DOUG HAS GREAT NEWS!!
Thank you to Katie R., one of Doug's most ardent Facebook fans for the lovely "get well card"! The love for Doug is overwhelming!
UPDATE 4/13/11: 12:00 noon CST:
Doug will be coming home today around 5:30 pm! The vet student that called said "He's so perky today - it's like a completely different dog. And he's soooo sweet! We'd be fine if he wanted to stay here!"
So we'll be off to pick him up from his stay "at the health spa" and I'm sure he'll be one happy dog to see his sister, Stella (who has been moping about since Monday!). I'll try to get pictures, but from the sound of it, Doug is loving it there - lots of attention, lots of activity, 3-hots-and-a-cot.... What's not to like?
UPDATE 4/12/11: 9:00 p.m. CST:
I got the call earlier today and apologize for the late update, but I was on my way out the door to an appointment... However, the news is actually the best news we could have gotten. The ultrasound was normal with only one lymph node mildly enlarged due to all the things Doug has been dealing with. No tumors. Nothing out of the ordinary except some "sludge" in his bladder, which was causing a slight UTI. His blood panel was good. So what was the mystery here?
It turns out, Doug was infested with round, hook and whip worms, which caused the anemia. We were all shocked. Doug had been wormed twice in December. Once by PAWS, and again with a very strong worming agent at the University of Missouri where he then tested clear for worms, heartworm, and tick-borne illness. Once he made it to Minnesota, we tested him again and he tested clear. Our immediate concern when he got here was how very sick he was with his heart and lung issues. We concentrated on that, not even thinking of parasites anymore. All his tests had been clear, why worry about that anymore? None of his blood work pointed to anything being off. So believe me, it was almost a feeling of being shell-shocked to find out that it was parasitical. That Doug would be o.k. It's something we can treat. And that he's got an excellent prognosis!
What we learned from this:
- A dog from a puppy mill - especially one that lived for so many years in a mill - can be infested to such an extent that even though he was wormed numerous times and tested clear, he still had the parasites in there waiting to take over again.
- We always talk about Heart Worm - how deadly it can be. How a dog can die from the infestation. But we never seem to think of intestinal worms the same way.
- Intestinal worms can be equally as dangerous as heartworm, and difficult to catch.
- Hook and Whipworms are notoriously difficult to diagnose - they have egg cycles, and if your tests happen to correspond with when they are not throwing eggs, they'll look like they're clear of parasites.
- If you ever get a dog that was born or lived in a puppy mill (e.g. a dog from a pet store), be sure you have multiple tests done and get them on a "heartworm plus" type preventative - which Doug was going to start May 1 - but we'll be starting him now instead!
Another thing we learned is just how extremely sick Doug really was from living in the filth and squalor of a puppy mill for 9 years of his life. His heart is compromised. His lungs are scarred from breathing the filthy, ammonia/urine filled air. And when he finally got things under control and started to gain strength, the parasites took that as a thumbs-up to really go to town on him. How heart wrenching to know there are "Other Dougs" out there living such a wretched life.
We learned how much we hate what puppy mills are and what they do to these dogs. And we learned how much we deeply love Doug.
Doug is still in the hospital tonight. They were going to start him on the worming meds, and get him on antibiotics for a slight UTI that he's got, and finish giving him his fluids to get him feeling the best he can. They'll check him tomorrow, and if things are looking good with everything, he'll be discharged and on his way home.
Edi, William and Stella are so relieved and getting the house ready as if the King were coming to visit! And I'm thrilled, exhausted, and so very grateful for all of the support everyone has shown this wonderful dog! We're already planning our next play-dates, knowing that in a couple of weeks, Doug will be feeling fine and ready to rumble in true terrier fashion! He's got a lot of repeat wormings in his future, and lots of fecal tests to be run - but we know if we hit it hard and keep hitting it, we'll beat those darned parasites and send them packing!
Again - THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU...
... for all of the good thoughts, karma, prayers and wishes. I know it made it a difference! Fox Terrier lovers are like no others! We will (I PROMISE) post pictures and videos and love notes from Doug as soon as he's feeling fit - and he will not lack for kisses and hugs and cuddles.
Doug is a miracle. Everyone hug your dogs today. Love them. Things happen that let us know just how lucky we are to have them in our lives. And this year, when you take that poop bag in to your vet, think "This one's for you, Doug!"
~Love to all of you from Doug, Edi, William, Stella, and me.
If you'd like to help pay for Doug's blood transfusions and tests, please click the "Donate" button below and donate what you can via PayPal. Or mail your donation to: Kathy Lauer, American Fox Terrier Rescue Treasurer, 8738 Prestwick Parkway, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443. Remember, your donation is tax deductible.