Down With The Sickness

Well, I have not had a great start to 2017. I should know better than to post about how great last year was and hoping this year would be the same. It’s only the first month, plenty of time for it to get better…right?

I went to bed January 21st as I usually do, naively expecting things to continue as normal. At 2:33 am I hear the unmistakable sound of an animal heaving. I can never tell if it’s the dog or the cat until I’m up on them. This time it was the dog. Of course, I snapchatted the majority of it because pics or it didn’t happen right?!

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Fellow animal owners are familiar with this feeling.

So she vomited once, I cleaned it up and went back to bed. At 3:11 am I hear the sound again. I bounce out of bed just as fast as before to try to get her to the bathroom or the living room, anywhere that isn’t carpeted. I have enough puke stains on my carpet to last a lifetime.

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I had no idea what was coming (I kind of did though)

At this point, I am starting to think this might be a bigger issue than a simple one off puke fest. Daisy is very sensitive and when she gets sick, she tends to get very sick. After I cleaned that vomit session, I figured it might be best to sleep on the couch where I can hear her better and she will be in the living room where it’s not carpeted.

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Look at that awesome cat tree

After laying there for a bit, she needed to go outside to use the bathroom. I threw on mom’s house coat and braved the cold. She peed as usual and then tried to poop. When she was trying to poop, she vomited again instead. She has never done that before so I became concerned (more than I was previously). I decided to take her to the emergency vet to at least get some anti-emetics in her to hold her over until her regular vet opened at 8 am. We hopped in the car (I hoped she wouldn’t get sick in the car) and drove to the emergency vet. Luckily it’s just down the street from us so it was a quick drive. She was examined by a vet (who had a very shiny gold Rolex on) and was given two injections to reduce nausea and calm her stomach.

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The emergency clinic had two orange and white pudgy cats. I bet they’ve seen some shit

Luckily, that emergency visit did indeed hold her over until I could get her into the vet at 10 am. Her regular vet gave her some subq fluids and sent us on our way. I didn’t really get any answers at that point. I was starting to think maybe she was constipated but it wasn’t mentioned.

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Actual image of my money flying away

I paid yet another insane bill and took her home. She refused to eat or drink, she didn’t even want her chewy! She was still struggling to poop and I was convinced that she was constipated. I didn’t think she was blocked because she was still passing tiny nuggets of poop that would get stuck in her hair and lead to me having to bathe her. I called the vet just before they closed and asked what to do. They told me to come pick up some lactulose and grab a can of pumpkin from the store. They are both supposed to help with constipation. Well, she refused to eat the pumpkin. She is picky at the best of times, let alone when she is feeling gross. I gave her the lactulose and readied myself for a night of emergency bathroom runs. About half an hour after I gave her the lactulose, she vomited an enormous amount. She is sensitive to meds so I should have known better. At this point it was later in the evening and her vet was closed. I took her to emergency again.

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Very sick dog is just out of frame with a very worried dad

As you can see, she was in good spirits. There was another dog there that was not in very good shape. Poor thing had gotten into some compost in the yard and was shaking, vomiting and weak. I waited with Daisy while they tended to him. He was in much more serious condition than Daisy. Once they had that poor pup stabilized (I hope he made it), they called us in again. She threw up in the exam room before the doctor even came in. She had her temperature taken for the third time that day (and I again noticed the very shiny gold Rolex on his wrist) and they gave her the same injections again. I opted to get bloods done to check her pancreas and liver. She has had liver problems before on her previous seizure meds, so I wanted to be sure this time. Yet another insane vet bill later, we were on our way home again with the plan to see the regular vet again with the blood results.

Flash forward to the morning, I put her in the car (I think we were going to get breakfast) and she started seizing in the car. I think it was brought on by stress. Car rides had not exactly been fun for her at that point. Not to mention she hadn’t kept down her seizure meds in a few days. I called the vet and we went in as soon as her seizure stopped. For some reason, her vet has always told me that one seizure a month is “good control”. I have disagreed with this but he has the fancy piece of paper on the wall, so I guess I have to believe him? They gave her fluids again because she was dehydrated (she still wasn’t eating or drinking at this point). I took her home, still with no answers. She had x-rays, I paid extra for a radiographer’s review and opinion and all they could tell me was that she was “gassy”. I already knew that. Her farts were brutal for days previous. His answer to me was “gastroenteritis”.

At this point I had spent around $1500 dollars over the week at her regular vet and at the emergency clinic. I spent more at the regular vet than emerg, which tells you something right there! I was furious that it took a week and that much money to tell me she had gastroenteritis. I felt ripped off and that me and Daisy had both been taken for a very expensive and uncomfortable ride. He suggested yet another medication but I decided against it. I had come to the point that I was not about to give them anymore of my money. I had an incident there with Rex (my cat) a while back but they had convinced me to come back. I should have trusted my gut.

I called her old vet and made an appointment. I grabbed her file from the previous vet. At least I thought I did. I get to the new vet and realize that we are missing 2 years of blood work. She gets bloods done every 6 months because of her meds. They had given me bloods from 2015 and the most recent from the emergency vet. They said they didn’t have them. I told her to check the digital record. Sure enough, there they were! She printed them off and I scanned them and emailed them to the other vet. The vet we saw that day spent 45 minutes with me and I got more out of that than I did all week with her previous vet. He only charges $20 for an exam too. It was much more reasonable and he is very thorough. He explains everything and doesn’t cut corners. I picked up some antibiotics from the new vet and went home.

The next day she had started eating and drinking again. She also had another seizure. she should not be seizing multiple times a week on her meds, but she was. I called the new vet and left a message. In the meantime, I went to get her some CBD oil (more on that in another post, maybe). The vet said we can add another seizure med to her current one but I don’t want to start loading her up like that. She is already so sensitive to meds, that’s the last thing she needs. I decided to just stick with the CBD and her current meds and see if it worked. So far so good. No more seizures. I don’t know if the CBD is contributing to it or not, either way, it’s a good thing.

So about $1700 dollars and a week later, she is back to herself again, randomly staring at me for what feels like hours and running away when I try to walk her. She is eating again, drinking again and back on a regular potty schedule. People tell me I should get pet insurance but the problem with that is these are all considered pre-existing conditions, meaning she won’t be covered for them anyways. I think I’m just better off putting away some money each month for vet emergencies. I just have to actually do it… In the meantime, I will be working a lot of hours. At least my boss will be happy.

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