Thursday, August 25, 2011

A scary week

Last week was a crazy week for Rainbow. I mean, me.

It started on the day before Ian's birthday on a Friday. I noticed Rainbow's poo is runny, sticky and dark *very descriptive, eh?*
However, it was very busy that day as we are getting the house ready for Ian's birthday the next day, imagine we have to transform a house that is on renovation to a house that is hosting a party for 25 people in a day.
Total Chaos.

As this post is about Rainbow, I will leave the house renovation post for later.

On Saturday, the day of the party, Rainbow seems a bit scared as there were a lot of noise and people, and as she is almost blind, I would imagine this must be really stressful for her. She kept following me around, and after a few hours, I put her in our room and close the door behind her so she can have some peace and quiet.
I checked on her every hour or so, and she seems to be comfortably sleeping on her continental pillow.

After the busy day, we woke up the next day Sunday at around 11am.
The first thing I do always, is to let Rainbow out to do her "stuff".
I then got a shock when I noticed blood in her poo.
The first advice any dog-owner will get when they notice blood in poo is - Go Straight To The Vet.
And that is what we did.

We went to Panorama Veterinary Clinic and was diagnosed with Gastroenteritis.
The doctor mentioned that Rainbow is actually feeling very sore because she tucks in her tummy whenever the doctor tries to touch them. We were then sent home with medications, but was told to bring her in immediately if her condition worsens eg. vomitting or not eating. I should also only feed her boiled chicken breasts.

Two more days later, Rainbow still seems to be having diarrhea still, although there is no more blood.
However I noticed that her poo is still very very dark (almost black!) and slimy.
Nowadays when you have a question, the first thing you do is - yes you are right - Google!
Its says that your dog has "Melena" , as the blood in the stools causes feces to appear as black and tarry suggesting the blood is digested and coming from the upper intestinal tract. Also, Melena is actually more dangerous than having fresh blood in the poo.
I quickly called the vet, explained to her how Rainbow stool is like (without telling her what Google says), and she said the same thing - she might be bleeding inside still. She suggested to come in again.

So I went to the doctor again, which the vet said she will need to take a blood test to find out that it is not the other organs that are giving problems. She also explained the black stool is probably ulcer in her stomach. Rainbow was then sent home again with medication and to look at her closely. Later that night, Rainbow seems very uncomfortable with the spot where they took her blood, and was whining the whole day in pain. They shaved a part near the neck, and it looks raw and very painful. To make things worse, it is a place where Rainbow can easily scratch. In the middle of the night we got woken up with Rainbow whining , she is really in pain. I called the vet again (luckily they are 24 hours), and told them I am going to bring Rainbow in right now but will not pay for any after-hours consultation.
Doctor confirmed she had a raw hot spot in that area and gave her some injections and medication to put over it.

By Friday, she seems to be still in pain and uncomfortable.She seems now to be more uncomfortable on her neck than her tummy. She has stopped her diarrhea but has not made any poo since Wednesday morning - which is also not good!
I went to work as always in the morning, but drove home (10 mins away) to check on her during lunch time.
She is still doing not good (whining in pain), and I know there is nothing more the doctors in Panorama can do for me. I decided to call Acuvet - the homeopathy vet that Rainbow visits for her skin condition

I always wish the clinic is nearer to my house - it is almost a 45 mins drive away, and traffic there is not always the best. I managed to get an appointment later in the day, and took the afternoon off to bring Rainbow there.
Dr Barry Hindmarch - as always- checked her thoroughly. Explained to me the spot in her neck was probably the nurses that took the blood didnt take it nicely - especially if Rainbow does not stay still. I know Rainbow, obviously she will not be too happy getting pricked with a needle there.
Dr Hindmach suggested that Rainbow has to do acupuncture to release the blood flow in that area, as her whole neck and upper body seems very tense and painful. Rainbow does not seem to feel any needle going in (very different from her reaction to injections), and the needle was left there for at least 15 minutes.
I also told him about Rainbow not making any poo poo now, and he said he is reluctant to give any laxative to her because she was first diagnosed with diarrhea. But he encouraged me to add more fibre in her food (carrots) and yoghurt to promote probiotic to her system.

See the acupuncture needles?

Taking it like a real Chinese dog :)

Miraculously, after the acupuncture session, Rainbow seems more relaxed and not that painful anymore.
I have never experienced acupuncture myself, but now I am intrigued. It seems to work on Rainbow.

Rainbow advised that I keep a scarf around the spot so Rainbow will not be able to reach it.
He also gave me his mobile phone to call him during the weekend (his clinic is not open on weekends) to update him about Rainbow. How nice and comforting to know that advice is always a call away.

She does not like the scarf

That night, Rainbow slept soundly. Good news for me, that means I can also get some sleep.
By the next day, Rainbow is up and normal. No more whining!
The only thing now is to wait for her poo to come.

Saturday evening still no poo. Means that is already 4 days since Rainbow's last unhealthy poo. I called Dr.Hindmarch to let him know, he advised to add olive oil in her diet as well as a little olive oil up her rear end. I did just that, praying that I will see a poo soon.

Sunday morning - same thing. Chicken breast, rice, carrots (mashed because if not she won't eat), yoghurt and olive oil. And a syringe to put some olive oil on the other end. In less than a minute after i inserted it "there", Rainbow made a big looooooong poo !


This is probably the highlight of the week. A week of worry, a week of sleepless nights. Although the first poo wasn't the usual healthy texture, at least it has a shape and I know she is going to be alright :)

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