By 7:30am she seemed to be fine, so I fed her like usual. As background, my dog will randomly vomit and/or have bowel issues for no reason and it can be completely isolated so I don't really freak out when it happens. About 2 hours after she ate, she was bugging me to go for a run by poking my Brooks and whining so I figured she felt better.
It was a cool, but very humid morning but I still wanted to try to get 4 miles done before I went to the party store to get supplies for Faith's birthday party this weekend. We got over a mile from the house and Peanut just starting vomiting, but she didn't stop running. It was fairly impressive, since she was just vomiting as she trotted along. At first I wasn't too concerned, but after the 3rd time she vomited in about a minute, I turned around to head back home. I had to make her stop running because she's so used to just running next to me without stopping that I wasn't sure she'd let me know she needed to walk.
Peanut normally gets really excited to turn around towards home and wants to pick up the pace, but this time she didn't even seem to notice. She was continuing to vomit as she walked, but by this point it was just foam. As I looked at her walking, I noticed she was dripping something onto the pavement behind her: liquid dog poop was just running out of her. That's when I knew it was really bad because she obviously couldn't control it.
|OMG, I can't believe you just told the internet that. I'm so embarrassed.|
I called the vet as we were walking back and arranged to bring her in for an emergency appointment as soon as I was able to get her home. In just a short time, Peanut was rapidly declining. I was starting to seriously worry that she wouldn't make it back under her own power. I thought about calling someone to come pick us up, but then I looked at my vomit and shit covered dog and realized I don't know anyone who likes me that much (other than my husband who isn't even in this time zone right now).
I had to pep talk her up the big hill into our neighborhood and I squirted cool water into her mouth to rinse out the vomit foam. It felt like it took hours, but we eventually made it home and I quickly put her on the back deck so I could clean her up a little and then got Faith dressed and ready to go. By the time I brought Peanut back inside to go to my car in the garage, she was barely able to walk and I had to lift her into the car. She was eerily quiet the whole car trip (she normally barks and whines the whole way) wasn't even able to stay upright.
When we arrived at the vet, I had to carry Faith in first and park her in front of the big fish tank and then dash back outside to carry Peanut inside. Once I got her inside, she just sprawled on the linoleum and wouldn't move. I had to ask them to please hurry and take us back because my dog never acts like this and there is something seriously wrong, so they took us back as quickly as possible.
Even with our "emergency" status, we still had to wait a while (there were other emergencies there and I heard them talking about doing CPR on a dog in the back, so I was cool with waiting). I had to concentrate on keeping Faith happy by using Dog Fancy magazine as story book since I forgot to bring toys in my haste to get there. When they came in to draw blood from Peanut I had to take Faith out of the room because she got so upset. I don't blame her, it's not normally bad but Peanut's blood pressure was so low that they had a really hard time getting anything to come out.
Once it was noon, I went out and asked if there was anyway I could leave Peanut there and come back after nap time but they said the doctor was just about to come in to talk to me about hospitalization. I was shocked to hear that because I really thought they were just going to say that my dog just had an upset stomach and was being dramatic about it.
|I'm not dramatic, I'm just very emotive|
It turns out that Peanut's liver levels were so high that they had to dilute the sample to even get a reading (normal liver level = 100, Peanut's level = 3600+). They don't know why it happened, but it could be from a toxin that she ingested or from an infection. Her anti-seizure medication is hard on her liver, but that would cause a gradual decline, not an acute situation like this. I asked the vet if she was in liver failure and the vet said "We don't know yet, but we will if she doesn't respond to treatment". I also asked her if Peanut was going to be ok and she said "I can't make any promises...but you need a liver to live".
The whole time we were at the vet Faith was getting increasingly upset about Peanut just laying on the floor. She kept repeating "PAY NUHH" and trying to hug her. I felt really awful about her being upset, but there wasn't anything I could do. Once I signed the consent forms to hospitalize Peanut, they came and took her into the back for IV treatments and Faith cried as they took her away.
|Peanut, you're the only one who really "gets" me|
Right now I have to wait and see how Peanut responds to treatment. If she's not stable enough by the end of the day, I'll transport her to a 24 hour clinic about an hour away so she can have supervision all night. Otherwise, she'll stay where she is until at least tomorrow. The vet assured me that the liver is a very forgiving organ and I'm hoping she's right about that. It's driving me crazy not knowing what made Peanut so sick and I'm also not thrilled that I can't sit with her. She's my velcro dog, my ever present shadow, and I hate the idea that she's wondering where I am.
|My furry sidekick|
I will update this as I get more information and hopefully she'll bounce back to normal and we can laugh about my dramatic "My dog almost DIED" story later.
4:45pm Update: Just talked to the vet and Peanut is doing a little better. The fluids have helped her blood pressure get back up to normal and she was able to stand up and go outside to do her business. It's crazy for me to think how happy I am to hear that when just this morning she was running around the house, but it's still an improvement over how she was when I left her. She is going to stay at the local animal hospital overnight and I'll get another update in the morning. We won't know for sure that she's getting better until they recheck her liver and that won't happen until tomorrow afternoon.
8:15am Update: I called as soon as the animal hospital opened to see how Peanut made it through the night and they said she seems to be in good spirits and didn't have any accidents overnight. I was really worried about her overnight because we had bad thunderstorms and Peanut usually needs to be held because she get scared, but they reported that she's in a good mood this morning so I guess she decided to not hold a grudge. The vet wasn't there yet, but I'll hear more from them later today. It was good to hear that she's standing up on her own and begging for people to come pet her and the receptionist promised to give her extra pets this morning.
9:30am Update: The vet called and said that Peanut is eating again (big relief!) and isn't having any accidents. Clinically, she has met the guidelines for discharge, but we still have to wait and see how her liver is doing because she might need another 24 hours of IV fluids. I should hear about that this afternoon!
2:45pm Update: I spoke to the vet about Peanut's latest blood work and we got shocking news: her liver levels have returned to normal! The vet was really surprised to see that and think that her case lines up pretty well with ingesting a toxic mold, like the kind that might grow in dog poop that's sitting out in the yard (yeah, my dog is gross). I get to go pick up Peanut and bring her home later this afternoon which is the best news ever. She'll be on medications for a few days to clear up the rest of the infection and she also had to go off her seizure medicine to give her liver a break, so it could be an interesting few days but at least she'll be home!