My poodle is currently anemic, he is so pale that the insides of his ears are white, his gums are white and even his tongue has almost lost all its pinkness. He is losing red blood cells. I am trying my best to save him and I hope to God he makes it.
I am writing this timeline of what happened so I will not forget. I am getting to middle age (ew) and I so easily forget. This post is for me.
Sunday – Gim and I stayed at home with Snowy, who was very happy. In the morning Gim went to the weekend market, brought Snowy and let him play with other dogs. For lunch, we had some pad thai, none for Snowy who wouldn’t touch his food because he smelled ours. We had an early dinner of spaghetti and chicken. Snowy begged for some. We gave him just a few slivers of meat. For dessert, Gim and I munched on cashews, cheese and apple slices. Snowy begged for some. We looked up if cashews is toxic for dogs, and found out it was not. So Gim gave Snowy cashews. No cheese because I knew dairy was bad for dogs. And no apples because the seeds are toxic to dogs. We ordered tuscani pizza from Pizza Hut and again Snowy begged for some. I gave him the upper crust parts (the part that holds no meat or cheese or toppings) of my pizza slices. In total, Snowy ate A LOT that day. (So did Gim and I but this post is about Snowy. :P) Snowy slept on a full tummy and looked very contented.
Monday – Gim on duty this day. Only me and Snowy at home. Snowy didn’t eat any of the meals I prepared for him (his Acana). Not sure if he was sick of his Acana or just too full from Sunday. I decided to wait him out. I knew he would eat his Acana if was really hungry. In the afternoon, I gave him 2 or 3 cashew slices because he begged while I was snacking. In the evening, I decided to cut his hair because it was so thick and long already and I knew he felt hot most of the time. He doesn’t like to get his hair cut and tried to stop me as much as he could (turning away from my touch, sitting down, at times trying to bite the clipper). As a result his haircut was uneven and patchy. :( When I put him down I noticed he was just slightly wobbly. However he was still very active and playful. Though I was concerned that he hadn’t eaten all day. In the wee hours of the morning, I decided to handfeed him the Acana and he did eat. (He’s such a baby.)
Tuesday – I woke up at 1 pm. I remember that I heard a few whines from Snowy while I was sleeping but I hadn’t minded, because sometimes he whines in his sleep. I found him in his little dog house, where he likes to go to feel safe. And dried vomit all over the pillow floor. :( Vomit with bits and pieces of cashew. He pooed when I let him out, and it too was full of cashew. I felt very, very ashamed of myself for giving him cashew. Gim came home that day and commented that his gums were a bit pale. And he was acting tired. He hadn’t touched his food all day. Gim and I decided to wait it out. Because it had happened once that he stopped eating his dog food because we had given him some human food, and we had brought him to the vet who told us he was fine, just threw up bile because he was hungry and advised us to make sure he eats his dog food again and to stop giving him human treats. (I know, I know, so stupid of us to repeat the same mistake. But sometimes we can’t help but give in to Snowy’s begging.) I tried to get him to eat his Acana all night long but to no avail. Even mashed it up for him, but no. Even put pork and beans sauce, but no. In the wee hours of the morning, I heated up some spaghetti sauce (for the beef) and it got him interested. He ate up a plateful of beef. But no Acana. Still, at least I could finally go to sleep knowing he had something in his belly. He pooped too, and it was a bit orangey. Pretty sure it wasn’t blood but undigested (fatty) food.
Wednesday – Snowy very lethargic, and wobbly if he tried to stand, which he couldn’t do much. Normally Snowy follows me around everywhere I go. He has to be like within 5 inches of me at all times. This day, he seemed to not have any energy to even stand. I would go to the other room and he would just wait for me to come back. I felt very bothered that he seemed very weak. Very pale, too. The inside of his ears very light pink when normally they are reddish. His gums light pink too. The one time he slowly followed me outside, he started to heave and out came all the beef I had fed him, undigested. This was very unnerving. It was a lot of vomit. He wouldn’t drink any water, either. I decided to bring him to the vet at once because at this point I was scared of dehydration. I got to Animal House Jupiter at around 2:30pm, and the vet saw Snowy around 30 minutes later. Got history and all. I asked him to try to feed Snowy because at the moment I thought that was the biggest problem. Vet gave Snowy some A/D Prescription Diet and Snowy showed interest. But we had to handfeed him to get him to finish the food. Vet did a CBC test and found his platelets very low. 11,000 when it should be around 250,000 at least. :( Did another critical test. Came back and said Snowy had ehrlichiosis, a blood parasite. He asked if Snowy had been exposed to ticks. I said well, once, but I got the ticks out before they could multiply, and a max of 3 that I took off of him. I found no more after that (I combed him very carefully for ticks everyday and was very paranoid for weeks, trust me). And this was months ago. Vet said that it takes only one tick to get him exposed to the blood parasite. :( (I wanted to say, we got the tick from our first visit to this clinic to get him vaccinated! Grrr!!! It’s your fault then!!! But I thought the better of it and kept silent.) Vet prescribed Snowy four medicines to give once a day for 21 days. Said he should get his normal appetite back in 3-5 days. Told me not to bathe Snowy for a while and not to stress him out. Bought everything the vet prescribed and total bill came to over 4000 pesos. (Php 2680 just for the consult, CBC and critical blood test! Php 1600+ for the medicines.) Brought Snowy home. Gim came home very concerned about Snowy. Taught me how to use a syringe to administer the meds to Snowy. We used it to give Snowy some water. In the wee hours of the morning, Snowy vomited up all the prescription food he ate at Animal House. :( :(
Day 1 of Meds (Thursday) – At 6am, Gim and I gave him the Doxycycline (antibiotics), Liverolin (supplement to protect his liver) and Cimetidine (for his hyperacidity). Tried to give him the prescription diet but he wouldn’t have any of it. I think maybe he associates it with vomiting. Just like he wouldn’t eat the beef after he thought it made him vomit. I just hope he doesn’t think like that of his Acana. Snowy and I slept after Gim left for work. I woke up at 1pm and Snowy wasn’t doing any better. If anything, Snowy seemed paler than ever. His ears totally white. Gums white. His tongue very pale. I lifted him off his pillow on the floor and found that he had wet himself. :( Was he too weak to stand? Why would he pee where he was sleeping??? So scared for him. :( Cleaned up the mess and wiped his leg dry (the pee was mostly under the pillow and only the edge part of the top was wet). Then at 2pm, I gave him Sangobion (to increase platelets), Liverolin and Cimetidine. Tried to force feed him the A/D Prescription Diet but he spit out most of it, though he reluctantly swallowed some. Gave his some water through syringe too. Cleaned his face. Cut his facial hair because his meds were staining his face (mouth area). Around 4pm, I ordered myself some fried chicken and what do you know he wanted some! I gave him some chicken meat and he ate the pieces. Yay! Didn’t want the fries though. Hey, I know I said I was ashamed for repeating my mistakes but at this point I was just about willing to give him anything as long as he would eat. He looked deathly, ok? He didn’t eat a lot, just maybe five tiny morsels, but at least he ate. :) And he peed on the newspaper. Then I placed him on the bed to rest. Around 9pm, I talked to Gim on the phone about my concerns that he was very pale and I didn’t know what to do short of blood transfusion. Gim asked me to call Animal House about how much that would cost. But I said I wish I were super rich I could afford to pay for all that Snowy needs. But I’m not, and though I love Snowy with all my heart, I just can’t afford another humongous bill. I asked what I could do, by myself, to get him pink again. I asked, what foods should I give him to get his platelets up. I said, he liked the chicken, should I buy more chicken to feed him? Gim said, ok then give him the innards like the kidneys and the liver. And I said, we still have liver at home, can I cook it and give to him? Gim said yes. And so off I went to microwave the frozen liver. :) While it was defrosting, I gave Snowy his third dose of Cimetidine (10pm). When the liver was done, I cut it up in small tiny pieces and found Snowy sniffing the air interestedly. Good sign! I offed him up a morsel and after sniffing a bit, Snowy gobbled it up! I set the plate down on the bed and Snowy went at it by himself! Yay!! The little one was hungry! He just didn’t want the stuff I was offering previously. Oh my goodness, how am I supposed to know what he will eat or what he won’t, he is not very consistent! After finishing his plate, Snowy wanted to get off the bed. Then he went to his newspapers and pooed! Yay! I was very happy, because he had not pooed in 2 days and I was getting very nervous. His poo was hard and black. I sent a pic to Gim and said is that blood? He said it’s not, if it were it would not be that well-formed. He said the color was due to the Sangobion and the liver (the prescription diet was full of liver). Anyway, after pooping, Snowy became a little more active, followed me around (albeit slowly). Wanted to play. Picked up a toy but then he realized he was still tired and lay on the floor. :) Now he is soundly sleeping on his pillow. :)
Day 2 (Friday) – I fell asleep around 3am, but had to wake up at 6am for Snowy’s meds. Gave him liver and he ate it all. Then we went back to the bedroom and slept. Woke up 2pm, gave Snowy meds. I tried to feed him the A/D dog food but he still wouldn’t touch it. Decided to mix A/D with the liver. He ate the liver and spit out the A/D. Can’t trick this little pooch. After eating his liver I filled the syringe with water to force him to drink but before I could give him, I noticed him sniffing around his water spot! I had earlier moved his water to the bedroom in hopes he would take a sip but no. So happy he was actively looking to drink! Got him a fresh cup of water and he lapped up until he was good. Yay! :) He seemed to have more color in his tummy too! But ears and gums still pale. I did notice what looked like a thick bruise on the inside of his arm (joint). He might have lain on it and got himself bruised. I was afraid of this. With anemia, bruising and/or internal hemorrhage is very likely. :( Poor Snow. However he seemed more lively. Followed me around, though slowly. He rested while I watched a bit of TV and did some work. Around 5pm, I ordered lunch from Mang Inasal. Chicken and pork barbecue (I had to meet the Php 200 minimum order fee). Snowy begged for some. And I gladly gave him the chicken innards (for the iron) and a few morsels of white meat. He also liked some of the pork barbecue morsels I fed him. Gim came home around 7pm. I was surprised when Snowy up and trotted to the front door with no apparent reason. Turns out he could smell Gim from outside. I could hear the keys turning after half a minute (Gim had trouble finding them). Snowy was very excited to see Gim, wagging his tail and standing with his paws against Gim. :) Gim was very glad to see him looking better than Wednesday. Gim picked him up and kissed him all over. I told Gim to take it easy with Snow. :) I made Gim dinner (omelette and corned beef). We just talked and talked, about his day, Snowy’s day, the political scandals (Napoles)… He told me his doctor friend Carlito (also a dog breeder) told him he was surprised Snowy made it. Carlito said he had had some dogs with ehrlichiosis but none had made it. Carlito said he would take his dog Pom for a check-up just in case. He got Pom from the same breeder we got Snow, just a month ahead, and had found some ticks on him too. Actually it was because of him and his gf, Gim’s co-resident Dra Alex, that we were able to get Snowy. Anyway. Around 9pm, Gim offered to treat me at Seattle’s Best (my weakness) in exchange for a walk with him. Cute huh. I was reluctant to leave Snow. Actually I hadn’t left my apartment in 2 days for Snow. Since Snow was looking better I decided why not. So we walked for an hour. Got back by 10pm, just in time to give Snowy his last meds for the day. Then we just relaxed and talked some more. Put Snow on the bed with us too. I dropped my scrunchie on the bed and Snow started to chew on it. He likes to do that. Gim tried to take it away from him and Snowy growled at him. Gim got upset with Snow and tried to forcibly pull it from Snowy’s mouth which just made Snow angrier. I told Gim not to push it, it’s fine if he chews it. Gim said he didn’t want Snowy to growl at him, he wants Snow to know that he can take anything away from Snow. I said, another time, not now, Snowy is sick and hurting and anemic. The vet said not to stress him, so don’t. We got into a heated argument. I think Snow got stressed because of that. :( We stopped eventually and to appease Gim I put Snowy down, changed the bedsheets for him, cleaned up his clothes for him. He took a shower and we talked about Snow and I explained how Snow is already stressed by his sickness to begin with, so it’s understandable that he is irritable. Plus we shouldn’t use force to deal with his guarding behavior, instead just use positive reinforcement, like give him something better in exchange for what he has. We can’t punish Snow for growling since he uses it as a warning to us. If we force him not to growl, next time he feels distressed he might go straight to biting. I said not to feel like Snow sees him as a rival, that is not his intention at all. Snow loves him so much, I said, Snow follows him around more than he does me. And Snow gets so excited when he comes come. When Gim is home, Snow hardly pays me any attention. Gim understood and then felt guilty for being mad at Snow when he was sick. Gim picked him up and babied him and kissed him sorry. Heheh. I said it was about time Snow rested. We went in the bedroom and closed the lights, and Snow was fast asleep almost immediately. He must have been so tuckered out from all the activity. I think it’s good Gim is out for most of the day, Snow is much too excited when he is around. Not good for him when he needs all the rest he can get. Snowy didn’t poop all day but he peed a few times. I, meanwhile, had a tummy ache due to the amount of coffee and cake I ingested. :(
Day 5 (Monday) – Snowy doing better but his walk is still sluggish. Gave him liver in the morning after his meds. No more cimetidine since he isn’t vomiting anymore. I trimmed some of the hair around his eyes. He keeps rubbing his eyes lately, maybe the hair is poking him. I cleaned his face too, the area around his eyes gets very dirty due to the tearing. He doesn’t like it though. In the afternoon when I tried to clean him again, he snapped at me. He slept for most of the day. In the evening Gim came home and Snowy was very excited. Wanted to play with Gim, brought him his toys. He could only do 1 or 2 fetches though. We was pretty active (considering), following us around while we prepared dinner, did this and that. His tongue and gums are slightly pink, yay! I hope to see more color in him soon. He didn’t poo today. Last time he pooed was yesterday morning. Gim says iron causes constipation, so maybe that’s why. I gave his some lettuce but he just ripped it to shreds. Hope some made it to his tummy.
Day 10 (Saturday) – Snowy is still very lethargic. He spends most of his days sleeping. He does get up for his medicines (6am and 2pm), which are also his mealtimes. I read that the Doxy especially affects the digestive tract so it’s best given together with food. His last meal is around 7-8pm, though he isn’t that hungry in the evenings. He doesn’t poop very regularly, maybe once every 2 days. I think it’s because he doesn’t move much so he gets constipated. I’ve tried to give him more fiber in his food to help with that. I am hoping he starts moving more by next week.
Day 11 (Sunday) – Snowy surprisingly active! Well, considering his behavior of late. :) He did not sleep much, walked around, quite playful. Ate a lot, drank and peed normal, pooped a little. But he was very alert and seemed a bit bored. Why do I say that? Well, he tried to play fetch with us, but after a few runs he realized it was tiring, heheh. (Lolo Baby!!) So what did he do instead? He tried to masturbate with his pillow. Hahahaha! Oh Snowy you cutie! We missed you so! :)
Day 21 (Wednesday) – Took the last of his meds. Yay!
Day 22 (Thursday) – Snowy is back to his old self. All is good. :)