Monday, November 29, 2010

The Stand

Since I know people are waiting with baited breath to find out what has happened with the raging diarrhea that has run through my house this past weekend I thought I'd give a quick update before I fall into bed.

Things from Friday went from bad to worse with Leeloo vomiting and having diarrhea (fortunately not in the house) and although Raimi showed improvement on Friday during the day, he took a turn which culminated into vomiting up blood clots Sunday morning at 1am and having blood in his stool. By Sunday afternoon Leeloo was already on the mend but Raimi was still plateau-ed in a funk, not eating, not drinking and sleeping between requests to go outside *now*. Despite the blood that was appearing in ghastly places he was still pretty cheerful and I spent a lot of time syringing water into him which improved his outlook on life considerably. How to decide whether this was an 'emergency' was my main concern. After phone consultations with my parents I decided that I'd get water into him and see how he went. There is a distinct shortage of vets open on Sunday (pretty much in the entire world) and emergency vet care here is not exactly encouraged. Vet are not usually eager to have you call them on a Sunday evening particularly when the dog isn't actually at Death's Door. So I gave him until this morning and then called first thing to get him into the vet.

The vet and I discussed symptoms and possibilities. I was rooting for coccidia which is super easy to treat but to cover all our bases we also tested for giardia. Both those were negative and since I am planning a litter in the spring we decided to do a parvo test just to rule it out - that way we'd know for sure it was *not* parvo and I wouldn't have to bleach the house top to bottom(something I think I'd like even less than painting ceilings).

No such luck. It is parvo virus and although it doesn't happen often in adult dogs, they do get it. They are able to fight it off more easily thatn a baby puppy since their immune systems are mature but Raimi is having a particularly tough go.

Leeloo had it too but she kicked parvo's ass. She has always had an incredible constitution and it would take more than some measly parvo to get her down. Also, dogs, just like people, are affected differently by the same strain of virus - one person with the flu can be down for days or weeks and another hardly gets a chill - it's totally individual. The worst that will happen with Leeloo is that I will probably have to delay getting her thyroid test because her blood levels will be out of whack while her immune system rages against the virus.

Raimi is a very sensitive guy and has forever been my sweet delicate Boy. He has not been able to knock this virus down and needs a little extra support. He is on anti-biotics to prevent secondary infection, he was given a penicillin boost today and will spend the next 10 days getting giant pills to ensure that his immune system does not have to fight more than one battle at a time. I also have to make sure to keep him hydrated and rested - something that will not sit well with Leeloo or Esme.

Speaking of ... little Esme, who has been living in a literal shit stew of parvo virus, has barely taken a breath between chasing the cats, removing all the toys from the toy box, destroying perfectly recyclable bottles and pinging off the walls.  She doesn't seem to have noticed that a deadly virus is loose in the house and I hope it stays that way.

Parvo is a wicked disease and kills puppies easily - which is why for the next 3 months there will be much bleaching and cleaning. Fortunately Leeloo will be immune to the strain by the time the puppies are born and will pass that immunity straight to her puppies. She will also get a boost before the litter and I will be maintaining a strict no fly zone for strange people in the house while the puppies grow up. It's not the way I prefer to do it, I like people to visit and handle the puppies, but there is just no messing around with parvo.  In short, there was absolutely no way for me to even suspect Raimi had parvo - I thought it was just some damn bacteria running through them ... one thing is for sure, I'll never stop being surprised by what the dogs bring home.

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