Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Trials and Tribulations of Maggie – Part II

It has been a rough week here – last Thursday when I got Maggie out of the car she couldn’t put any weight on her back right leg – the same one she had surgery on a few years ago. It was very sudden – I couldn’t think of what might have caused it. We hadn’t had any big walks, she hadn’t fallen, she hadn’t even gone off to the field next door recently.

When we went to the vet, she found Maggie’s hips and knees were both painful but didn’t think she had blown the knee again. She prescribed an anti-inflammatory and a pain killer and since said she would recheck in a week. She suggested limiting stairs and avoiding areas where Maggie might slip – i.e. hardwood floors.

Friday and Saturday Maggie seemed more comfortable, although a little perturbed by being carried up and down stairs. By Saturday night things started to go downhill, she was up several times in the night (thank you Paul) and by Sunday morning she had diarrhea. She spent most of Sunday in the backyard.

Since Paul has a busy week this week we decided that I would sleep downstairs with Maggie. She was in and out all night and otherwise restless and uncomfortable. She hadn’t eaten and wasn’t drinking much water. I know by midnight the diarrhea was bloody and may have been before that and it worsened the rest of the night.

Monday morning I took Maggie to the vet who was expecting me. I asked to them to weigh her – she had lost 4 pounds since Thursday. Within a half hour the vet called to give me a run down on her plan of action, besides putting Maggie on an IV with meds to address the pain and GI issues, she wanted to run the usual blood work and if this showed nothing she would do an x-ray of her belly. She also wanted to see a significant drop in her heart rate which was 160. Those of you who have pets should now see several dollar signs!

The blood work showed nothing too unusual except for one elevated liver enzyme. The x-ray showed that her liver is enlarged. The vet thinks these two abnormalities may be symptoms of Cushings Disease; however, that does not account for the GI bleed nor could the vet pinpoint what caused it except that it could have been a reaction to one of the new meds.

Our vet does not keep animals overnight – so if Maggie was too sick to come home, we would have to take her to the Animal Emergency Clinic for the night and return her to our vet in the morning. Luckily, our vet felt with her heart rate down to 120, she was OK to go home.

So we took her home, well doped up, with few instruction except to keep her quiet and watch for any vomiting or panting. When I brought her in the house, she walked the twenty feet from the front door to the great room, collapsed and fell asleep. When Paul and Isabelle came in the door ten minutes later she raised her head for a moment and then went back to sleep.

That was pretty much the story of the night – she didn’t eat, she didn’t drink, she didn’t want to go out, she didn't move until Paul carried her upstairs at 10. At 3 Paul woke me to tell me she had turned over – she slept through until almost 8 when I carried her downstairs. She still had no interest in food although she a had little PB. After taking Isabelle to school, I took Maggie back to the vet for a day of observation.

Today, the vet wanted to see if Maggie would eat and drink enough to take out the IV catheter and also see if there were still GI issues. Maggie had a little canned food and water and was generally more alert than yesterday (not necessarily saying a lot there) and was sent home this afternoon with another appointment on Monday.

Although more alert than yesterday, Maggie has slept most of the evening. She ate a little dinner with gusto (canned food) but the water intake is not great.

We will see what tonight and tomorrow bring…


D said...

Give Maggie May a pat for me.
I'll keep you all in my thoughts.

Taryn said...

Oh, Jane. My heart goes out to you all. I am sorry I was not here Monday night when you called-I was at bookclub. There was no message so I did not call (it was also 11pm), BUT the weird thing is, I did have a flash thought of "something could be wrong...could it be Maggie?"

Such a helpless feeling. Mags is so lucky to have a family like you.