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Sweet Annie's first day - a mixed bag
Thank you all again for the warm welcome in the "Introduce yourself" post. Little Annie was one happy dog to be "sprung" from the vet! She ate well last night and was busy getting acquainted with my Callie and my sister's Cavalier, Izzy. She did pretty good, to have never been around other dogs. She was a little jumpy when they touched her or sniffed too close, but gradually relaxed and wasn't as jumpy.
She was glad to load up and come home with us too. We got in late and I set up her crate because we had been told she slept in it. Instead, she cried when I got in bed so I offered her to sleep with us, and she gladly got in bed with me and Callie!
This morning she woke up wagging her tail and glad to see me. She acted excited as I fixed the two bowls for breakfast but when I sat hers down, she took a sniff and walked away. She didn't eat more than about 3 bites. As the morning went on, she kept going to my door that leads to the garage (car) so I think she was trying to tell me she wanted me to take her home. I felt so sorry for her. She was thankful we got her out of the vet, and she enjoyed all the attention we gave her - but she wanted to go home, bless her heart.
As the day wore on she seemed to slump more and more. She's just sad. She has lost her home and lost her owner and doesn't know why. It's been a tough week for this sweet little girl. I know we can work through the grief and get to eating and being happy again. But she does have a couple of other issues that may be troubling.
I read through the vet paperwork on her and it appears she has been battling some tough allergy problems her whole life and they still haven't gotten a handle on it. She gnaws her paws excessively. They are sore and between the pads looks raw. She gnaws up her legs a ways as well. She sits around scratching a lot - the belly/rib area where they sit and with their hind foot try to scratch up under the front leg/rib area. She's just not comfortable - always scratching or gnawing.
Paperwork indicated she had MANY vet visits with this complaint and notes indicated they tried lots of different allergy treatments and shots, as well as a food trial (it didn't name the food in the notes.) The elderly lady obviously tried to seek comfort and help for her because almost every vet visit listed was in reference to this allergy issue. I'm disheartened they have not been able to get a handle on it. This is an expense we may not be able to take on if regular vet visits will be a way of life for her They have been so far.
The other issue is I noticed she squats to pee and stays squatted a mere second and is back up She dribbles several drops and that is it. No stream of pee. She walks several feet, squats and dribbles several more drops. After doing this 3-4 times she's ready to come back in. It makes me suspicious that she has a urinary tract infection. In looking through her records, I saw an entry for April, just several months ago, where the vet called to "discuss Annie's labs with owner; ph was high, suspect crystals from transport... (couldn't read the rest)... and wanted owner to be aware of this."
Ok.. so a few months ago she was having urinary difficulty. I do not know if it was never cleared up or if this is something chronic, if she has kidney disease - I don't know. I called the vet that issued these records and they would not tell me the results of the lab work, just verified that she did have lab work and they discussed it with her owner. I tried to stress that I am the owner now - her mama is dying and the children have given the dog up for re-homing. I need to know what the results of that labwork were, so I can know what she may be up against. They would not tell me.
So I called the vet that the adult children had taken her to for re-homing, told them she had some issues, what the concerns were, and they could be deal breakers. They want me to drive back in the morning with her and let them see her (another 4 hour round trip. UGH.) If they can get her on the road to good health then we want to keep her. She's a very sweet, gentle good dog. But if these issues are chronic and will require regular vet triips, treatments, meds - we are not going to be able to afford that expense. We will have to let him have her back and try to find a home that can absorb the expenses. I am hoping she can be treated and be well.
We are about to move from Alabama to Texas the end of this month and my husband is already out there working and staying with our oldest daughter. He says housing is going to be very expensive compared to what we are used to. We will get a lot less house and pay significantly more for it. We have two kids in college right now and live on a tight budget. We just cannot take on the medical care of this sweet pup if her issues are chronic. So I really hope these issues can be addressed and not continue to be chronic.
She has not eaten today. She's been slumping - obviously starting to feel like we are not going to take her back to her own house and she is understandably sad. This is hard. It may take her several weeks to get used to a new normal and get her appetite back. I know she is grieving the loss of her owner and her home. For this reason I really hope I do not have to send her back to the vet for another re-home attempt. I don't want this sweet sad baby to shut down completely. He told us not to feel obligated, to consider this a trial to see if it would work out. But it is hard to take her back to the vet when I know she is so sad.
One thing that may be contributing to her allergies - her food. The lady was feeding her "Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Senior 7+" and it is full of corn, corn and more corn. I know this is terrible for allergic dogs. But until I can get her eating again, I cannot begin to make the switch over to our dog food. We feed Nature's Logic which is grain free, high quality meat based kibble food, and then we top it with Orijens Tundra dehyrated raw wafers crumbled over it. Her treats were cheap grocery store treats filled with wheat and corn, dyes, strong artificial flavors etc.. so more allergens. She doesn't want our treats which are healthy. She didn't even want a bite of banana or a lick of peanut butter. I am hoping this is just due to being sad and lack of appetite as a result.
Sorry for such a long post. I promise to try to send shorter ones going forward. I'm just a bit discouraged tonight, about keeping this dog. And it's nothing to do with her personally - she is as sweet as can be! She just may be too expensive medically, for us to keep.