Thursday, September 20, 2012

On The Edge

Thank you to all of you who have left encouraging comments  and emailed me asking about my sick fur kids. I'll give you an update on the situation.

Most of my dogs have had this illness which causes loss of appetite, vomiting and watery diarrhea. It took Fudge about three weeks to get over it, but some of the others have gotten better much faster. Morgan was sick for about 36 hours and is now fine again.
We don't know exactly what we're dealing with but we've eliminated many possibilities and my vet and the vets at the University feel the dogs probably have salmonella poisoning from wildlife in the yard. Raccoons, opossum, and skunks can all bring the disease into backyards and leave it in their urine, feces and saliva. It's highly contagious and when the dog investigates the area or drinks from infected water, they can pick it up.

Sky is in his second week of the illness.
He's eating and drinking well and is on medication, so we're hoping that he soon starts showing some improvement

Last week Tess became sick, but was much improved in about four days.

On Tuesday morning Bailey became sick. She is doing better but is still on medication and special food.
Then there's Samba. Because of her MMM and long term steroid use to control it, her immune system is compromised. She is a very sick dog. She's been sick for about a month now and hasn't shown any real improvement. She'd have a good day followed by a complete crash. In the past two weeks she has lost eleven pounds and is so frail that I worry about breaking a bone when I handle her.

Because of the vomiting and uncontrollable diarrhea, she is getting no nutrition from the small amount of food that I can coax her to eat. Her body had started feeding on itself. She has no fat left and now the muscle is being used to keep her alive. On Tuesday morning when the vet examined her, he said that we're very close to the point of no return. If she loses about two more pounds, her body won't be able to come back from this.

On Tuesday she received an injection for nausea.  He said that her intestinal tract is a mess, but she's still a happy dog and suggested I try feeding her liver. Over several hours  that day she ate four chicken livers and about 1/4 cup of kibble. The injection worked and she didn't vomit and went for 32 hours without a bout of diarrhea.

The next day she didn't want liver anymore, but did manage to eat about 1/2 cup of kibble with each piece being hand fed. Her stool yesterday was slightly improved.

Today she has eaten almost a cup of kibble and her stool is about the same. Tomorrow morning she'll get another Cerenia injection for nausea and we hope it will get her thru the weekend and allow her to continue eating. We're very close to the line. If she isn't improving by Monday, we'll  probably have to say goodbye. As you can imagine, I'm spending every minute trying to coax her to eat and holding my breath waiting to see if it stays inside her.
I'm tired and emotional and trying everything I can think of to keep her going, but there isn't a lot more I can do.


Anonymous said...

You do your bestest with Samba, she knows you love her and your are doing everything for her, Here my two cents worth; "EAT SAMBA EAT"
We still got crossed paws and think of her everyday, the power of the paw is all we can offer.

Your good furends
Susie & Bites

Ruby said...

Oh, this breaks my heart.
I am only going to give ya POSITIVE thoughts....EAT SAMBA EAT!
(thanks Sidebite!) KEEP IT IN YA!!
I will be sending you, and all your family some AireZens....



♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

As Ruby said, this is just heartbreaking. You have way too much to deal with, but poor Samba. The injections for nausea have helped Phantom off and on too, but he is nowhere near her condition. Maybe she would eat some baby calves liver if you can even find it. Mom says she so understands the heartache of trying so hard to get a pup to eat. We are all calling out our strongest sibe vibes and the power of the paw for Samba to be OK.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

scotsmad said...

We know you'll be with her the whole time. We hope she starts to eat!

XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

Nicki said...

Yikes Sue-I'm just now getting around to catching up on blogs and seeing this. I so hope Samba improves. I know what she means to you. You guys will be in my prayers. Hugs to all.

Two French Bulldogs said...

Gosh this is so scary. You must be a nervous wreck. All our feets are crossed
Benny & Lily

Jeanne Pursell said...

Oh Sue! I am so very sorry to hear all that you have been going through!! I wasn't aware that the illness was going around to all the dogs. Please, please EAT SAMBA EAT!!! You all will be in my prayers. Sending lots of positive vibes!! xoxo Jeanne, Chloe and LadyBug

Mango said...

You have my thoughts. Poor little Samba and how I know your heart is breaking.

Mango Momma

Uji, Izzy, Ziggy + Missi said...

Sendin pawstive forts n healin vibes fur Samba and all ovs yor babies. Wee will keeps yoo in our forts n prayers

Da K krew


Oh Sue, I am so sorry to hear this. I understand how traumatic it is. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you...and Samba.
Hang in there.

Nichole said...

Dear Samba,

Please continue to fight and to try your best to get better... we know your Mama is doing everything she can and she loves you more than anything. It would mean the world for her to see you fight and win. We have all paws crossed and are sending lots of love...

woofs & kisses,
Zeus, Lola, Tut & Sophie

Jake of Florida said...

We can only imagine how you are dealing with all this.

Jake and Just Harry and I are sending you our best wishes that Samba improves and that this awful situation has,a happy outcome.


Jodi said...

Oh dear, that's horrible, We are sending much good thoughts your way! Can you try some raw chicken or raw ground meat? My dogs will just about flip for that.

Sam said...

We are saying prayers and sending you love. Please give Samba a hug from all of us.


rottrover said...

Oh Sue!! We have our paws crossed tightly for Samba. If it would help, mom says she would gladly send Samba 5 or 10 pounds. Hoping the anti-nausea medication continues to help.

-Bart and Ruby

Jo's World said...

Dear Sue, I am so sorry to hear the salmonella diagnosis, although now, at least, you know.

I know you and that you and that sweet Samba are so close, and it would be heartbreaking to lose her.

Prayers for Samba and the rest of the pack, too, for the very best outcome!

Love and hugs all around,


Marjie said...

Sue, my heart is breaking for you. Samba knows just how well loved she is, and we're all hoping with you for improvement this weekend. This emotional roller coaster must be devastating so close on the heels of you losing your beloved Tsar.

Anonymous said...

You're doing everything you can do. Hugs to you from Mom. I'm sending good power of the paw vibes to Samba. Eat Samba Eat.

Our positive and supportive thoughts are with you,
The Roo Family

Mitch and Molly said...

What a stressful situation you have going on at your house! Our paws are crossed and we're sending lots of AireZen. We're hoping for improvement all around.

Love ya lots,
Mitch and Molly

Agnes B Bullock said...

Our prayers are with you!

Anonymous said...


I know you are suffering from stress and worry, but thank you for writing about how wildlife in the garden can affect our dogs. I will pay closer attention to cleaning the areas where I feed the birds in hopes of preventing my Poppy from becoming ill.

Hang in there -

Bassetmomma said...

I'm so sorry for what you must be going through. Offering all of our positive thoughts for Samba.