Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Louie's story, part 1: How it started

It all seems to have started with a bout of pancreatitis, back in February of 2007. In truth, it started long before then, and although the alarms were there and I tried to be proactive about getting him care, no one but myself thought there was anything wrong.

I started dragging Louie to the vet the previous fall, when he began licking his feet, and I thought he had allergies. Prior to this I had taken him in once because he had some blood in his stool, and once after that because I thought his eyes looked funny. Hard to say exactly how, but they just didn't look right.

With the "allergies" he also had red rings around the outside of his eyes, which I assumed were also part of the allergy symptoms.

None of the vets I took him to could find anything wrong with him.

At around the same time, his skin began to deteriorate. A hairless dog, he was becoming covered with blackheads and large bumps. I can assume now that these were from malnutrition, but at the time I didn't have a clue. The truth is that his skin had started looking bad several months prior to the onset of other symptoms, but I chalked it up to age. I chalked a lot up to age back then. I tried some of the remedies for bad skin that I had read about online, and I had tried some things that had cleared up similar problems in one of my other Chinese Cresteds, but nothing helped, and instead he just kept getting worse.

Sick of getting no answers, I eventually took him in to see a new vet about the "allergies" and was given a prescription for a medication with a small amount of prednisone in it. It seemed to help him for a few days, but then, one night in February of 2007, after eating a fairly large dinner, he began vomiting. He vomited all night, and between vomits he just sat in my lap, shaking. We went to the vet the next day and he was prescribed an anti-nausea medication and something else, I don't remember what. After two more days of vomiting up just about everything he ingested I was very concerned about dehydration, so we rushed him to the vet again. This time he was diagnosed with pancreatitis, and had to spend an evening in the hospital on IV fluids.

That was the start of a frantic six months, during which symptoms of several concurrent conditions would make it hard to tease out just what was going on with him.

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