Welcome to The OBay Shelties blog! Our blog is an honest diary of our life with our dogs along with news from Obay shelties around the world.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hex update

I wanted to update everyone on our progress so far. I am trying to stay positive; including continuing my exercise bootcamp in the knowledge that Hex WILL get better and the two of us will enjoy Olympia in December. (That doesn't mean that I am not eating way too much chocolate due to the stress!)

I spoke to the vet this morning. The good things are that her heart-rate is getting to a more normal rate. She seems alert. The hemorrhagic diarrhea has slowed to just drops of blood rather than streams. She has not vomited during the night.

The bad thing is that she must still be extremely nauseous as she will not eat. So she is still on the IV fluids. He is going to let me take her home tonight to see if getting her in her own environment will encourage her to eat. I am not optimistic as I think she is just too nauseous to eat; my shelties will normally eat everywhere and anything. (obviously that includes poisonous mushrooms!) But in the hopes that we can encourage her to eat I have been shopping for anything and everything that I think she will like including chicken breast and baby food and yummy canned food that I can warm up for her. I have also picked up some of the High calorie Nutri paste for dogs that I can just let her lick off my finger. It is really just high sugar content but maybe it will stimulate her appetite. If she doesn't eat tonight I do not know what the next step is or if she will have to go right back to the vet tomorrow to continue on fluids....I cannot wait to get her home but also am so worried that she will take a turn for the worse.

Yesterday was spent foraging for mushrooms (fungi!) in our garden. Thru a fantastic set of circumstance and wonderful friends I was able to bring all the types of mushrooms (in a shoebox)to Mycology specialist at Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew, London. I think I got to meet the fungi expert of England! How refreshing to meet someone who is such an expert on their subject and obviously loves it. I was so impressed that he took the time to look at my "shoebox" of mushrooms and give me a detailed list of each and everyone. So far I have a list of 14 species; 6 of which are toxic to some degree.

We now know for sure that many of the mushrooms that we have have the potential to cause the symptoms that the dogs showed. The puzzling question is why did Hex show such a severe reaction this second time around. Normally the reaction from these mushrooms look worse than they are; the tearing and salivation and GI upsets are normally short lived (as we saw with Jordan and Pax) and cleared up with supportive care. Did Hex have a different stronger mushroom? Or did the fact that she had two episodes one after another make a difference to the toxic level? Or did she have a mushroom with a parasite on it also? So many questions that may never actually be answered.

A few months ago I was making the "big" decision on whether to try out for the World Agility Team this year with Hex; I made that decision based strictly on money. I did not want to spend thousands of pounds for any agility competition. Little did I know that I would be spending thousands of pounds at the vets! I must say I will be happy to spend that money now if I just get my Hex back safe and sound.

I am lucky that Hex is insured and hope that most of her fees will be covered. These are the things that make the insurance worth while! Who would have expected such a thing to happen? My first claim ever on insurance with Hex and it is going to be a BIG one! Pax and Jordan are not insured. But.... well I am lucky that both of them have been so healthy all of their lives that a couple of hundred pounds at their age is nothing in the scheme of their lives.

In the long run our biggest expense is going to be re-jigging the garden for the dogs! We either have to extend the decking or add concrete to give the dogs an area to hang out in where they have no access to the grass and possible mushrooms. If I had to do it right now I would call in the concrete guys have have them cement the whole area over! But I think I have to think longer about it and not rush into things! ha! Needless to say Pax is most indignant about having to go out and pee on gravel! She glares thru the temporary fence at the grass wondering how to get out there.

Keep the good positive thoughts flowing and thank you to everyone who has been so supportive in so many ways.


jo and brian said...

Thanks for posting the update on Hex we are really pleased that she is making a recovery albeit slower than you really want, but in the scheme of things it is better than you first thought.

Our healing thoughts are with Hex.

Lian said...

So glad you update Hex's news. Our prayers are with you and Hex all time.

Anonymous said...

So glad to see today's update - thanks for taking the time to let us all know of her progress. During Roddy's toxic episode (they never confirmed a specific cause either)he was in hospital 12 nights and came home on subcutaneous fluids for ~ 8-12 weeks afterwards gradually being reduced so that his kidneys could recover. He did not have appetite for quite a while - we used Pepcid AC for his tummy - to reduce acidity and nausea. The baby food is a great idea - and, if Hex doesn't like it, you can ship it to me as that is Spooner's favorite agility trial reward!!! Stay optimistic - lots of good thoughts coming to you - the worst part is watching and waiting but we have confidence in Hex!

Ann & Spooner

team small dog said...

Sending positive vibes out there to Hex!

Mark said...

So glad that she seems to be on the mend! Wonder if she ate a couple of different types of "bad" mushrooms together thereby causing an exacerbation of the symptoms- my gardens too full of water and mud to have any mushrooms ( though did see a big thing on the bbc website about the rise in mushroom numbers as we have had a wet summer

Brittany said...

Sending good vibes to you and Hex. She's a strong little dog, and she can recover from this. Stay positive!

Brittany and the Shelties

Eleanor said...

Pepcid AC was a fantastic help to Dash. My vet told me to give him about 1 cc from a syringe before every meal. I would then wait a few minutes and then offer him food.

Dash did not like baby food, but he loved good 'ole canned dog food from the supermarket - not the good stuff I so carefully feed my dogs, but the little tubs of cheap food. And he digested them well! Heck, I figure there are thousnads of very old little dogs living to a ripe old age on that stuff. :-)

Deli meat was tempting, as were sweet yogurt treats. Vegetable products were a disaster as I don't think dogs digest them well anyway and he would just throw them up.

Presto and I send you lots of positive thoughts from New Jersey.

Mary-Anne and Hex's US Relatives said...

Glad she's doing a little better. From my considerable experience with other kinds of digestive upsets, it's not always a great idea to tempt them to eat before they're ready - she may need another day or 2 of fluids before she's settled enough to keep things down. If the vet can give her a shot of Pepcid that may help (don't know if that's OK in her current state).

Hugs to all, and more positive thoughts going out your way -

Anonymous said...

I'm relieved that Hex is on the mend - and that you have identified the problem. Best wishes. Gus n Jake

Katie Trachte said...

Thanks for taking the time to update all of us... I actually woke up around 4 am this morning wondering how Hex was doing... hoping she eats tonight. Stay positive! We're still sending loads of positive energy your way!

Katie & Jeep

Dawn said...

Katie (the sheltie) and I too were up and down last night wondering how Hex was doing. So glad you posted the update. Wish she were all better, but am grateful that she's doing as well as she is. More good thoughts coming to you from Michigan.

Serenia said...

You and Hex are in my thoughts! Hoping for a speedy recovery!

Macfarlane Dogs said...

Thank goodness she is on the mend. What a terrible time you have all been having. Heres hoping that things start to look up from now on. Hex is a real little fighter!!