Wednesday, July 19, 2006

and the universe continues to conspire

Let me tell you about my last three weeks, okay?

Three weeks ago, Tango started acting funny. We didn't know why, but he was hobbling around the house in pain. At night, he would get up and down and pace around the room or the bed. This meant that I was up for most of the night with him, trying to make sure that he wasn't throwing up or having diarrhea, or in excruciating pain of some sort. I eventually called the emergency veterinarian, who told me to wait and see if other symptoms developed. After a couple of days, he started to have diarrhea and continued with his strange behavior, so I brought him in. The doctor examined him and prescribed some antibiotics to see if it would take care of the stomach troubles, and we started him on a strictly bland diet. After a few days, he seemed better.

For about a week, we had a blissful period where no one was sick. Both dogs were cheery, we kept with the bland feeding program and all was well.

A week and a half ago, Murray broke out in hives. All over his abdomen. Of course, it happened on a Sunday, because it seems that dogs never get sick in the afternoon or morning, preferring the late night or wee hours of a weekend. I waited a few hours, and his hives began to spread into bigger rings, so I sent Josh to fetch some baby Benadryl while I did research on the internet for dosage instructions. I eventually found a dosage on a veterinary web site, and gave Murray a little bit that night. He was able to sleep without scratching and his hives seemed mildly improved, so I gave him a little more in the morning. And then he started throwing up.

Since we didn't know whether the throwing up was because of the hives or because of the Benadryl, Josh took him to the vet. There he received subcutaneous fluids, and a shot of Tagamet to stop the vomiting. Thankfully, after only a couple more episodes, the vomiting ceased that night.

We had new strict orders to watch him carefully for dehydration, feed him small amounts of water and after 24 hours without vomiting, small amounts of rice and chicken. I worked from home in order to watch him and make sure all was okay. Unfortunately, that day coincided with Josh's birthday. The poor guy had to spend it listening to me complain and fret over Murray's health, and then come home to no birthday celebration because I was afraid to leave Murray in order to go to the store. That night, Josh went to play in a softball game, and five minutes after he left, Murray had explosive diarrhea all over the house.

When I say explosive, I mean that I left to grab a glass of water in the kitchen and came back to diarrhea on the couch, on the living room rug, in the front hallway, in the office, and on the stairs. To the point that I sunk to the floor and sobbed at the injustice of it all. I gagged through cleaning it up, while leaving Josh tear-filled messages on his voicemail begging him to come home. I was up with him that night, and the next night, every time he padded over to the door begging to be let out.

Murray continued having diarrhea for 4 days, until it finally tapered off, and we again had 3 days of peace and harmony and health.

And then, last night he started vomiting again. He vomited a couple of time last night, a couple of times this morning, and now again this afternoon. My mom is home with him, and she has called to report on his behavior.

I'm at my wits end. I hesitate to take him to the vet again, because I'm certain that their response will be to charge me $200 and then tell me to continue with a strict diet. At the same time, though, I'm worried that he isn't getting better and that maybe he is dehydrated. He is acting mostly fine, with only a little bit of sadness or gloominess when he throws up. On the other hand, I feel like I'm losing my mind.

I don't know how people deal with sick dogs when they have to work. How will I deal with these sick dogs when I have a baby? I guess I just will. In the meantime, I'll wait to hear from the vet and hope that soon we'll be done with these ongoing sicknesses. Sigh.

24 comments:

labibliovore said...

Oh dear, halloweenlover, it all sounds so awful! I hope that Murray gets better soon and that Tango doesn't get sick again. My dog is also prone to bowel problems (he has diarrhea any time either my husband or I leave on a trip) and our vet recommended a different type of bland diet - a mixture of rice and cottage cheese. Perhaps that might be easier for Murray to digest?

Phantom Scribbler said...

Oh, sweetie! I'm so sorry. What a thing to be going through right now!

Is it any consolation to hear that a baby will be a piece of cake to handle, compared to this? I mean, for one thing, babies wear diapers...

jo(e) said...

I just came in to say the same thing as Phantom. A baby is going to be WAY EASIER than this.

(I have four kids but could never handle the responsibility of having a dog.)

Stephanie said...

Just think of it as your "introduction to mommyhood"
Because honney, it really doesn't get much worse than that!!!
LOL!
Hope the dog gets better ASAP!!
I cannot even IMAGINE, as I am NOT a dog person.

Jane Dark said...

Oh, no! I'm so sorry that all this is going on, but I'd second labibliovore on the rice diet.

But it just sucks big time, and I think that even though you haven't whined at Phantom's you ought to win...

KLee said...

Oooh! So sorry to hear about sick doggies! And how they always seem to get the sickest in the middle of the night and on the weekends! Poor babies!

As for having a baby -- it seems like you're going through training now without the breastfeeding aspect! I hope it all settles down before Baby arrives, and that you can figure out what's going on with the pups soon!

nancy said...

Similar illness with my pooch a few years ago. The doc prescribed someting (can't remember) as well as the bland rice diet, but also pepto-bismal (adult bright-ass pink liquid). It lasted a good week to 10 days, then slowly got better. Then it happened one more time a couple of months later, a milder case, but we also caught it much sooner and started with all of the above, it didn't last as long.

Hope Murray's explosives are shortly a thing of the past in your house. Just wait till baby poops all over the window. (the truth)

liz said...

I have a silly question: is there any chance they might be eating a houseplant or getting into some possible poisons? I know you've probably already thought of this but...

F'rinstance, do they ever drink out of the toilet and are you using bleach tablets in the tank?

Big hugs and I hope they get better soon.

Ninotchka said...

Poor babies! I hope everyone is feeling better soon. :(

Lucy said...

*hugs* I hope Murray is better soon!

Maribeth said...

First for the next 24 hours give him nothing but sterilized water warmed and mixed with baby rice cereal. Give him all the water he wants.
Slowly introduce a Science Diet for upset tummies mixed in with the cereal.
You can use 1/2 tab of anti-diarrhea pills. (I did with my 23 pound dachshund) twice a day.
If you feel the Vet is just ripping you off and not helping the dog, go to another Vet.
And if you have any other questions about this write me. I went through two years like this with Shubi due to her illness.
PS: Get a Big Green Clean MAchine carpet cleaner to clean up these things and then, use rubber gloves and a mask to clean up while you are pregnant.

ccw said...

If you can handle this, you will definitely be able to handle a baby.

I hope your doggies are feeling better soon!

halloweenlover said...

Thank you for the sympathies and the suggestions. This makes me feel so much better. I was just starting to think that I'd never be able to handle dogs AND a baby.

Murray seems a little bit better and hasn't thrown up in about 10-11 hours. I'm hoping he is on the upswing and that I won't need to take him on an emergency trip to the vet.

Liz, you did make me laugh about drinking out of the toilet bowl. I need to post a picture of how big the dogs are, they couldn't reach the toilet bowl if they tried ; ) I am going to search through the house and see if there is anything they could possibly be eating, though!

Gawdessness said...

You will be able to handle it all if it happens after you have a baby.
So sorry your puppies are sick.
One suggestion, if you haven't done it already, is to thoroughly wash all food bowls and bedding etc.
We had gross bouts of that kind of thing with two of our dogs once and it turned out that they were being infected and re-infected by their food dish, which was kind of dirty but not that bad! At least so I thought.

Hope there is relief in sight soon.

mc said...

My sympathies to you! We've only had one incident of dog illness coinciding with baby craziness... it wasn't fun, but we got through it just fine. And I'm sure you will, too! I hope the boys are feeling better.

Yankee T said...

Bummer. Total Bummer. So sorry. I'm here to tell ya' that babies are much easier than sick dogs, from firsthand experience.

Miahart said...

somehow i stumbled upon your blog and i read it ever so often. and i had to comment on this one...i have a dog. he is very high maint. with a weak stomach. he has been sick before and i was not confident with my vets diagnosis. the new vet put him on a bland diet, science diet-perscription diet I/D. this is the best stuff! i would take him in though and have tests run b/c if it has been this long i would be worried. they once thought my dog had a rib bone or something lodged in his digestive track. go get him checked out. i must say having a dog can't be that much easier than a baby! good luck

Mykal said...

Hugs, hope everyone is feeling better soon. What an ordeal!

Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Oh, sweetie, I'm so sorry. Honestly, if you think your vet may not be considering all the possible diagnoses, you should get a second opinion. Do any of your friends have other vets who they would recommend? (I'm not saying you want to leave your vet, but sometimes a second opinion is good to have.)

I hope both dogs are healthy soon. No fun to have sick puppies.

Piece of Work said...

Oh, HL! You are having a ROTTEN few weeks, for sure. It can only get better from here.

purple_kangaroo said...

Big hugs! I hope things get better soon.

Jessica said...

Oh that is rough....I am so sorry. I can totally empathize as my cat's multiple urinary problems have, inevitably, flared up on Saturday and Sunday nights.

One thing is for certain - you are going to make a fine mama!

Jill said...

I'm so sorry. I know how much you love Tango and Murray and how upsetting it must be to watch them suffer...on top of you not being able to get much sleep and having to clean up gaggy messes. I hope and pray that everyone at your house will be healthy soon!

Betti said...

wow - I'm way late to give advice, but have the dogs been tested for Giardia? I had similar-sounding problems with my Beagle-Japanese Chin mix and it has FINALLY subsided now that she's testing negetive for the Giardia protozoa. I REALLY hope the furry babies are feeling better soon, you have my sympathy!