TRUE STORY - Don't be in too much of a rush to give up on your dog.........
Don’t be in too much of a rush to give up on your dog……..
A TRUE STORY
A good few weeks ago, a rescue I have who has been with us for about four years or so, took ill. He refused all food, and water. I could not work out what was wrong, and he ended up visiting the vet. His glands on either side of his neck were extremely swollen. He was a very solid dog, and is a normal standard size yorkie.
He came to us originally, as a problematic dog, he was extremely vocal and the ex-owner had claimed he lifted his leg all over and got into fights with the other dogs. He was beaten with a hosepipe for the best part of his 8 years of life. The owner of this dogs daughter grew up and left home, and then decided to confiscate the dog. She told her mother that she was going to do this – she could not tolerate the on going abuse any longer that this dog was subjected to at the hands of her step-father. How anyone can stand by, while your spouse beats up on a dog a fraction of his size and repeatedly for years and years, is way beyond my comprehension.
We neutered NOOGIE and yes he was major vocal, but with time that subsided. We rehomed him, but the couple split up and after six months Noogie came back. He is yet to fight with another dog and there are a number to choose from. He is yet to lift his leg or mess in my house – something I admired tremendously in him, because during this period when he became really ill, he would stagger out and do his business. If the door was closed he would make use of the cats exit and entrance – a pane of glass removed from a French door.
The vet at the stage of the initial visit realised what the problem was. His tongue was necrotic - had been bitten, maybe by an insect spider??? It was dying off. He was making more and more saliva and the glands that were so swollen were trying to cope with the infection. Noogie would never allow me to investigate in his mouth and I did not force him to. He would bring up large volumes of saliva periodically. He refused all assistance of syringe feeding. He was on injections for any infection present, and we had pain killers for him. This went on and on. Times I looked at him wondering if it were not time to go to Doggy heaven, but at the same time knowing that he needed to be given time to heal. He was hospitalised – he needed to go on a drip, both for fluid intake and nutrition, at that stage he had lost part of his tongue, My vet commented that he was still a young dog, but in actual fact he has to be at least 12 years of age. The vets concern was that he could not drink. My vet also told me that when he was checking on Noogie in the hospital clients came in to see their animal and asked what the problem was. He mentioned that he had lost a good piece of his tongue right around. They went onto say, that on Animal Planet on DSTV there was a programme they had viewed showing exactly how a dog drinks. They seemingly do not lap, but scoop the water up in the tongue and swallow it. We had never heard of this and neither had my vet, and he told me, if this is the case, will Noogie ever be able to drink again?
Noogie came home from hospital and things were not good, for every meal or part thereof he ate, he skipped two. I would monitor his hydration limit and very often he was almost readmitted to hospital to be put on a drip. I would leave him with very soft – mushy food, or sit with him and try and coax him to eat. I even resorted to putting Marmite or Bovril into his mouth to make him thirsty. He would eat the odd block of cheese and beef mince it had to be really watery. We managed to keep his hydration level stable. The one night I left him in my husbands office and told him, don’t be surprised if Noogie is no more in the morning. He was really bad. However, next morning he was still very much alive. Staggering off to the loo. HE had lost so much weight from lack of food, that I felt desperate and readmitted him to the vets clinic.
My vet agreed that he was battling and that maybe euthanasia was the only thing we could do. My vet and I discussed this and the plan was he would be put to sleep the next day. He would be given a chance. The next day came, and he had eaten a teaspoon of food, at his mealtimes, no where near what a standard sized yorkie needs in nutrition. He was back on a drip as well. Each day my vet and I would discuss NOOGIE and his future, Did he have a future? Were we being cruel? He was at the vets for three days and on the fourth day, which happened to be a Saturday, my vet advised he thought he best put him to sleep Saturday evening, the dog was just not coping. I had to go into the vet for something else and took some food from home for NOOGIE – sloppy mincemeat and cheese.
My Hubby and I arrived at the vets and went to see NOOGIE. He was sitting at the very back of the Kennel he was in. My Hubby spoke to him, and he just looked at him. I went closer and spoke to him, he wobbled over and snuggled up to me. There were plates of foods the vet had given him, such a variety from pet food, to human food, anything to get him to eat. The vet was day off that Saturday but I knew from what he had told me before – the dog was lucky if he ate a teaspoon of food per meal. Noogie ate a teaspoon of my food on offer. I spent some time with him, and then put him back into his favourite space and told him, that he would not be able to come home, he was just too sick, he needed to eat and drink. He looked at me with those huge brown eyes, and came stumbling forward once more. This time however, he ate the entire meal I offered him which was still in the cage. Those huge big brown eyes looked deep into mine, and I wondered what he was thinking. Possibly I have eaten – Can I now come home? I was in floods of tears. My Hubby came and asked what was wrong, all I could say was Noogie needs to come home, ask the other vet if he can go. My vet was phoned and yes Noogie could come home, for how long? Would he cope? Would I cope? Irrespective I just could not leave him there.
Noogie took up his favourite position as usual, lying day in and day out on the couch, only moving off of it, to go off outside to do his business. He was so weak sometimes, that I had to lift him back up on to the couch. He would eat for me, when offered, very liquid meals. His hydration limit stayed stable and I was grateful for that. He was really thin, but just so determined.
One night out of the blue, he got up and ambled over to the water bowl, and stood there, mouth submerged drinking. How??? I have no idea, but he was drinking. I felt we had turned the corner.
Weeks later, Noogie has had his ups and downs. He has not had to be readmitted to the vets. He sleeps on the couch most of the time. Last week for the first time, he actually came to me to ask for food. He is put in a bathroom, with his food to make sure he is eating it and not any other dog, or I will sit with him on the couch until he has eaten all his food. The bowl is always empty after a short while. He is picking up weight unbelievably now. Brings up saliva periodically, his glands are still swollen – BUT he is getting there. This has taken many weeks, how many I am not sure, it has been a very long uphill battle,,,,, but NOOGIE is winning, and that is all that matters………..