4/13/15 Calling Dr. Craig, Emergency! (Or, the Starved Rock post will have to wait)

Hi, this is Elizabeth, Maggie’s human mom. I am writing this in place of Maggie because she is very, very ill. I know she would want all of you to know about what happened, so the Starved Rock post will have to wait while I update you on her condition.

Maggie mentioned last night that she was “serious” on the way home from boarding. In truth, I was worried about the serious look on her face. She seemed stressed out, and I attributed that to being away from home for the weekend. Maggie did not smile on the way home. Very unusual.

When we got home, Maggie drank a whole bowl of water and lay down. But she couldn’t seem to get comfortable. She let out a couple of hacking, loud coughs that sounded like they hurt, and I began to worry even more. I knew she had been vaccinated against Kennel Cough, but since many viruses can cause it, she could still have picked it up.Β  Maggie did not look happy. I remarked to Jim that usually she was smiling and her tail going a mile a minute, like a propeller. Again, I had misgivings, but thought perhaps it was a combination of stress and exhaustion. Maggie used the facilities and crawled into bed for the night.

As I lay there, I could hear Maggie’s ragged breathing. She sounded like Darth Vader. She could not sleep and neither could I. Up and down, up and down, around and around the bed she went, trying to make herself comfortable. Finally, she did the unimaginable and lay down on her own bed for a while.

At 12:00 midnight I took her out. Nothing. At 4:00 a.m. I took her out. Nothing. At 6:00 a.m. she let out another cough. She had a bloody stool when she finally went to the bathroom. I called the Vet, Laurel, and Jim. Emergency, Dr. Craig!!! The nice lady at Dr. Craig’s office said to come over pronto, so we did. I brought the bloody stools with.

Maggie showed a few signs of life at going in the car, but when we got to the Vet’s office, she was not active. I cannot stress enough how unusual this is for her. She loves her Dr. Craig and when she sees him, she goes all out. But today, I put her on the table in the examining room and she gave a few kisses, but pretty much just lay there. No tail action.

Dr. Craig came in and frowned. “This dog is down in the dumps! Let’s have a look at her.” He took her temperature. This entailed putting a muzzle on Maggie and inserting a rectal thermometer. It came out bloody. Dr. Craig frowned again. Maggie did not have a temperature, and he palpitated her stomach to feel for any masses. Dr. Craig listened to her heartbeat, and frowned for a third time. He said, “Her heartbeat is 90. What was it last time?” The nurse checked Maggie’s records, and said, “120”. Dr. Craig looked as unhappy as Maggie. He checked Maggie’s eyes, ears, gums (dry and tacky), tongue (dry), nose (warm and dry), and palpitated her stomach again. Finally, he said that Maggie was suffering from severe dehydration and a possible infection in her intestine. He said that she hadn’t been given enough water to drink over the weekend. Dr. Craig and his two assistants gently shooed me out of the examination room so that they could administer IV fluids and antibiotics under the skin. Maggie watched me go without much emotion. She was a shell of her usual self.

I cooled my heels in the waiting room and called Jim. No answer. I called Laurel, and she said she would meet me at the house. Finally, after a long time, the nurse came out and told me I could come back into the room.

I swayed a bit on my feet when I saw my dog, who had three large lumps under her fur. She looked like some kind of camel-dog hybrid. My eyes strayed to the IV bag hanging there. Most of it had been used. Dr. Craig indicated where he had put the fluid (the two large lumps) and the IV antibiotic (the third, smaller lump). He told me he would advise against keeping Maggie overnight at the hospital since she was so stressed. He told me to take her home and baby her. He gave me strict instructions and four prescriptions: two antibiotics, a probiotic/anti-diarrhea, and a box that looked like chicken stock, but was actually canine “pedialyte”. I was to cook Maggie rice, mix it with the canine “pedialyte”, and give as much fluid as possible, including Gatorade if she would take it. Dr. Craig said he would have the fecal results tomorrow, and the hospital staff would be calling me to check on Maggie. I am very, very, grateful to the staff at Oak Forest Animal Clinic and Dr. Craig. They are medical personnel you can believe in, and trust.

We arrived safely home and fifteen minutes later, Laurel came in. She sat with us and talked and kept me sane while I cried, feeling guilty for having left my dog this weekend in the first place. Laurel stayed with us a long time, and I cooked Maggie’s rice, and gave her the fluids and her first round of antibiotics.

Laurel tried to coax Maggie out, but Maggie just lay upon the couch. She told me that Maggie would probably sleep a long time, and that I had done the right thing by taking her to the Vet. I am beyond grateful to Laurel for her dog expertise, her love of Maggie, and her friendship.

Laurel left and Jim, who played “White Knight” this hectic day by taking Jamie to school and rearranging his schedule to pick him up (so I did not have to crate Maggie or leave her alone), soon arrived, with Jamie in tow. Maggie stayed on the couch and did not greet them. Finally, she got up and feebly waved her tail once, then sat down next to her human father, who pet her gently, noticing the red marks on her back (from the IV fluids). Jim had to run back to work. Jamie said, “I heard you had a rough day, girl” and gently caressed Maggie. Maggie soon fell back asleep on the couch.

And…there she stays. She is still there now. She looks so depressed I cannot include a picture.

I thank you all for reading this very long post, and for caring about Maggie. She is, as Laurel said, in a deep sleep now, and since the administration of the fluids, has stopped coughing and breathing roughly. Her nose feels better. I think she is on the mend.

Oh, one final thing. Dr. Craig said I probably should not board Maggie again. Laurel is going to help me find a sitter who, when we have to go out, will stay at the house and look after our dear girl.

Your friend, Elizabeth


26 thoughts on “4/13/15 Calling Dr. Craig, Emergency! (Or, the Starved Rock post will have to wait)

  1. K. A. Bryce

    I and Thunder, Lucy and Rocky are all pulling for her. There are pet sitters who will come to your house several times a day to care for the dog when you have to be gone. I know this because my ex-wife has such a business. You can find one, I’m sure, in your area online and it will be less expensive than having someone constantly there. At least Maggies would be in her own house. Best>KB

    1. maggie0019 Post author

      Thank you for your kind words and your advice about the pet sitter. I will definitely look into that option when we need to leave Maggie again. Please give a pat to Thunder, Lucy, and Rocky for me.

  2. Nana

    Poor, sweet girl. She certainly did not seem herself last night when we stopped in. Hope our “great-grand-doggy” is feeling better real soon!!!!! Love, Nana & Papa

  3. scififantasylitchick

    Oh, no! Poor Maggie – I’m so sorry, and saddened, to hear this! Sending prayers your way (and hers) for a speedy recovery.

    I’m curious – will your vet board dogs/cats who are current patients? I have boarded my dogs at my vet for years (as they have separate kennels for “hospital” patients and boarders). I feel good knowing that my dogs are where their vet is in case they need help, plus I know they will be taken care of.

    I definitely don’t blame you for not wanting to try a boarding facility again. I hope you can find a friend who loves Maggie as much as you do and will take good care of her in your absence..

    Please keep us updated as to he progress (as you are able to). I pray she makes a fast, full recovery.

    1. maggie0019 Post author

      Thank you so much. My dear Vet does do boarding, but I haven’t investigated that angle as they use kennels and Maggie cannot be kenneled since she tries to break out and will hurt herself. Maggie was a shelter dog and was caged for about 6 months. So, while she will tolerate her plastic crate, a kennel does not work. Thank you so much for your kindness to me and my dog and for your prayers.

  4. Susan P

    You poor dears. I am glad she’s on the mend, and sending good thoughts. When Maggie is up to it, please give her scritchies for me in whatever is her favorite place to be scritchied. And it is not your fault. I am sure that Maggie will tell you that, too. When people who are supposed to be caring for someone else’s baby do not do their job – I have moments when I’d like for them to feel that fear and stress our little ones feel. I had a bad situation last spring. I took my dog to the vet and he performed a procedure that he had no right to do on an elderly dog. I lost that little fellow and I still cry when I think of it.

    My heart goes out to you and Maggie, and I am looking forward to reading Maggie’s posts again. ❀

    1. maggie0019 Post author

      I am deeply saddened by your loss. Maggie has moved couches and is still sleeping. I will give her a gentle pat for you. Her back is very bruised from the IV’s she took today. There is a canine flu sweeping the Chicago area. I am grateful she does not have it. Thank you for your kind words and scritchies. πŸ™‚

  5. noodle4president

    Poor Maggie 😦 We are sending lots of love her way and yours!

    Did you contact the facility where you boarded her to let them know of the situation? Perhaps the owner wasn’t involved and needs to know. You should also leave some reviews on the company’s Google+ information page, etc. Yes, it could have been an isolated incident but what if it wasn’t?

    Maggie said she needs to be talked to like she’s a baby right now.

    ❀ and ear licks,

    1. maggie0019 Post author

      Thank you for writing! The owner was the one taking care of Maggie. You bring up great points. When I am less emotional, I will do as you suggest. However, I might be a tad “nippy” right now because I am very upset at what happened. I will wait until Maggie is out of the woods and things are calmer. Then I will make contact & do my reviews. Sadly, this does not appear to be an isolated incident. I did check a few reviews and several owners complained of lack of water. I did not know this, since Maggie went to Obedience School there and had no problems. Thanks again!!! PS I tried talking to her like a baby and feeding her out of a bottle. She was having none of it πŸ˜‰

      1. maggie0019 Post author

        Well. I called the owner and asked him how much access Maggie had to water over the weekend because I was curious. And naturally he said he left the water bowl out and she had as much as she wanted. So I doubt I can pursue that angle. He will just say the water was provided and she did not drink it. Either way, I am not going to use their services again. Thanks for your support! πŸ™‚

  6. Bemused

    As a pet sitter/trainer myself I find the fact your dog was dehydrated extremely disturbing. It’s a good indication that she was not properly monitored. I do pet sitting in peoples homes and board in my home. Given the amount of attention needed I only ever have 1 or 2 dogs to care for. Any more and they are lacking in what they require. Most boarding kennels are loud, stressful and the individual care is minimal.

    Having boarded my own dogs for years I was always disappointed. In not just one but many kennel-boarding situations my dogs not only stunk but their entire demeanor was off for days after. They also could not get out of there fast enough. I look after dogs not for a living but because I genuinely love to spend my time with them. I’m sure you can find a similar pet sitter near you πŸ™‚ Glad to have read your post that she is feeling a bit better.

    1. maggie0019 Post author

      I appreciate your words. I don’t know if you read my prior comment, but I called him today and simply asked, “How much water did Maggie have access to this weekend?” and he said, “All she wanted. There’s always a bowl out back.” I just said, “Ok thanks” and he didn’t ask why I was asking. I think he knows something is up with her. First off, with the dog flu sweeping through IL, did my dog have an individual bowl or a group bowl? How could she have access to it if it was not in her crate/kennel? And so on. But he can always say that he provided the water and Maggie did not drink it. (In which case, he or someone should have called me). Either way, we’re going the pet sitter route in the future. Thanks!!

  7. weggieboy

    In the week I’ve been without access to the Internet, lots happened to catch up on, but this is the worst news of all! Lots of love and prayer for your sweet little girl, and I hope his medical issues clear up soon. It sounds like your veterinarian is tops, though, and that is so important in an emergency.

    1. maggie0019 Post author

      Hi Doug, it’s Liz. I’ve been worried about you, too! Glad your ‘puter is back and running (even if it’s a tad off). Maggie is doing MUCH better. Thanks so much!


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