This is a blog intended to bring our family and friends closer by giving them an opportunity to participate in a web discussion. I am new to blogging, so I don't know where this is going to take us, but hey, it's the 21st Century. Peace

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

So it's been a while...

I know that I've been lax in keeping up this blog, but just as it helped me work through the pain and recovery of Mary's Lymphoma and ultimate bone marrow transplant and my transition to and from AV Guy and back to Conan The Librarian, I fully intend to use this blog to work through the very painful situation with our little Daisy Grace.

I think I want to start with the tick. Geoff, our groomer or our greuhmer, found a tick in Daisy's face last year. He removed it as it was pretty well embedded in her cheek by her eye. The darned thing would scab over and puss up and then I would drain it, add some Neosporin and go through this whole process over and over again for about three months. When I took her in for her annual, the vet didn't really mention anything other than ticks can take along time to heal. We never talked about lyme or any other tick borne disease or parasite. We probably should have. We didn't notice any major changes in Daisy's health or disposition. She never showed any signs of being sick or lame which often accompanies lyme. She obviously enjoyed staying with Nora this summer as evidenced in Daisy's Christmas letter.

We had been noticing that Daisy was losing weight but we thought that was natural as she was getting know kind of skinny old lady syndrome. Well things really got dicey during Christmas. There was a lot of company: Neffs, nieces, little kids, Charley, etc. She was getting very finicky about eating. I thought it was because of those fools at Purina were messing with her good old ProPlan. "New and Improved" rarely is. We tried regular dry, senior, shredded...where she just ate the shredded and left the hard and dry. It was kind of pissing me off. You know, it's not my fault that the dog won't eat. Anyway, the vomiting started shortly after Christmas. Now Daisy would throw up occasionally just like any other dog, but it was never chronic and it usually coincided with overeating or stealing something she shouldn't have. One time she ate a piece of baked potato that I had dropped off of my fork at dinner and it threw her into a bout of pancreatitis. In the most severe cases we would have to take her to the vet and he/she would give us some pepsid and antibiotics and $200.00 and a week later Daisy would be back to normal.
Well, this time it didn't actually go that easily. When Daisy stopped eating I started to make her something she might like like boiled chicken and beef and rice. She would eat for a day or so and then stop or vomit and stop and man it was frustrating. The proverbial straw happened when we were downstairs playing guitar and she walked into my guitar case and puked...a bunch. Needless to say it was gross, but I wasn't mad because I knew that something was really wrong. So wrong, I didn't resist when Mary and Carole told me to taker to the vet NOW! I did and they tested her and gave her fluids and gave her an antibiotic and some Pepsid and sent us home.

I gave her the meds, continued to cook for her and we essentially treated her like she had and would recover from her usual pancreatitis. Maybe by now I was a little disgusted about my guitar case...but I at least thought she would recover. Things did not improve. Daisy continued to not eat, throw up what she did, drink too much water and throw that up in huge puddles in the kitchen. She also was waking me up two or three times in the night to go out to pee like a skinny old man. Things did not get any better, and she was definitely losing weight. On Sunday we decided to follow the protocol of withholding food and water for 24 hrs before we went to see the vet. This time the vet did the exam and took blood and came back with dire results. Both Daisy's BUN and Creatin were off the charts. These results pointed to a diagnosis of canine renal failure.

What was the prognosis and what were our options? The prognosis is that this is terminal news for a 14 year-old dog...but not today. Our options included a vet hospital stay for several days to rehydrate her and to try to get her levels back down. This would only be a temporary fix and once she was off the IV, the levels would surely return to dangerous levels. I refused. Daisy would not tolerate being in the hospital. In her weakened condition she would check in but would not check out. She would bark herself horse if she could and cry herself to death. No way was I going to let that happen. The plan is hydration and food.

One of the problems with the vomiting is that it is not for lack of appetite, but rather the nausea created by the toxins building up in Daisy's system. The Pepsid helped, but it was in pill form and Daisy would not just take the pill, she needed some food to make it go down and then it just came up again. I asked the doc if the pepsid came in liquid and indeed it did. My plan was to give her the liquid orally a little while before we fed her and then maybe it would have time to work and she would eat and keep the food down. Our pharmacy was wonderful enough to compound the stuff for us and save over sixty bucks from the formulary. With that in mind, we are pretty dedicated to a diet of boiled chicken, yogurt, hard boiled eggs and cottage cheese. We might try some actual dog food sometime down the road if she processes this food well.

Now the hydration is another challenge. Mary thought of adding a little cranberry juice to water to maybe help flush out some toxins. Daisy seems to like it and is keeping it down. The thing is the amount. Tiny little sips throughout the day seems to be the plan. If that doesn't work I will have to learn to inject fluids SUB Q.

As you can imagine, all of this is very disturbing to me and Mary and Nora and maybe anyone Daisy touched, licked or barked at. I am going to chronicle this experience here on old family chat if for no other reason than it may be cathartic for me to work through this process as difficult as it may be and maybe it might help someone else facing a similar situation.

So, if you believe in Hail Marys for dogs, throw a few up for Daisy, if not for dogs, then for us and if not Hail Marys, then please share your good thoughts and healing wishes.

Peace to you and to those you love,


  • At 8:23 AM , Blogger Ruth said...

    Well Rob, I finally am in. I never quite blogged before; this being my first. I am sorry about Daisy and what she and all of you are going through. I agree totally about taking her home. She is in caring, loving hands. My prayers and thoughts are with you guys.


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