Please don't read this if you are faint of heart.
Alright, so as I'm typing this, my eyes are flooded with tears, and my heart is heavy. Last night, we had to put my mother-in-law's dog down after she contracted a virus that my own puppy, Maui, had just gotten the week before. Prepare for the wall of text....
It all started last week Saturday night, when Maui got into a bag of Tiger Brand Super 10 Garden and Pet dust. The next day, he wasn't eating, but was otherwise acting normal. He has a bit of a habit of getting into things that he shouldn't. I thought he just had a tummy ache, but the next day he was worse.
At about midday on Monday, he started throwing up all his water and he was very lethargic. I took him to the vet that afternoon, and we all kind of agreed that it was the garden dust that caused it. I called ASPCA poison hotline, and they spoke with my vet. They gave Maui a shot (a steroid, I believe) and said he would be better in a couple hours.
The next day, he was even worse. Keep in mind that this week was also my wedding week. My fiance, who is my main source of comfort and support, was out of town for work, and I was essentially alone. I only just recently got my drivers license, and now I was going back and forth to the vet on my own, which was a little scary for somebody with such high anxiety.
I took him back to the vet, and this time they kept him for the day, gave him IV's, did some blood tests, and even took an xray. His bloodwork was relatively normal with some mild abnormalities. The xray the vet took evidently didn't help much either. They THOUGHT they saw something, and they threw around ideas like "twisted kidney" or even "swallowed sock". All in all, they couldn't tell me what was wrong with him, and he was getting progressively worse.
That evening when I got home my internet and phone service went out and the soonest a technician could come out was on Thursday. So I had my sick, dying puppy, a phone that wouldn't work at a time when I NEEDED to have constant contact with the vet, and also with the tons of friends and family I had coming to stay with my for my Saturday wedding, which was at that point IMPOSSIBLE to cancel. I also got denied carecredit, and had no idea how I was gonna afford any of this ****. My fiance is our main breadwinner, and because he was out of town, I had very limited funds.
While my puppy was sick, he drank water as often as he could. Looking back now, I think it's all that water that he drank that kept him alive. Meanwhile, I was mixing wet food up with water and syringing it into the back of his mouth. I know now that I probably shouldn't have done that, but this whole thing was just a very stressful learning experience for me.
So on Wednesday, because of my phone and internet being out, I missed an important call and couldn't make it to the ultrasound appointment. If he had died that night, I would never have been able to forgive myself.
My fiance came back on Thursday, and on Friday morning, he took Maui straight to the emergency vet, which I now know is what I should have done. We signed him over to them for the weekend, where they treated him for gastreoentiris or whatever the heck it's called, and on Sunday when we picked him up, he was good as new. He has been on anti inflammatory and anti nausea medication ever since. We've had him on a diet of rice and boiled chicken, which he's pretty happy about lol. Recently, we started to work some wet food back into his diet, but after our latest events, we are just going to keep him on chicken and rice for a little while longer. All together, the vet costs were about 3000$. But we were able to have a very nice wedding, and having my puppy healthy was soooo freaking worth it.
Charlie started to show symptoms of the same illness. She is a lot older than Maui, and was also a rescue from the side of the road, so we definitely thought she would do better at fighting it. We should have taken her to the emergency vet, but because she is not really my dog, I didn't push as hard as I should have. Her owners (my MIL) wanted to take her to their primary vet, but the soonest appointment was next week.
Whatever this virus was (definitely not Parvo, we checked), it attacked her way more aggressively than it did Maui, and 2 days later, she couldn't even walk. Last night, she started throwing up so much blood.... we've never seen anything like it. She was in so much pain, screaming and crying out. The vet said they could try and save her but there was only a small chance she would survive. She was in so much pain, my in-laws decided they just had to put her down.
This morning I woke up wishing I could see Charlie smiling and wagging her tail. My heart is so heavy thinking that I should have done more for her.
I am also a little paranoid about Maui, who is still going strong and eating well, but I'm scared he might pick up the same thing that he just got over. We still aren't sure where it came from or what it is that caused it. All I know is that the whole back yard is unsafe. We share the yard with in-laws, but live in separate houses, so thankfully it hasn't been too hard to keep Maui apart.
The worst part is that Maui doesn't even know that his best friend is gone. Last night after they took her to the vet for the big sleep, I came up here and just hugged him and laid with him, and cried. He knew something was wrong, but he still doesn't know she's gone. I've seen dogs die over a broken heart for lost friends...
This whole experience has taught me a lot about taking care of animals. For instance, I am 100 percent getting pet insurance for my puppy and all 3 of my cats. I never want to be in the situation where I can't afford to give my animals the proper care they need. I also need to pay WAAAAY more attention to the things my dog puts anywhere near his freaking mouth. I mean, he's 9 months old now and I've just recently started letting him stay in the yard unsupervised, but I know now that that's not gonna be realistic lol.
My heart hurts for Charlie, but I'm comforted knowing that she's not in pain or suffering anymore. We buried her this morning, and the house doesn't seem the same without her. I think I'm done with new animals for a while.
One day I'm gonna be a mother to human children and I'm scared to have to go through this kind of thing with them. I lost 20 lbs with just stress alone...
So anyway, that's been my past two weeks. If y'all can give me any words of comfort, they would be much appreciated. The vet said that because they don't know what caused it, they're not sure if Maui can catch it again, so he's definitely on house arrest for the time being. I also have been wanting to give him treats but I'm paranoid about what I put in his body. Do y'all think blueberries would be safe to give? He loves those.