When last we posted on Friday, things were looking up. Samba was eating very small amounts and keeping them down. She had gained half a pound and the dreaded diarrhea was easing up.
What a difference a day can make! Saturday was a very bad day for Samba and me. When I served her breakfast, she informed me that she didn't want it. I went thru all the choices that she had previously shown interest in, but she just walked away. Then I tried giving her the anti nausea pill thinking perhaps she was feeling queasy. No go! She refused to take her meds or to even open her mouth. Instead she asked to go out. We did, only to discover the watery diarrhea was back.
The whole day was like that. We made numerous trips outside and she had numerous bouts of diarrhea, but she absolutely refused to open her mouth.
Sunday morning I expected another battle, but she was amazingly agreeable and took all her meds without a fuss. Then she ate a few pieces of dog food. But the day went downhill from there. She continued with the runny poop and she refused to eat anything for the rest of the day and wouldn't take her meds.
This morning, once again, she refused food or pills. I didn't sleep well last night and I expected I might have a very unhappy post for you today. BUT don't count us out yet.
When I got involved with Portuguese Water Dogs, I joined the National Breed Club and became familiar with other owners and breeders of Porties. Because the dogs were fairly rare, we shared a lot of information with each other. We have the Georgie Project and The PWD Foundation, both working on health issues in the breed and we have several internet lists where we can put out questions and get the benefit of each other's experience.
Yesterday two other Portie owners sent me info thru the lists. They had each gone thru the same problems of uncontrolled diarrhea and loss of weight. One had gone on for months and the dog almost died. Then they each tried a certain drug and in both cases it got the diarrhea under control and both dogs gained their weight back and are now doing well more than a year later.
I looked up the drug and discovered that it's for livestock and not approved for use in dogs, but many vets have used it with good results. First thing this morning I called Dr B and asked him about it. Rob went over to pick it up and we're trying it on both Samba and Sky.
There is a catch, isn't there always? The stuff is a powder with an extremely bitter taste and dogs don't like it. Sky isn't too much of a problem, I can pry his big mouth open and stuff it down his throat, but Miss Samba is another story. Dr B sent home a bottle of some sweet, sticky syrup to mix with the bitter powder to try and fool them. When we mixed the two, it formed a sticky ball of goo. No problem with Sky, I just threw that mess down his throat and he even licked the spoon.
Rob held Samba and of course she clamped her jaw closed, but I went in from the side of her mouth and when she opened it to try to spit my finger out I tossed in the sticky ball of goo. Then I held her mouth closed for a very long time till she had to finally swallow. Done!
About 20 minutes later Samba told me she had to go out. I leashed her up and she had a messy bout of diarrhea in the yard. Sky wasn't so lucky. It sneaked up on him and he didn't make it out quite fast enough. Rob shooed him out the door and cleaned up the floor, then we walked them both around for a while. Sky had a belch that measured on the Richter Scale. Then they both went inside and went to sleep.
Well, that was a reaction of some kind. Let's hope the next dose has a slightly better outcome.
Anyway, we're all still here and I want to thank everyone who has sent suggestions. When you have nothing left to lose, a suggestion from the magic internet might be the thing that turns the tide.