Monday, September 24, 2012

Down But Not Out or Why I Love The Internet

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.


Ruby said...

Oh, that is enouraging!! Fingers and paws crossed over here.
Thank God you have a good vet. I also had a good vet when my Annie was going through about the same thing. And the vet tried EVERYTHING! That is the kind of vet you want....not ruling any treatment out, no matter how outside the box it might be.
I am sending you good thoughts, POTP, and AireZens....



Anonymous said...

Oh poor Samba, we just know she is miserable, hope this works, we have our paws crossed again. Know it's not funny, but look for humor where ever, we think we felt a 4 on the Ricther Scale here today in Oklahoma, tell Sky to point the next one to the east.

Your worried Furends
Susie & Bites

Casey said...

I'm keeping all my paws crossed that this works!!

Nichole said...

Oh dear.... I had loved the email you sent me and was hoping the results were still on the improve... Please keep me posted... all fingers, toes and paws still crossed here!

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

We are at a loss for what to say other than let's hope this med does the trick to let all the pups be healthy again. The power of the paw is working overtime for sure.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

Pei In The Life said...

Sending good Pei Vibes your way.

Chingmy & Family

Marjie said...

I'm hoping along with you. Your pack and you are in my thoughts.

Bruce from Down Under said...

Oh my gosh, the ups and downs must be so very stressful. We haven't any suggestions but we do have lots of LOVE to send to you all. Please know we have you in our thoughts. Hugs to everybuddy. No worries (especially for you all) and love, Stella and Rory (and Carol)

Jo's World said...

The Pups are trying cow medicine and we are hoping and hoping it will work to beat the band!

Its great you are hooked up with the POrtie group and got this info on Sunday. I can only imagine how disheartening it is with no improvement at all. But I feel hopeful with the new stuff, as long as you can keep tossing it down the pups!

Thanks for letting us all know!

Love and hugs to all of you,

Jo, Stella and Zkhat

scotsmad said...

We are hoping it works.

You can only go day by day. It was the same with Kendra. But when she finally just went away and hid, we knew it was time.

XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

Mr. Pip said...

My paws are crossed that the new meds help Samba and Sky! Keep us posted! Hope you can get some rest, too.

Your pal, Pip

SissySees said...

We have crossed paws and Sissy is slinging drool. I'm glad Dr. B. is open to suggestions, and here's to a ... more solid day tomorrow.

rottrover said...

Paws crossed as long as they need to be.

Bart and Ruby

Two French Bulldogs said...

we are still sending good vibes to Samba
Benny & Lily

Mitch and Molly said...

The AireZen continues to flow and our paws remain crossed.

Love ya lots
Mitch and Molly

Anonymous said...

Earlier today when I followed your blog I was called away, unable to let you know how much I am hoping your Samba recovers. You really have had a rollar coaster ride with her, but also your other dears. May all these good thoughts and prayers give you the strength to keep fighting for Samba.