Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Opal report

We are at the Elks Lodge in Grants Pass, Oregon (map).

The drive here from Cave Junction was scenic, and US-199 seemed like a superhighway after ten miles of Caves Highway. We got a late start from our lovely digs in the forest, leaving sometime after 4, and we arrived here in Grants Pass around 5:30 or so. We got the last space(of two) left here at the lodge, just barely squeezing under a heavy tree limb. The tree is keeping us from deploying the satellite dish, but there are a couple of weak WiFi signals here, and we can get online intermittently.

We'd like to thank everyone who has commented, emailed, or tweeted about Opal. I'd like to be able to report that she is improving, but, frankly, we are quite worried. The cocktail of meds the vet in Crescent City put her on seems to have cleared up the serious colitis issues in short order -- we have found no more blood in her output, which has been, umm, improving.

Unfortunately, she also stopped eating shortly after the vet visit, and has been refusing even her normal favorite, cottage cheese. At first, we were not too worried; we knew that the colitis itself was probably affecting her appetite, and we also knew that the meds might be too. We wanted to continue the full course of meds, and so we also continued to give her Pedialyte as recommended by the vet, to keep her hydrated and her electrolytes up.

After the second full day of refusing to eat, she started to get a bit lethargic, and so we have been mixing sugar in with the Pedialyte to get her blood sugar back up. After a day of that, she has been a bit more active and reacting more normally to most stimuli, but still has not wanted any food.

This morning, finally, we were able to tempt her with some egg. Still, she did not eat much of it, and it amost looked as if she had forgotten how to eat -- she'd take some in her mouth, perhaps chew a little, then put it back down without swallowing. A lot of persistence with hand feeding resulted in her swallowing perhaps a half ounce of food over the course of the morning.

These sorts of appetite issues can be vicious cycles, wherein the lack of food in the stomach leads to discomfort, which then causes the dog to refuse to eat. We are continuing with the electrolytes and sugar to keep her strength up, and hoping she we will continue to ingest at least a small amount of solid food every few hours to reverse the cycle.

If she does not improve from here by tonight, we will have to get her to a vet for IV or sub-cu fluids. At least she has been drinking water consistently of her own volition, and between the water and the Pedialyte she has had a somewhat normal urine output. We will try to be in Eugene this afternoon, where we should have a surfeit of vet choices.

1 comment:

  1. Check out and Ask Humaworm at
    This isn't spam, I use it and some friends and their pets use it. It's amazing.
    Parasites are so common and yet overlooked by modern medicine completely.
    With 3 pets, your likelihood of having them present is very high.
    It's worth investigating. Opal's worth the look.

    Pat in Calgary

    (I enjoy reading of your travels)


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