Friday, March 7, 2014

The Life!

Welcome to our world! This is all she wants to do now!!! She just wants to lay in her bed!! 
We walk into her little room and she rolls around, wanting her belly scratched, her neck scratched and under arms scratched!

What a silly girl! She has US trained pretty good!

Enjoy the day!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Who is this dog?

Truly? Aside from her loss of appetite.....if you saw Gabby, you'd think we were making all of this up!!
This morning she peed us a RIVER outside and made a somewhat normal poopsie! We gave her the usual Rimadyl dosage wrapped in cheese and the anti-biotic and she ate that without hesitation. We left her alone for a few hours and returned to see she made herself at home by hopping onto the couch in her usual position!!!
She is also aware of someone knocking/opening the front door and BARKS like the good ole days!! JUST NOW, as I'm typing ate her breakfast from this morning!! YEAH!!
The big question of the day......ARE WE DONE NOW!??
We reluctantly gave her the Rimadyl dosage today. We'll call the vet next week and discuss our alternatives - WITHOUT Rimadyl.
Thanks for checking in with her. Knowing we've got people cheering her on sure helps us. These darn animals, they capture our hearts, go through the good, bad and ugly with us through our crazy lives and we just can't think what life would be like without them faithfully by our sides. Sure is a blow to the soul when they are hurting. As much as we try to keep it all in perspective, when faced with the inevitable, it sucks.
Thanks again for your love and support. I've gotta run and go cuddle with my 4 legged buddy!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

On the UP side!!

After a very lazy, restful day.....Gabby finally ate her food - after hand feeding her a bunch.....then, she went down to potty what appeared to be clear urine!! We did a double check, and yup, no blood!!! Hallelujah!!!!

She finished her bowl of food too!!! HALLELUJAH!!

She drank a bunch of water!!! HALLELUJAH!!!

She's been 'asking' to get up on the couch to sit next to us too!!!! FIRST TIME in a looooong time!!! HALLELUJAH!!!

We DID NOT give her any Rimadyl today since we are giving her the antibiotic.....just giving that a rest and let the antibiotic do its job....

When asked to do her trick of 'telling me a story' we get a nice, healthy BARK!!! YEAH!!! She's coming around!!!

A lot to be encouraged by!!! Keep it going Gabby!! Let's get through this bump in the road!! HALLELUJAH!!!

Slight Change

This morning there was less blood on her puppy pads and the blood appeared lighter in color. She still hasn't eaten anything but the cheese we wrap around her pills. She appears to be resting comfortably in her bed all last night and this morning. We are getting ready to take her on a walk so we'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's a Urinary Tract Infection?

We picked Gabby up at 4:30 this afternoon.  The Dr. showed us a sonogram photo of her bladder. Lots of white area with 'crystals' jumping all over the place! WHAT?! HOW? He says dogs can get this just like humans….he says it is a very in-depth and very long scientific reason behind it but basically, yeah, what they eat can cause this. As the crystals leave the bladder they are slicing her along the path!!

Now what? Well, she was given a shot of antibiotics, urine drawn and sent to the lab with results to follow in 3-5 days. With the results they will be able to verify they are treating her for the right thing. We were given a bag of special UTI food and sent on our way.

She's been resting most of the day. Has not eaten anything and drank a little bit. She weighed 27 pounds last Monday and now weighs 26 pounds.

My questions that keep going over in my mind are:
1. Do dogs vomit with a UTI?
2. Do dogs have blood in their stool with a UTI?
3. Do dogs lose appetite with a UTI?
4. Do dogs have diarrhea with a UTI?

Seems a huge coincidence that her Rimadyl was increased and then these last issues arose. Reading the link I posted on the previous blog is pretty scary! I really don't want to give it to her anymore. It states to give aspirin for joint pain instead but its going to take awhile of being off of all Rimadyl before I can give her the aspirin. So, the plan now is to let the UTI meds kick in, get rid of that problem, then I will tell the vet that I'm taking her off of the Rimadyl and ask him how long it'll take before I can begin aspirin/other methods.

So…that's all for now. As you can guess it is very very frustrating. As with humans, antibiotics can kick in pretty quick for a UTI. Let's hope and pray the same for our little Gabby.

Dr.'s Response

Dr. Called after sending the email...he is positive the amount of medication given did not exceed acceptable amounts for her size. On the site it claims 1 mg per pound. Gabby weighs 26 pounds today, she list a pound since last week. We've been giving her 10 mg once a day for 3 years. At this time we don't know the amount of injection on Thursday. She's been taking 2 times a day 10 mg since Friday, with exception of last night. 20 mg daily still fits within the amount she could take. My concern is the injection. How much was that? Did that 'put her over the edge?

After reading some of the comments on the page link, it sounds like these are also SIDE EFFECTS of just taking the drug! We watched the movie Dallas Buyers Club last night about the HIV/Aids medicine in the 80's. Couldn't help but find similarities here.

Drug overdose?

So during our walk prior to taking her to the vet, she let loose a bunch of bright red blood. I'm not exactly sure if it came out of urine or poopsie....nonetheless, she had diahrrea so we scooped it up and brought it with us.

After evaluating her, vet decided to keep her and run some tests. He discussed side effects of the Rimadyl. After reading the link below that my daughter Amy sent to me while we were at the vet, there is no doubt in our minds that she is experiencing a drug overdose or the Rimadyl just caught up with her....

I emailed the link to the doctor as soon as I finished reading.....She has experienced every single one of the side effects!! He gave her a shot of Rimadyl before we took her home on a Thursday. We've been giving it to her as directed twice a day since Friday. Because of her vomiting last night, we didn't give it to her last night.

Let's hope and pray we caught it in time!  We plan on picking her up at 4:00 this afternoon.

Houston, we've got a problem

Not a good night for Gabby. We woke up to find red blood and poop all over the mud room. She's not eating or drinking and very lethargic. We are calling the vet at 9:00 when they open and taking her in.  Too much medicine? Who knows. We'll keep the blog posted as we know more.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Even BETTER than yesterday!!!

We are OVERJOYED to report Gabby is improving!!! She only had a few pee spots on her pad during the night. When Dick took her outside first thing in the morning, and before he could catch her, she walked down the stairs by herself.  She was able to go poopsie with slight difficulty but nonetheless WENT!! She continued to let the urine just escape her without stopping or squatting in a few areas and as she was going down the stairs.

After our breakfast, we took her on a walk and she was eager to sniff and smell in her old doggy way!!! This is a first in a long while! Again, when she urinates, it just comes out as she is walking.

Again, after lunch she sat at the back door so I let her walk down the stairs and she was able to pee in a few different areas! Still no squatting, but at least controlling it enough to wait until outside!!!!

We asked her to perform her trick of barking on command and her voice sounds like the olden days too! Very strong instead of a whisper or not at all! Yeah!

She is even hanging out with us more instead of just laying in her bed! Huge improvement!! Seriously, we are overjoyed and whistling happy tunes over here. We'll keep her on the double dose of medication and hope for the best.

In reviewing this episode, we tend to she makes her way up our stairs to our room on occasion, she's been slipping sometimes. We think maybe she slipped the wrong way at some point and really inflamed her issues. Just as in humans, we can have a 'grabby back' or sciatica one day and with the right meds and 'cage rest' we can be good to go another 500 miles or so...

Hopefully with each passing day, she's able to gain strength for healthier days to come! Below is a pic I just took! Sitting on the floor by choice, being part of our every day, not cuddled in her bed!

Well, just when you think we are taking a step forward with each day….we had a little set back….we can add vomiting to her list of ailments….she had a fairly normal day today…she has asked to go down the back to pee a lot more often than normal throughout the day but at least she has been holding it until she walks herself down the stairs! This evening, the diarrhea returned with the vomit, thankfully she was outside at the time. So, not sure where that came from….she ate part of her breakfast, a few treats from going outside but now refuses a treat and won't eat dinner. Oy vey!!

Sunday, March 2, 2014


We've been keeping Gabby in her little room at night with the puppy pee pee pads.  We woke up this morning and a normal poopsie was on the pad!!! YEAH!!! Soooooo happy!!! Crazy what makes us happy these days eh?

She appears to be walking better today and a little more like her old self!! We are soooo happy about this change as you can imagine!! Unfortunately, she still has no control over her bladder.  I took her out this morning first thing and she would not squat. Brought her in and her hind was wet. I gave her a bath, dried her off with the blow dryer and we both had 'a moment' together on the bedroom floor where we just laid with each other. We were both quite content for about 20 minutes. I got up and was brushing her and made her stand and her hind was full of pee again! So, into the bath again, another blow dry and cleaned up the pee. 

I put a diaper back on her and she is resting now.  The biggest problem with the diapers is that because of their fur, the only thing the diaper does is keeps the urine from getting on stuff….but it can and does sometimes leak out. 

We think it is a good sign that she is back to one of her old antics of stretching out!! She hasn't done this in weeks!

It's a rainy, drizzling kind of day today but we are hope that when it breaks we can take her for a short walk. Since we are doubling the dose of her Rimadyl/Carprofen, hopefully that will get her over this hump.  We'll know the signs to look for in the future and can increase the dosage to even 3 times a day according to her vet. We've just got to get this bladder to connect to her brain!! She's always been sooooo good at holding it so this is all very new.  

We are still trying to keep positive. Our heart goes out to her because we know she just want to be normal too. The more we think about it, the more we really don't want to go the surgery route.  We'll just keep plugging along for now.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Well, I’ve been terrible about blogging about Gabby’s job in Animal Assisted Therapy.  Especially today, I regret I didn’t write more often.  We’ve been thoroughly enjoying each and every visit and came to the point of being fairly consistent with 2-3 different elderly care facilities here in San Francisco.  But today I had to send the following email to the SPCA Program Gabby has diligently worked for the past 4 ½ years:

Good Morning,
It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I write to you this morning. Gabby has not been well for the past 2 weeks. We've had to cancel her last appointment due to a condition that recently came about....long story short, she has hip dysplacia and has had a bad flare up. Currently she is on cage rest, wearing a diaper and feeling pretty miserable. At this time as we look at our course of action, I'll have to remove her from active duty until further notice. 
I apologize for the inconvenience and I'll keep you posted on Gabby's progress.
Thank you!

The first signs of trouble began when she refused to jump on the furniture and would paw at us to pick her up to place her on it.  Next came refusing to go up the stairs in our house and uncontrollable shaking of her back and hind area.  We took her to her vet when she refused to even go on a walk and would not squat to urinate or defecate.  It was determined she had ‘degenerative disc disease’ and a possible prolapsed disc, which is highly prevalent in the Lhasa Apso breed.  Since she has been 2 years old, she’s been taking a veterinarian prescribed anti-inflammatory for hip dysplasia and knee joint issues.  We came home and the following day was back at the vet because her legs were worse.  They kept her for 2 nights on cage rest and observation to determine the next step.  They gave her extra doses and an injection of the anti-inflammatory meds to aid in the flare up.  When I picked her up she lost all control and began randomly defecating diarrhea and urinating.  Big problem, to say the least.

We bought baby diapers and cut a hole out for the tail but the sizing was all wrong.  We finally made a trip to the Pet Store for the official dog diapers and they are still not quite right but better.  Of course she hates to wear them.  Our first night home was pathetic.  She just looked at us and whimpered in a way we’d never heard before.

Today is Saturday and thankfully the diarrhea medication worked and she isn’t having that issue anymore.  She’s had a healthy appetite and hasn’t been whimpering anymore either.  An issue that seems to be getting worse is when she makes the attempt to twirl in order to potty, her legs drop from underneath her body and then she stops and just stares at us.  This leads to major lack of bladder control.  Also, she has always had a beautiful fluffy tail and unfortunately I just had to trim it down to the bare tail due to matting and getting in the way.

Medically speaking, her vet is presenting a few options at this time.  She is only turning 7 years old in April so she is still very youthful! Her x-rays were sent to a surgeon and they will be getting back to us this next week.  There is a procedure called a Femoral head ostectomy or Girdlestone’s Operation.  They pretty much remove the ball of the femor, and a ‘ghost like’ one is formed and the muscles in the hip mold and shape to assist the dog in walking and living a normal life.  The degenerative disc issue is non-operable.

We are trying to keep her comfortable and waiting to see the surgeon for our options.  It would be wonderful to wake up and all of this will be gone but I don’t see that happening.