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Monday, August 21, 2006

Cheyenne is sick

We awoke at 3am to a constant scratch on the bottom of the girls' crates. Usually Cheyenne will bark or cry when she needs to be let out but this was scratching, this was Dakota. My husband got up and within 5 minutes, he came into bedroom and said: "I need your help. Cheyenne is sick." Why did Dakota scratch when it was Cheyenne that was sick? Because she always tells us when something is wrong with her sister or her sister is into something.

Cheyenne, our almost 10-month old Labrador Retriever puppy was indeed sick and very scared. The bottom of her crate and blankets were soaked in vomit. Not only that, after my husband brought her outside, she vomited in the middle of the livingroom. So, at 3:00 am, we lugged out rolls of paper towel, a new garbage bag, and the steam cleaner. As I used the steam cleaner, my husband spent time with Cheyenne and Dakota; both were very scared because Cheyenne has a lead-lined stomach and can eat almost anything without getting sick; usually it is Dakota throwing up.

We finally got to bed around 3:30am and at 5:10am, Cheyenne started to cry. Unfortunately, it seemed she wasn't done. The towel that we put in her crate was caked with vomit - luckily it was just on the towel so I grabbed the towel and let them outside on the way to the laundry room.

It was now evident that it was time for me to make boiled chopped meat and rice to help Cheyenne's stomach calm down and get some food in her. I gave her 1/3 of a cup (she normally get 1-1/4 cups of food in the morning) of that mixture and she was looking for more. It was a great sign that didn't last for long. Afterwards, she threw up another 4 times. That makes 6 times in 4 hours. Most of the time it is nothing but a brown liquid so, needless to say, we are highly concerned. If it were something she had eaten last night or our time at the pool, she would have gotten sick much earlier. She is also lethargic and the usually butt wiggle she does when you say her name has been downgraded to a small wiggle of the tip of her tail.

Cheyenne is not well - not well at all. We have no idea what is making her so sick but we know it is time to seek a vet's help. I have already left a message on their machine this morning and am waiting for a call back for the earliest appointment possible. At the least, they can give her a shot to stop her from vomiting and keep even water down so she can stay hydrated. Please keep her in your prayers.

Update 10:20am:
Just got home. Cheyenne had thrown up 12 times by the time we left for the vet, then once in the car on the way (eww!), once in the waiting area, two times in the room, and 2 times back in the x-ray/diagnostics lab. That makes a whopping 18 times since 2:30am (I thought it was 3:30am but my husband says we got up at 2:30am). The vet came out immediately to the waiting area (right after Cheyenne threw up again) and said to us "Just letting you know that I am most likely going to keep her cause 13... err... 14 times is too much and she is already dehydrated."

He sent us home about 15 minutes after without our baby Cheyenne. She was so tired on the drive there and her muzzle was all skin and bones from dehydration. She was so scared and looked so sick. He looked at her gums (and I took a sneak look) and they were so pale! He said they were hooking her up to an IV right away, getting blood tests, and getting abdominal x-rays. Oh! She also winced when he touched her belly - she never shows signs of pain! (e.g. OCD diagnosis for those that remember)

My husband dropped me off at home (took a vacation day) and headed back to work. I am now waiting for the vet's call... he did say that it was not bloat but most likely something she ingested up a couple of days ago. He thinks it could also be a partial or full bowel obstruction but most likely not toxicity from the very small amount of weed killer on our lawn. Of course, he needs the results of the tests to tell him what it is... and I was so relieve when he said he would not let her come home in her condition because even the dehydration could kill her - I warms my heart to know that he takes dehydration very seriously (some vet's dont). I did not argue cause I didnt want her home in her condition - there was no way I could even keep up with cleaning all the vomit this morning! (sigh)

Please keep her in your prayers. I will post an update as soon as I have one. Right now I am going to clean up some more from her "episodes" this morning and spend some time with Dakota since she is still in a bit of shock from everything and missing her sister greatly.

Update 11:00am:
Just got a call from the vet. He laid out the following results:
  • Blood fine - no infection, disease, or virus
  • Blockage found - small intestine, not stones, may be rawhide but not sure
Since they found a blockage in the intestine, they need to go in and see what it is and get it out. They are performing a laparotomy at noon and find out what it is and try to get it out. He said it will be simple surgery but that there is a chance that part of the intestine could have died and he would need to repair it then. He doesnt think there is any damage cause we came in so early but wanted me to know up front. Of course, the surgery isnt cheap but I told him "We have credit cards so do what you need to do!". He is calling it emergency surgery because the longer we wait, the greater the chances for permanent damage.

If it is just the simple surgery, we could have her home as early as tomorrow. He will give me a call after the surgery to let me know how things went, what he found, the prognosis, and when we can have Cheyenne back home with us. Please, please, please keep those prayers coming... especially now that she is having surgery.

I will post new updates as I get them. Thanks everyone!

Update 2:00pm:
Surgery is over with and Cheyenne is resting comfortably. There was no obstruction, but the area between the stomach and small intestine (pylorus) was "swollen & ulcerated" and contained lesions. What does this mean? The vet said it seems physiological and caused by something she ingested. I asked again about the weed control and he said that with the amount of inflammation, it was unlikely. I have no idea what she could have gotten into as she is never out of our sight. However, she was sniffing in a couple of areas of the dog park on Saturday and could have eaten something that someone had dropped, something the park officials sprayed (doubtful), or some toxic plant/dead animal.

They sent a piece of tissue over to pathology but it will take 3-5 days to get the results. In the meantime, she is on ulcer medications, antibiotics, and IVs. If they can stop her vomiting and get her to eat/drink, they may allow her to come home tomorrow. Of course, we need to get her vomiting under control so that we can give her oral medications at home before they will release her. Oh how I wish they had visiting hours! I so miss my sassy girl!

Please keep her in your prayers. Sure, we dont have an answer yet but we are at least making progress and she is receiving the care she needs - quite honestly, had we not brought her in as quickly as we did, she could have died. (sigh) I dont even want to think about it!

The next call to the vet is at 4pm and I will be putting out another update by 6pm. Oh! And please add Dakota to your prayers as well - she is really having a hard time with Cheyenne not being home and is utterly depressed. Thanks everyone!

Update 7:00pm:
This is the last daily update for today. Around 4pm, I called the vet and only spoke with the receptionist. She said that Cheyenne was doing very well and that they are planning on her going home tomorrow. She had not thrown up since before the surgery and they will have someone check her throughout the night. I will be calling around 9am tomorrow to get another update and see how her night went and whether or not she can come home. The house is so empty without her but Dakota is starting to come around and actually enjoy some quality 1-on-1 time with me and my husband. Again, I want to thank everyone for their prayers and ask that they continue to keep Cheyenne in them. She is not out of the woods as we dont have an exact diagnosis and the next few days will be difficult for her. It is horrible when the cause isnt identified... I just pray it is something we can treat and that she will be able to live a "normal" and healthy life!

Until tomorrow my friends...



Blogger Angela at Pets Best said...

Hi Shannon,

How hard it must be to go through what you're going through. We'll be sending up prayers all day for the surgery. Hang in there!!

Angela & Smokey from Dogster :)

August 21, 2006 11:23 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Thank you for all your well wishes. Hopefully it will be a simply removal and we can have her back home tomorrow! Gosh how I miss her!

August 21, 2006 11:36 AM  
Anonymous caity pavlik said...

oh wow. I hopw that everything will be alright and that it goes well so she can be back to normal soon. I am sending my prayers, good luck!

caity and valo :)

August 21, 2006 12:38 PM  
Anonymous Monica martiren said...

I hope she is going to be very well by tomorrow, she love you cheyenne.Stay well.

August 21, 2006 9:56 PM  

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