Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July 22, 2009


I haven't updated in a while because the dogs are pretty much healthy. Chance had hook worm and Hope had mange, but that is highly treatable compared with distemper. The dogs have not shown any signs of distemper, so that is good. I will keep my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

First Scheduled Vet Appointment


We had our first scheduled vet appointment today. The dogs got their shots and a checkup exam. They are doing great, except Hope is slightly overweight.

Since my last post, the dogs have been acting more and more like puppies. They have been digging up the plants in my yard, chewing a hole in my carpet, eating my window sill, and chewing a tennis ball sized hole in one of my walls. I have been crating them more to keep them from tearing apart my house. I purchased 2 medium sized crates when I first got the dogs that are the perfect size for them, however they don't want to be in separate crates. So, I need to get a larger crate for them.

Chance's ears have also grown in. I kind of miss the odd looking ears he had. He now has ears that flop down like Hope's.

Here is a video of the puppies playing from a few weeks ago before Chance's ears grew in.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesday, Day 12


We went to our 3rd vet appointment today. The vet tech and I are starting to believe that the puppies may have some Pembroke Welsh Corgi in them - especially Chance. When he is laying down and his ears are flipped up, he really looks like a Corgi.

When we met with the vet, he seemed shocked as to how well they are doing. They had both gained a little bit of weight and did not have a fever. They both still have a bit of a cough, but other than that they seem good. He prescribed another round of the 3 medicines, but expects them to be well at the end of the week.

He said that they can come out of quarantine as soon as they stop coughing. He said that there is probably only a 20% chance that they will develop the more serious neurological signs of distemper. They should be ready for their regular vaccinations next week.

The following video is of the puppies playing after we gave them a bath. There is no sound. They can get kind of wild at times. Who would have known that they were so ill last week. This video looks a little scary, but I promise they are not always this wild and that they are just playing (you can tell because they are wagging their tails the whole time).

A couple of people have told us that they look bigger in the photos than in real life. Just to give you a reference point, she is about the size of a full grown cat and weighs only 9 pounds. He is slightly larger.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday, Day 10


Since the puppies are doing so much better, I do not expect to add a daily entry to this blog any more unless there is some news.

Today the puppies are doing great. Hope's breathing is not 100% better, but it is not too bad. I was able to give the dogs their medicine wrapped in cheese today instead of having to chop it up and feed it to them via syringe. The cheese way is so much easier on me and less stressful on them.

They have found their new favorite toy - crocks shoes. Luckily I was able to get it back before they chewed them up. We have to be very careful what we leave near them because everything is a toy. They enjoy getting sticks to play with from the backyard.

When they were outside today I actually saw them go into a full sprint. This was not a trot or run, but a sprint like a greyhound.

We are looking forward to being able to take them on walks once they are out of quarantine. We have been practicing in the backyard. I think they have figured out that they have to stay somewhat together, but they haven't figured out that I decide which way to go.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Saturday, Day 9


I was awakened around midnight last night to one of the dogs cough, cough, cough/gag. I realized that I had not given them their evening meds - what a bad pet parent I am. I was so tired that I stayed in bed and decided to wait to give them meds until this morning.

The puppies are so energetic now that I have to readjust to having them. Just a few days ago they would just sit around all day. Now they attack anyone who comes near them because they want to play. Giving them their morning medicine was fun. First I had to chase them down to put the syringe in their mouths. Once I got them cornered, I had to fight off the other dog who was play biting me wanting to play.

I took them outside in the backyard and decided to put a leash on them for practice. They did better than the last time, but we still have a lot of work to do if they want to go on any walks once they come out of quarantine. They enjoyed barking a bit at the neighbor's dog....

From all the research I have been doing, it seems like my dogs will never be fully free from distemper. It could come back in a week or in 5 years. I also need to worry about the virus eating away the enamel in their permanent teeth. All we can do is be happy for today.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday, Day 8


I was half asleep at 5am this morning when I needed to go to the bathroom. I walked like a zombie into the bathroom and was attacked by 2 crazy puppies. They were jumping all over me and wagging their tails so hard that their rear was wagging also. I guess they are feeling better. Chance has been doing the cough, cough, cough/gag thing a lot more - maybe 20 times last night. I think he is finally clearing the congestion out of his chest.

Once I woke up, I took the dogs outside and fed them. I started with some chicken. I usually have to bring the chicken to them and tell them to eat it. This time they were both jumping at me and fighting with each other to get the chicken. I also gave them food in 2 bowls. They each ate about 1/2 the food and I have seen them come back for more. Needless to say, I am very happy about their recovery.

They play with toys a little. When they are outside they play fight with each other. They will both follow me around the yard a bit if I tell them to......

I gave them a bath today. I waited 10 days past surgery as suggested by the animal shelter.

I fed them again and they are eating like crazy. I put them on a leash to take outside in the backyard to do their business since we are having a party and the gate keeps opening and closing. We need to work on walking with a leash. All they did was wrap themselves in it. As my dad says, all knots were created by dogs.

I gave them a can of dog food to split and they ate it all in about 10 minutes. Their appetite is definitely back.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday, Day 7


I woke up at 5am to find Chance struggling to breath. The problem was the congestion in his nose, not his lungs. I wiped his nose a bit and he got better, so I went back to sleep. I stopped by the store this morning to get a baby nasal aspirator. You can guess how much the dogs love that.

When I got back from the store, Hope had climbed up to the 3rd step. I don't know why she likes that step so much, but I have found her there at least 3 times.

I made eggs for breakfast and offered them some. They were not too thrilled. I am cooking a chicken for them since that is all Hope has eaten on her own. It probably cheaper than dog food since the whole chicken is just over $3.

Chance seems to be doing a bit better. He got up to get a drink of water. While he was up, I called him and he came to me. I pet him a lot, them he proceeded to pee on my floor. At least he was on tile. After showing him the potty pad and cleaning up the mess, I called him again. He came again. He must be feeling better.

I have almost gotten my kids to call the dogs Hope and Chance instead of Hoop and Chan. A few more days and they should have the names down.....

I really feel that Chance is coming back to us. He has started being playful towards Hope. I don't think she is too happy about that. The puppy playfulness peeks through at times. I am still shocked as to how fast distemper changed their lives. They used to be crazy puppies who were always going crazy and getting into trouble, but now they mainly just sit or sleep on a mat.

Hope ate about 1/4 of a drumstick worth of chicken. Hopefully she will eat more later......

I called the vet and he seemed somewhat happy about Chance's recovery. He was still not too happy about Hope's condition. He said for me to continue the antibiotics until they are 75% better.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday, Day 6


I woke up this morning and made my husband go check on Hope and Chance because I did not have a good feeling. They were both fine. Her breathing is still really labored (even more than before), but not as scary as last night when she was breathing out her mouth and nose.......

The dogs really don't like their new antibiotic. It probably tastes really nasty and gritty to them. Chance threw it up this morning. I gave him one of his other medicines about 30 minutes prior, so that is probably gone too. I still need to feed them their original antibiotic. I try and space out the medicines a bit so they don't get everything at once, but if they all need to be taken twice a day, it is hard to space them out too much.

Chance is eating and drinking, but Hope doesn't eat. She will occasionally drink a tiny bit, but not enough to do much. She did drink about 1/4 cup of chicken broth by herself today, so that is a good sign. I warmed it up a bit, so it may be more appetizing.......

I bought some new dog food at the store yesterday when I was filling their prescription. It came in a can and said "premium". I opened it up and was taken aback by its smell and consistency. It smelled like I opened a can of tuna fish and it looked like I opened a can of tuna fish that was blended up into mush. Not very appealing. The good news is that I was able to use an infant spoon and my fingers to feed 1/4 of the can to Hope. Chance is eating fine, but he didn't seem too interested in this food.

I have been looking online for ways to supplement their diet - especially Hope's since she is not really eating. I decided to give them a little bit of yogurt. Too much dairy can cause digestive problems, so I only gave them a very small amount. I know yogurt is suggested for kids who are on antibiotics because antibiotics kill all the bacteria, even the good bacteria. Without the good bacteria, people can get yeast infections and other fun problems. Yogurt was suggested by a few people when I looked online, so I thought I would give it a try.........

Hope ate a tiny bit of chicken today - YEA! It was probably the equivalent of 1/2 the amount of meat on a chicken drumstick. Her breathing is still bad. I called the vet and am waiting to hear back.

I also decided to get doggie vitamins. There are many products online that claim to "cure" almost any ailment for a price - usually around $50 prior to shipping fees. I decided to go to the local pet store and get reasonably priced vitamins. Long story short, I ended up paying a whopping $1.50 for vitamins - the deal of the year!

We have never seen Hope having any head tremors. We have not seen Chance have a head tremor since a 2 minute one on Sunday. I'm guessing that is good......

I took the dogs out to do their business. It was rather warm and I didn't want them to get dehydrated, so I decided to take them in after about 5-10 minutes. I took Hope in first, then she ended up sneaking out again when I went to get Chance. Apparently they like it outside. I let them stay out for another 10 minutes, then I went to get them in. This time I picked up Hope and called for Chance to follow me. We took a very slow walk around the yard for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, he laid down, so I figure he had enough.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday, Day 5


My husband and I were awakened this morning around 4am by a clatter in the bathroom. Girl dog managed to jump out of my garden tub. No, this is not a standard tub. This is an extra deep and wide tub, the size of a Jacuzzi. She is talented. I fixed her bedding and put her back in. She tried to jump out again about 30 minutes later. I decided to make her a mat on the bathroom floor to sleep. While I was making her mat, she was very happy. She wagged her tail and probably felt very accomplished.

We are 99% sure of the girl dog's name. Aunt Jackie suggested Hope and we both think that is the perfect name. Now we need a boy name.......

We had a follow up appointment with the vet today. He was not very hopeful because of their labored breathing. He gave them more of the same antibiotic that they were taking, some new antibiotic to take, and a human medicine for their breathing. She lost a pound since Friday but he was about the same weight. She was dehydrated, so I really need to give her tons of fluids. Once I left, I called the vet to ask if they were in any pain, and he said no. That is a relief.........

Melissa suggested a boy dog name of Chance, and we like that name........

I took them outside to do their business tonight and Chance, the boy dog, actually walked twice as far as he usually does. Once I picked up Hope, the girl dog, to take her inside, Chance followed me inside instead of me having to pick him up. I tried to take a long route so he could get some exercise, but he knew the way I was going was not the way inside, so he sat down until I got back on the right path.......

Hope is having a really hard time breathing tonight. We hope she makes it through the night.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday, Day 4


The girl dog seems to be doing better. She wags her tail and doesn't seem too upset. The boy dog is not getting better yet and doesn't wag his tail. The good news is that they both wagged their tails when my husband petted them this morning. Unlike me, he does not bother them all day trying to feed them and give them medicine, so they probably like him better than me.......

When I was sitting on the floor giving them their medicine this morning, the girl dog crawled in my lap. She must be feeling better. The girl dog also got up and walked around a bit to check out the room. She stopped and stayed a while under my table, then went back to the mat.

I bought new wet dog food at the store today as well as some new dog treats. The dogs were not impressed with the treats, but the boy dog ate a good bit of the food and drank some water. The only problem is that I had to hand feed him one piece of slimy food at a time. He had maybe 20 pieces, so I think he is set with food for the day (he had a little chicken earlier), so I won't have to feed him with a syringe (unless he pukes). I am happy with his eating. Girl dog is still not eating. I gave her some of the dog food gravy via syringe and some of the original dry food dissolved in water.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday, Day 3


I woke up to the female wagging her tail when she saw me and no vomit in the tub. That is a good sign. I took them downstairs to go outside.

I gave them their medicine crushed up in water again. She drank some water on her own. I tried to feed them chicken, but they were not interested. I left it on their mat in case they want it later. I gave them about 10 milligrams each of dog food in water via syringe.

They seem happier. The female dog's breathing is not good, and male dog's breathing is bad.......

We have started to wonder why. Why did we get the dogs when we were not supposed to? Why did they get sick so fast? Maybe because we were supposed to take care of them and keep them alive. Maybe because we have the time and resources to take care of them. If they were at the shelter right now they would almost certainly be put under.......

The male dog had about 15 minutes worth of on and off head tremors around noon, but none before or after that that I have seen.

The dogs are very loving. They enjoy being together and with people. I can almost tell how they are feeling by how close together they are to each other. I am assuming that if they are laying apart they do not feel as well as if they are laying together.

We are still looking for names. My brain is not working too well these days because of all that has been going on. I don't want to name them anything corny like Donald & Daisy or Bonnie & Clyde. I was hoping that their personalities would give us a clue, but they are not showing too much personality these days. Any suggestions?

I weighed them tonight and they are holding at 14 pounds for him and 10 pounds for her without collars.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday, Day 2


Today I woke up to find minimal vomit, so I am hopeful. I took the dogs outside and they did their business, so apparently they are getting some nutrition. They walk a little when they are outside (maybe 20 feet), but other than that they stay on their mat all day. They switch between sleeping and sitting up about every 30 minutes.

I continue with the syringe of dog food and water after their morning medicine around 8am. I feed them about every 15 to 30 minutes.

The dogs' fevers seem to have gone down or away. I don't have a thermometer to tell for sure, but they don't feel hot like they did at the vet.

The male dog has started a little head tremor. Just a little shake, almost like someone with Parkinson's disease. It is not constant........

I made a chicken for dinner. I took some of the chicken and fed it to the dogs. They actually ate it on their own. Woohoo! The male dog probably at the equivalent of a whole drumstick and the female probably half a drumstick. They also drank a little water on their own. We are now making progress.

Medicine at 8pm.

I let them lay down with me while I watch TV, which they seem to like.

The male dog seems to have stopped the shaking for now.

The female keeps gagging probably once an hour, but not throwing up. It is almost like a gag, gag, and then gag cough at the end. Maybe like a cat with a hairball........

I weigh the dogs on my scale and he weighs 14 and she weighs 10. I took off their collars yesterday to make them more comfortable, so this weight is without their collars that they were wearing when they were weighed the first time.

I am having a hard time managing my time. It seems that the dogs need almost constant care. When I am not caring for the dogs, I am washing towels and blankets that the dogs have peed or puked on. My kids are not getting the attention they deserve. My house is a mess. Hopefully they will be able to feed themselves soon and I can get back to other things.

Time for bed in the tub again.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Who Would Have Guessed


On Wednesday, April 22, 2009 we got our puppies from a local animal shelter. The shelter said that they were Dachshund mix and that they think they are about 4 months old. I believe they are dachshund mixed with beagle (so cute). We got them around 5pm because they were away getting fixed that morning. I brought them home and everything seemed fine. They were a bit scared, but they warmed up nicely. I bought a kennel for each of them, but they like being together. They explored in the backyard while we played with them. They played with toys when we brought them inside. They were very happy and constantly wagging their tails.

I did not fed them food per the instructions given by the shelter. They did drink water. They are the perfect puppies that love attention and each other. Around 9pm I was instructed to give them their pain medicine (because they were just fixed). It came in a syringe, so I just had to squirt it in their mouths. The female dog did fine. The male dog started throwing up within 15 minutes.

***Disclaimer - Yes, I am horrible. I do not have names yet. When we were trying to adopt the puppies there was a high possibility that we were not going to get them. I did not want to name them because psychologically that means they are mine and I didn't want to be disappointed if I didn't get them. I was only given 1 hour notice to come pick up the puppies, so everything has been very rushed. We are currently working on figuring out their names, but haven't come up with good ones yet.***

I read the information that the shelter gave me. They said that some dogs may throw up and to call them if they continue to throw up after 24 hours. I was not too worried.

Thursday morning they both ate breakfast and seemed to keep it down.

I called the shelter to tell them what happened since the male dog was still throwing up. They said to call the place where the dogs were fixed because they did not have a vet on staff, but the place that the dogs were fixed was not open today (that's not much of a help). So, I called a friend of mine who is a vet. I weighed the dogs so she could check their pain medicine dosage. The male dog weighed 16 pounds and the female weighed 11. The dosage was correct. She said that it may be the medicine making them sick, but she couldn't know for sure unless she saw the dogs.

That night I did not give the male dog his medicine, but I did give the female dog her 2nd dose of medicine and she started throwing up 15 minutes after that dose. Maybe it was the medicine even though she took the first dose fine. Neither dog ate or drank. I got a syringe medicine dispenser and started feeding them water and chicken broth. They kept throwing up.

Friday morning I decided to take them to the vet. I called my vet friend's office. She had no appointments all day and none of the other doctors in her office could see the dogs until 4pm. I decided to call other places to see if they could see them sooner. One place near my home said I could come and sit in the waiting room and they might be able to work me in, but I might have to wait a long time. That was fine with me.

I arrived at the vet with my dogs, signed in, and was immediately shown to a room before I could even sit down. That has NEVER happened to me before. Kinda nice.

The vet tech weighed the dogs. The male weighed 13 and the female 9. That means that he lost 3 pounds and she lost 2 from yesterday. All scales are different, so the weight loss is not accurate. She took their temperature, which was a very high 104 for both. She also did a parvo test and all the other stuff that they do. The vet came in and did more of an exam. They noticed that my dogs are laboring to breathe. They believe my dogs have canine distemper. Yes, there is not really a way to 100% tell if a dog has canine distemper, so this is a guess. They gave my dogs antibiotic shots and a flea treatment. They sent me home with lots of paperwork, some antibiotic pills, and the instructions to do whatever it takes to make my dogs eat and drink.

After paying several hundred dollars, I was on my way home almost 2 hours later. I was in shock. I have not even had them 48 hours and they have a 50% chance of dying (not to mention how much money I have paid for the dogs, supplies, and now vet fees). I am not going to give up on them and hopefully they won't give up on themselves.

When I got home, I let the dogs rest after trying to get them to drink. I went upstairs to research distemper on the internet. I forgot to close the gate on the stairs and the male dog made it up 3 steps and was sitting there when I found him. Maybe he was looking for me or trying to get away from the female dog because he was not feeling well.

Basically, canine distemper is a virus. There is nothing that can be done about the virus. We were given antibiotics to combat any bacterial infections that the dogs may have or get. Right now all we can provide is supportive care for the dogs and hope that their immune system can combat the virus.

The flea treatment given is a surface treatment that was not supposed to be touched because it could rub off. Because of this, I kept my kids away from the dogs. I also wanted the dogs to be left alone because they are not feeling well. I have decided to keep the kids away from the dogs until they are better because I don't want to kids to become too attached in case the dogs take a turn for the worse.

I tried to feed the dogs continually. I got dog food and crushed it up in water. I used the syringe to feed it to them. They were not too happy but did not fuss too much. I did 1 milligram every 30 minutes and eventually got to 3 milligrams every 15 minutes. They threw up a bit, but I believe they got some into their body.

I got their antibiotic pill in their mouths, but they are really good at spitting it out. I ended up crushing it up in a little water and feeding it to them with the syringe.

The dogs seem to like it when I let them lay with me while I watch TV. I put a towel down on me (in case they get sick) and let them lay on it. The female dog got sick twice in 30 minutes, so I put them back on the mat.

I made a bed for them with 2 towels in my large bathtub. The bathtub is near my bed so I could hear them. I left room towards the tub drain so that they could vomit away from their bed.