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Monday, October 18, 2010

Crap. Literally.

"My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a child.  We can't decide whether to ruin our carpets or ruin our lives."        ~Rita Rudner
     Two weeks ago my husband and I rescued a black lab pup.  The people we got her from lived next door to the original owners who had a litter of puppies, did nothing with them, and then moved away without them.  By the time we got her, she was five months old and hadn't been to the vet.  Period. 
     Before we took her home, we stopped by the vet we like in town.  Fortunately they were able to get her right in.  She had dual ear infections, scratches on her tummy that were infected, ring worm under her leg, and she was pumped full of intestinal parasites (round worms).  She went on ear meds, antibiotics, antifungal swabs, and got her very first dewormer.  Other than the above listed ailments and being underweight due to having parasites so long and being left untreated, she seemed to be in relatively good shape.  Smart too. 
     In just two weeks, we had her sitting on command, come, stay, go to the kennel, drop it, and almost house trained.  I was so proud of her progress.  B was pretty confident that all would be well once he left for school.  Boy were we in for a surprise.

     The day after he left, she pooed twice on my carpet (something she hadn't done for at least a week, and then twice in one day?)  To make matters worse, I literally took her outside less than five minutes prior to the accidents.  The next day, she pooed once, and peed in my daughters room.  Also within a few minutes of taking her outside.  Everything looked fine, so I began wondering if this was a behavioral problem.  Daddy leaves, so puppy poos.  Wonderful.  Oh, and did I mention that just the thought of picking up dog feces makes my stomach turn? 
    The next day, she went on the carpet again, same MO, but then she vomited in the kennel.  Great, she's sick. 

    Well, vomit turned into diarrhea.  Alllll night long.  Last night, to be exact.  I figured I would take her to the vet first thing in the morning.  But the fourth (and final blowup) had some blood in it.  So off to google dog sickness I go. 
                                "vomiting bial and bloody diarrhea in dogs"

     So many results, and none looking promising.  I called the vet and asked what their opinion was.  Parvovirus.  Google again.
                                 "parvovirus in dogs"
     Treated with IV solution and IV antibiotics in less severe cases.  More severe cases may need blood transfusions.  If left untreated is fatal.  If accompanied with other intestinal parasites/disorders will probably be more severe. 

     As I said earlier, she was pumped full of intestinal parasites and has only had one dewormer.  Our first visit to the vet was $300. 

     And since my loving husband was unavailable due to school, I had to make the hard decision on my own.  We don't have extra cash right now for IV fluids and IV antibiotics, nor do we have the money for blood transfusions.  Add onto the having a 2 year old to worry about, another dog (parvo is extreamly communicable), and finding out that parvo stays in clothes, carpets, kennels, etc for up to 6 months if not bleached and in the ground for up to 8 years...I decided we couldn't keep her. 

     I called the local pound (the one in our county is really nice compared to the other ones I have seen down here).  Through tears I told them what happened, and they told me to bring her in.  When I dropped her off, I told them all the strides we had made in training.  They told me that they would evaluate the severity of the parvo and decide from there whether to treat her with IV's, or to euthanize her. 

     Boy do I feel like a piece of crap.

     When B finally called me back, I told him what happened.  He apologized for her being so sick.  (Not his fault)

     I guess we're only meant to have one dog.

 "The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's."   
                           ~Mark Twain, Letter to  W D Howells, 4-2-1899

Thanks for listening.  Sorry to be so glum.

Carolina North.



  1. Oh, Nicole! :'( I'm sorry I didn't call you back. I'll call you in the morning. Sarah told me all about your misfortune with Faith. You did the right thing protecting Iz and Natalie. Hopefully they'll decide Faith is worth it. You know that puppy will be popular there!

  2. Hey MrsK,
    That's alright. Bad stuff happens sometimes. I hope they decide to help her too. Another concern of ours was even if we did have the money to get her help, what's next? 6 months of never seeing a vet down here is a big deal, I've discovered. I'm afraid she might have hook worms, heart worms, or other horrible health problems that haven't reared their ugly heads yet.
    Iz and I have doc appointments from 2:30-4:30, otherwise I'll be available to talk.