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Worried sick...

newpuppyowner
August 2nd, 2006, 07:27 PM
On July 16th, my fiance and I adopted a 4 mo. old, female, tri-colored hound mix named Kayah from a local animal shelter in San Francisco. Since the adoption, she's been spayed, taken to the Animal Hospital ER once, and is currently at our Vet under observation. That's our current situation in a nut-shell... so let me further explain why I'm worried to death about our baby.

Last thursday evening, we gave our puppy a flavored Nylabone to chew on. In less than an hour, she devoured it and its size decreased from about 5in. to about only 1in. About 10min. after we took the bone away, she gave us the signal that she needed to go potty outside. I went outside with her and she had diarrhea. The color resembled the Nylabone she destroyed. A little worried, I brought her back inside and we retired for the evening.

The following morning, we woke up, fed her breakfast and took her outside and again she had diarrhea. We went on our normal short walk and she had diarrhea once more. More worried, I brought her back inside to her crate and went off to work. When my fiance came home from work she found that Kayah pooped twice in her crate (which never happened.) One stool was normal and the other was diarrhea with a little blood in it. About 45 min. later I came home and she gave us the signal that she needed to go outside again. She went to her spot and she pooped just blood. It resembled syrup coming out from her anus in two squirts. When I saw that we rushed her to the ER. This was last friday.

The ER kept her overnight for observations, and we picked her up on saturday. She tested negative for Parvo which was great news. They gave her IV, and numerous anti-biotics for gastro-intestinal infections. She was also put on a "bland" diet of cottege cheese and rice. So saturday evening she was a little sluggish, but sunday she was fine. We took her to my parent's house and she loved the grass. Rolling around, running back and forth, playing fetch.... it seemed she was back to normal. Monday was fine too... she ate everything and had the same energy.

But tuesday (yesterday), she was acting sickly again. I tried feeding her in the morning, but she only ate half of what she normally would, and she drank water very minimally. Again, I brought her outside, but she had no interest in playing. She did her business and went straight to the front door. We got home from work, and she had no appetite for dinner as well. She drank a little water, but didn't venture out of her crate like she normally does. It was hard to get her to come when called, and she was just plain sluggish. We tried feeding her one last time before we slept, and she ate very little. I took her outside and her stool was a little soft, but not diarrhea.

This morning we woke up to find she vomitted in her crate. It looked like what we fed her before sleeping. The only previous times she vomitted were related to car sickness. I tried feeding her, but she had no interest in eating. After seeing how miserable she was I brought her to our local vet and now she's there for observation.

HELP... her visit to the ER was already $700... I'm worried sick about her health and about how much it's costing me to treat her. Am I doing something wrong?

Puppyluv
August 2nd, 2006, 07:35 PM
You're deffinately not doing anything wrong by taking her back to the vet. Is there still blood in her stool? If so, there could be a tear or puncture in her GI. There's also the possibility that tests that came back negative last time, will come back positive now that some time has passed. She's in good hands at the bet:grouphug:

newpuppyowner
August 2nd, 2006, 08:31 PM
I didn't see any blood in her stool from this morning and before I left the Vet, he ran the Parvo tests and it was negative. I actually just heard from the Vet and he said she's holding down her food, and no new stools as of yet. He said they walked her, but she wasn't eager to go outside. He said her tail was wagging a little more than before, so that's a good sign. Poor thing, her eyes were so sad when I left her. The Vet wants to keep her overnight and wait for the bloodwork to come back... so I hope to hear some good news tomorrow. I sent my fiance to the Vet before they close to at least say hi so she doesn't feel abandoned.

I'm wondering if this situation is typical... if so we might end up getting dog health insurance, she's costing me an arm and a leg. :fingerscr

jawert1
August 2nd, 2006, 11:28 PM
Have your vet run a barium x-ray on her (should only run about 150.00 tops) to verify if she has a blockage that wouldn't show up on a normal x-ray from the bone. My Shep/Chow mix ate a canvas curtain tie at my ex's, and 6 months later, what couldn't be digested finally got lodged. We had the same, diarrhea for 2 days, then fine, then vomitting, then fine, then the runs again. The barium x-ray was what picked up the curtain tie since it looked like part of her body on a normal. She unfortunately had to have surgery to remove it (and a miserable recovery), but she DID recover and is now a very healthy 5 year old. Thanks for doing all you can for your pup, when she's better, she'll thank you in spades :) Good luck and keep us posted :pawprint: :pawprint:

mastifflover
August 2nd, 2006, 11:37 PM
Insurance is a good thing. You can always cancel it if you find that you are not using it. But really read the policies carefully some are very limited in coverage and most will not cover a pre-existing condition. Your dog is still very young there are ways around the pre-existing by switching vets. You are doing all the right things for your dog. I hope tomorrow brings you good news.

newpuppyowner
August 3rd, 2006, 03:18 PM
Thank you all for your support. So here's an update... the blood tests for Kayah came back and the kidneys are functioning fine. The vet did say the liver enzymes are high and she's slightly anemic. I'm not concerned about the anemia just because the ER vet said is normal for puppys her age. She did try to take out the catherer (which pleases me because it's showing she's got some life left.) She's eating and drinking, and no throwing up which is also good news. But she still's got the coughing and nasal discharge, and looks very unhappy.... still no improvement since we left her there. My finace did visit her before the vet closed and she said Kayah only wagged her tail once and didn't seem too enthused. The vet said her symptoms aren't pointing in one specific direction. So, I gave the OK for the xrays today... hopefully they can eliminate the possibilities so we can treat whatever's ailing her. I'm praying the xrays will move things along in the right direction. I'll keep you all posted. Thanks again... :fingerscr :pray:

chico2
August 3rd, 2006, 04:56 PM
Hoping to hear some good news tomorrow:fingerscr
Could it be the NylaBone causing all these problems???
I used to buy bones,Greenes,Nylabones even the smoked pig-hide for my sons dogs,but having read so many negative things,I don't anymore:sad:

Prin
August 3rd, 2006, 04:56 PM
Yeah, it could be an intolerance to something in the nylabones...

:fingerscr that everything goes ok.

dogmelissa
August 3rd, 2006, 07:56 PM
You are absolutely doing the right thing, and thank you for having a big enough heart to spend so much of your hard-earned money saving a previously unwanted puppy. I'm sure no matter what the cause is right now, she'll recover and give you much more than you could ever have wished for in re-puppy-payment.

My dog came to me abused. I'd known of him but had never met him until the day after he was kicked in the head. When he came back from the vets (which I took him to), he came to live with me and has never left me since. In the first 2 months I had him, I spent over $1100 on his vet care alone, and more on food, toys, other supplies, etc. I've had him about a year and a half now, and have spent probably that much on him again, on things such as grooming, dog gates (he destroyed one and pulled one out of the wall), puppy pads (he had housetraining issues) and I don't even want to count the amount of time I've put into dealing with his health and other problems because of the abuse. He came to me "free", but he's been anything but. However.... most of his issues have been solved, and the remaining ones likely will never be solved and we're just accepting them as part of who he is. Now, when I come home from work, he's either already at the door waiting for me, all excited and jumping around, wagging his tail and acting crazy, or he's running in from the backyard, and the same greeting isn't far behind. He makes me remember the simple joys in life, like when he feels really happy and runs in huge circles in front of me, chasing nothing. He reminds me almost daily of how much he needs me to take care of him, and is appreciative of everything I do for him. There are times when I'm sad and I can almost see in his face how he wants to make me feel better, but all he knows how to do is cuddle me and give me kisses.
I couldn't really afford his expenses when I got him, and I even had to put his surgery (neuter + eye removal) on payments with the vet. But do I regret anything? Not for one second, and not one penny of that money was wasted.

I have no advice on what could be wrong with your dog, except that sometimes a sudden change in an animal's diet can trigger a problem that was just waiting to happen. I tried to switch my cat to a different food, ended up with bloody diarrhea all over my house, an Emergency vet visit, and came home with a cat who can no longer tolerate most commercial foods. We're working with him to try to switch him to something other than vet food, but it's a long messy process.
Parvo isn't the only thing that can cause bloody diarrhea in a puppy, but it is the most likely cause. Here is a link which may help you guide your veterinarian toward an alternate diagnosis (not suggesting that this is what your dog has, but it lists other causes of bloody diarrhea): http://vetmedicine.about.com/cs/dogdiseasesh/a/HGEindogs.htm

I'm not sure if this applies to the emergency vet where you took her, but here, if you basically call ahead to tell them that you're coming and what they should expect, and basically book an appointment (even though you're on your way!) they won't charge the "emergency" rates. If I had known that little tidbit before I took my cat in, it would have saved me about half the bill for his bout of bloody diarrhea.

I wish you all the best, and I'm going to send all my thoughts, support and good wishes your way until I hear that Kayah is home safe and sound and healthy again. And I'm going to ask my doggy to send you any love that he has to spare (he has lots!!).

Melissa

Edited to add, you may want to try her on one of the holistic "allergy" foods when she's ready to eat. Something like Eagle Pack Duck & Oatmeal, Dick Van Patten's Sweet Potato and Fish, or other brands that offer allergy formulas. Make sure you check the packaging; some foods which claim to be "allergy" foods contain byproducts or fat from the common allergens. Most of these foods are available canned so you can keep her hydration up.

rainbow
August 3rd, 2006, 08:13 PM
I think the Nylabone is the problem. If she ate almost all of a 5 inch one she most likely has a blockage. :pawprint: :dog:

newpuppyowner
August 4th, 2006, 12:06 PM
I spoke to the vet yesterday before he closed for the day and he didn't have any new news for us. He did want to keep her one more day. The xrays didn't really help, if anything it may have confused the vet even more. He keeps reiterating that Kayah's showing too many different symptoms to point in one specific direction. I can't help feeling helpless. Also, I wonder if cost is detering the vet from really getting to the root of her problems. He knows my fiance and I are cost conscious, especially because of our last ER expenditure. He did say we can bring her home today if her condition remains the same. That's a relief... I've been down in the dumps since she's been gone. At least we'll have her home again. Thank you all for all of the support. If you've got any advice, please feel free. Thanks again!

rainbow
August 4th, 2006, 12:38 PM
Did your vet do a barium xray or just a regular one. As Jawert1 said, a blockage will only show with a barium xray. :dog: :pawprint:

newpuppyowner
August 4th, 2006, 02:25 PM
The vet only did a normal x-ray. He ruled out the blockage because she is eating. He said he'd only suspect a blockage if she didn't have an appetite. She's not pooping that much, only because they're feeding her a low-residue diet. He said he'd call me later this afternoon.

dogmelissa
August 4th, 2006, 02:56 PM
I don't want to scare you, but is there any possibility that she could have been poisoned? Intentionally (if someone threw something over your fence and she ate it) or unintentionally (if she ate something from your garage or under the sink, or even walked on pesticide sprayed-grass and then licked her feet)?? I'm not sure what sort of things could have triggered this response, but I'm sure your vet should be able to look up common poisoning substances and their symptoms. Perhaps something (or a combination of something) would match??

I understand being cost conscious, but you need to know what's wrong with her. Can you get them to let you pay for things in payments? My vet let me do that and only charged 1.5% interest monthly, so it was very easy to handle.

When you get her home, keep everything calm and make sure there's nothing near her (or that she can get into) which she might eat. Including any houseplants, cat litter, food scraps, garbage, etc. You might not know she's eating it, but it could make her sick. Get down on your hands and knees and crawl around your house to see what she might be able to pick up with her mouth. Check with your neighbours to see if anyone has put fertilizer, weed killer or any other chemicals on their lawn, and either make sure she doesn't walk on those places, or take a different route. Is she tolerating a veterinary diet, something like the Gastro or Hill's A/D or I/D?? If so, I'd highly recommend keeping her on that until she gains her strength back. Then you can experiment (slowly!!) with other foods. It'll probably be best to avoid treats, especially the Nylabone that seemed to have triggered this. You may want to avoid treats altogether, or perhaps make your own so you know what's in them. And of course, lots of love.

Hope everything is ok, and please update us as she goes.

Melissa

jawert1
August 5th, 2006, 10:38 AM
The vet only did a normal x-ray. He ruled out the blockage because she is eating. He said he'd only suspect a blockage if she didn't have an appetite. She's not pooping that much, only because they're feeding her a low-residue diet. He said he'd call me later this afternoon.


When Peaches had her blockage, she ate like there was no tomorrow, appetite is no indicator especially with a partial blockage when things can still get through a bit. Insist they do the barium x-ray, it's the only way to be sure :/

rainbow
August 5th, 2006, 11:31 AM
I agree. :dog: :pawprint:

newpuppyowner
August 7th, 2006, 01:00 PM
Ok.... so we brought our Kayah home from the Vet friday night. We honestly left with heavy hearts. The Vet was still unable to diagnose the problem and wanted to refer us to a specialist. Her nasal discharge and fever were confusing him. His suspicion was that is was something related to her immune system and wanted to inject her with steroids. He warned us that steroids weren't the best for puppies... but it was his last resort. Ultimately his choices were:

1) see a specialist (which would cost significantly more than the 3 days she was at the Vet)
2) do nothing else and just continue her anit-biotics from the ER
3) inject her with the steroids

Steroids were completely out of the question and we couldn't spend any more money on medical bills for her. So after debating back and forth, we seemingly threw up the white flag. We told the Vet we'd lost hope and we'd be giving her back up for adoption. Very simpathetic, he injected her with one last anti-biotic for her fever, gave us about 4 days worth of the food he'd been feeding her and off we went. Oh, I almost forgot... he didn't charge for the third day Kayah spent with him (which was so so so nice.) We still ended up paying a little over $600 total for this visit though.

So, on the way home we were still debating if we really wanted to give her up. When we gave the Vet our decision, Kayah was still in the back. But when she was in our arms everything changed again. I told my fiance, maybe we should just give her some time. Maybe she's just traumatized from all the Vet visits... she'd been getting tested on, given injections, and left with complete strangers overnight for pretty much an entire week (1 night, 2 days at the ER, 3 nights, 4 days at the Vet.) I told my fiance, let's give her a week... maybe even two and see how see recouperates. We honestly didn't give the meds a chance to work. (see my first entry for the timetable) So we got home, and we could already tell she was happy to be home. She took a lap around the upstairs with her tail wagging... already a big improvement. We brought her to her pillow in her crate, wrapped her up in a blanket and let her sleep.

The next day, I woke up to bring her outside. As soon as she heard me... her head popped up! I opened the crate to pet her and her tail was wagging like crazy. We jogged around the house to the backyard and she had her old bounce in her step. She did her business, and we jogged back upstairs and she was so enthusiastic about eating. The Vet told us to feed her a can of wet food a day. The portion I left her almost didn't seem enough. All day saturday and all day sunday we bummed around the house. We played fetch in the hallways a little here and there, but most of the time was spent just watching TV and petting her until she napped. When were playing, it was like she was never sick. We're so so happy... if she can keep this up and continue to improve we'll definitely keep her. We're just delighted to see her coming back to her old self.

Thank you all for your support and advice. Through the tough times we last week, it was nice to know we had your "safety net" through it all. I'm very thankful to you and the big MAN upstairs!!! :angel: :thumbs up :grouphug:

Puppyluv
August 7th, 2006, 01:15 PM
I'm so happy to hear she's better!!! I hope it stays that way!


We told the Vet we'd lost hope and we'd be giving her back up for adoption.

This REALLY concerns me though. I understand that you've had a hard week or so, but this made me sick when I read it. You have a dog, who is ill, and needs all the love she can get, and you want to get rid of her, and honestly, the chances of an ill dog getting adopted are slim to none. I'm glad she made a recovery and you're going to keep her. But this seems like the ultimate irresponsible statement to me.

hdme
August 7th, 2006, 01:36 PM
I'm so glad your Kayah is feeling better. We went through a situation with our 6 yr. dog last Fall where she was vomitting blood periodically for two weeks. We had her to the vet and the ER and to specialists and no one really knew what caused it. The specialists narrowed it down to possible allergies to beef flavoring. We'd occassionally give her dent-a-bones and she would get milkbone variety pack treats on a daily basis. Also, her dog food was Purina One beef and rice. Once we changed her food to lamb and rice and stopped the dent-a-bones and milkbones, she was fine and has been since. Hopefully your puppy continues to get better....sounds like you're doing all of the right things to keep your puppy healthy. I know the cost can be an issue sometimes, but if you talk with your vet (like you did), they will sometimes give you a break or let you make payments. Good luck!

newpuppyowner
August 7th, 2006, 02:47 PM
I'm so happy to hear she's better!!! I hope it stays that way!

This REALLY concerns me though. I understand that you've had a hard week or so, but this made me sick when I read it. You have a dog, who is ill, and needs all the love she can get, and you want to get rid of her, and honestly, the chances of an ill dog getting adopted are slim to none. I'm glad she made a recovery and you're going to keep her. But this seems like the ultimate irresponsible statement to me.

Let me clarify some things...we don't want to get RID of her. It was disheartening to hear from the Vet that they couldn't diagnose the problem after spending almost a week together. It's too late for insurance, and we'd already spent $1300 for something unplanned for. $1300 spent for the Vet, in addition to God knows how much (potentially, if we decided to taker her) in specialist bills. Financially we can only take so much... My fiance and I are only 24 years old, we've both graduated from college, both with bachelor's degrees. But we've just started our careers.... $1300 is alot of money.... and we are still planning a wedding. If we can't afford our puppy's medical bills, wouldn't it be better to give her up to someone else who could? Why keep her in a situation where she'd keep getting sicker? We were thinking about her quality of life as well. I honestly don't see how this is irresponsible.

Luckily... and thankfully things are looking better. She's active and eating, and acting more like her old self... now that things have changed for the better, giving her up is the last thing on our minds.

jawert1
August 7th, 2006, 04:09 PM
I'm glad to hear she's feeling better, though if her symptoms return, please please please insist on a barium x-ray regardless :) I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but it's simple and can save you the cost of having to go to a specialist. Please post some pics when you can, I know I'd love to see her :)

newpuppyowner
August 7th, 2006, 05:58 PM
Will do... thanks for the suggestion!:)

MyBirdIsEvil
August 7th, 2006, 06:15 PM
My fiance and I are only 24 years old, we've both graduated from college, both with bachelor's degrees

This GREATLY offends me, as I'm only 21 years old and my b/f is only 23. Using your age as an excuse is a crutch, if you're a responsible adult you don't use your age as an excuse for not carrying out your responsibilities.
I'm sorry but when people make excuses for themselves by saying "well I'm only this age", it makes EVERYONE in my age group look irresponsible.

But we've just started our careers.... $1300 is alot of money.... and we are still planning a wedding

Read the above quote to yourself more than once, really think about it.
I have spent 1300 dollars EASILY between all of my animals (last tally was around 8 grand), if you don't have the money you should NOT adopt an animal. When you decide to take on another living being you should take their health and any possible bills into consideration. If you had a child you would be using part of your wedding money or getting a loan to pay for health expenses. I realize some people don't see animals the same way as me, but the goal of a shelter is to give animals a home, not just to give people a cute pet that they can play and cuddle with.

When were playing, it was like she was never sick. We're so so happy... if she can keep this up and continue to improve we'll definitely keep her. We're just delighted to see her coming back to her old self.

I'm not saying to take her back, but do you honestly believe that you will not incur anymore medical expenses on behalf of your dog? What if she gets sick again or there's an emergency or any number of things that can cause a vet visit. I would strongly suggest you start saving money if you don't want to have to take her back.

newpuppyowner
August 7th, 2006, 07:46 PM
This GREATLY offends me, as I'm only 21 years old and my b/f is only 23. Using your age as an excuse is a crutch, if you're a responsible adult you don't use your age as an excuse for not carrying out your responsibilities.
I'm sorry but when people make excuses for themselves by saying "well I'm only this age", it makes EVERYONE in my age group look irresponsible.

Read the above quote to yourself more than once, really think about it.
I have spent 1300 dollars EASILY between all of my animals (last tally was around 8 grand), if you don't have the money you should NOT adopt an animal. When you decide to take on another living being you should take their health and any possible bills into consideration. If you had a child you would be using part of your wedding money or getting a loan to pay for health expenses. I realize some people don't see animals the same way as me, but the goal of a shelter is to give animals a home, not just to give people a cute pet that they can play and cuddle with.



I'm not saying to take her back, but do you honestly believe that you will not incur anymore medical expenses on behalf of your dog? What if she gets sick again or there's an emergency or any number of things that can cause a vet visit. I would strongly suggest you start saving money if you don't want to have to take her back.

We adopted our puppy with the intention of giving her a loving home. We adopted her literally last month and her sicknesses completely caught us off guard. My purpose in stating our age was to show that we are a young couple trying to start a new life together. I guess to some people $1300 isn't alot of money... I'm glad you can afford $8000 for medical bills.:frustrated: I understand this is a forum and everyone's entitled to their own opinion. My intention on posting was to get advice on our situation, not be critcized. If we were irresponsible, we wouldn't have cared if our puppy got sick in the first place. We reacted accordingly and our actions have been supported (as evidenced in earlier reponses to my post.)

Puppyluv
August 8th, 2006, 01:06 AM
All I can say is, if you had a child that got very sick, would you but her up for adoption, because you want to spend your money on a wedding instead? I would rather have a simple civil ceremony and a healthy pet, than a wedding and give up the pet. (And this is coming from a 21 yo who has been planning her wedding since she was 12)

Smiley14
August 8th, 2006, 01:30 AM
I'm so sorry to hear your new puppy has been so sick! It's great to hear she seems to be doing better now though. It sounds like you are doing everything right and within your means for your little baby! Poor baby must be so happy to be home after spending so much time at the hospital and the vet! I understand your situation having just spent $1900 on my sick kitty during the past week...and all that just trying to get a diagnosis! The treatment costs may still easily add up to that much or more. Yet for 15 years, I never had to spend more than then usual costs of food/litter/check-ups on him. You can never fully anticipate or prepare for such unexpected costs as you never know if/when they will occur. All you can do it handle it the best you can when it does arise, and it sounds like you and your fiance are doing everything right in caring for your little girl.
I had a springer/border collie mix that had a similar reaction to bones and it turned out to be allergies. You may want to try as someone else suggested and keep her on a strict diet to see if that helps at all. Sometimes it really is a process of elimination! If I may offer one other small bit of advice, if additional costs arrise for needed treatments, it wouldn't hurt to ask your vet or other area vets about possible payment plans or to try asking your local bank for a small loan. I work for a bank, and we often give out small unsecured loans even for reasons like pet surgery! Spread out over a five year payment plan, the monthly payments can be very reasonable, even for tight budgets. It never hurts to at least ask!
Please keep us updated on her progress and post a pic if you're able! I'd love to see her! :) I wish you, your fiance, and your baby girl all the best of luck! Thank you for sharing your story with us!

Steph