Sabr - OT question...

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Registered: 10-16-1999
Sabr - OT question...
11
Fri, 07-16-2010 - 8:47am

Since you seem to have made something of a career of animal rescue, I'm sure you've done more "nursing them back to health" than most...

On Wednesday evening, I came home to a REAL mess, it was totally disgusting! Missy had vomited and had diarrhea all over the house! :( (I don't crate her during the day anymore, because normally there is no need to - she doesn't have accidents, and she doesn't get into things) Normally, Missy and Ace (S's 83 lb lab mix)excitedly greet me at the door, but Wednesday it was just Ace at the door while Missy laid under the dining room table looking at me. I start cleaning the mess, and she starts having dry heaves that won't stop, so I call the vet. We get there, and my baby girl who weighed 31.4 at her visit last week now weighs 29.6... doesn't sound like a lot of weight to drop, but at her size that 1 1/2 lb is a fair percentage of her original weight. He tells me she probably ate something that made her sick and gave her a shot to stop the vomiting, tells me to rest her stomach, only offer small amounts of water and no food for several hours, and gave me "sensitive stomach" food. She really only nibbled at the food when I offered it, and only takes a few laps of water at a time.

Yesterday morning, I wake up to Ace having zero energy, and several piles of vomit at the back door - way too big to be compliments of Missy. So I take his food and water away, basically giving him the same treatment as Missy. By last night Missy is back to her usual activity level, but still not eating. Ace was still really inactive, just drinking a few laps of water, and turning his nose up at the special food.

This morning, both are at about their usual activity level, but both are still turning their noses away from the sensitive stomach food (a canned food) as well as the few bits of their usual food that I offered them. They are drinking a little better though. My vet is out of town, so he's unavailable to me, and he's the only one within 30 miles who specializes in dogs or cats... the rest in our area do cattle, horses, pigs, etc., and only see dogs for the farmers who are cattle clients.

Do you have any idea how to get these dogs eating again? Preferably something that's not going to end up on my floor! It's been 2 days since Missy ate much of anything and probably a day and a half since Ace ate - she last ate Tuesday night, Ace last ate on Wednesday night. As I said, their activity level isn't much off this morning, but I'm starting to get worried.

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Avatar for sabrtooth
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Registered: 12-03-1999
Fri, 07-16-2010 - 10:09am

Boiled rice, boiled ground lamb--or if you can't find that, boiled ground round, & cottage cheese. Start off with small portions- about 1 cup total, divided between the 3 ingredients. Offer the cottage cheese first, about a teasp & see if they will take it alone, as the cheese will settle their stomachs. If they like it, give about 1/4 cu alone, wait a little while & see if it stays down, and then offer the mix. The rice/lamb(mutton) is easily digestible, and that's why a smaller amount will go a longer way, nutritionally. Brown rice is better, if you have it on hand, but takes longer to cook, and some dogs don't like it. Most dogs HATE vet food, like sensitive stomach, Kidney Diet, Heart diet, etc., so don't feel bad. Another thing you can add, if they eat the rice/lamb/cheese mix, is about a tablespoon of brewers' yeast. You MIGHT be able to get it at the grocery, but for sure at a health food store.

Two possible causes: heat STRESS. Even if they are not outside or in a car, if you turn the air conditioning up when no one is home, or if they don't have MORE water than usual, & if something excited them, or if they were playing, they could have had an episode. Other than that, the MOST common cause is them both getting into something in your yard. BTW if you've sprayed Weed-B-Gone and they ate grass, that'll do it. The other yard related possibility is that they ate nightshade, foxglove, tomato, hydrangea, or morning glory, to name a common few. Check out the yard CAREFULLY, and see if you find anything chewed.

And of course, the last possibility is lepto or parvo, which they can get from coyotes or foxes that roam thru your yard. If their appetite doesn't return with the lamb, get to the Dr. IF they are not taking WATER that is more of a worry. If that is the case, try offering some ice cubes. Most dogs love to play with them, and will slurp up some water in the process-but your floor will be a mess. Keep me posted.

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Registered: 10-16-1999
Fri, 07-16-2010 - 10:35am

Thanks sabr! I need to go to the store anyway, I'll see if I can find the lamb... I have rice and a little cottage cheese left.

I doubt that it was the heat (though it WAS incredibly hot outside on Wednesday). They were in the house all day except for brief trips out to potty, and we keep our downstairs at about 72 so that S's room upstairs stays around 75, and they aren't allowed upstairs - baby-gated off. The house felt really good when I got home around 4. I checked the yard, and I wonder if it isn't morning glory - we have a spot next to the garage that they were sniffing around a lot when I was out the evening before doing some weeding in the garden, and when I checked there, there is a bunch of wild morning glory growing there. Or I should say WAS - it's gone now. We don't put any chemicals on our lawn or gardens, so I ruled that out early on... and our neighbors haven't treated their yards recently.

Both dogs are fully up to date on their vaccinations... I'm pretty sure parvo is a routine vaccine... isn't lepto too? Their doc (Missy & Ace go to the same vet) didn't seem concerned about that when he reviewed her records. And I did remind him that Ace is living with us too, and he took a quick glance at his records at the same time. Gotta love computerized medical records! ;)

Avatar for sabrtooth
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Registered: 12-03-1999
Fri, 07-16-2010 - 8:29pm

How'er they doing Ro? Eating ANYTHING? Parvo is a usual immunization, Lepto is not; but in a area where they come across foxes and coyotes, it's a good idea--it's in canine urine.

Ozzie also had Lyme Disease, even tho we used flea and tick repellent--but Lyme does not cause ONGOING vomiting and diarrhea--only at the beginning. We now vaccinate yearly. I've had SEVERAL PEOPLE patients with diagnosed Lyme, and some more that (Dr I temped for) SUSPECTED were Lyme. It's rampant in our area, for at least 2 years.

As for plants, here is a link to the common culprits... http://www.facebook.com/notes/petsecure-pet-health-insurance/petsecure-pet-insurances-toxic-plant-list-for-dogs-cats/379286273239

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Registered: 10-16-1999
Sat, 07-17-2010 - 7:52am

Thanks for asking sabr.

Missy is doing better - not her usual self, but she's at least back to drinking some water - maybe half of what she usually does, and she's had maybe a cup of cottage cheese in the last 24 hours. no more vomiting or diarrhea from her.

Ace on the other hand... not so good. Turns his nose up at water, cottage cheese, everything that is offered. He did have a little water and cottage cheese last night and threw it up in about 1/2 hour. Our vet is supposed to be back in town as of last night, and I think I'm going to try to talk S into giving him a call today. S is BROKE, and payday isn't until Friday, so he really doesn't want to do that (doesn't have $$ to put gas in his truck to get to work this week, much less pay a vet bill) but I think I'll pay the bill if I have to. I can't stand to see this poor baby so sick. The good news is that S's g/f is a huge animal person (she could transition into hoarding easily if she didn't have someone to curb her impulses!), and she agrees with me that Ace needs to see his doctor.

The bad news in all of this is that hubby and I are leaving on Monday to go to Washington state to see Z get off the plane from Iraq, we'll be gone a week. There is NO way I'm going to miss that trip... I'm going to talk to N (who is moving 3 doors down the street from us today) and S's g/f and see if they will deal with these dogs. N was planning to take Missy to her house while we were gone, but I don't want N's 2 dogs exposed to whatever these two have, in case it is contagious, so asking her to take care of them here is asking her to do a lot more than she planned. But she's a big dog lover, so I think I might be able to get her to do it. S's g/f might step up too, if I talk to her about it. And S? Well, you've heard the stories about his childhood - and he's about as good of a doggie daddy as his bio parents are as parents to human babies. :( Well, maybe not THAT bad, but he just doesn't step up to the plate like a good doggie daddy should. It hasn't been unusual in the last 9 months for him to go *days* without paying any attention to his dog (including feeding him), and I just can't take care of Missy and let Ace sit there and watch her eat, or play with Missy and ignore Ace. So while Ace probably thinks he's in doggie heaven at our house, it's because his nana and papa are meeting his needs, and not his daddy. As we've been planning this trip to see Z, it never occurred to us to leave the dogs 100% in S's care... I really think I need to talk to the g/f about helping N with the dogs. N works 2nd shift, g/f works first shift, but between the two of them, I think they can have it covered. They normally don't get along all that well, but they DO both love animals, and they're both worried about these two sick puppies... and they're both familiar with our vet since they take their own dogs to him.

Just took Ace out to pee... pee'd very little, and what I did see tells me he's pretty dehydrated - his urine is pretty concentrated. The director of nursing where I work tells new CNAs that urine is supposed to be the color of lemonade, if it's getting to be closer to the color of apple juice, you need to really encourage people to drink coz it means they're getting dehydrated. Darker than apple juice, we need to call the doctor. Well.... Ace is in the apple juice range right now. :( (My apologies to anyone who has just lost their appetite for lemonade and apple juice!) When I had Missy in on Wednesday, he said if she didn't start drinking by Thursday afternoon he wanted to start an IV on her to get her hydrated... I'm thinking he's going to want to put an IV in Ace when he sees him.

Avatar for sabrtooth
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Registered: 12-03-1999
Sat, 07-17-2010 - 10:05am
Water under the skin at least, for sure. Has Ace been fully, regularly vaccinated? Since both the dogs got sick, but Missy milder, it could be illness, and she just got a milder case since she has some antibodies. The thing is, most of the usual suspects, even distemper, are most often in younger, or kennel stressed dogs. This looks more like they both ate something they shouldn't have. Heck, if they got into the garbage, it could even be E-Coli When you take Ace to the vet, remind him that Missy has the same symptoms, but not so severe. There's not much the docs can do other than supportive measures, like water under the skin, anti-diarrheals, and force feeding, if necessary. Force feeding isn't as bad as it sounds. You take the bland diet I gave you, grind it up, mix with small amount of water, and use a small baster to squirt it in the cheek pocket, or down their throat. But that only works after you get them to keep food down. I hope the 2 girls are up for this, because it could take some time to get the dogs stabilized. Also, check Ace's gums--if they are dry, tacky, or pale, that's another sign of dehydration. Make sure the girls understand what to look for, as this could be an up and down course for a while. Let me know what the doc says. And if your doc isn't back in town today, maybe your local shelter has a doc on call. We've done that, because the ER vet clinics cost a fortune
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Registered: 10-16-1999
Sat, 07-17-2010 - 3:17pm

I don't know about regularly vaccinated, but when he was seen in Dec. by this vet, his vaccinations were brought up to date. He had a fever when I took him in today, and was dehydrated too, but the vet said he was on the edge of needing IV, so we're trying an anti-emetic first. Sure enough, within 45 minutes of getting the medicine, Ace was at the water bowl. We let him drink some (not as much as he wanted) and waited an hour. No puking, so I put the water down for him again and this time he drank a fair amount and walked away. That was 45 minutes ago, and no puking yet. He's still turning away from the cottage cheese, but Missy wouldn't take that until she'd been keeping water in her system for a few hours so I'm not too concerned yet. He also got Remidyl and Clavimox like Missy got the other day. The last time Ace was seen he weighed 80 lbs (December) but when we weighed him at a pet store in April he weighed 83. Today he was 77. He's already perking up some and more active, so I think he might be on the mend too, now that he has some medicine in his system.

I told the vet that DH and I were going out of town on Monday, and he said that if the kids had any question, they should bring the dogs in, and he'd put the charges on account until we got back - normally he doesn't do charge accounts, but given that we're leaving he'll do it for us. I'm hoping that they don't need to do that, but at least the option is there. DD is a CNA, g/f is a personal care worker working on CNA... I'm hoping that will help them make wise decisions about these two while we're gone.

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Registered: 10-16-1999
Sat, 07-17-2010 - 8:09pm
I think I have good news sabr - the vet recommended making a mix of brown rice, boiled potatoes, scrambled egg and cottage cheese (lite on the egg) with no salt or grease/fat and try offering it to them while it was still warm. They ate that (1/4 cup for Missy, 3/4 cup for Ace) about 1/2 hour ago, and looked for more. No puking yet, and Ace is still going back to the bowl looking for more. I think we're on the mend here! Woo hoo!
Avatar for sabrtooth
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Registered: 12-03-1999
Sat, 07-17-2010 - 9:54pm
I'm VERY HAPPY. Sounds like they had E-coli-- both ate something spoiled. No fat/no salt bland diet is the best for healing doggy tummies. If they keep this down for a while, you can trade the egg protein for the boiled meat protein, and use the boil water to mix it. As long as the appetite is back, they are on the mend. But like I said, be watchful for a downturn before everything goes back up again. Even PEOPLE w/E-coli can have a relapse before they heal completely. XOXOXO, SAM
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Registered: 10-16-1999
Sun, 07-18-2010 - 8:08am
Since they kept going back to the bowls last night, I fed them more of the mix the vet suggested, and it hasn't shown up on my floor, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we're good. I'll be making some more of it today so the girls have it available... think I'm going to start mixing a little bit of their normal kibble in with it this afternoon and see how that goes. Still can't figure out what they might have gotten into... not the garbage. Ace has a little bit more "free roam" than Missy does, since he doesn't normally leave the yard when we let them out (and hasn't recently), but Missy is always tethered when she's outside. She'll stay with me fairly consistently - until she spots a squirrel or other furry little critter in the neighbor's yard, and then she's gone and it's very difficult to call her back. Sure wish fencing the yard were an option.
Avatar for sabrtooth
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Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 07-18-2010 - 12:48pm
Escherichia coli lives in the lower intestines of most animals--you, me, cows, wild animals, the dog down the block. Normal E. coli can undergo virulent strain formation while in the intestines. Typically, virulent strain formation will show up as just mild to moderate diarrhea, but it is also possible, on occasion, to form more deadly strains. Some of the virulent strains are hardy organisms that can survive several weeks on surfaces such as counter tops, floors, sidewalks, and up to a year in some materials like compost. They also have a very low infectious dose - meaning that only a relatively small number of bacteria (fewer than 50) are needed “to set-up housekeeping” in a victim’s intestinal tract and cause infection. So, one of the dogs could have converted, and the other caught it from the first, or they both caught it from an outside source -- like an infected pet or wild animal that shed bacteria in feces OR URINE(didn't know THAT, did you?) and then our pets walk in it, or lick it... an infected animal can contaminate even a puddle! What do animals lick, on themselves and each other? And then they lick the ground, or a puddle... Also, sad to say, they can get it from US-- from drinking infected toilet water, or licking a hand that was not well washed.

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