On Saturday, my friend, who was staying with us, and I took her dog, Zog and my two youngsters Zolli and Zeaver for a lovely walk from Benbow Pond, Midhurst up to Loves Farm, past Nathan’s Post and back down to Cowdray Farm Shop, just over 3 miles in all. It was a lovely walk, the weather was fine and although a bit muddy and slippy in places, it was a really nice route. We returned home and started to potter in the vegetable garden preparing for the Spring (if it ever comes.. it is snowing outside as I write and its March 11th!) the dogs were all pottering around with us. On two occasions Zeaver was found in the chicken pen, not sure why, but the hens were not bothered at all! We came into the house at about 4 and Zeaver got onto the sofa and appeared to doze off while upright. Initially we thought this was quite comical and took some video: [youtube_video]http://youtu.be/6LK0BpM6aVo[/youtube_video] By about 5 she was clearly not right. She was weaving a bit, head shy and had a glazed expression. Her gums seemed OK in colour, we took her temperature with an ear thermometer and it was showing 37.5 but I don’t think the electronic ones work so well for dogs. Her coat was now stark and she was clearly deteriorating so we phoned our lovely Vet, Michael Cave of Petersfield. He told us to bring her straight in so he could examine her. By this time her temperature was 104 and she was very unwell. He called a nurse to come in so they could put her on a drip, having already taken bloods.
We dismally returned home at about 6.30 only to find Zog exhibiting the same symptoms although not quite so severe. So off we went again with Zog who was also dehydrated, gums dry and sticky and his temp was up a bit although not quite so high as Zeavers. Michael had at first thought it was an infection until we brought Zog in when he realised they had clearly ingested something toxic, possibly from a tainted puddle, poisoned carcass or other unknown nasty!
The Vet rang a couple of hours later to say that they were both settled and stable for now, but they were increasing Zeaver’s fluids as she was 60% dehydrated and should be around 40! The vet nurse rang a couple of hours after that to say again that they were settled and stable, although Zeaver was whimpering in the background which was absolutely horrid. We were desperately worried as Zog is over 11 years old and Zeaver is 2, Zog is over twice Zeaver’ size and bodyweight and he had eaten breakfast and supper whereas Zeaver had not and we genuinely thought we were going to lose them both.
On Sunday morning, Michael rang to say he wanted to keep them in for another 24 hours on drips as they were still dehydrated, but their temperatures were now normal which was a huge relief, but we were not out of the woods yet. Zeaver had passed a very nasty poo overnight, but at least that meant there was no blockage.
We then got on with Mother’s Day and walked the other dogs, and started to prepare roast beef with all the trimmings for my 91 year old Mum who was coming for lunch. After lunch we tried to settle down to watch the rugby, but it was hard to concentrate. At 4pm our Vet rang to say that he was much happier with them both and that they could come home for the night, but he would want to see them first thing in the morning.
We flew into Petersfield to collect the patients, who looked much better and brought them home. They have antibiotics and we are to feed little and often. They both had the biggest, longest wees when they came out, having been pumped full of fluids for so long and they were ravenous when we got home! Needless to say it was another sleepless night, worrying that they may relapse, but they were fine this morning and we got to the Vet at 8.30 for a follow-up and to remove the cannulas in their legs. Michael was quite happy with them, we must take urine samples in a couple of weeks time to be quite sure there has been no organ damage, but we feel reasonably confident that they will be alright!
We are none the wiser as to what caused this sudden potentially fatal reaction, there was no vomiting or diarrhoea, no drooling, just the strange twitchy, head-shy, uncoordinated mobility which came on very quickly. We were clearly very lucky that we got them to the Vet in time. He had treated a dog the day before which had to be transferred to the RVH and the last he had heard the dog was still in a coma. The dog had exhibited similar symptoms to Zeaver and Zog. Short walks for the rest of the week, but I think we are over the worst. PHEW!
This just shows how incredibly quickly an animal can deteriorate and even die without very speedy veterinary intervention particularly with any type of poisoning. A huge thank you to Michael Cave and his team at Archway Vets, kind, caring and helpful….life-savers!