UPDATE 5/8/12 AT 12:04 PM
Roxy came home last night and we mastered the art of running an IV. She fed her puppies just before midnight and then we brought her into our room to rest. Around 3:30 a.m., after a very fitful night, Roxy began hacking and could not seem to catch her breath. Off we went to the ER. Her oxygen rate was around 92% which is not awful considering how badly her lungs are functioning, and it appears she had a mucus plug she could not expel which caused her problems with her breathing and scared her. (For local readers, this is a huge shout out to the nice people at Nashville Veterinary Specialists on Sidco – they are wonderful and very reasonable). Some time with some oxygen, a nebulizing treatment, and another IV with some antibiotics and we went home around 6:45 a.m. and she seemed much better. I am, of course, half-crazed from lack of sleep, but she was resting much more comfortably on our return. She is now back with the vet for the day getting IV antibiotics and oxygen and we will bring her home again tonight. We are waiting on the lab results to determine conclusively whether this is blastomycosis or a bacterial pneumonia gone wild. The puppies are doing fine. More to follow.
UPDATE 5/7/12 AT 7:20 PM
The vet has had a slight change of plans. She will not start Roxy on the Amphotericin B until urine tests come back from the lab tomorrow to confirm the diagnosis of blastomycosis. This is a seriously dangerous drug and one not taken lightly. She was allowed to come home to us with IV in tow with the strict promise that the slightest hint of respiratory distress will result in an immediate trip to the ER for more oxygen. She is currently resting comfortably and frankly, her breathing scares me as she sounds as if she is choking which of course she is. She is far more comfortable here than she would be in a hospital. It appears we have made it through the first twelve hours of crisis. We have a very long way to go. I have not calculated how many donations have been made nor are we up to date on thank yous, but we want everyone to know we appreciate your prayers, donations and offers of help. The puppies are safe and not at risk and they are currently quite angry that their Mom was gone all day. Let’s just say the supplemental bottle feeding was somewhat of a challenge. To provide some cheer, here she is laying at my feet:
UPDATE 5/7/12 AT 2:22 PM
Roxy has started intraveneous injections with Amphotericin B, which is a very strong, potent and at $500 a bottle, expensive, drug. This is the best hope to save her life and if there is any justice in this world at all, she should show improvement within a few days. She will be coming home with me this evening as I think she will be more comfortable with us than in a hospital. Should there be any signs of acute distress, we will take her to the ER. Many of you have asked about the puppies who got bottle fed for the first time today. They are not at risk and they are fat, healthy and frankly angry at their lack of Mom. The vet is checking and hopes to allow her to nurse them tonight a little bit for her benefit. Their first bottle feeding went somewhat badly, but we are working to get the hang of it. Thanks to everyone for their donations and prayers. Both are definitely going to be needed.
This Monday is not a good day and I post with very sad news. Roxy who is our star Mom of eight three-week-old puppies took a serious turn for the worse on Sunday. Roxy came in to rescue as a very pregnant and emaciated Mom with what we thought was a standard case of kennel cough. On arrival, we began treating her with powerful antibiotics and trying to put weight on her to help her safely deliver her puppies
Roxy had eight very adorable puppies – 4 boys and 4 girls on April 15, just in time for the IRS. Her cough continued and we tried different antibiotics, but with an eye to the puppies’ needs as well. Yesterday, Roxy became very ill and the coughing spiked out of control and she developed a very high fever.
Roxy is in the hospital now fighting for her life with an extreme case of pneumonia. It is suspected that she has blastomycosis which is a very serious and extremely dangerous fungal disease caused by inhaling a spore and which in her case has landed in her lungs and spread exponentially. Under the best of circumstances, this disease kills a third of the dogs that develop it and Roxy is very critically ill.
Roxy is being treated with drugs that cost a small fortune so we will be fundraising for her care. Her puppies are now three weeks old and they are healthy and happy and she has been an outstanding mother to them. We will care for them and have already begun bottle feeding today. A local dog day care – Dogtopia – has offered to help bottle feed during the day for us so we can manage in the nighttime hours. Please say a prayer for Roxy. Modern medicine has its limits and it is up to the universe and Roxy herself as to whether she will recover.