Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lois Lane Update 2

Lois Lane continues to improve!  She is still in the doggie hospital and probably will be for several more days.  After our last visit to her she got a little overly excited causing her to regurgitate more than she should, further irritating her esophagus.  The next day when her vet called to give us an update he said that she would be faster healing if she didn't get so excited.  So yes, that means we can't visit her until it's time to pick her up.  She doesn't flip out with anyone else, just when she sees any of her human family (because she wants to go home so bad I'm sure!).  So we haven't seen her since Monday evening, but we get updates every day.  She's actually "turned the corner" the vet was looking for, which is a great improvement.  She has only regurgitated once since we saw her on Monday. Tomorrow morning they will give her some water by mouth, rather than IV, to see if she can drink it and keep it down.  If she can they will progress to small amounts of food the next day.  Once she can eat and drink and keep everything down she gets to come home!!! The vet actually thinks her pancreatitis is over, but that we're now dealing with esophagitis due to all of her regurgitating and puking eroding her poor esophagus.

Jason and I were talking the other night about how different our house is without Lois Pain here causing trouble.  The house is so quiet!  No little black nose bumping us in the back of the knee, no whining and running in counter-clockwise circles around the patio table, no freaking out when the cat is fed.  It's amazing the little things that are annoying in everyday life that we miss so much when they are gone.  I'd give anything to have my little annoyance back!  Hopefully really, really soon...

Due to the expense that we have with Lois Lane being in the 24 hour care facility for so long (almost 2 weeks) we've had to cancel our California trip in August.  I'm still going Monday through Friday since it was a business trip for me for work to begin with.  Jason was going to go with me and we were going to stay through Sunday to have some site-seeing time and quality alone time, but that's just not going to work out, unfortunately.  We do hope to be able to reschedule it, maybe by mid next year for our 10th wedding anniversary.  I know our good friend Merle that we were to tour around with was very disappointed to hear that we weren't making it.  We'll make it up to you Merle - I promise!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lois Lane Update I

I wanted to get an update out earlier, but things have been a bit hectic with everything going on.  If you read the last Lois Lane post you'll know she was not doing well as of Wednesday afternoon.  She was whining and shaking and panting again, just like the week before when we had to keep her at the vet on fluids and we knew it wasn't a good sign.  At this point she hadn't kept down anything she had eaten in almost a week. Poor Jason was becoming a wreck being home by himself, deciding what to do for Lois, cleaning up puke all day, not to mention cleaning up pee and poo since Buddy still isn't 100% house trained.  It was really wearing on him and he sounded miserable.  At that point we decided it was time for me to head home.  Jason needed help and I needed to see Lois in case she didn't pull through.

Thursday morning the girls and I took one of the two vehicles we had (thanks Mom & Dad!) and headed home 3 days early.  It was rough driving 12 hours straight by myself with the girls zonked out in the back seat, but it had to be done.  I talked to Jason when I was about half way home and he said he was taking Lois back to the emergency ER.  She was not holding down solid food and regurgitating too often.  They put her back on fluids until the next day when we were to give them our decision on the next steps.

Dr. Campbell, Lois' vet, recommended putting Lois on a feeding tube since at this point she had not had any food in 8 days and her body would begin to deteriorate if she didn't get any calories.  After giving it a lot of thought overnight we decided to give it a try.  Our only options were that or to put her down.  At 4 years old and being such a special dog to us we just couldn't bare to give up yet.  So now she'll be on the feeding tube for 5 - 7 days before they re-evaluate her condition.  If by the end of that time she can keep down solid foods and water she can come home.  If not, we have to make the difficult decision to keep trying or to let her go.

We go to visit her every day.  She's still mad at me for leaving for a week, I think, and won't have much to do with me.  I'm hoping she gets over that soon.  But she flocks to Jason, so at least she is responding to our visits.  She didn't look very good yesterday.  Though we believe she was still recovering from the anesthetic from when her feeding tube was inserted.  She never responds well and it takes a couple of days for her to get back to normal.  She was still shaking and panting and the vet said her esophagus is extremely irritated to do all of the vomiting and regurgitating, so she's also on an acid reflux medication to help allow her throat to heal.

The vet called this morning with an update saying she's walking around now but still regurgitating.  Though he said with the extent of what she's been through it's not abnormal.  And he still thinks we're on track for the 5 - 7 days at this point.  We'll visit her again this afternoon and hopefully she's looking better than she was yesterday.  I just want her back home safe and healthy!  Thanks to everyone for the thoughts and prayers going out for her.  It means a lot to us!

We went and visited Lois today and she's doing so much better!  She was alert and aware and whining to come home with us.  I got a picture with my iPhone.  You can see the feeding tube in her neck (detached of course).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lois Lane Needs Good Vibes

Last week my little Lois Lane  (aka Lois Pain, Loley, LoLo) became drastically ill.  Upon taking her to the vet they determined that she was having pancreas issues.  Her blood levels were testing through the roof and she could not hold down food or the smallest bit of water.   Unfortunately during this time we had a planned annual vacation with the family at the beach in North Carolina.  Due to her condition, Jason chose to stay home and let Portia and I continue on to the vacation destination with my family while he stayed behind to care for Lois.

After a second vet visit they wanted to admit her for overnight observation on IV fluids.  That one night turned into five and in turn ended up moving her to a 24 hour vet clinic for round the clock observation.  As of Monday her pancreas and liver levels had stabilized and they began feeding her solid foods and real water.  If she could keep that down she was able to return home today.  All was good, she was keeping all liquids and solids down for 48 hours so Jason was able to pick her up at 4pm today.  Jason picked her up as planned and brought her home.  She's been home for 6 hours now and has vomited three times in that short period.  At this point we don't know if this is due to her excitement of being home or if it is a further complication of her pancreatitis.  The vet said that if she vomited any more to call them for further instruction.  If she is still vomiting by morning we will call the vet back and take her back in where she will likely require a feeding tube to get the nutrients she needs to survive.  I pray that this is not the case and that she is just so excited to be home that she is working herself up a bit too much.  Tonight Jason is going to try to feed her and put her up on the couch with him (which is her normal evening routine) and see if she can calm down a bit.  If by morning she is not better we have a huge decision to make as to keep treating her with a feeding tube or to let her go.  She is only 4 years old and I hope to do anything and everything we can.  Unfortunately this whole ordeal has been very expensive and we can only do so much for her until we run out of finances to realistically help her any further.

Please keep my little Lois Lane in your thoughts and prayers.  She is the best little girl dog I've ever known and deserves a second chance at life.  I can't imagine life without her, especially this early after only having her for 3 years.  She is normally lively, vivacious and a firecracker!  To lose her now, especially when I am 600+ miles away and Jason is caring for her alone, would break my heart.  I've already lost one dog when I was out of the state - I don't want to lose another.  She has to pull through this...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Meet Buddy, Our New Fur Buddy!

Wednesday evening as I was perusing around Facebook I came across a post from a friend of ours that read "Can anyone foster a Great Pyrenees/Golden Retriever mix till Monday?".  Since Jason and I have been kicking around the idea of adopting another dog for several months we thought it might be a good opportunity to help out and to see what life would be like with four dogs in the house.

What we weren't aware of was the reason the dog needed to be fostered and the condition he would be in when he got to us. On June 30 there were 37 dogs removed from a mobile home in Mt. Vernon, Kentucky.  Every dog was severely emaciated and covered in fleas.  There were dogs from chihuahuas to great danes, young and old.  They were living in filthy conditions where they were standing in up to 6" of feces in some areas.   Every single dog was removed from the home and sent immediately to the vet.  Currently all of the dogs are in foster homes, apart from the ones that are still too bad off to leave the veterinary office.  For the full story and photos visit the United Rescues of Kentucky web site.  There are updates, news videos and press videos linked from this page.  (If you are sensitive to photos of starved dogs, you may want to refrain from going past the first page.)  There is also a donation form to help out with the vet expenses for this group of dogs - if you can help out any at all it would be greatly appreciated.  If you do donate, please leave a comment and let me know!

So Buddy came to stay with us from Thursday until Monday, when he would then be transported to Great Pyrenees Rescue in Indianapolis.  In the first day alone we realize how sweet and gentle and how starved for attention and food Buddy was.   They marked him as a Great Pyrenees/Golden Retriever mix, however we fail to see where the Golden Retriever is.  At any rate, he came to us weighing 55 pounds when he probably should average about 100 pounds.  He looks big and healthy but one pet down his back and you can feel ever vertebrate, every rib and every bone in the poor guy.

By day two of Buddy being with us we started pondering on either fostering him longer or outright adopting him ourselves.  The more time went by, the more we wanted to keep him.  So finally last night we submitted our application to adopt him.  Last night we got an email ending with "Congratulations on becoming pyr'ents!" so we're assuming we're good to go. ;)

We're working on fattening him up, grooming him, house training him and he's scheduled to be neutered on Saturday.  He's a little food aggressive with our dogs (who could blame the poor dog) but other than that he gets along wonderfully with all of them.  And he LOVES kids - it's really cute!  So needless to say, you'll be seeing a lot of Buddy photos in the coming months as he heals and transitions into our family.

As for updates on the other dogs, Lois Lane had another seizure and has been officially diagnosed with epilepsy.  The vet put her on phenobarbital which she's been on since Thursday and so far so good.  The meds make her a little drunk acting, however the vet said that would diminish after a couple of weeks.  Fingers crossed that she continues to do well.

Blue is, well, Blue.  He's put out with Buddy being here and stealing all of his attention, but he'll get over it once things calm down.  And Hardy is deaf as ever, but still going strong.  Happy Dogs = Happy House! And a really bad photo taken with my phone, but it shows Buddy's size - imagine when he's gained 40 pounds!  :P