Little Star is front row center. She is my dog... errrr.... I guess I should say our dog. She thinks she's my baby. Much the same way my kids know they are my babies. I have this thing I do when I get a new dog I find out how long a dog of that size is supposed to live and I expect it to live that long with my good care and love. My 100 pound dog was said to live 10-12 years. He lived for 13 1/2. I was told my 10 pound dog might make it 10 years, because she had a heart murmur. She lived to 16 1/2. My Little Star is a miniature poodle and I was told she'd live 12-14 years. Her sister Twinkle died last January of liver cancer at the age of 8. I wrapped my mind around that tragedy by the fact that Twinkle survived a rattlesnake bite and that her liver was probably damaged. In the back of my mind though I've had a nagging worry that my dog might get sick.
13 days ago it was a regular day and I fed my poodle breakfast. She's always eager for a meal. She even had a little running twirl and flip she does to let me know "yes, please I'd like breakfast." Very cute. I set the bowl down and instead of diving straight in she stared at me. How odd I thought. Again I gave her the command to dive right in. Again she looked at me. In the 8 years we've had her she's never turned down a meal. I left the bowl out and she ate a few piece through the day, but it was still there at dinner. The next day was did the same thing. Eager to eat and yet wouldn't eat. I picked the bowl up this time and gave it back to her at dinner. Friday morning she flatly refused to eat. Didn't even eat a morsel or 2.
I had a coffee date and expressed my worry that my dog wasn't eating. My friend suggested maybe she was bored with eating the same food for 8 years. I've often wondered myself how she does it. My friend gave me a baggie of her dogs food. I brought it home and she scarfed it down. She scarfed down a dinner meal too. Saturday we bought a big bag of the same food and she refused to eat it. Sunday she refused to eat. I was so puzzled. Again, I palpated her stomach. I wiggled each tooth. I checked her over for ticks or fleas. Her energy level was the same. She was still running and playing. She wasn't sleeping any more than usual. She seemed healthy in every way, but she wouldn't eat. I made an appointment with the Vet.
First thing Monday the Vet Tech took her history of what was wrong and then took her temperature. She says, "Poor puppy you have a temperature." Now I'm suddenly alarmed! What she really is sick! My heart thought she was being finicky, but my brain I knew that wasn't the case. They took blood, urine and fecal samples. Tests came back that she indeed has an infection of some kind. They're not sure if her liver if functioning properly. Her urine is dark and cloudy, but no urinary tract infection. So, they think she wasn't drinking either. An x-ray showed that all her organs were the right size and in the right place and looking healthy. Ultrasound also showed nothing out of the normal. The Vet was puzzled.
They gave me antibiotics to give her and told me to put her on a low fat diet. By Wednesday I noticed that she wasn't drinking. Now I'm really worried that my poodle is going to die. When I started her on my home cooked lowfat diet she began eating again with gusto. So, I decided to see if I could trick her into drinking. I used my homemade chicken broth. At first I gave her 4 ounces of chicken broth. Over the couple days before her next check up I reduced it to 1 to 4 ratio with water. She drank it gladly.
I took her in for a recheck and the Vet checked her temp and said it's almost normal. I feel better, but uncomfortable with the "almost normal." She still is only drinking my broth water and hasn't touched her water bowl for 1 week. I wonder if it's because I'm keeping her hydrated and she feels no need to drink or what. I asked the Vet how long can a dog go without water. He said 24 to 36 hours. So, Wednesday I'm to slowly introduce her to dog food and I think I'll slowly stop spiking her water.
For now she's still hippy skipping around and being her fluffy cute self. We enjoy having her around so much.
I've been a little teary over the week. The thought of losing my Little Star long before I thought I would is difficult to comprehend. I know it does happen. I know it could happen. We're just doing the best we can. I've comforted myself knowing she is well loved and well taken care of and whatever will be is out of my control.