Monday, November 28, 2011
CJ's Journey Back from the Brink of Death
Recently, I almost lost my 3 pound Chihauhau, CJ. She became ill very quickly with vomiting and not eating or drinking. Being that she is only 3 lbs., her electrolytes got out of whack and her kidneys were starting to fail. It happened in the blink of an eye. I took her to the animal hospital where they were more concerned about the cost of everything and gave me a list of how much everything would cost. It left me very depressed and disappointed. I know they need their money but there has to be a better way to handle the exuberant amount of money it costs for a pet to be saved. We had to give them our mortgage money and hope for the best. They finally started treating her after we signed the paper that said we would pay. Then they told us that we had to choose a very expensive test that would determine if she had a disease that would cure her (if she even had it) or for her to be treated with IV fluids. I chose the IV fluids which after I looked up the disease online, that was the first recourse to her possibly getting better. After the doctor gave me a look like I was stupid for choosing the fluids, she then got help. If they are animal lovers like they claim to be, they should of helped her right away. But, it's not like a human hospital, although I have a friend that has to wait for an operation because she doesn't have health insurance, so that also happens in the human world.
CJ stayed overnight in the animal hospital with IV's and water bottles all around her. They didn't think she would make it, so I came in to see her and spend time with her. They did allow me to go in the back and lean into the cage to talk to her and see her. I stayed for about an hour petting her and telling CJ how much I loved her. I prayed over my little innocent dog. I believe God gives us these animals for our enjoyment but also to take care of them. God did give Adam the job of naming the animals in the Garden of Eden, so I know they're an important part of our lives. I went home that night crying and praying, hoping that she would live. The next day, I was told that she was no better and I may need to think about euthanizing her. I was devastated and depressed. My husband went to teach Sunday school to the youth at church and I visited her one last time, thinking the worse. The vet called and asked what we wanted to do because our money was running out on treatments for her. She said I needed to make a decision. I told her that I would come back and see her again and needed to think about what to do. I asked her to try one last ditch effort to save her. We had $200 left on our cap at the animal hospital. So, I said to give her a steroid and see if it would turn her around. The vet said it could help her but it could also kill her. What have we got to lose? They gave her the steroid but then called 2 hours later and said she hadn't changed at all. So, I came back to visit her and say my goodbyes. When I walked in, the vet said she had eaten some food and even sat up! I was so happy and shocked. My husband and I picked her up at 9:00 pm that night against the vet's wishes, but our money was running out. What else were we suppose to do? I nursed CJ all night with putting pedialyte in a syringe and feeding it to her. I held her and prayed over her. I asked God to save my little dog. She had done so much for me during my surgery recovery and even laid in the bed with me everyday for 2 months! She helped my friend Stacey when she had surgery lying with her and keeping her warm. Chihauhaus feel like little heating pads when they lay with you. She had done so much and now my little pet who had been three pounds was only 2 pounds. Being that she was 5 years old, she had more years left in her and more lives to touch.
By morning, CJ was still alive. She had kept putting her paws on my shoulder all night long and looking at me. She knew how much I was fighting for her. I took her into my personal vet and I told them please help her. I ran out of money for her care at the animal hospital and I would do anything from working off the money for them or just paying it off a little at a time. They cared so much and helped her right away. Money was of no concern. They looked at her bloodtest results that had been faxed in. Everything was off the charts and indicative of organ failure. My vet said unfortunately, if everything is too far gone, she would probably have to be put down. I prayed so hard in the office and asked God to make all her numbers perfect and change things around. When the vet came back in, she said, she didn't even understand it and how her numbers had turned that quickly but everything was perfect!! She said it was remarkable and I said it was a miracle! She agreed. So they continued to treat CJ with antibiotics and with fluids. My other dogs all got sick as well. They ended up back in the vets about 3 more times after CJ getting IV fluids and treatments. I'm not sure exactly what happened. I do know the only thing that I had changed was our dog food. My chihauhaus all got sick, all four of them! They're small dogs, so they're more sensitive to things. Our puppy, who is a lab/shepherd mix, never got sick and she ate the same food as the chihauhaus.
Since this has happened in our lives, I've become more sensitive to their dietary needs. I make my own dog food with chicken and rice and blend it in the blender with a little low sodium chicken broth. They also eat plain natural yogurt and small curd cottage cheese. These provide the fluids they may need in case of dehydration. They are off the pedialyte now and they all take 1/4 tablet of pepcid in the morning and evening. I put it in a syringe with a little water, dissolve it and put it into their mouths. Our vet said this will help with stomach upset. Chihauhaus are more sensitive dogs. I guess because of their size. They can't have a lot of foods that bigger dogs can have. I do have small kibble for them as well but now have just read that this brand has been recalled in certain parts of the country, then they resinded their recall. It's hard to know what to believe. I'll still be in search for the perfect diet for my dogs.
A lot of foods get recalled even the better types of dog foods. There is a site that explains the latest recalls on food and snacks for dogs as well as cats. I'm more in tune to all of this information and won't take anything for granted again. I almost lost my little dog and don't want to go through that experience ever! I know they're not humans but they are innocent little animals who need humans for their survival. I am thankful to God for saving my pet!
Picture above is my precious mom holding three of my sweet dogs! Wagner, CJ and Sea'mus.