Friday, November 18, 2005

Double The Incontinence, Double The Fun

Some weeks you just really don't want to repeat.

This is one of those weeks.

Last weekend was lovely: Quiet, productive, slightly social as we had some really wonderful people and their truly nice kids over for dinner and hanging out.

Then, Sunday night, Emma-the-evil-dog, vomits. Hardly worth mentioning. She is a dog. Dogs occasionally vomit. She seemed perky, as usual, and we went to bed after a bit. She gets Charles up in the middle of the night to vomit again. Damn. Unusual but not unheard of. She has a bit of diarrhea outside as well.

Then she vomits on the carpet. OK. It happens.

She seems a bit tired Monday morning and we are somewhat concerned. We go in to work, Lilian (Charles's mom) staying with Sara as usual. Charles checks in with her during the day and it seems Emma is continuing with the GI distress, both ends, as the euphemism goes, but she is drinking, peeing, and otherwise doesn't seem distressingly sick.

As we pull into the garage that night, Charles says, "Well, we should probably expect the worst. There may be quite a mess in there." Being the pessimist I am, I agree that it is best to do so and steel myself for what I consider the worst.

Whooo Boy! Do I need to work on my "Worst Case Scenario" imaginings.

The utter stench as we came in the door was like nothing I have ever smelled before. Me. Me who has had her share of all parts bodily, washed or unwashed. Me with two kids and plenty of sicky yuck in my life. I've been shat, peed, vomited, pussed, loogied and bled on. Come to think of it, I've been hit in the face by all of the above. My point is not to gross you out, but to put this in perspective.

This was BAD shit. Literally.

Poor Emma was contained in the laundry room, the floor of which was covered in about 6 large pools of mostly liquid poo. More on the carpet in the living room. More, along with vomit, all over the downstairs. Lilian was shaken. We stirred and got it all cleaned up. And it just kept coming. Poor, poor fastidious dog. She was past caring, just lying in the puddles, fur matted with the stuff.

She had stopped vomiting, fortunately. Over the hours, the stools diminished in frequency. She was still drinking and peeing. She seemed to rally as we kept checking on her that night. She ate some in the morning as well, so we went to work again on Tuesday. Of course, she got worse again. Charles left work early, taking her into the vet. Area parasites and other horrors are discussed and she is started on a course of treatment, given medication to stem the flow from stomach and bowels, a couple of syringes of fluids, and a set of vials to fill with samples of excrement. Always good to have a project. Makes you feel as though you are doing something.

That night, we wring our hands and are completely unable to collect the samples as she is no longer even having diarrhea, just dripping yellow liquid constantly and refusing to let it be collected.

Then that stops. She perks up. We have no idea if it is due to the meds or if it has just run its course.

Or if it is just messing with us.

Wednesday night, we spend a solid 45 minutes washing her to clean off the excrement. Unbelievable. At least she can now get away from the horrible odor. The house starts to lose the stench, too.

Off we go, last night, to Colin's teacher conference (he is doing just great, thanks for asking) and when we get home, we find a large pool of urine next to her. More in her bed. She had been taken out just before we left and we had been gone a bit over an hour. This dog normally has a bladder of steel. She pees again and again. She stops eating. More hand wringing. She has had a bladder infection once before with identical symptoms. Given the amount of fecal matter that was caked around her nether-regions, if she were a little old lady in such a situation, I'd be shocked if she didn't develop one. Hey, it's all I have to go on. My equivalent of vet training: The medical care of the totally senile. We debate taking her in to the emergency vet clinic 45 minutes away, but decide to see what happens over the next few hours. Only a few incontinent episodes overnight. Then her nose becomes congested. Well, at least she is not incontinent of the sinuses as well, although she'd probably be more comfortable if she were.

This moring, we arrive at the vet for an 8:00 am appointment, which is fairly impressive as 20 minutes prior, I was on the phone with the vet's office, Colin was waiting for the bus (fortunately early today), Sara had just gotten up, and I was barely dressed.

I love our vet. He is very reassuring, thorough, and when a bit stumped, as he was by the pitiful dog, he is not afraid to say so. We discussed the differential diagnosis (I am wrong, it is not a bladder infection, in fact her urine is perfect), he draws blood for this, that, and leptospirosis titers. We add another antibiotic and make contingency plans as, of course, he is heading out on his first vacation in a few years, tomorrow. We leave with some prescription cat food to mix with the prescription dog food that she is now turning up her nose at, probably because she can't smell a damn thing at present, the meds, and a refridgerator magnet with the emergency clinic info on it as well as written directions, just in case.

So. Here I am. Worried. Wiped. Wishing I knew the punchline. I keep telling myself that I need to remember the way I am feeling with the fear and uncertainty, that I can use it in the future to better help those who come to me with similar situations. Maybe at least some good comes of this, but right now, I am feeling a bit lost and sad and all I can really do is give it time and make her as comfortable as I can.

Thanks for listening. It helps.



Blogger brooksba said...

Poor Emma. You've had such a rough few days and she has too. She is lucky to have you taking care of her and I hope she feels 1000 times better soon. I always feel so bad when a four-legged member of the family is ill because they just don't know what to do. Warm thoughts are sent to make Emma feel better. Keep us posted.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Oh dear, I was expecting to come to the end of the post to find that Emma was all better.

I hope it's nothing serious and that the meds (and that prescription cat food) kick in soon.

You must be even more of a wreck than the house.

Sending positive thoughts and energy your way--and Emma's way, too, of course.

4:14 PM  
Blogger moegirl said...

Oh no! Poor Emma. Good thoughts and support being sent your way mentally, spiritually, computerially...I hope she makes a full recovery. Also, hang in there yourself!

5:34 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

Oh dear. I am so, so sorry. It sounds as though you are all miserable. And feeling helpless. Poor Emma. and poor you. I'm sitting here willing everything to get better fast!

6:29 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Thanks everyone. It truly does help.

Beth- Thanks, my shoulders are up around my ears. I hate feeling so helpless. Just one reason I don't do pediatrics. How does Johnny do it?

Rozanne- Here's hoping. Best case scenario: She just get's better and that's the end of it. Happens in people all the time. Maybe we will get lucky. Hate the uncertainty. The house is much better, but need to formally shampoo the carpets....
The positive thoughts mean mucho.

Stacy- Thanks, sweetie. It really helps. You are the best.

Teri- Pets, kids, you KNOW what I mean. Thanks for being there.

8:28 PM  
Blogger listmaker said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. I hope all is resolving positively by the time you read this.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buy a box of baking soda and sprinkle it on the rug spots. It does a good job of absorbing the odors and can help make things a bit better until you get time to do the full shampoo. Easy to just vacuum it up for cleanup when the time comes. Hope Emma is getting better already.


1:24 AM  
Blogger Babs said...

I hope she's better soon.

7:19 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Oh no! I hope she feels better soon. That is always horrible when a family member is ill - child, adult or pet.

I don't know how Johnny does it either. I have a hard enough time cleaning up after my bulemic cat without throwing up myself.

I am sending Emma warm wishes for a quick recovery.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Listmaker- Thanks, she seemed a bit better earlier, now, back to where we were.

MG- We are ahead of you on that. The product Oxyclean in the spray bottle is wonderful with both stains and odors. Baking powder is a good option if we are out of the stuff.

Babs- Thanks, from one dog person to another.

Dana- Damn those furry ones, they get into your life and make you love them.

6:19 PM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

Oh no, poor Emma! I thought of lepto immediately as well, I hope not. Poor, poor Emma. Please update when you can, I hope she gets better soon. Dogs eat all the garbage they can find, maybe she ate something rotten, literally? Poor all of you.

[Johnny doesn't do it much yet, ha. Bah.]

7:02 AM  
Blogger Teri said...

Is the poor pup any better yet? How are you?

10:05 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Johnny and Teri- Long story, will do a post when I get the chance. Hoping we are on the right track. Never a dull moment.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Oh poor Emma, and poor Diana too!

I truly hope she gets better.

I remember how hard it was for the hubby when first the cat got sick this summer, and then I went down with back spasms for a week.

He had to feed Ginger through a tube, and help me move around too. And of course there were messes to clean up.

Best wishes... stay strong.


11:43 AM  
Blogger Cagey said...

Poor Emma! Poor Piffle Household!

Hang in there! Hopefully, Emma will recover in time for some turkey.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Karen- Isn't it horrible? You feel so helpless. So glad I'm not going through this alone.

Cagey- Here's hoping. She would love some of the turkey. We will set some aside for her, if she is able.

9:44 AM  

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