You Are My Sunshine My only sunshine. You make me happy When skies are grey. You'll never know, dear, How much I love you. Please don't take my sunshine away
Ruth began feeling poorly...
01/09/09 - Friday night, around supper time, Ruth started acting fretful, pacing, and walking around... not able to get settled. We gave her an aspirin (81 mg.).
01/10/09 - (I'm calling this Day 1) - Saturday morning she began walking like she was dizzy, or drunk, wobbly like. When she walked, she crossed over her front feet and was unstable while standing. As she came up the five steps to the porch, she stepped flatfooted like, slamming the foot down... actually, whenever she walked, that is what it seemed like, slamming her front feet down. In the afternoon, she did, however, managed to trot out to the barn with Beth & Bud, but showed signs of being unstable. Both morning and night we gave her 81 mg aspirin.
Of course, we immediately got on the Internet, trying to figure out what was happening to Our Ruth Girl. I came across something about Coonhound Disease, but, since it's been over a month since our last episode with a raccoon, we ruled it out (and so did the vet on Monday).
01/11/09 - (Day 2) - Sunday morning Ruth slowly jumped off of the bed and, although still acting dizzy and walking with a wobble, we went outside (4:45 a.m.) with Beth. Daddy was able to stretch out and stayed in bed a few minutes longer.
She pooped and pottied without too much problem (even though her balance was off), then, as she came back up on the porch, her right front foot started folding up under (knuckling like) and she fell forward until I caught her.
A very short time later her left foot started acting the same way. Then the back legs wouldn't cooperate. She was perky and alert. Bud and I "walked" her (positioning her front pads out properly) over to her food bowl for breakfast and she ate it all while he held on to her (she was wobbly). She wouldn't, however, drink any water. We then helped her back over to the couch and helped her back up. At that time, she could/would get up on her elbows and looked around from her position. Once, she totally sat up, to look out the window but her right leg/foot kept slipping off the couch and she couldn't bring it back up underneath her for support.
After the church time period was over, Bud called the vet and he told us to increase the aspirin dosage until we could get in to see him Monday morning.
That evening, I went in to take a bath and when I came back out, Bud was sitting on the floor next to Ruth who was standing on all fours by the couch. He had been at his desk and heard something and saw her standing alone... she had gotten off the couch by herself. Rather than get her back on the couch for the night, we made beds on the floor using 4" padding we already had for others when sleeping over.
She's Alert, Aware, yet Anxious. We can tell her mind wants to do all the things she's always done, but her body won't cooperate.
01/12/09 - (Day 3) - Monday morning Ruth wouldn't/couldn't lift her head on her own. She can slide it against the pillow, like stretching her neck, then putting her chin down. Her appointment with the vet is at 8:45. Beth went with us, all in the van. Bud positioned Ruth on the van's floor and I cradled her in my arms. She managed to poop on the way into town, and scooting away from the poop caused me to notice her success! (Still no potty).
Bud took her inside, and I stayed out in the van with Beth and prepared my heart for losing Ruth. Imagine my surprise when Bud carried her back to the van and she was coming back home with us!
She weighed about 60 lbs and had a temp of 102 when we got to the vet's. He said it was a good thing we had been giving her aspirin because of the fever - it's either come down, or the aspirin prevented it from going up higher. He gave her three injections of various things (steroids is the only thing I can remember) and sent us home with two different meds (Novox 75mg and Zeniquin 200 mg) to begin in the evening. He said we may not see any improvement for 48 hours. He also drew blood and will run some tests.
Blood work turned out to be normal.
01/13/09 - (Day 4) - Tuesday morning - we all had a fretful night. About 11:00 p.m., Ruth started having something like a panic attack. I know she must be confused as to what's happening and she looks to us for help.
No physical change ... it doesn't appear any further decline in her condition. She is pooping and pottying now... not regularly, but at least, her internal workings are still functioning.
01/14/09 - (Day 5) - Wednesday - She actually lifted her back left leg so she could potty!!!! We are getting the system down so it's not such a traumatic occurrence in cleaning her and her bedding up! We are also figuring out a better way to give her water!!!! We know the importance of keeping her hydrated.
I didn't post this earlier, but we do move her around and change sides several times a day. We also try to keep her leaning up a little, trying to keep down the chance of getting pneumonia. We are trying....
When Bud was on the phone to Papo with their 11:30 daily conversation, I decided to do one more search on the Internet. The second site I went to was a person's blog, detailing their experience with Coonhound Disease. Oh, My, Goodness! It was so much like what has happened to Ruth! We now have hope.... From that blog post we found a journey another is taking, Lexi.
01/15/09 - (Day 6) - Thursday - another fretful night... but, we made it through and it doesn't appear that Ruth has declined any further. She twitched her back feet a little when I was inadvertently leaning on them! In fact, a little while later she lifted her right rear leg and pottied! We were prepared, so it wasn't a traumatic event to take care of either for her or for us.