Thursday, August 18, 2005

Sick Puppy

Today was kind of a fraught one.

If you've been with me for a while you know all about Rosybelle - la prima donna of prima donnas - the uber pooch of the Racek household. She's the dog who singlehandedly turned me from cat person to decidedly crazy dog woman. I have a bag for her so that she can travel in style on our not too frequent trips away from the house. She is so much in control in this residence that she merely has to climb onto the side of the bathtub in the master bedroom and mew plaintively in that decidedly vocal way which is singular to Pekingese, and people jump up and rush over to turn on the bath tap so that she may indulge in pure running water, rather than suffering the indignity of a shared water bowl with the other dogs - who she feels are vastly inferior and will avoid when at all possible. She is too short to jump onto the bed, but instead springs up and down on her back legs while vocalizing loudly until someone picks her up to her rightful place. She can bark in short bursts which mimic what you say - two barks for 'coffee' (to which she is shamefully addicted), three barks for 'beef jerky'. She's stoic to a fault, and would rather die than admit she's in pain, as we discovered when she was still a puppy and developed a luxating patella - which to you and I is a kneecap which slips out of joint. She allowed the vet to palpate what must have felt like hell on earth rather than a leg joint without so much as a whimper. She's brave and fearless and would die for any one of her people without question.

And she's sick.

How sick, we don't quite know yet. At the weekend she was unusually clingy, wanting to be held and petted all the time - and though she's very much a spoiled and pampered little thing, she's usually fairly independent, so this was kind of odd behavior for her. She was laying around panting a lot, so I figured maybe the heat was getting to her, and made sure she had lots of water.

By Tuesday, things had changed dramatically. Usually so boisterous and madcap, she spent the day for the most part simply laying on the chair with her head on her paws and a sorrowful expression on her face. When she wasn't peeing that is. And when I say peeing, you have to understand that this is Rosy. The dog who cannot go while you watch her. The dog who when we took her on vacation to Quinault last year for a week, refused At all. Because she couldn't disappear to her own little section of the back yard and do it incognito. So when I say she started peeing in the house, this was extremely unusual behavior for her. And the WAY she was peeing was odd. She'd drink something and take a couple of steps and pee...about the size of a dollar coin. And she'd give every impression of straining really hard to produce this miniscule amount.

But then I went to clean up one of these tiny puddles and realized it was red.

I called the vet immediately, but we couldn't get in to see him until today. He took her into the back (thank god) and inserted an instrument into her bladder to get an uncontaminated urine sample which he then centrifuged and tested. The diagnosis is not immediately clear. She for definite has a urinary tract infection, because of all the white cells he found there. But what's not quite so obvious is how far this infection has spread. Because the urine he tested was way too diluted to be normal, the vet explained that she had either gulped down a huge amount of water, or her kidneys weren't functioning the way they're supposed to and removing the waste products from her blood. Also, the fact that she's depressed and clingy and so not herself also leads him to believe that it's more than a urinary tract infection and at the very least the infection has spread into her kidneys. At worst? I don't even want to think about at worst.

So we were sent home with 3 weeks of antibiotics, with instructions to watch her very closely between now and next Wednesday, by which time even if it's a kidney infection, we should start seeing a change in her behavior for the better. And she has to be given another urinalysis before we suspend the antibiotics after 3 weeks to make sure that the white cells are gone. He told me that if it's a kidney infection, 3 weeks might not be enough to get rid of the problem. And we should be hearing from him either tomorrow or Friday in regards to the bloodwork he took today to see if he can narrow down any underlying issues with her.

My little furball, my little pekish girl, the house dominatrix could use some good thoughts. And some doggy Depends.


Blogger Jensgalore said...

I'm so sorry to hear that! How scary for you. I hope she's feeling better soon.

5:10 AM  
Blogger 'Lema said...

I want Pekee to be better!!!! She's not smiley so much anymore :(


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