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Ballet

While Jim and Barbara are out for three weeks, I am taking care of the dogs at their house. Well, leaving wasn’t very easy for them…actually it never really is, but this time was exceptionally hard. They left here knowing there was a good chance that Ballet won’t be here when they get back.
Ballet ate a little the first day I was here and then she quit eating all together. Barbara had it set up for me to take Ballet in to the vet the day after they left. In order to get her in to see Dr. Kris I had to drop her off in the morning and just wait until she gave me a call. I dropped her off around 9:00 AM and didn’t hear anything until about 4:00 PM. Dr. Kris had done some tests but she wouldn’t get the results in until the morning. She offered to let Ballet stay overnight and be monitored there free of charge to the rescue and I thought that would be best for her. Morning rolled around and the doctor that Dr. Kris had handed everything over to called and said that the tests showed nothing wrong but he did want to do either x-rays or ultrasounds. He opted for the x-rays because he figured that he could get a better look at her heart and lungs that way since she has a heart murmur. After doing that he called me back again with some rather grim news. He told me that Ballet’s coughing was due to the fact that she had fluid in her lungs that was cause by congenital heart failure. He couldn’t see anything in the x-rays with her stomach because of all of the masses of fat. He wanted to keep her another night to monitor her on her new medicine.
Ballet came home yesterday and was happy to be home, but not too pleased with all of the dogs sniffing her! I was hopeful that getting her back home and with the new medication helping her heart that I could get her to eat…I was wrong. Since yesterday afternoon all I have gotten her to eat is a few bites of hamburger. I have tried chicken breast, dog food, frozen yogurt, chicken broth an noodles, waffles, english muffin with peanut butter, and just other random things that I may be eating that I thing will be ok on her stomach and might spark her intrest. I am only down to a few more options to try and that is baby food and cottage cheese. I am going to call the vet’s office first thing in the morning and try to get her in to see Dr. Kris. I really don’t want to have to say good-bye but I can’t let her suffer. Jim and Barbara have given me the go-a-head to do so but it is so hard and it just breaks my heart. The worst part is, if I do have to do so, I will be on my own. I have NEVER said good-bye to an animal without a number of loved ones there to comfort me. I really hope it doesn’t come down to this. If it does, I will try my best to be strong for Ballet, Barbara, and Jim. One this is for sure, Ballet will NOT be alone. I will be taking the usual place of Barbara and Jim, holding her and telling her what a good dog she was and letting her know that we all love her very much and that we will see her at the bridge.
Well, I better sign off before I begin to cry more.

On this day..

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16 comments to Ballet

  • Ah, Amanda, I am so sorry that you’re facing this on your own. Indeed, I am sitting in my meeting here in Bucharest with tears in my eyes at the possibility of losing Ballet while we’re not at home. It would be difficult enough if we were there, but I’m devastated at the prospect of her crossing the Bridge without us there.

    Ballet is the only bi-blue Sheltie we’ve ever had, and she is the sweetest, most affectionate little girl anybody could want. She and I developed a special bond almost the instant she walked in the door. I really like her “brother” Tap, but Ballet is really special in my eyes. I can’t bear the thought of not being with her.

    If you have to let her go, I know that you’ll be with her, whispering in her ear how much she is loved. But I hope beyond hope that something happens to let that decision be delayed until after we’re home.

  • BluvsJ

    Amanda and Jim…it is too soon to be considering euthanasia for Ballet. Her medications, in particular the furosemide and the analipryl have not had enough time to work yet. I think getting hold of Dr. Kris is definitely the thing to do but not to see if it’s Ballet’s time but to see what she might suggest be done. You might say that I asked if a low dose of prednisone might be helpful. It will act as a diuretic also…like the furosemide (which is also known as lasix). It will stimulate Ballet’s appetite. The main reason for not using it is because I believe it could have make her heart work harder.

    For food ideas…rice krispies, in the freezer in the kitchen on the freezer door down a shelf or so, you’ll see a package of kosher low fat hotdogs that I’ve already sliced open. It’s standing upright tucked in between other stuff. Take out a hot dog…heat it and let it cool down. Slice some very tiny pieces. Put Ballet into a crate…probably best in her crate in the food room. (She won’t eat if she’s feeling any pressure at all from other dogs.) You might even have to put Sienna and Jet in their rooms temporarily. Also..try some bread…untoasted – then toasted.

    Amanda…your blog entry was beautifully written. Hang in there… I’m going to google for info on heart disease in dogs and what a 4/6 means. BTW, Dr. Andersen is really new at Cottonwood…a very nice guy but much less experienced than Dr. Kris.

    You know that the prevacid they gave you is the same as the famotidine you’re already giving Ballet…right? I added in the doxcycycline because fluid in the lungs is what I suspected and is often associated with a bronchitis especially in seniors. Have you stopped the doxcycycline? Even if you have, I would add it back in and tell Dr. Kris about it. If she says to stop it…then stop.

    Given that Ballet is not eating…how are you getting her meds into her? I found that if I got them into her mouth, tipped her chin up slightly, and held her mouth closed…she’d swallow and I could get them down.

    I’ll let you know if I find out anything interesting. Jim and I plan to call you Monday morning your time. A bus is taking us to dinner at 7:00pm…we’re going to call you before we get on the bus. I wish I were home to help care for Ballet. Take care Amanda…I know how hard it is and how frustrating it is to have a dog not want to eat. If you haven’t already…try the Special 30 plain. Let her sit with it awhile. If not working then take some frozen chopped meat, put it into a bowl, add about a 1/3 cup of water, heat in microwave, let cool, and pour over the Special 30. We’ll talke to you soon.
    – Barbara

  • Amanda,

    I’m so sorry that you are up there by yourself. If you need someone to talk to, please done’t hesitate to give me a call. I know that it’s still not the same as having someone there with you physically, but maybe I can be of some moral support. It sounds like Barbara and Jim have already given you lots of great advice, so I’ll just offer a listening ear should you need it!

  • BluvsJ

    Amanda…is Ballet drinking water? The most important thing is to make sure she doesn’t become dehydrated. Was she on IV fluids when they kept her at Cottonwood? – Barbara

  • BluvsJ

    I just read that Diazepam, which is Valium, is sometimes used to stimulate appetite in dogs. Valium wouldn’t add more strain to Ballet’s heart. Ask Dr. Kris if she thinks that Ballet would benefit from some Valium to stimulate her appetite.

    Also, the grade of Ballet’s heart disease, 4/6, is considered moderate. So she’s not being diagnosed with severe congestive heart disease. – Barbara

  • BluvsJ

    The diazepam/valium may only be for cats…I’m not sure. Ask Dr. Chris. But a drug called Periactin IS used as an appetite stimulant in some dogs with cancer…cancer often causes dogs to stop eating. Ask Dr. Kris about using Periactin.

  • BluvsJ

    If Dr. Kris doesn’t recognize the drug name Periactin tell her is the brand name for the drug called cyproheptadine hydrochloride.

    Amanda, I’m having some of this liquid (below) called STAT shipped to you. You should get it pretty quickly. You’ll have to administer it by syringe to Ballet. Don’t mix with water to start with. Ballet should get the 2 tablespoons three times a day to start with. Let Dr. Kris know that we’re doing this. You can also try this liquid on Chewy and Shelly. I would give these 2 kids 2 tablespoons by syringe once a day at the same time that they get their thyro-tab medication.

    STAT : High Caloric Liquid Diet
    Description:
    STAT is designed to contain a maximum of nutrition in a minimum of volume. Two tablespoons of STAT administered three times daily will provide the caloric requirements of a 20 to 30 pound dog. This amount will also supply the known daily vitamin and protein requirements to maintain vital tissues. STAT may be fed “as is” or mixed with water to puppies or adult dogs that are unable to eat solid food. Also used as a supplement to other foods.

    More info on STAT:
    A product called STAT is a liquid with a flavor that dogs find appealing. It provides total nutritional support. Just a couple of tablespoons a day can ensure your dog will get all the necessary vitamins and minerals needed for survival. According to the label, it is, “A concentrated high-calorie liquid diet for animals. Stat is formulated to contain maximum nutritive value in a minimum amount of liquid volume.” A clear advantage to the product is that you can use a syringe to get it into your dog’s mouth.

  • BluvsJ

    If Dr. Kris doesn’t recognize the drug name Periactin tell her is the brand name for the drug called cyproheptadine hydrochloride.

    Amanda, I’m having some of this liquid (below) called STAT shipped to you. You should get it pretty quickly. You’ll have to administer it by syringe to Ballet. Don’t mix with water to start with. Ballet should get the 2 tablespoons three times a day to start with. Let Dr. Kris know that we’re doing this. You can also try this liquid on Chewy and Shelly. I would give these 2 kids 2 tablespoons by syringe once a day at the same time that they get their thyro-tab medication.

    STAT : High Caloric Liquid Diet
    Description:
    STAT is designed to contain a maximum of nutrition in a minimum of volume. Two tablespoons of STAT administered three times daily will provide the caloric requirements of a 20 to 30 pound dog. This amount will also supply the known daily vitamin and protein requirements to maintain vital tissues. STAT may be fed “as is” or mixed with water to puppies or adult dogs that are unable to eat solid food. Also used as a supplement to other foods.

    More info on STAT:
    A product called STAT is a liquid with a flavor that dogs find appealing. It provides total nutritional support. Just a couple of tablespoons a day can ensure your dog will get all the necessary vitamins and minerals needed for survival. According to the label, it is, “A concentrated high-calorie liquid diet for animals. Stat is formulated to contain maximum nutritive value in a minimum amount of liquid volume.” A clear advantage to the product is that you can use a syringe to get it into your dog’s mouth.

    Amanda – check the directions on the bottle of STAT. Check that two tablespoons is correct. It may actually be two teaspoons. Assume that you’re dealing with a 30 pound dog even though Ballet weighs more than that. When you get the chance…you can call Cottonwood and find out what they weighed Ballet in at. Also ask them what her previous weight was to see if she’s lost weight and if so, how much. I haven’t really noticed much weight loss even though she hasn’t been eating much so I’m curious as to what weight changes, if any, have taken place.

  • I was planning on taking Ballet in today to see about getting an ultrasound done and also to see if there was ANYTHING I could do to get her to eat. Unfortunately Dr. Kris is out until Thursday and Dr. Cox doesn’t have anything open until Wed. and either breakfast time or dinner time. KV Vet Supplies called this morning because they didn’t know what size of the Diazapam you wanted. The lady that called was REALLY nice and said that she would send 2- 16 oz. bottles for now to keep down the shipping cost and if you need more to just let them know. Yes, Ballet has been drinking water, but not as much as I expected her to be. I do not know if they had her on an IV or not but I don’t think they did.
    I am getting Ballet to take her meds by coating them in butter and pushing them down her throat. And with the sucralfate, since she has been vomiting, I have been administering that by suringe.

  • Thank you Marie. I do appreciate that very much. You will be pleased to hear that Rogue is warming up to me and I am sneaking her her medicine by crushing it up, mixing it with some meat stuff Barbara has for the dogs, and putting it in her food bowl. It is the first thing she eats. She is sitting with me on the couch, and yesterday she kept pawing at me to rub her tummy everytime I stopped lol. And when she thinks I am not looking, I have seen her start to play with some of the other dogs! She also was sniffing my boyfriend while he was here, letting him pet her, sitting next to him and she licked him! Of course this was all while I was right next to him but I still thought that it was very good.

  • Amanda,

    That makes me very happy to hear that Rogue is doing so well! Thank you for taking the time to update me. I really, really appreciate it.

    Progress is coming very, very slowly with Angel. She also will jump on the couch and let us pet her while we watch TV, but she is still not comfortable enough with me to respond when I’ve tried short little training sessions. I got a nice picture of her yesterday though and some video of she and Layla zooming around the yard, so I thought I might post those on the blog for people to see what she’s like.

    Anyway, again please feel free to give me a hollar anytime if you need me.

  • barbara

    The pet medication enacard and it’s generic enalapril (which I’ve been misspelling as analipryl) are often prescribed by veterinarians to treat heart failure, cardiomyopathy and high blood pressure of varying degrees in dogs and cats. Enalapril belongs to a group of medications known as ACE Inhibitors and is designed to reduce your pet’s blood pressure which makes it a little easier for the heart organ to pump blood throughout the body. Enacard also prevents fluid build-up in the lungs, lowers blood pressure and improves a pet’s ability to tolerate exercise.

    Enalapril is FDA approved for dogs only, however it is a common practice for veterinarians to prescribe it for cats as well. Enacard and enalapril are usually prescribed in conjunction with other medications such as digoxin or furosemide. In most situations pets who need enacard or enalapril will need it for the rest of their lives.

    However, according to the manufacturer, most dogs show positive signs of improvement in two to four weeks and often cough less, eat better and become more active, thereby helping them live longer than they would with out it, while also improving their quality of life at the same time. There are some possible side effects with enalapril including but not limited to, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, loss of appetite and kidney problems to consider.

  • Amanda, I have tears in my eyes as I’m reading your post. I hope you won’t have to say good-bye to Ballet! Your in our thoughts and prayers – we’ll come back tomorrow morning to check for updates.

    Love, Gisela Josh and Jessie

  • Amanda, you are doing a hero’s work. I hope Ballet can hang on. It sounds like maybe she has a chance. I hope so! She’s such a sweetie! Our prayers are with you!

  • Jessica Web Design Tips

    is it expensive to have a dog like a beagle? i ask my mom to get a dog but she says its expensive i dont know if thats rue so is it?…

  • cheri_berri

    Jessica,

    In a nutshell, it CAN be almost as expensive to adopt a dog as it is to have a child in the home. It is meant to be a lifelong commitment, and during that time a dog is dependent on you for everything it needs to live. Food, shelter, and health care are the big ones, just as with a child. I don’t know if you’re paying attention to the posts that you’ve attached your questions to, discussing the health problems that Amanda and Ballet are struggling with right now. As far as I know, the only expense you don’t have with a dog is 12+ years of schooling. So, yes, it IS expensive to have a dog. But for those who understand that lifelong commitment, and are still willing to take that responsibility, the rewards are tremendous: Laughter, love, companionship, and lower blood pressure–usually!

    Trudy’s mom
    Cheryl

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