Oh My JP: A Serious Step Backwards

September 2, 2022

Oh My JP: A Serious Step Backwards

Yesterday morning when I came downstairs, I saw that JP had pooped and peed his crate. The irony is that the poop was nicely formed. BUT, I could hear his stomach rumbling all over the kitchen, and he refused to eat, which was alarming. He loves to eat and loved his food.

After a bit, he threw up a lot of liquid—no particles in it. It was a dark red color in places that I thought was from his beef food—but now I don’t know. And then he was lethargic and not himself at all. I started worrying about dehydration, so gave him a little syringe of water, and before long, he threw that up as well.

Time to call the vet hospital.

And time to whirl around with what could be wrong. No blood in poop, so maybe not the virus. I caught him trying to chew on an old dead stalk at the base of one of the Annabelle hydrangeas when he went back into their deep shade to explore. Oh my heavens! All parts of hydrangeas are poisonous and can cause vomiting and diarrhea, but are not deadly toxic—just enough so that maybe the poisoned dog will need vet help with dehydration and nausea. And then, there are the local horrific stories about the blue/green algae that is present in some Maine ponds due to the drought and low water levels. That stuff will flat out kill a dog in a few days—and not much can stop it that I could see. He went swimming the day before with Boo doggie.

AND, we’re heading into a long weekend where my local vet hospital will be closed.

I still wasn’t thinking of a return of the viral colitis as there hadn’t been any problems that I could see in that morning poop. But around noon, the vet found fresh blood in his rectum and low red blood cells, but no Parvo. And by late afternoon when we got home with an antibiotic, anti-nausea pills, probiotics, and a decision and supplies to feed bland food (boiled rice with bits of white meat-no fat chicken) for at least 4 days before trying to add tiny bits of his real food, he had a horrible squirty, fresh blood, smelly diarrhea. I almost fainted at the force of it coming out of him.

It’s the viral colitis. It’s come back.

I messaged Glenna at Sweet Pups, and one of her previously sick pups had just passed some blood too. Not much, she said, but she was “on alert” with the puppies. She was as distraught as I was. It is a really nasty virus. It hits hard and fast—and, obviously, can come back. Glenna thinks it might be a mutation from something else, and she is thinking/investigating on that now. Viral mutations don’t always become more benign; they can and do get worse. Her vets are saying this virus is new, and they are not 100% sure how to best treat it.

Last night I did not want to leave JP all alone in his kitchen crate with the possibility of that bad diarrhea returning in the night. So I made a quick palette and slept beside him, and he could touch my hand with his nose through breaks in the crate. It comforted us both.

I woke at dawn, a little after 5. He was dry and clean, and he went right out to pee. And he’s been peeing on a regular basis all morning. He’s eaten two rice/chicken meals and taken all the morning meds—and he is clearly feeling much better. He’s been bouncing around the yard and clearly sees running to me when called is a fun game as he’s bouncing to me while grinning. But he’s also resting between being taken outside.

I think I got on this pretty fast, and I’m grateful for that.

He’s going back to the hospital at noon for a “run back” check to make sure he’s doing ok—before the long weekend arrives. The hospital will be closed for the long weekend. But the emergency clinic in Warren is open this weekend.

But, I think he’s doing better. And I’m hoping that with really careful handling, over time, he can be fully well. I will do my best for this adorable, precious puppy who is now snuggling and cuddling and sitting on my lap off and on to have a belly rub.

No poop yet today—and that’s probably a good thing. The state of the poop will be a good indicator of how he is doing. And, will determine if I sleep on the palette again tonight. If so, I’ll find another blanket for the under layer!!! But, mostly, sleeping next to him was a good decision. It comforted us both.

This morning, he tried jumping on the bed when I took him upstairs so I could shower and change clothes. He did master jumping from a chair I have up there to the bed, and back off. But until the diarrhea is under control, he’s better off in the crate. That stuff…. I’ve never seen or smelled anything like it. One thing “we” did this morning was to drag out the hose and wash down that part of the yard thoroughly.

Going forward, we’ll still have outings—he loves those. But I’ll keep them short and we’ll just stroll. He gets bored with the yard now. It just isn’t enough to keep him interested as I keep him near me and don’t let him off the grass. He is longing to run through the woods. But, he’s too young to handle the rocks and too young to learn the boundaries dictated by his radio collar. The latter would traumatize him this early in his life here.

And this morning, while sitting in my lap where he can see out the back windows, he spotted and alerted me to TWO huge deers just looking down at us sitting in the kitchen. One had little antlers, about 8 inches tall. We went right out (with me holding him so he didn’t try to chase them) and scared them off with a lot of yelling at them to “go away.”I hope the smelly deer spray is working.

PS: the vet visit went well. His blood counts are still low but have risen. They added 6 or 7 days of a wormer to make sure there is nothing parasitic in his gut. He had these tests before he left Texas, but Glenna says, too, that some parasites take time to develop and show up. Thus Glenna gave us all some worming tablets to give the dogs in a few days after arriving to make sure. I hadn’t given JP these tablets yet as his poop at the time was soft, and I wanted them to become more normal first, which they did…until…BAM!

It’s almost 4, and I was going to take him for a little stroll, but he’s been asleep now for about an hour. So, when he wakes up, we’ll stroll the yard, and then he’ll have a little dinner around 5.

Maybe I should start looking for that other blanket.

Author: louisaenright

I am passionate about whole, nutrient-dense foods, developing local markets, and strengthening communities.

7 thoughts on “Oh My JP: A Serious Step Backwards”

  1. It is so scary when a loved canine companion is sick and can’t describe what is hurting. Sounds like Jackpot is on the mend….thanks to an excellent doggie parent.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. I’m so sorry to hear of his set-back! Praying that he is right as rain very soon. Sounds like he has a very good nurse handing it all.

  3. Jackpot and the other sick puppy will be in my prayers to be well soon as these little guys don’t understand what’s happening to them. A viral infection is nasty in humans especially as they continue to mutate. I know as we almost lost my husband last summer to one that The Infectious Disease team couldn’t identify.
    Hoping rest, meds and nourishment works. What a good person you are to be close by him.

  4. Oh dear! I hope your sweet pup responds well and quickly to your excellent loving care. May it be a quiet, snuggly, happy weekend for you both.

  5. Oh Louisa! What a terrible story. I read it with trepidation. Glad he is doing better! Here’s hoping he is completely on the mend now.

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