Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More News On The Patient

Sorry for the delay in news, Theo is a handful! In short, he's home. We picked him up Monday evening, and he's doing fine...for the most part. This is an experience that I think will be with all of us and never quite leave.

I'll start with the medical stuff. After all those expensive tests, the vet didn't really tell me anything worth hearing in terms of what was wrong with him. It was either a virus, bacteria, or something toxic he ate. Next time I'll give him some pepto-bismol right off the bat and wait on going to the vet. I was very unimpressed with the whole experience, but I'm glad that Theo came out of it mostly fine. They had to shave him! Hehe, ok, I'm being dramatic. But they did have to shave a small patch of fur on his foot for the IV. It makes him look very pathetic.

Now that he's home, he's doing well. I was given this disgusting Science Diet wet food called I/R, which is supposedly easy for him to digest. I don't know if I believe it, since he's gotten some horrible-smelling gas from it. I've started on weening him off of the sh*t today. I was told to feed him only 1-2TB, 3 times per day. So little! His energy level is great considering how little we're feeding him, and his appetite is almost too healthy. Hehe. He actually jumped up on the couch for the first time (usually he just haunches up on his front paws and cries) trying to get at my food. I'm not supposed to take him on walks or anything for a few days, so it's a good thing I'm not feeding him too much or his energy level would be unbearable, all couped up in the house. He's almost back to when I first got him. He plays hard for a few minutes, and then he just crashes and sleeps for an hour.

In almost all cases he's back to normal, but there's definitely some things that are different now. He has a new-found abandonment issue. Whenever Chris or I leave the room, he freaks, and when we leave the house all together, he goes ballistic! He thinks we're leaving him and never coming back. The first night home he never strayed more than 5 feet from me. For Theo, that's very strange. He's usually fine with doing his own thing, as long as he can see me. But now it's such a heart-breaking chore to go to work in the morning! It doesn't help that we can't give him any treats. Usually we give him a biscuit to munch on while we leave, so there's no stress because he's too busy enjoying his treat to notice or care. But now we can't give him anything, and I'm afraid that all his good manners will soon go out the window. I think I'll try incorporating treats back in tomorrow.

Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to be out of the woods yet. He hasn't thrown up or had diarrhea since Sunday afternoon. But ever since I got him home Monday evening, he hasn't pooped either. Not a single poop. I know that I'm also feeding him less, but a day and a half is a long time to go with no poop. If he doesn't go by this afternoon, I'll have to call the vet again.

Please poop Theo!

So my advice to all dog owners out there is this. Always have some pepto-bismol on hand. If your dog starts throwing up and pooping everywhere, try a little of the pink stuff first. If he gets better, cool. If he gets worse or doesn't improve, go ahead and take him to the vet. That's what I plan to do next time.


Jenna Z said...

Wow, thanks for the award! This is my cue to get off my duff and post on my blog!

I'm glad he is back home! From the beginning I had really suspected poisoning (most likely food poisoning from maybe a dead animal or animal poop), but I guess we'll never know. You definately did exactly what needed to be done, taking him to the vet even on the weekend. I have only had to deal with poisoning once before and it was when I lived with my parents. We were too far away from town to get to the vet in time so the animal poison control line told me how to induce vomiting and it turned out alright. I have also had a dog with fatal pancreatitis so any time a dog vomits, I get a little panicky and watch VERY closely. I'm not a big fan of the Rx foods but that I/D food is actually quite good for sick tummies, short term. Our cat was on the r/d for weight reduction and it's such a racket, the food is so full of disgusting ingredients, it's like little beebees of plastic-like filler and by-products! Gross!

Lynn said...

Yay! I'm so glad that he's back! My friend's dog has anxiety issues as well, and she's found that keeping to a schedule really helps him.

JuLo said...

Jenna, it could definitely have been food poisoning, but I don't know from what. He hasn't been around any dead animals because I've been with him. Animal poop? That's a more definite possibility. It's weird though because it started in the morning when he hadn't really even been outside. How could he have gotten poisoned first thing in the morning? Unless it happened the day before and just took awhile to set in? I don't know. The whole situation was just weird.

JuLo said...

Lynn, I just think it sucks that this whole experience left him in some ways scarred. :(

Manda Girl said...

Poor Theo! I can totally relate to what you mean about no one being the same after this. It's not something that you look to experience, but you certainly learn from it.

There are alternative devices to use when a pup is feeling sick - like Slippery Elm is good for the poops and it's a more natural ingredient than using Pepto on a little dog. My worry would be knowing how much to use. Dehydration is also a worry when they get as sick as Theo was and blood is never a good sign. I don't think I would have done anything different than you so don't beat yourself up too much for your reaction.

Glad things are getting better!

Manda Girl said...

Oh another thing - last summer when the girls got sick the vet tried to push a diet like what you have on us to give to Miko - I flat out said, No way - knowing that she would get even sicker if she ate that stuff.

JuLo said...

Manda, I think the pepto has a guide for giving it to kids by weight. I've never heard of Slippery Elm. Where do you get it?

I'm not sorry I took him to the vet on the second day, when he was bleeding. I just think if I had gotten something in his system to calm his stomach right away, and seeing if that helped, it might have prevented the later symptoms.

Yeah, I'm not so good at being confrontation about that stuff, and they didn't even ask if I wanted it. They just handed it to me with the bill. Next time I'll ask if I can just do chicken and rice.

The Senakams said...

Hey! Good to hear that Theo's home OK now!

Maybe he's not pooping coz they gave him anti-diarrheal while he's in the hospital? Those things can easily overcorrect the problem (at least in people, that's what we learned in pharmacy school LONG time ago). :P

And am sorry to hear that he has this separation anxiety issue now! I hope it doesn't persist. I have a friend who inherited a dog who has serious separation issues. What their trainer told them to do is to leave the house for a minute or so, then come back quietly and normally. Keep repeating that multiple times for longer durations each time. That way the dog is trained to learn that you'll always come back.

It seems to work (at least moderately) for their puppy. I guess if it persists, it's worth a try?

Good luck! And welcome home, Theo!

JuLo said...

Thanks Ivy. They actually gave me some anti-diarrhea medicine to give him for the next 10 days. Does that mean I should stop giving it to him I wonder? I gave him some pumpkin with his lunch. Pumpkin is supposedly the magic substance that will soften poops when they're hard, or harden them when they're soft. Hopefully it'll get his poopies going! Otherwise, it's time to call the vet. :(

Hopefully once we can give him treats again it'll be better. I put some brown rice in a kong toy when I left at lunchtime today, and while he was obviously still anxious, he didn't freak out as much. I think it'll just be an issue of getting him used to our schedule again.

mary said...

Glad he seems to be feeling better! The minor SA is normal after a shocking new experience like this, just make sure not to reward his overly clingy behavior, and everything should settle back to normal in a few days.

It's really unfortunate how many vets are just looking for ways to make money and pushing their tests and products onto people with no results, but I think you did the right thing! I would've done exactly the same. It's always good to be on the cautious side, especially when something happens for the first time, it's unfortunate they couldn't pin point anything though.

On the poopy subject, how are you weaning him off the I/R food? I think you said before that you feed Theo a natural diet (not kibble), so are you introducing a different kibble or raw food? Usually it's not good to introduce raw into a kibble because they digest differently and can cause more upsets. So that plus the anti-diarrhea meds could be causing no poops. I'd personally recommend sticking to the I/R until he seems okay and then switching back to his normal food "cold turkey" :)

JuLo said...

Mary, I don't feed Theo "raw" food. I cook it. I've been mixing in a few TB of boiled chicken, rice, and pumpkin. Not all at once, just one or two extra ingredients. I'll make it a post, but this morning he finally pooped!