Thursday, November 06, 2008

Puppy Update: Miss Sky (and now Mr. Green)

Well, it's been a day book-ended with visits to the vet (7 a.m. and 7 p.m.).

And it's good news and bad news.

Good News #1: Miss Sky is doing fabulously. The subcutaneous fluids and the injected antibiotics seem to be doing the trick (no more vomiting or diarrhea). As of this evening, although she still had a slightly elevated temperature, she was starting to eat solids again and keeping them down. And, as one vet-tech put it, Miss Sky has one good set of lungs! :o) That's a good thing: it means she's energetic enough to want and ask for attention (something she wasn't this morning when we took her in). They said she's been singing for them back in the ICU.

Good News #2: They've tested Miss Sky's stool for just about everything, and they've ruled out all the big bag uglies (parvo, distemper, certain parasites, etc.).

Good News #3: Miss Sky gets to have a littermate stay with her overnight at the vet's tonight so she won't be alone.

Bad News #1: The reason Miss Sky gets to have company tonight is that one of her littermates started getting sick this evening, just like she did last evening. Mr. Green started about 5:20 p.m. and is following the same course of symptoms: elevated temp (Miss Sky was 103.6; Mr. Green 104.2), vomiting (clear or cloudy liquid), diarrhea (strange white slimy poo), and lethargy (probably from the fever and slight dehydration). So he got to visit Dr. Wagner tonight and is getting the same course of treatment (injected antibiotics, subcutaneous fluids, gradual reintroduction of solid food, lots of love!). Mr. Green will stay overnight with Miss Sky in the ICU (not because they're that sick, but for isolation since what they have appears to be contagious).

Bad News #2: Since Mr. Green got sick, too, it's likely that what Sky and Green have is a contagious virus, which means it could run its course through the entire litter. The vet staff taught us how to do subcu fluids tonight (a piece of cake compared to how scary tube feeding was), and if we need to they'll set us up with everything we need to treat the pups here with subcu fluids. The snag in that plan is the injectable antibiotics -- in PA, that may have to be done by a licensed vet. So we may end up making several more vet visits over the next few days anyway. Only time will tell.

Bad News #3: After ruling out so many other possibilities, our vet is landing that he thinks the pups have a virus-caused gastroenteritis, the virus of which probably came in with one of the visitors we've had over the past few days. Viruses can come in on shoes and clothing (not just hands), so even though we made sure everyone washed hands or used hand sanitizer before handling the pups, it could be that a virus snuck in on apparel. I'm not sure what that means for future litters and visitors and how we'll handle all that (it may not mean anything; these things just happen), but we'll see.

Good News #4: Mr. Green's contracting the same virus helps with diagnosing what's going on. It's far more likely now that it's a contagious virus and not an ingested toxin or bowel obstruction (all possibilities the vet considered to start). And a short-lived virus is something we can deal with.

Good News #5: We got to see Miss Sky tonight when we took Mr. Green in, and she's doing just fine. She greeted us with wiggles and tail wags and puppy kisses, all of which she'd lost through the night last night and didn't have this morning. She was just so much more herself, so much more alert and active. It did my heart good to see how well she's doing. Yes, she still has a slight temperature and hasn't yet had a normal poo, but she is eating a little and drinking and keeping it down, and she's acting like a puppy again (something she was not doing this morning when we took her in). That means that whatever they're doing for Sky is working, so we expect the same will hold true for Mr. Green. :o)

The bottom line is this: Miss Sky is rebounding well, but still at the vet's. Mr. Green is just starting out with the virus but is in good hands at the vet's, staying there with Miss Sky until at least tomorrow. And we're watching the rest of the litter for signs that anyone else is getting sick.

The prognosis is excellent. We may have a long couple of days here, but the vet expects the pups to be just fine. The virus just has to run its course.

So, no BIG worries (I'll admit to being really worried until we had a better idea what was going on). We are, however, still concerned and watchful. I'm relieved that Sky and Green are with the vet for the night, and that Sky is doing so well.

I'll call the vet's office mid-morning to see where we stand. And hopefully none of the other pups will get sick between now and then.

Stay tuned. I'll let you know.


1 comment:

JuliaR said...

Sounds hopeful, thanks for the update. I can imagine you are doing the super-clean thing now!