Sunday, October 19, 2008

Dog Days

I didn't make it to Westside Wednesday this week. In fact, I've hardley done any spinning or knitting all week. Andy Rooney has not been doing well; he ran into something last week (we don't know what) and scalped himself (he's going blind due to the diabetes). By Saturday, the wound was looking pretty nasty and he wouldn't leave it alone, so it was off the the Vet's office. They diagnosed an infection on his head and a secondary infection on some teeth. So they prescribed antibiotics to be given along with his insulin and recommended we schedule a teeth cleaning. As it turned out, that was the least of his problems.

Then Tuesday morning he started vomiting and refused to eat. Another trip to the Vet revealed his blood sugar was so high their machine couldn't read it (the machine tops out at 689). They think he may have Cushings Syndrome, which means his body is producing too many steroids, so his pancreas has completely stopped producing insulin so his blood sugar is high and is affecting his liver which is causing too much bile so he vomits. The Vet decided it was better to send him home with us, since no one is in the clinic overnight to monitor him. ToolMan and I were up most of Tuesday night with him, giving insulin, withholding food, forcing water, cleaning up when he got sick, and holding him when he got dry heaves.

Wednesday morning, he couldn't stand up, so it was back to the Vet's. They had to give him a "hot shot" of insulin (his blood sugar was still over 400) and put him on an IV to prevent dehydration. Since his blood sugar was down, but he was still refusing to eat or drink, the Vet had to keep him overnight in ICU so he could stay on the IV. ToolMan and I did get to go see him in the evening to try getting him to eat. ToolMan even cooked some chicken giblets and gizzards to put in his food but it didn't do any good. He even turned down chicken jerky.

We were hoping he'd get to come home Thursday morning, but no such luck. His blood sugar was down to 260; still more than double what it should be. He was still refusing to eat; but he had stopped vomiting and was drinking water . The Vet kept him on IV all day and monitored his blood sugar. We simply couldn't afford another night is IC for him, so he came home Thursday evening with pills to help settle his stomach and instructions to let him eat whatever he wants whenever he wants and bring him back if he acts like his blood sugar is out of whack again.

For the last 3 days, he's been one pampered pooch. He's had meals of chicken livers and giblets and thighs are cooked for him; jerky and biscuits are available whenever he wants them; he's had breakfast of scrambled eggs and buttered tortillas (another favorite); and he's been taken on strolls around the neighborhood to work up an appetite.

Although he gets his shots with no objections, giving him pills is another story entirely. I have to pry his jaws open (thankfully his 4 front teeth have been removed), ToolMan gets the pill far enough down his throat that he can't spit it out, then I clamp his mouth shut and hold his nose up, while Toolman rubs his throat to make him swallow then gives him a little treat of giblet.
Last night we went through this whole rigamarole, ToolMan held out his hand with the giblet, Andy lowered his muzzle, and took the giblet while simutaneously leaving the pill in ToolMan's hand. Second verse, same as the first. If he feels well enough to do that, then we're stopping the pills.

So far, he's been eating a little more each day, and acting a little more perky each day. Certainly not himself, but much better than what we've seen in the last week. Right now, he's sitting in my recliner, being hand fed bits of chicken jerky by ToolMan. We know we have hard decisions to make regarding his care, but at least we don't have to make those decisions today.


  1. Awww, poor little AR. I hope he's doing better. It's tough when they get sick because they don't speak the English so well. (Like, I'm no friggin' expert, either, on the English!) Hugs, to you.

  2. Poor puppy! I hope he continues to improve. Give him a snuggle from me.

  3. You are giving him so much love and care. His doggy heart must be full to overflow with happiness, in spite of his illness.

  4. What a sweetie, lil Andy Rooney. Hang in there little guy and get well soon.

  5. So glad to hear Andy Rooney is doing better. Poor baby. I've been worried about him. More hugs and chin scritches from his auntie! Keep spoiling him. :-)

  6. Duffy called Sat evening with the news that Andy Rooney was doing better and was eating. That's such a good sign. I hope the progress keeps on and on until he is a happy dog again. Gail

  7. I see from a more recent comment that your puppy dog is feeling better and eating. So glad to hear that, poor baby. Hope he's all better soon :)


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