Thursday, January 01, 2009

Poor Little Luna, Redux

Luna has been sick again, perhaps with the same malady that struck her when she was a baby.

She has been at the vet's office for the past two days. This is very distressing to us because 1) she's our baby, and 2) overnight vet's office hospitalization + care = EXPENSIVE. We miss her so much and can only make efforts to put on our fake happy faces right now.

(multiple diarrheal references and descriptions follow; read at your own risk)

On our car trip up from Florida, she began with the ever-pleasant diarrhea at some gas station north of Daytona Beach, on I-95. First time, we just figured it was a one-time event. Two hours later, she did it again by the side of the I-10, this time more watery. We started to think something was up, since this occasion included a tinge of blood. Two hours later, she did it again by the side of I-75. This time was also blood-tinged. Oh, and she was acting perfectly fine aside from all this.

After the third occasion, we called our vet's office to ask if there were any over-the-counter human medicines we could give her. We bought some Walgreens brand anti-diarrheal and gave her 1/4 tablet. There were four hours between the third and fourth episodes, and it seemed to help solidify a little bit.

A couple of hours after we got to Harmony's parents' house, we found that she was refusing food. As most people with dogs probably know, something is not right when a dog refuses food. She also vomited twice...not the yellow foamy empty stomach barf either. Mostly water, once with a slight pink tinge. We stayed in the family room all night with her, observing her and taking her out whenever she needed. Thankfully, she usually did drink water when we offered it to her.

We took her to the vet in the morning. The doctor said she had a possible case of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, or HGE. Wikipedia says it is more common in small dogs, and even more so with toy poodles, of which Luna is half.

We don't think it was stress-induced, because Luna travels very well, and because well, she had no stress that day. It could have been some table scrap that she had, but she'd been having table scraps the whole two weeks we were in Florida. Anyways, the vet called us yesterday to tell us that she was still a bit dehydrated (perhaps indicating that Luna's condition was more serious than she was acting like) and that she wanted to keep her an extra 24 hours. Thus dollar bills fly out our of bank account and anguish flows into our hearts. We wish we could've told her that we weren't abandoning her.

We have decided that Luna is GOING to come home today. Who knows if perhaps the stress of being separated from her parents isn't slowing recovery? Although IV treatment is most effective, subcutaneous fluids are also another option, albeit less effective. If the vet suggests another day, we will say "No, we miss our baby and can scarcely afford three days of hospitalization, so you can either provide the care for free, or you can give her a subcutaneous injection and we will bring her home and take our chances."

I'll post updates later. If you're so inclined to pray for a dog, please do so. And at the very least, pray for us because we are quite weary.

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