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titan
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My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:07 pm

So, my poor Bassett Hound is sick. Really sick.

She knocked over the trash can and has what our current doctor calls garbage gut.

We had to take her to the emergency vet in Asheville last Saturday; the only emergency vet in Western North Carolina. They diagnosed her with HGE. We had to transfer her to the Balsam Animal Hospital last Monday morning. I'm still a bit tuckered from visiting her Sunday night then only getting sporadic sleep within five hours so I could pick her up by 7:30a.m. and transfer her to a regular vet.

We really like the vets at Balsam Animal Hospital. They weren't quite ready to take her in when we got there, but the vet who pulled into the parking lot came right over to see what was wrong with my dog. They actually really care about her, and they actually know their stuff. The disappointing bit is that she's still there. According to the vet, she should have shown vast improvements by now. The only thing they find to be concerning is that she isn't better. They can't find what the problem is that needs to be fixed. She shows signs of botchulism toxicity, but the doctor doesn't think that could be it unless she ate a lot of bad meat. We don't throw away much meat. Besides, there was only a wrapper in there from one of those tubes of ground beef with just a little bit left in the crevices. We can't remember, though, if there was any raw chicken in there. That thought has just occurred to us.

Dang it, Bailey! Why'd you go dumpster diving?!
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Tue Jul 07, 2009 5:45 pm

Hope she makes it. I've had food poisoning bad enough to go to the emergency room before, and it ain't fun. Poor pooch.
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titan
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:59 pm

The doctor has found that she isn't creating a certain kind of protein now, so now one of her legs is swelling. Something is going on that isn't in the textbook.
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:06 pm

Man, sorry to hear that. How old is she? Has she had health problems like this before?

I've had the human form of gastroenteritis, and I can tell you it ain't fun. I got my food through an IV for a week.

The only bright side is it sounds like you have a vet that you trust. Best of luck.
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titan
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:30 pm

She's only three years old and has been fit as a fiddle her entire life. She has gotten into the garbage before, but nothing quite like this has happened.
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:43 pm

best of luck :( I hope the dog gets well.
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:55 am

Rough one, dude. Really sick pets are no fun, I've been there.
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:20 pm

Her getting into the garbage and her getting sick like she is now may only be coincidental and not related. She may have had this problem all along and it just chose to manifest itself now. You may have linked the two together to find a causative agent when there was really no correlation.

Or, it could also be that her weakened state from food poisoning may have caught her body off-guard and unable to cope with an existing underlying condition; if that's the case, it just accelerated what would have eventually happened as she got older.
 
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:24 pm

BTW, sorry about the pup. Poor Flash! Barroooooo!
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:37 pm

Got a pair of hounds here at the house. I hope everything turns out well.
 
titan
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:48 pm

Well, the vet did not expect her to survive the night, but she was still kicking this morning. In fact, she was looking much better than when the vet left her the night before. He took her off the IV, so she wouldn't keep swelling up with fluid. He said her gums were white, but now they're pink and the color comes back quickly after being pressured. She even stumbled towards my GF and I when we all took her outside. That's a big improvement from a few days ago when she couldn't even twitch.

The vet still feels really bad about not knowing what is precisely the matter with her. There are symptoms that indicate one disease, but another factor completely contradicts it; for example, he suspected Parvo, but her white blood cell count is above normal -- which is actually normal for a post-surgery sample -- so that ruled out Parvo which would wipe out the white blood cell count instead of elevate it.

The good thing: the vet remembers a similar case from three years ago with another Basset Hound. That one wasn't nearly as bad as ours, but he will look to see if there is anything he did with that one that he hasn't done with ours.

At any rate, I don't think Bailey feels abandoned anymore now that she got to see us this morning, and the vet feels a bit encouraged with her improvement. And, we brought her one of her favorite toys -- a rope -- and her usual dog food and dog treats that she goes crazy for. The doctor said it would be just fine to feed her those things if she'll take it. Anything to get her to eat and get those proteins back up to where they belong.
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:06 pm

Happy to hear that your dog is doing better. I still miss mine and it has been years.
 
titan
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:12 am

Well, no news is good news. We'll be going out to visit Bailey again this morning.
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titan
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:17 pm

The vet is going to let us take her home tonight. She still isn't 100%; she only showed a small amount of improvement from yesterday, if it was an improvement at all. All we have to do is feed her food from a syringe. Maybe when she's in more familiar surroundings she'll eat and drink on her own.

She did walk 20 feet this morning. Maybe we'll get her to walk some more tonight. It seems to take quite a bit out of her still.

So, yeah, she'll stay with us tonight, and we'll bring her back to the vet in the morning and let them take care of her for the day.
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:00 pm

I know you trust your vet, but if the vet can't determine what's wrong, maybe you should get a second opinion. Perhaps contact a specialist with the pup's test results. You should be able to find a specialist through a local university that has an AgVet college. Here in NJ, Cook College of Rutgers University would be a good choice. At the least, plug her symptoms and abnormal results into Google and see if there's any rare conditions that manifest such symptoms.
 
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:44 pm

There is the University of Knoxville that we could take her, however, that'll be $1,500-$3,000 for them to look her over and take care of her. That's money we don't have. The vet has spoke with his colleagues over there and got a few leads as to what he should do to figure out the problem. We're just at a point now that we're tapped financially.

Bailey did vomit when we got her home. There are any number of things that could have caused this: excitement, overfeeding, medication. She does get up and urinates somewhere, and she'll go to the water bowl and drink on her own. So, pluses and minuses.
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:06 am

What you could do is plead hardship at the university and ask if there's anyone who you could send the test results and symptoms to and see if they detect a known pattern. Most (though, unfortunately, not all) doctors and vets are amazingly understanding of poverty, probably because most of them Ramen noodled their way through 12 years of very expensive schooling. As an aside, I once told a doctor I was unemployed and uninsured so I needed to keep the visit as short as possible (since they often scale appointment prices on time involved) and he not only gave me the Medicaid rate (rock bottom), but literally armfuls of samples of the blood pressure medication he wanted me to go on (probably $500 worth of physician samples).

Hope she feels better soon.
 
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:14 am

Any good vet will understand a hardship situation and any vet worth their weight will not let cost stand in their way of helping a sick animal. I see my vet do pro bono (sp?) work all the time and its the number one reason I stay with him.

I hope your little gal gets better.
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titan
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Fri Jul 10, 2009 4:25 pm

Well, he's confirmed that it is pancreatitis now. So, he's already been treating that disease. We could go to R.E.A.C.H. to have them do an ultrasound to see how bad it is, but I think we'll let that bit go. She has been getting better and moving around all the time is a good thing especially considering the lack of exercise. Also, both the vet and I have noticed her urine gradually clearing up and becoming a normal light yellow color.

She's going to stay there tonight since she's actually sleeping really deeply. She didn't sleep at all when she was here. Probably because she was so excited to be here with her mommy and daddy. (Crazy thing: not once throughout this whole thing has she been listless. Even when she's sick, she's still sweet.)

And the doctor's rate for keeping her are quite reasonable. About $36 per day for the stay. Medications and such are going to be extra, but not a whole lot. I don't think this stay is much above $800 yet, so there is plenty of room left on the CareCredit.

I'm thinking a few more days and she'll be quite well. The only hurdle left is getting her to eat food on her own.
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Fri Jul 10, 2009 4:36 pm

Pancreatitis? Ouch. Unbelievably painful. Pancreatitis is sometimes spontaneous in humans, but is often caused by alcoholism*, adverse drug reaction, a stone caught in the common biliary duct, a physical injury or a tumor. Definitely want to investigate what might have caused this.

To get her to eat, get some of that cheap, pasty canned dogfood and either put it on your finger or a spoon and let her lick it off a little at a time.

*I mentioned this because it's the most common cause in humans. I know she's not carrying around a brandy snifter behind one of her ears.
 
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Fri Jul 10, 2009 8:23 pm

It's great that your puppy is back into shape, congratulations.

Now go find where she's hiding the bottle of JD :)
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:48 pm

Hello titan.

I've been following this topic for a few days since I stumbled upon it by accident. I only registered in the forum to say that I really hope your dog gets better.

Throughout the years I've also had some difficult health situations with my pets(cats, mostly) that always made me extremely worried about them, because I care so much. As such, I felt sympathetic with your situation and believe I understand how you feel.
Thankfully, she seems to be a little better, from what I understand. Let's hope she'll keep getting better. Just some advice, if you don't mind: if she stays at the hospital, try to visit her as much as you can. If she's at home with you, try to have her near you. I really believe that having company is good for them. And makes us feel better too :wink:

I'll keep checking this thread to see how this goes. Keep us posted if you can. Best of luck!
 
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:41 pm

Thanks for the well wishes. She is home with us now, and we don't have to do too much to keep her near us. She likes to be near us all the time. (More me than the GF, and she's the GF's dog, originally.)

She works with me well enough for the pills, but it's the food we're having a tough time with. She won't eat on her own, but she still drinks on her own.
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:47 am

So titan, how is she doing?
 
titan
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:46 pm

Well, she started vomiting the pills even. Things were beginning to look quite bleak. Then we had an ultrasound done on her and they found a problem with the small intestines. It had looked like the potential problem was a linear foreign object causing plication. So, she went in for surgery this morning with our doctor. He found nothing in there, but did find that the small intestines were kinked and sticking to each other. So, he sorted out that mess, and -- wouldn't you know it -- she was very happy when she woke up. She had been doing nothing more than a slow tail wag whenever she saw us. After that, though, she was wagging her tail much more vigously, and was strong enough to take the catheder out of her leg during the transport to the emergency hospital for her to be taken care of for the weekend, and later escape the kennel at the emergency hospital to come sit at our doctor's feet -- he had accompanied the GF to tell the doctors at R.E.A.C.H. exactly what he wants to have done with her -- and wag her tail. To which the doctor said to her, "What are you doing out of your kennel? And why are you so happy to see me? Most dogs don't like me very much after I perform surgery on them."

I think she was telling him, "I like you because you made me feel better."

So, now we have to wait a bit and see. We might get to bring her home tomorrow. For good.
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:57 pm

titan wrote:
Then we had an ultrasound done on her and they found a problem with the small intestines. It had looked like the potential problem was a linear foreign object causing plication. So, she went in for surgery this morning with our doctor. He found nothing in there, but did find that the small intestines were kinked and sticking to each other.


I am not a vet, but I am a reservoir of trivia. I could swear that intestinal defects, particularly structural ones, are a breed weakness of bassets. Had no one thought to look at the intestines previously?

I would hate being a vet. I talked to ours at length, and he said the greatest sadness he gets is when a test would ID a problem clearly and enable a treatment, but it can't be done because the cost is prohibitive. He said he's had a few pets in his care pass on, only to reveal something post-mortem that could have been treated.

That would just drive me to distraction.

Best of luck, hopefully the worst is behind you.

Edit: A bit of Googling yielded:
Bloat
Like many other breeds with a deep chest, the Basset is susceptible to gastric dilatation with torsion of the stomach (bloat). This can be a problem regardless of age. Torsion or bloat is considered an emergency and action must be taken immediately.

Not the same thing. I must have misremembered.
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titan
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:17 am

Yeah, so now R.E.A.C.H. wants to do all sorts of things. I'm now taking a stand. I know some people have said that I should probably get a second opinion, or go with a different doctor. I'm not going with what the doctors at R.E.A.C.H. say. I'm concerned that their prescription will interfere with what Dr. Kern has in mind. (Dr. Kern is now our trusted vet. He's definitely getting cookies from us.)

When he was there, he told them exactly what to do and what not to do. Essentially, keep her on fluids and pain medication, but take it easy on both. Our dog has already shown that she is quite sensitive to medication. Not allergic, just sensitive. We're at the point where the only things we can afford is the medication we'll have to give her when we bring her home.

They decided to do a blood test and said that she's having kidney issues. The very same kidneys that have been given the green light by Dr. McCormmick, the radiologist, and Dr. Kern after having forced her to take more fluid and getting her to drink more water. Crayon yellow urine is good and reveals no problems. They also want to say that she has IBD. The very same disease that has been ruled out by Dr. Kern because of the tests he has run and by Dr. McCormmick because of the ultrasound. (Dr. McCormmick agreed with Dr. Kern because she had seen more of what's going on and the reports.) Additionally, Dr. Kern was in there just yesterday morning and would have said as much if it were IBD.

I've come to the conclusion that R.E.A.C.H. is good at saving animals, but have a hard time keeping them alive. They want to do too much when only very little is being asked.
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:15 pm

So, anything new with the pup?
 
titan
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:31 pm

Nope. She's at the vet's now hooked up to IV's. We'll know by the end of the week which way we're going to go.
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Re: My Poor Basset Hound is Sick

Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:00 pm

She ate a Beggin' Strip last night!

We still don't know what the problem was, but maybe it could have been all the medications. That wasn't the answer entirely.

So, she had the surgery done to have her bowels sorted out, went to R.E.A.C.H. stayed a week at the vet's. That Friday evening, she was in pretty bad shape. She hadn't had any medication while there, she was just hooked up to an I.V. so she could stay hydrated. They were pushing the fluids, around four liters a day, to flush out her kidneys. She was urinating a gallon every hour. (Okay, not a gallon, but it sure seemed like it.) She had also been vomiting since she had been at R.E.A.C.H. Those turkeys were giving her drugs; a pain killer that had a side effect of vomiting and also an anti-vomiting drug. I asked if she had been complaining of being in pain, they said no, I said well then stop doing that! The doctor had told them to just give her the fluids, nothing else. They didn't listen.

She was laying in her kennel just shaking quite terribly. The GF and I were going to euthanize her that evening. As soon as the we had pretty much decided with the doctor that it would probably be the best thing to do as we found out she had been shaking like that all day, the vomiting had not subsided and the drooling was still extremely excessive, Bailey decided to get up and start walking around and "investigate the crime scene". (The drooling, by the way, had started at R.E.A.C.H.) At that point, both the doctor and us decided against it. It's really hard to put down an animal that's acting like it's just fine. So, we said we'd give her some more time.

The next morning we took her and some L.R.'s home, enough for a liter a day, so we could give her fluids subcutaneously at home. (We have a very nice and understanding doctor.) She started improving over the weekend. Not dramatically, but improving nonetheless. She was still drooling a lot and shaking, but not so bad. She was walking a bit better, too. Still clumsy, but better.

That Monday, we went back to the vet, and decided to back off of the fluids even more. A half liter every other day. The drooling stopped after a couple of days, and she started drinking water on her own. The vomiting also stopped. (Now, the vomiting wasn't large amounts. It was just bile. I think it was actually caused by how hungry she was.) I had been force feeding with a syringe. A little ground dog food with lots of water liquefied in a blender. I gradually stepped it up from about four ounces a day to about 10 or 12 ounces. I also changed the amounts. Now, I think what really helped her is this recipe: one 13.2oz. can of Pedigree Healthy Digestion, one cup of plain yogurt and five tablets of Metamucil topped off with cold water in a one liter blender; Liquefy. We noticed that Bailey had been going around eating whatever animal hair she can find. Not hard to do with two animals that shed a coat every day. The doctor thinks it might be because she feels that she needs more fiber in her diet or my neighbor thinks it could be a protein thing. Either way, she's doing better. She's drinking more water on her own and now she's eating Beggin' Strips. Now to just get her to eat dry food.

Also, she's picked up her pace and is up to a trot. She's started playing with a toy, too. It's funny. She starts doing the tug-o-war with a normal grrr and as I pull the toy she escalates to whirrr. Like a toy motorcycle.
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