My mother and I breed and show Tibetan Spaniels. We don't breed often because of how much additional work and sometimes heartbreak is involved with rearing a litter of puppies or for that matter anything else
Last year we were had the oppurtunity to import a fantastic dog from Scotland who we showed here in the states and planned to breed from once or twice. We collected his little swimmers and stored them for when the time is right. He sired three litters in this country though through natural breeding before he left to go back to scotland. He was entered in the crufts dog show so my mother made the trip to England to show him there and return him, since he was only here for a year. Truely a delightlful dog I can't imagine how his scottish family parted with him for a year because I know we sure miss him! One of his three litters happens to have been born at our home and out of 5 puppies 3 of them at left having not be put into their forever homes yet. The last one goes to his new family (if all turns out well) on the 22nd of this month.
However, there seems to be a hitch in the plans. In spite of the fact that we keep do everything we can to keep things spotless and we of course vaccinate all of dogs and puppies something seems to have gone wrong. One of our older dogs somehow contracted a virus that landed her in the hopsital for four days on IV fluids and sadly was passed onto the three remianing puppies before we knew Jinx was really sick.
On Sunday the puppie started vomiting and off to the Emergancy-clinic we went. The Doctor there diagnosed them with a virus which was in conflict with what our older dog was diagnosed with, (she was dianosed with paincreatitis..spelling???). The vet said he couldn't say exactly what the virus was only that it wasn't anything we can vaccinate for. So no parvo or anything like that. They received Sub Q fluids and were transferred Monday to the clinic I work at to continue treatment. They were sent home monday, not looking to bad, with instructions to bring them back if they needed more fluids or became worse. Everyone was optimistic that we caught whatever it was in time to prevent them becoming as bad as Jinx had been. Tuesday was another story. Tuesday all three were vomiting again and had bloody stools back to the vet they went and were kept overnight. Wednesday their blood sugars started to get low and they had to put them on IV fluids with ummmm glucose?? I get a little fuzzy about what was put into the IV drip. I had to take over for my mother at this point because she is just not good at dealing with these types of situations and gets sooo stressed and upset she makes herself sick and doesn't do anyone any good. Last night "my" puppy in that litter, (it's always my pup ) who is name Henry took a turn for the worse. He has developed puenominia and a bacterial infection in addition to the virus he's fighting. The vet advised me to be prepared. We talked a length about wether or not to continue treatment. His blood work was pretty bad and showed that his body didn't seem to be able to fight off the illness. His white cell count was almost 0, his kidney and liver functions were impaired, and his temp. was 106. He couldn't even hold his head up and was almost lifeless. The vet reating them was working the e-clinic last night and took him with her from our clinic to there. She promised to call if and when things became worse or if Henry passed on. She promised of course to do everything she could. She said in the morning if he was no better or developed discharge from his eyes/nose or open mouth breathing and wheezing then it would be decsision time. I agreed but remained stubborn on the fact that as long as he wasn't suffering and in pain he would be treated. I never ever want to wonder if I did everything I could for a puppy. My feelings on this are very clear and strong. I want to KNOW everything was done and done correctly, period. I told her that iF he wasn't meant to be here any longer than he would probably pass on his own or he would make it obvious that it was time to go. They have a way of telling you it's time, even when they are just puppies. We don't give up on our dogs, they said my dog Wonder was going to die too and three different vet advised me to put her to sleep and look at her now! (she was born bead and was revived and then tube feed). I don't ever just let them go if there is any chance at all. She kinda shrugged and said she all we could really do was hope and pray and if I wasn't going to throw in the towel than neither would she.
I was up all night waiting for the phone to ring hoping it wouldn't and dreading that it would. At 5am there was no word from the vet, no news is good news right? I got up and showered and got ready to make the drive out to the E-clinic to pick Henry up and take him back to our regular clinic since the dr. couldn't bring him back because she wasn't' working today. She must have seen me pull up through the window because she and a tech met me at the door and rushed me back to see Henry all smiles. Henry was holding his head up on his own and he even gave a little tail wag. She said they ran more blood work this morning and it looks better than the blood work yesterday afternoon. The new meds must be working. The vet told me that she was really surprised he lived though the night. She admitted that she pretty much had no hope that he would survive. She said he must be a really strong puppy to get through all that.
Henry is by no means recovered and is definitely not out of the woods but at least he's taken a few steps back from the reaper. The other three Doctors at our regular clinic saw him this morning when I brought him in and said it looked like we had another "Wonder Puppy" on our hands. I'm soo relieved that at leas he's fighting!! Everyone at the clinic was happy to see him back and thrilled to see him looking better. The other two puppies are also doing well. They aren't as sick as Henry. Everyone is still on IV fluids and meds but at least nobody is getting worse. Henry gave me a little kiss and another tail wag before I left the clinic this morning. Hopeful he'll still be feeling better this afternoon when I go back to check on him.
Just a side note: I think I picked an awkward time to adopt a new kitten in the finacial sense,(in spite of the fact that she, her spay and her first shots were free). Henry's troubles were a very unexpected surprise. However, I am soooo glad that I brought our new kitty home yesterday, (before I knew henry was heading downhill). Even though she is a stray who was found wandering she just sat in my lap and let me cuddle her and cry. Truely a remarkable kitten. She just cuddled up and purred. I told them at the clinic how she was behaving because they were all asking about her. They said I couldn't have picked a better cat and they were glad an employee adopted her so they can see her often.
Just goes to show that no matter how dark it is there is always a light somewhere.