Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Our Wheaten Terrier Almost Died

Sorry to have been gone so long.  It has been a crazy week.  A week ago last Saturday, our Wheaten Terrier became sick, and was worse on Sunday.  He was vomiting and wouldn't touch his food.  It took him to the Vet on Monday.  He was concerned, as his temp was 105.2, and they kept him to run tests.  After many tests, the only thing we knew for sure was that he tested positive for pancreatitis.  He was getting worse by the hour, and was obviously in a lot of pain.  He would not even lift his head off the blanket when we came in.  He was on IV's for nourishment, and they began him on antibiotics, and pain meds.  But still, he was in bad shape, and we really didn't know why.  By Wednesday, his condition was so poor, that we had to consider the option of having to put him down.  He had developed explosive diarrhea by this time, in addition to still vomiting, and was just in a pitiful state.  It was so hard to see him, and not have any answers.  We felt like we were in an episode of House.  Did you ever watch that show on TV?  There was always some bizarre case that no one could quite figure out, and in the end, House always did.  But so far, our Vet had not figured it out.  They did a Parvo test, just to ease their own minds, but it was negative.  Then sent out a fecal sample.  And we had given our okay for them to do an ultra sound to rule out cancer of the stomach.  These were the only tests left to do.  And if nothing were found, we knew what had to be done.  We went home that night with heavy hearts.  Ducey is Greg's dog, and the rest of us tolerate him, as he can be a bit overwhelming.  Very high strung, and since we got our lab Dusty, he has been very jeoulous.  Anyway, seeing him so sick was just awful, and all of us so badly wanted him to pull through.  That next morning, the Dr. called with an answer.  Ducey had a parasite.  A parasite that can only be contracted by eating raw fish.   The vet said that once the fish is ingested, there is an incubation period of 7-10 days before the animal shows signs of illness. The only fish that carry it are trout and salmon.  AND they are primarily are found in the Pacific Northwest.  Ducey got sick exactly one week after Greg brought home his prize trout from Big Bear.  We had our answer, and we knew exactly how he got sick!  Greg cleaned the fish in the kitchen, and was tossing the guts into the trash that he would later take outside.  He turned his back for a moment, and Ducey had his face buried in the can, eating fish guts. 
And now it all came together and made sense.  Many local lakes are often stocked with fish from hatcheries out of the Pacific Northwest.  Big Bear Lake had just held a trout fest fishing derby, and the lake had been additionally stocked.  Greg caught Walter.  And he must have been a transplant from a hatchery up north.  This disease was discovered in the late 1800's and dogs would die 10-14 days after the onset of symptoms.  It is fatal in canines.  Bears and raccoons have a tolerance.  We caught it, but it may have been too late.  They cultured it, and zeroed in on the exact antibiotic to best treat it, and kept him on IV, and pain meds, and  powerful antibiotics.  He was dewormed, and treated with all of the best care and medication.  But, how much damage was already done, we just couldn't be sure.  By Saturday night, one week after getting sick, he was stable enough to come home.  So we got all of our instructions for treatment, medications, prescription food for critical care, and we loaded our poor pitiful pup into the car, and took him home.  Mind you, he still had not had any food or water by mouth for 8 days.  And he HAD to have food with this medicine.  That first night, we got the meds down him, but he would not touch the food.  He did want water, and we gave him a little bit at a time.
 We made a bed for him in the kitchen, and gated him off from Dusty.  We both took turns laying on the floor with him that night, we were so worried. 
The next morning, I rolled his pill into the canned food, like a little meatball.  I had to force it down his throat.  And then I rolled 4 more tiny meatballs, and opened his mouth, and coaxed them down, one at a time.  I offered rice and chicken broth, but he still wasn't interested.  By that evening when it was time for meds, I did it the same way, but this time he seemed interested in the meatballs.  So I made his dish again, and finally, he ate.  Thank goodness.  That is when we knew he would make it.  He has shown tremendous improvement each day. 
Today the gate is down, and he is bouncing back rapidly.  He is still weak, and slower than usual.  But he is becoming more like the Ducey we loved, and sometimes didn't, every day.  Thank God!!!  Poor Greg felt just terrible about him getting into the fish guts.  What a freakish thing to happen.  So, if you fish, and you have dogs, and/or cats.....don't EVER clean them in the same area as your pets.  It could kill them.  I don't think Ducey would have made it one more day, had we not discovered the problem and got him on the right meds.  We are so thankful!!
His two front paws were shaved for IV lines, and his bottom was shaved due to the severe burning rash he had from the diarrhea.  I think it will be a while yet, but he is going to be A-Okay. 
So, that's what I have been up to this past week.  What about you?
XO  Kris

32 comments:

Teresa Kasner said...

Oh my goodness, Kris.. you've just had one thing after another.. poor baby. I wish I was close enough to give you a real hug. Ducey reminds me so much of our Buddy.. so it brings it home to me what sadness you've had to endure. We also almost lost a dog to this.. we bought some smoked salmon at the beach and I actually gave our dog some of the bone we found in it.. not pointy ones, but the backbone type. He got really sick too.. I learned my lesson. Thanks for sharing this with others, you might save someones dog. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Taciana Simmons said...

Omg Kris... That was soooo scary... You poor thing. It has been a very hard couple of months for you and your family my dear friend. .. I'm so glad he is doing ok and you guys found out right on time. It's very hard to loose a pet, they are certainly part of our family. I'm glad he is ok and I pray you can have a break now and things calm down for you and your family for a while ... I'm thinking about you my friend 🌹

Susanne said...

Just when life seems to settle down along comes another crisis and worries. At first when I started reading your post my mind went right back when my oldest daughter's springer spaniel Molly got sick and was constantly running outside to move her bowels, she wouldn't eat, couldn't poop and just laid around. They called the vet, he told them to give the dog Milk of Magnesia, so they did. The vet said if the dog was not better to bring her in the office in the morning. Of course things always go wrong on a Saturday or Sunday. They had a 4th of July party Saturday and thought maybe someone had given the dog a chicken wing, and we all know not to give chicken bones to a dog. It was hard to tell what some of the kids could have given her, not realizing it could hurt her. Well on Monday morning they checked on her and she had died that night. My daughter was so overcome with grief, they had no children then, her dog was like a baby to her. They were pretty upset with the vet and it was concluded the dog died of bloat. It is not uncommon for mid-sized and larger dogs to suffer from this because they gulp their food and they run and their stomachs get twisted. Now who would have ever figured that fish can cause a problem, heck some dogs even eat feces and lord knows what else. The list of foods not to give dogs are raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate. Are there more?....now fish. I am so glad your dog is recovering. You have been through a lot of things these past couple of months. I have 2 little dogs, I know how worrisome it can be when they get sick.
(((HUGS))) Susanne :)

Holly said...

I was so worried for all of you last week. So glad he is on the mend.

Mereknits said...

Oh Kris, what a story. Poor, Poor Ducey. Greg can not blame himself, curious dogs to get themselves into a bit of trouble. I am so glad that your vet was so persistent in finding out what was wrong. My Max had parasites once, when he was little we took him to the dog park, and after that he became really ill, he must have stepped on dog poop that had it. So we have never gone back, he isn't really that fond of other dogs anyway.

I hope you and Greg are both feeling better and that your baby is too.
Hugs,
Meredith

Deb~in~Denver said...

Oh, Kris. Life keeps throwing those curve balls. I'm so glad to hear Ducey is on the road to recovery, what a frightening time for all of you! If only our pets could talk! It's so hard to watch them suffer and not know what's wrong with them. Wishing you a calm, relaxing, adventure free week!!
xo

Debbie said...

WOW~! How scary and what an ordeal for all of you....poor Ducey! Soo glad they figured out what was wrong and you were able to get him the help he needed. Praying he continues to improve and this becomes a distant horrifying memory!

Sarah said...

Poor Ducey! I'm so glad he's on the mend. I can't imagine how scared you and Greg must have been. Hugs!

Gloria Baker said...

OMY Kris this was scared and terrible, por Little thing like when a child is sick we dont have what happens with pets sometimes. Oh dear, Im glad he is better, I whish you have a nice and morelax week!

From the Kitchen said...

Poor pup! And, poor you! It's so hard to see our pets so sick and have to make the right decision for them.
Glad to hear of the improvement and hope it continues.

Best,
Bonnie

Jeanna said...

Oh Kris, I am so sorry to hear about Ducey. Even though they can be frustrating at times, our animals are like our kids. It is so scary when you know they aren't well but they can't tell you what hurts.

I'm so happy that he is getting better...hoping he is well enough to aggravate you again soon :)

Melissa C said...

Oh my...Kris you have had a heck of a week. You had my heart with your words, and once I got to the photo of Greg lying next to him on the bed you all made, I lost it. That photo is priceless.

You all are really awesome pet owners, they are all blessed to be a part of your family :)

Hoping he continues to get better, and thanks so much for the tip :)

Bethany said...

Oh my goodness!!! That's crazy!! Thank heavens you guys figured it out. Wow.
I'm going to tell my Charlie to stop being such a baby when he needs his ear infection medicine later tonight.

Dawn said...

What a horrible thing, and you have been through enough lately. So glad you are seeing improvement every day:)

Home Meadows said...

Oh Kris, how awful. I'm glad he pulled through and the vet persevered. I hope things will settle down for you and you'll be able to enjoy the holiday season. Can you believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Heather

NanaNor's said...

Kris, I've never heard of this before but hopefully will never have to worry about it. I know here in Colorado, dogs get Giardhea from lakes and rivers. So very glad he is alright and getting stronger. We never know how much we love our pups until they get sick. Sending you all big hugs.
Noreen

Barbara F. said...

What a week, Chris. So glad Ducey is doing better. Great vet you have there . xo

a8383 said...

Girl you are due some good stuff- you have had a hard few months. Hugs, Angela

Twinkle Terrior said...

thank God Ducey made it ! what a joyful Thanksgiving for your family !! oxox

Valerie Smith said...

Kris,

I'm thrilled he made it. I was worried with you.

Hugs,

Valerie

mynestofyarnandbuttons said...

Oh Kris, you have been through so much.Thank goodness Ducey is recovering, what an ordeal. What we do for our pets, but they are family!!! I sure hope the rest of this week calms down for all of you. Hugs to all of you, xoRobin
Jack sends a doggy kiss, too.

Criossa said...

WOW! Thank heavens the illness was discovered when it was then. It is amazing how a pet can be annoying at times yet still loved so much. They truly are part of the family.

Linda said...

OMG!!!
Alls well....that ends well♥
Take care...
Cheers!
Linda :o)

Tammy said...

Soooooooo glad that he's feeling better. Give him some love for me.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

OH my gosh, Kris...poor dog. It is amazing things were figured out in time. It must have been awful to go through. I am so glad he has turned the corner and is recuperating...xo

Terri said...

What an ordeal! We're sending hugs to Ducey and so glad this has a happy ending.

Jann Olson said...

Oh Kris, that was such a scary episode! I am so glad that they finally figured out what it was and was able to treat him. It's hard losing a pet you have loved for so long. Almost like losing a member of the family. Sounds like you have been through a lot. Things are looking up girl!
hugs,
Jann

Kerri said...

What a scary time. I'm so glad you guys were able to find the problem when you did and now Ducey is on the mend. I said a prayer when I saw your ig post. I might not have understood a year ago...but after having our dog a year the end of this month, I now understand how they become a part of our family.

Pat Frank said...

Oh My Goodness, Kris!

Poor little guy! I will send up some prayer requests to Saint Francis of Assisi for Ducey to get well soon. I hope he soon will be running around, back to normal, and all of you can relax.

Take care!
Pat

Pam said...

How scary! I am so glad he is doing better. :)

Tania @ Out Back said...

Oh poor baby. Hope he is doing better now :)

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

How awful. I sure hope Ducey is still doing okay. Thank goodness the vet figured out what was wrong. I've never heard of anything like it before. Just makes you wonder sometimes how our own bodies tolerate the things we put into them. Terriers can be very hyper. I had a wire-haired fox terrier years ago. But what wonderful dogs they are. Hugs, Tammy