Friday, April 30, 2010

A Chicken or a Duck?

Yesterday morning I awoke to find snow on the ground. The dogs and I had the same thought: "Really? Isn't it almost May?" Bill could care less about snow; in fact, he really likes it. But Madeline and Max on the other hand, the white fluffy stuff is something they could do without.

After getting over the initial morning potty, I dressed Max in one of my favorite t-shirts for my petite Bostons - it's a little yellow thing with a chick on the back. Or is it a duck? I'm really not sure, although now that I'm looking at it carefully (he's still wearing it), I think it's a duck. He doesn't seem to quack when he wears it, but I think he's much happier with it on. He seems to chill very easily.

The good news is that Max no longer has yellow snot coming out of his nose (I was sick last week and I think he caught a sympathy cold). We've had him on Clindamycin for a week and it seems to really be helping. I've also been giving him a children's Benedryl each day and his eyes seem to be less red (though it's hard to tell with the cherry eye). Overall there's not much to report.

Madeline is going home on Sunday or Monday after a two-week vacation at "Camp Bill." After that I'm sure we'll settle back into our routine. I have no doubt that Bill and Max will keep each other entertained, as they're on the floor together right now playing bitey-face, and Bill is making his usual, happy, Wookie noises.

Next Thursday is Max's big day at CSU to find out what's going on with his heart and leg. I'll let you know what they say.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

No News Is Good News

I'm happy to report that the past week with Max has been uneventful...sort of. I stayed up with him all night again because he was breathing funny, and the next morning he had yellow snot coming out of his nose, but I think he was just having "sympathy sickness" for the cold I was suffering from. The vet diagnosed an upper respiratory infection (URI) over the phone, and we switched his antibiotic to something more appropriate to tackle that. (Could I have some, too? I'm still sick!)

My husband, Dylan, discovered that Max knows the "sit" command, although he apparently only remembers it when he hears it in Dylan's voice. Dylan says, "Sit!" and Max flattens himself to the floor while attentively staring at Dylan for a treat (he can't actually "sit" because of his broken neurons or whatever). When I say "Sit!" Max stares at me like I'm crazy. I just don't get it.

Anyway, mostly no news from our crazy foster home this week. We still have ex-foster Madeline staying with us, and the "kids" have a great time playing the day away. I'm embarrassed when I take her and Bill to the dog park because they gang up on other dogs with their overly-enthusiastic play, and I had to pull Madeline off a floppy-eared dog the other day because she seemed to think his ears were tear-offs!

Signing off for now - Max's big Colorado State University vet appointment is next Thursday, so if you don't hear from me before then, I'll be sure to post his results.

Friday, April 23, 2010

An Enlarged Heart

It's been a rough week. I was excited to welcome Madeline, a previous foster, back to our house for dogsitting. The timing seemed perfect because Max was just about to hit the one-month mark after his heartworm treatment, meaning that he could begin to do a bit more activity. I thought everyone would have a great time playing together, and they did...for the first three days.

Then Max got sick again. His breathing was labored and he became lethargic. Back at the vet for examination and X-rays, it was reaffirmed that Max's right ventricle was enlarged. X-rays from the previous month showed the same thing, but not being a vet myself, I thought that was a temporary condition from the worms. This time around the vet told me that it is permanent. They watched Max for the day and then sent him home to me, stating that he was doing much better. (Note: Look carefully in the X-ray image and you can also see his dislocated shoulder - it turns out it's his shoulder and his elbow. So sad.)

That night, I noticed again that Max was breathing loudly with quick, shallow breaths. I stayed up with him all night (because I was concerned about him and I had caught a nasty cold that wouldn't let me sleep anyway), and then again took him to the vet the next morning. That whole day was scary, as new X-rays revealed fluid in his lungs and I just didn't know if he would make it. The second time the vet called I almost lost it, thinking that she was calling to deliver bad news. But to my pleasant surprise, she was just calling to say that she gave him Lasix (a diuretic) and that he responded to it very well.

Max came home, and he's been happy with the limited activity I've allow him. He plays bitey-face with Bill and Madeline for short spurts and I allow him to walk around at the dog park for short periods (he's got to be fenced in because he doesn't yet know recall and he's VERY fast for a three-legged, uncoordinated dog!). He does have congestive heart failure, as the vet said his heart valves are not opening and closing correctly. He'll be visiting Colorado State University in a week to meet with a specialist.

I'm so glad he made it through those rocky few days. I feel completely responsible for his relapse, as he just seemed to be feeling so good, and I let him do too much activity. I would have been devastated to lose him. He's such a loving, special, little guy, and he deserves the best life possible.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Max-i Pad!

I just couldn't help myself - our latest foster Max is currently living in a giant crate that can only be donned the "Max-i Pad!" Check back a few posts if you want the whole story, but if you're just here for an update, I'm please to tell you that Max's recovery is coming along very well. We've got less than two weeks until Max is off "house arrest," and he's already recovering nicely. Two weeks ago he went into cardiac arrest from the disintegrating worms causing an embolism. Last week was full of wheezing and coughing. This week he's alert, happy, and the rasp we could hear in his breathing has mostly subsided.

Max is the cutest guy - he's a three-legged dog with bad coordination, but he doesn't let that stand in his way. He loves to play with Bill, the little I've been letting them interact, and will lounge on the couch with me all day until I tell him he can get off. The only downside is that he's a little incontinent. I hope once he is neutered this might stop, but I don't know why it would matter. I think he could use a dental while he's out, too! He's a licking machine, but it's kind of like being licked by a fish. Ewww!