Monday, April 26, 2010

Kenya is Having a Rough Go of It

So it looks like we might be bumping up the weaning schedule for the puppies.

Kenya developed mastitis again over the weekend (still a very common issue for nursing dams). What was different this time, however, was that Sunday afternoon and evening she seemed to get progressively more stiff in her hind legs. By last night she was limping noticeably. And by early this morning she wouldn't bear any weight on her rear left leg at all.

So this morning, we went back to vet.

We're home now, but we're still not sure what's up with Kenya. What we do know is this:

  • She still has a fever (running between 102.5 and just over 103 -- elevated for canines but not terrible)
  • Both hock joints are inflamed, one enough so that she won't bear any weight on it.
  • She doe not have Lyme disease (did the test this morning -- and Kenya is vaccinated for it anyway).
  • The vet doesn't really think it's her mastitis (gone septic) because her mastitis this time isn't that bad, and last time cleared up with antibiotics.
  • He also doesn't think it's an injury (seems more like infection of some sort with how her symptoms have presented).
We're having more blood tests done and are waiting on results. Dr. Wagner (our beloved vet, whom we trust implicitly) put Kenya on another course of antibiotics for her mastitis (safe for the nursing pups), but he also felt we needed to get at least one does of Rimadyl (anti-inflammatory) in her for the hock-joint inflammation and pain.

How Rimadyl affects nursing pups is unknown (he couldn't find any current studies on it), so we're thinking we need to push up the pups' weaning schedule. We don't want to do anything to risk the pups, but we also can't let Kenya go untreated or leave her in this kind of pain.

The pups are nearly five weeks old now, so we're only talking about a difference of days (we usually aim to have litters completely weaned by six weeks of age). They're already well into the process anyway, and they long ago got all the colostrum they needed for health protection. I think they can handle weaning now without any trouble.

So... the pups got gruel mixed with chunky kibble (soaked to soften) for lunch today, and they all did just fine (and are sleeping soundly as I write this)! We'll just increase the amount of nursing formula content we put in their gruel for a couple days, and that should do them just fine. We'll keep you posted! :)

In the meantime, we're back to wait and see (still waiting on Elsie's biopsy, too, and now waiting on Kenya's blood work). Thanks for all your kind thoughts and prayers! Stay tuned.

'Til next time,

P.S. For those of you who aren't on Facebook and don't know, Elsie has a mast-cell tumor removed on Friday from her shoulder (very quick onset), and we're waiting for the biopsy to determine its grade.  I'll put up something about that here sometime later today. :)  Just know that she appears to be rebounding from surgery well (for the most part).


Hobbes Dogs said...

Sorry to hear about Kenya (and Elsie) ... sending good thoughts and prayers your way that they're both back to their normal selves quickly.

scargosun said...

Sorry to hear about the mommy dogs. :( Glad the pups are enjoying their new food though.