My Zoey is extremely sick

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HoosierDobe191's picture
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I just wanted to share our ongoing story of our 3 1/2 year old dobe named Zoey.

 

Poor Zoey has ben battling off and on diarrhea for a couple of months. About 2 months ago, we noticed a small amount of swelling and what looked to be jiggly swelling (fluid retention) above her vulva and below her anus. We took her to our normal vet, who has health problems of his own, and he the staff took Zoey back to see the Dr. without us (due to his health problems, diabetes with severa foot problems). ABout 5 minutes later, Zoey came out and we were given a one week course of antibiotics and told that there was no way of knowing what ws causing the swelling, and to try the antibiotics.

After a week, the swelling was still there, but had not worsened. Zoey continued to battle with off and on diarrhea, but none of this slowed her down at all.

About 4 weeks ago, we noticed that Zoey's left rear leg has started swelling around her "knee." The swelling exhibited the same symptoms, seeming to be fluid retention, and over the next day the swelling spread through her whole leg leg into her foot. At this time we decided that we were not impressed with our original vet's response, so we decided to switch to a vet near our home, that our new neighbor recommended. Dr. Brown (the new vet) was wonderful! Dr. Brown immediately did a blood test and x-ray. Nothing specific showed up on either tests, so now of course we began to worry. Dr. Brown put Zoey on some medications to help with the diarrhea and she began researching the odd swelling that was localized to her back legs, as over the course of the first week the fluid retention was now in both of her back legs, nowhere else. Urine tests, rectal exams, stool smaple, all were negative for anything specific that we could target. Obviously with the fluid retention, we were dealing with some liver issues, but narrowing down a specific target and treatment wasnt happening. Dr. Brown gave us some anti-biotics, anti-inflammatorys, and we awaited some more research. Dr. Brown called and emailed all over trying to find a link between the stomach issues and the localized swelling, as Zoey had started to lose weight much more rapidly than any dog should. (10lbs over about 3 weeks)

After a couple of days on the meds, the swelling was all but gone!!! We were super happy, until we started noticing that Zoey was rapidly losing weight. We could see the emptiness in her rib area and now in her face area. Zoey went back to Dr. Brown and more tests were run. Now we were starting to see elevated liver enzymes, and Zoey was extremely dehydrated. Zoey stopped eating so we began to feed her baked chicken. This worked for about a day, then she stopped eating altogether. Zoey was still drinking water, but very little. She began to vomit clear liquid, and her diarrhea was a dark green liquid. Zoey developed severe cotton-mouth, with very sticky and cold saliva. Her temp was dropping and she was having a very hard time swallowing.

Back to the vet we went, same results, more testing. Dr. Brown and ourselves were obviously VERY concerned that we may be unable to figure out whats is going on and how to effectively treat it.

3 days ago, I left work early to check on Zoey, as she just seemed more tired than normal. I stopped by Dr. Brown's office, as she had called me and offered some free probiotics and anti-vomitting meds, for when Zoey began eating again. As I got home, Zoey was laying on her dog bed in the kitchen, and she had vomitted liquid on the floor, wh9ich was a dark brown "cola" color, and I could smell the blood in it. I started to clean the vomit up and prepared to call Dr. Brown, when Zoey stood up, and began pooping a dark green/black liquid, as if she had no control of it. I grabbed Zoey and my phone just as Zoey passed out into my arms. As you can imagine, my call to the vet was a frantic, probably unintelligible call. I though i had lost my baby! I grabbed Zoey, and out the door we went to the truck. Zoey started to come to as we got into the truck and headed to the vet's office, which is only about 5 blocks away. About 2 blocks from the office Zoey went out again into my lap. Pretty sure I ran a few stop signs at that point.

When we pulled into the parking lot, Zoey had no strength, so over the shoulder she went and we went running. Dr. Brown immediately went to work, IVs etc.

Well long story short, three days later Zoey is still at the doctor's office. Repeaed blood work, xrays, sonograms, rectal exam, stool samples, and we still dont know for sure what were dealing with aside from the symptom of the extreme liver problems.

A specialist was consulted, who recomended another blood titer and a fine needle aspiration, to check specifically for Leptospirosis, a bacteria that can be contracted from the urine of racoons, squirrels, opossum, etc. Zoey does have almost an acre to run in, and she loves to chase and has in the past caught a few squirrels.

Yesterday Zoey underwent a fine needle aspiration of the liver, with the samples sent off to Purdue Research. We are now awaiting the results of that testing in hopes that the leptospirosis is the culprit, otherwise we have no direction to look and no way to know what enemy we are fighting. We fear that without knowing what specifically is going on, Zoey would not have long with our family :(

I will update as we get more information, but being a dobe lover who is searching for answers, I just wanted to reach out and share Zoey's ongoing story, just in case someone else may have ever experienced or experiences in the future, anything similar.

 

Kim
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Joined: 2012-02-05

I don't have anything to suggest - just wanted to let you know that you and Zoey are in my prayers. Hopefully they will find out what's going on with her!

andrew's picture
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Joined: 2013-01-12

How difficult this must be for you, my Jeter went through a mysterious illness when he was months old. No one could pin it down and treatments seemed to mask the underlying cause and his condition would worsen.

Remember some things you find are just the effects of being sick, Shock due to infection and reduction in blood volume can occur with some conditions, signs of shock include shallow breathing, abnormally low body temperature

I don't want to send you on a wild chase but have they looked for Gallstones or Gallbladder issue?

what you have described fits the profile loosely; Look for yellow eyes, and yellowing of the gums.

They are strong dogs, sometimes its just best to give them water, chicken and rice and wait out the worst and rest them into health.

I hope all works out

HoosierDobe191's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-15

It's not good.

Fargo'smom's picture
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You are in our thoughts.   I know this is very difficult for you.  I hope all comes out on a positive note.  Sorry this happened.    

Lady Kate's picture
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I am so so sorry you're going through this.. Zoey is such a brave girl.. I am sending the biggest and best prayers I have for her recovery.

Will be checking this thread for an update.

HoosierDobe191's picture
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Well....as I write this through the tears in my eyes, we have lost our precious Zoey. Not long after I typed the first post, our doctor called and gave us the bad news, the biopsy was cancerous. We went to see Zoey and talked over the options, which weren't pleasant. Putting my girl, who now had a severely swollen abdomen, through chemo and causing more suffering was not an option. We spent about 2 hours in the exam room, and even though Zoey was a little more chipper at first, handing out kisses like they were going out of style, her eyes clearly told us that she was tired. I asked her three days ago to fight for me and I would fight for her, and boy did she. She finally laid down next to me on the floor and gave me one last kiss, she didn't have to fight anymore. 

 

I've had dogs my whole life, and my parents bred collies for years, but I have never me a dog like Zoey, who melted my heart every day of her short life, who was never short of kisses, and groans, and hand shakes. 

I will miss you Zoey, my baby girl! I hope you know I did everything I could but I could not watch you suffer and end your life in pain.. 

 

:(

Joined: 2012-10-28

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Terrible and Sad. So Young. 

 Our hearts go out to you and your family in this time of loss.

You did all you could, but the angels and the others at Rainbow Bridge were calling her.

Rip 

talisin's picture
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well crap, as I read that first post I immediately thought cancer, but the more I read the more I thought nah, it must be the liver sending too much bile out etc. etc. but the longer I read the more dread I felt......and there it was.......I am so sorry to read she is gone, but she gave it a hard try for certain.....I am so glad you were able to be there with her and she was a bit more perky for a short time......it's hard to see that "mom I gave it a good try but I really am tired can I have a long rest now" it is so hard so hard......cause we know that long rest means not coming back, they just know how tired they are and they need a break......know that I feel your loss too having just lost Ben not so long ago this brings back so many memories and I know how lonely you feel.......we are here when want to share more......

lynn_bud11's picture
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I am soooo sorry you lost your baby! I don't even have mine yet and I couldn't imagine going through this!! Heck mine isn't even born yet!! I won't get it till early may!! Just know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and my heart goes out to you!!

camcd831's picture
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Sorry for your loss. It is so hard when they are sick and you dont know what is going on and all you want to do is help them.

HoosierDobe191's picture
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I've had many dogs in my life but none like Zoey. She was truly a special girl. I have never been so heartbroken... Everywhere I look I see her, or hear her...I'm so lost without her here

Lady Kate's picture
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This is so heartbreaking. What a wonderful and brave girl you had.. I love that you were with her those last moments..

Fargo'smom's picture
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I am so sorry for your loss.  You had her for such a short time, but have wonderful memories to keep forever.   You were a great mom and she knew it.

WNCDobes's picture
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I'm so sorry you all had to go through that - and a such a young age.  My heart goes out to you.  We've all been there, too, but it never is easy, and there are never words to make it better.

Stkychic's picture
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As I read your story of unspeakable loss I couldn't hold back my tears. Words fall short at times like these....I am so sorry for the loss you have experienced. It is so upsetting, but you showed great love and bravery for your baby. You made the humane decision to let her go and I hope you can, with time, begin to heal your heart.

Tannaidhe's picture
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I don't know how I missed reading this before.  I am crying buckets for your precious baby girl.  The whole chain of events (if not the symptoms) is so very much like what my family just went through with my grandmother... the mystery illness, the hopeful sounding maybe-prognosis, only to get the news that it's cancer and by the time you've found out it's already too late to really even try to fight.  My heart breaks for you. 

She will be waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge.

HoosierDobe191's picture
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Well, being part of a Doberman facebook group, this morning I read the message of another member losing their boy. It immediately brought me back to this website as the tears started flowing as I tried to write comforting words to this owner, so I thought I would post an update here.

Our hope wth Zoey was that she would grow up with our frist child, when we were ready to have one of course. Well, two months after Zoey went home, we found out we were pregnant. Through all of the joy, the hurt of losing Zoey came back. I knew that Zoey would want us to move on and give the love of a Doberman to our son. Oddly enough, about three months later our breeder that we got Zoey from sent me a message on Facebook that she was having another litter. LOTS of thinking about having an energetic puppy and a newborn at the same time went racing through our minds. With a lot of reservations and wondering if I was ready, my wife knew how bad I missed Zoey and wanted to bring another Dobe into our home. In May, the pups were born. A couple of weeks later, i loaded up my pregant wife and we made the hour and a half trip to the breeder's home to visit the pups. The very second I saw them my heart melted, and when I picked them up one at a time (all 13 of them because i just felt like i had to hold them all) I knew...I was ready. I struggled with wondering if Zoey was ready for us to move on, but I knew in my heart that she would want us to give another Dobe a loving home. 

The first of August we brought our new baby girl Roxy home. A black and rust this time, as Zoey was my red and I wasnt trying to replace her. I worked with Roxy every morning before work, taking her to the park to run off lead and have some fun. She is still a big baby and so full of energy! When our son Knox was born in November, we had to make a trip to a childrens hospital for almost a week. My eldrely mother made multiple trips to the house every day to let Roxy out and feed her. I couldnt help but feel guilty that she was alone most fo the day for a week. When we brought Knox home finally, I could tell ROxy was sad and depressed that she wasnt able to run and jump around in the living room with the baby, but slowly we are still co-mingling the two. When Roxy is worn out and less "race car", she comes into the living room and hangs out on the couch in her favorite spot, every once in a while sneaking a big lick on Knox's forehead as he sleeps in his little basinet. Its almost like she knows she has to slow down around him. Roxy has never held it against us that she does not get 100% of the attention, aside from a few barks from the kitchen at night to let us know she's waiting to say good morning or wants some food.  

I literally can not wait for Roxy and Knox to grow up together and be the best of friends, and it still saddens me that Zoey never got that chance. 

This group was so helpful, with words of hope and prayers when Zoey was leaving us. It still never ceases to amaze me how different a Doberman is than any other breed. They truly are like four legged humans, so perceptive, understanding, emotional and loving. They just have the biggest hearts...pretty impressive for such a "big bad dog" that unfamiliar people are so afraid of.

Thank you everyone for being there for me in my time of need. Today reminded me of that fellowship of Doberman owners. Only we truly understand each other and our faithful companions.

Steve

Kim
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Steve, congratulations on both of your new little ones!

And welcome back - glad to see you back on a much happier note.

MommaL's picture
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Joined: 2014-06-15

Many blessings for your family! 

 

WNCDobes's picture
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Joined: 2012-04-28

Congratulations on both your new additions.  It sounds like Knox has a best friend to grow up with.  My son, now 32, grew up with Dobermans and recalls their relationships fondly.

Pictures of pups and babies are always appropriate (hint, hint).

Welcome back!

talisin's picture
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congrats on the new additions!!! still so sad for Zoey's passing such a heart wrenching story.....