agreeing that it just wasn't fair... somehow. It's very hard. I can't walk through the kitchen without checking around my feet to make sure he's not underfoot... Everywhere I look there is some little doggy reminder. The hardest part though - is the baby. She's way too young to understand and so many times today we had to cringe when she walked through the kitchen.. looking.. and then to the patio doors.. looking.. and then finally looking to us and saying "Moosh play?"

Sigh. I also spent some time today going through a bunch of other posts on the boards... looking at pictures of all of your babies and reading your stories. Someday I think I'll enjoy going through and getting the chance to talk to each of you about them all. Uh.. but I may be something of an oddity on this Canadian pets site... Seeing how I'm not Canadian and I am mercilessly without a pet just now? :o Something tells me you all won't mind though.

My mother emailed me this afternoon and told me she was sending a Bible verse and hoped it would help me feel better... I've attached what she sent because I wanted to share it with you. I have to admit I laughed in spite of myself when I got it -- so I suppose it DID make me feel better... So I'll share with you. Night!

June 18th, 2005, 08:16 AM
"Moosh play?" Oh God I lost it reading that.
I just got to this thread, I read every word... I was going to stop myself midway incase he didn't make it, oh how I wanted him to make it.
I am so very sorry for your loss, pags. Please know you're in our thoughts and prayers during this rough time. :sad:

RIP Moose :angel:

June 18th, 2005, 08:34 AM
Thank you Pags,love the pic and the wording :D
Somehow little Moose passing hit really hard,but I know he is in a good place now.
It's not fair,he could have had a wonderful life with you,growing up with your baby,but it was not to be :sad:
You are always welcome to this Forum and maybe one day you'll want to find another puppy/dog for your family,there are sooo many knowledgable people here,who can give advice on just about anything regarding pets.
I'll remember your struggles and your love for little Moose for a long time,as will he,in the peaceful place he now is :love:

June 18th, 2005, 08:51 AM
Dear Anita,
I am so very sorry to hear that Moose was unable to continue his fight. I have been hoping and praying that he would make it. It was with very deep sadness that I read of his crossing over the rainbow bridge. Please try to always remember that you gave Moose the best three weeks of his life as they were filled with love and caring. No dog could ask for more. In time, the sadness will mellow but I know will always remain. I hope that you will continue to post with all of us and that in time you will be ready to welcome a new one to love.
:grouphug: Jenn

June 18th, 2005, 02:19 PM
Thats a good pic your mom sent you. I've seen it before, gives a good chuckle. :D

I don't know how spiritual you are but don't be surprised if you get a little visit from Moose, someday :D :angel:

June 18th, 2005, 02:37 PM
I am so sorry that Moose lost the fight. I was really hoping that he would make it. I am crying for you and your family. It's so heartbreaking. :grouphug:

June 18th, 2005, 02:44 PM
"Thank you mom, you did what you could. My little soul was not ready to stay. But I am happy now, so please don't be sad. I have so many friends here and one day you'll see me again, I promise. I love you!"

June 18th, 2005, 05:57 PM
My most heartfelt condolences to you. I have so many thoughts, I do not know where to start. First off, I understand the attachment in such a short period of time. Henri was my foster for one week and I cried buckets for him for more than a week after we had to put him to sleep (cancer too far gone to save). Lost my own boy at Easter, so I know the pain of loss too.

God Bless You for all you did for Moosy. He was a blessed pup :angel: to spend his short life with you.

Moosy play? My heart broke then too. I remember doing pet therapy with my first golden and trying to explain to her that one of her human patients had died. She stood there with her chin on the seat of his wheelchair, as if to say "where is he?" the man's family (who never visited while he was alive) was there packing up his possessions at the time. A dog mourned the passing of this man, more than his family did. I understand (I think) what you felt when your little one was looking for Moosy, like my golden looking for her human friend. How do you explain where they have gone to?

:grouphug: :grouphug: for your sacrifices for Moosy, the money, the time, the emotional pain.

There will be a candle lit in our house tonight to light his way to Rainbow Bridge. My golden, Champ, was an awesome foster brother to my rescue foster dogs, and I am sure he will take Moosy under his "wing" at the Bridge. It is almost impossible to see my computer screen for tears, but dogs speed Moosy :pawprint: :pawprint:

June 18th, 2005, 10:04 PM
Oh Luba's beautiful picture is here too. I showed it to my husband when I found it under the photos thread and we had to cry together some more right away. We talked a long long time today about Moose of course... and I think I've come to realize one more incredibly special thing this incredibly special little dog did for us -- he truly brought my husband and I even closer together. We've been married for five happy years -- and I've never met a gentler man.. I love every moment with him... But this past week -- the hope and the grief and the sleepless worried nights... and now the tears - lots and lots of tears... have made us realize even more strongly how lucky we are to have found one another. Thank you, Moose.

Thank you - each and every one of you - for loving Moose right along with us.

I told my husband about the Rainbow Bridge today. He had asked what happened to Moose... Is he just gone? I asked him to read all of your posts with me and it helped him, too, to know that Moose is happy now and surrounded by new friends - like Champ - who will look out for him. And Luba -- neither of us would be surprised if he visited one day... not the least little bit. :angel:

June 18th, 2005, 10:11 PM
I'm so sorry for your loss. I've refrained from posting becasue I can't see to type for the tears.

This is by far the most touching thread I've read in a while.
I am sad for you and your family and the heartbreak that you are living right now, but I know that you have found peace and are grateful for the happiness Moose brought you.


dogspeed Moose :angel:

June 20th, 2005, 08:37 PM
I wasn't involved in this whole story, but I heard about Moose from the other post, where pags introduced him. I commented that he looked so much like my Rudy. Anyway, today I came back in to see him again, and found out he was gone, I found this post by searching for pags posts.

I am so sorry, and I also thank you all that offered such great advice.

Now it is my turn to go get a box of tissues.

So sad....

June 20th, 2005, 09:20 PM
I lost this thread along the way, and I just read what happened to little Moose! I made a mess over the keyboard, crying like a baby! So sorry for your loss pags! My heart goes out to you. :grouphug:

June 21st, 2005, 12:19 AM
twin, dmc, levi -- thank you all so much for your support. I can't even tell you how much one simple kind word helps. It's been amazing... here at this site there has been such a huge outpouring of love and support that it's nearly impossible NOT to feel at peace. Friends here at home have also been supportive - calling to check on us and stopping by with snacks for the kids, etc. Both veterinary clinics have sent sympathy cards and I've gotten random hugs from virtual strangers in the grocery store who unbeknownst to me worked in one of the clinics and knew our story. Even our families -- who we honestly did not think would understand... have shown real empathy. Our little puppy brought out the best in people.

I'm admittedly numb right now. I suppose this is something of a denial stage. Out of sheer exhaustion I try not to think about it...Trying to stay busy.. But you know there is always some reminder and it comes flooding back in. It will be like this for a while, won't it?

June 21st, 2005, 02:30 AM
:sorry: Wow. I'm so sorry you lost your puppy. Losing a dog is a terrible thing, and you and your husband gave this little one your all. Devastating. I'll give my dogs another hug tonight. :grouphug: :grouphug: