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Thread: So sick--Please help!!

  1. #1
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    Unhappy So sick--Please help!!

    Our Cavalier Charlie is not doing well at all. He's only a year old, and has always had great health until now. His heart has always checked out clear. On Dec. 18, he was a little bit lethargic in the morning, but not so much that I was concerned. Around lunchtime, he suddenly started limping with his left hind leg. I called my husband at work, and he came home on his lunch break to see Charlie. We were worried but because we couldn't think of any way that he could have been hurt, we decided to give it a few hours. Charlie mostly laid around in his crate for the rest of the day, and we decided to take him to the vet in the morning. But when my husband went to take him out before bed, Charlie couldn't walk. My husband picked him up, and Charlie yelped. When he put him down in the yard, he collapsed and yelped again. My husband rushed him to the emergency clinic, where they did x-rays and an exam. They couldn't find anything wrong, so they gave Charlie a tentative dx of a cruciate ligament injury, and put him on Rimadyl.

    The next morning Charlie was acting a lot better, walking around and only limping a bit, less than originally. We felt pretty good about the medication, but we didn't want Charlie to hurt himself, so he still spent most of his time in the crate for that day and the next. (We just took the crate with us from room to room). However, on Dec. 21, he went from seeming to feel well to feeling terrible. He wouldn't come out of the crate, and he didn't want to eat. His limp got much worse, and when my husband carried him out to pee, he would just stand there, not moving at all. Then he would take a step or two and then his hindquarters would just kind of collapse. He went to our regular vet on Monday, who said that he now thought that Charlie had injured his other rear leg from trying to compensate for the original injury. He said that we should completely confine Charlie to his crate and keep him on the Rimadyl.

    Over the next few days, Charlie continued to decline physically. He went from being a little off his food to not eating at all. He stopped drinking entirely. We bought some chicken broth, which he liked at first. By Christmas, though, he would only lick the broth very slowly from my husband's fingers. He also started having respiratory symptoms, coughing and making this wheezing almost purring sound when he breathed and having nasal drainage. And he wouldn't walk almost at all. He went to the vet the day after Christmas, and had a fever of 104.5. The vet still wasn't super worried, but we insisted that he put Charlie on an antibiotic. By that time, we had taken Charlie off the Rimadyl, because after doing some research, we were also worried that he might be showing the signs of a bad reaction to the medicine. The vet didn't think so, but he went along with us and put Charlie on a different pain medicine.

    Charlie has contined in our eyes to decline. He is on prescription invalid food, which my husband has to force-feed him. He will not drink anything, so my husband has to pry his mouth open and use a medical syringe to squirt it down his throat. The vet has injected fluids under his skin twice to stave off dehydration. He will almost never walk, and he is now showing a limp in the front as well. His respiratory sounds have gotten louder and more frequent. He won't take his medication unless my husband forces it down his throat. He still has a fever, his eyes look so sick, and he just lays there for hours and hours, mostly sleeping, but almost never moving.

    When his bloodwork came back, he showed two high enzyme levels that the vet said show liver damage. He talked to an internist, and their best guess at this point is leptospirosis. They ran the test, and the vet said if we're lucky, we might know the results tomorrow. Charlie does have many of the symptoms, but he has been on antibiotics for nearly a week with no improvement at all. Up until yesterday, he showed no signs of kidney problems, but yesterday morning, he had peed all over his crate overnight. And now he pees more frequently, and in really large amounts, much more than usual, even though he's not taking in much fluid. He's also starting to limp with one of his front legs as well.

    We just don't know what to do. If it is lepto, it must be really bad, since he's not responding to the antibiotics. And if it's not lepto, what could it be? We never really thought that he was injured, and with the other legs having problems, we're virtually certain the lameness goes along with the illlness. I keep bringing up Lyme disease to the vet, but Charlie has absolutely no history of ticks. Besides, the vet says that his lymph nodes are completely normal and that Charlie would certainly be improving by now from the antibiotics if it were Lyme. He'll go back to the vet in the morning, but we just don't know what we're missing. Does anyone recognize these symptoms? Or has anyone experienced a Cavalier having problems like these?

    Thanks so much,
    Andrea

  2. #2
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    Andrea, I am so sorry you are experiencing this. It must be scary and agonizing for you to be unable to find the exact problem and know how to treat it. I don't have any advice, but I wanted to let you know I am thinking of you, and I am sure someone on this board will come along that might have some answers.

    The only suggestion I might make is for you to get another opinion from a different vet. It sounds like they haven't been real agressive with trying to diagnose the problem. That may be incorrect, but sometimes you just need a fresh opinion from a different doctor.

    Hugs to you all and I hope you get some answers soon and that Charlie recovers quickly.

  3. #3
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    It does sound like your Charlie is very sick but I don't have any knowledge re: his symptoms. Is there a University Vet Hospital within driving range? Feels as tho' your vets are not finding the cause unless the blood test comes back positive and that is why I ask about a University Hospital or a large Vet Clinic with specialists aboard. These places usually see many types of illnesses and, by that, have large experience. To me it sounds as if he should be on IV fluids as a start to keep up his hydration and should be being observed in a Hospital setting . I know you are very concerned and to you during this hard time. This is so difficult to deal with during a Holiday. Keep him hydrated-dehydration can really interfere with wellness. Wish I could help you more.
    frecklesmom
    Learning new things everyday

  4. #4
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    Oh, I'm so sorry. I can only echo what Frecklesmom said about getting Charlie to a specialist. Could you bring him to the internist that your vet consulted with? Maybe if he saw with his own eyes how ill Charlie is, he might have a better idea of a diagnosis. In my mind, he needs to have constant observation and IV hydration. It's so horrible when our babies are sick. Good luck to you.
    Bev
    Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)
    In loving memory: Oliver (blenheim) 2001-2015; Riley (black & tan) 2002-2017

  5. #5
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    A word of caution, please be careful administering fluid from a syringe. Don't squirt it down the throat, introduce it gradually via the pouch at the side of the mouth.
    If given wrongly the fluids could reach the lungs which you obviously don't want.

    Hope you get some answers soon, poor boy.

  6. #6
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    Hi Andrea, what a nightmare! I have no experience of these conditions.

    It is staggering to me that you and your husband are having to perform such high level nursing to what is obviously an incredibly sick little boy. The current vet doesn't seem to be grasping just how ill Charlie is.

    Like the others I am of the opinion he should at the very least be on an IV and receiving constant care. If I can offer you advice it would be to get him that care NOW, even if you change vet / ideally are able to go to a larger practice they can always liase with your current vet for test results tomorrow.

    Mum to Tallulah (blenheim)
    Three Precious Cavalier Angels in Heaven, until we meet again girls...xxx

  7. #7
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    "he just lays there for hours and hours, mostly sleeping, but almost never moving"

    My Mum who's a nurse just read this is disbelief, and highlighted the problem of pressure sores together with dehydration etc (prevention is better than cure).

    Poor poor Charlie get him to the emergency vet!

    Good luch Andrea!
    Mum to Tallulah (blenheim)
    Three Precious Cavalier Angels in Heaven, until we meet again girls...xxx

  8. #8
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    Please please get him to a vet that is only bit of advice I would give
    ---Aileen and the gang(Barney----Jazzie---Jane)
    Cavaliers at the bridge Mattie and Rocky& Sam
    Better to light a candle for one lost dog than to curse the darkness of man's indifference.Saving just one dog won't change the world but it surely will change the world for that one dog.

  9. #9
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    Unhappy

    Thank you everyone who has responded so quickly. I want to reassure you that we are trying the best we can. We unfortunately do not have a lot of money so we have been trying to go through the regular vet as much as possible. We have already spent almost $1000 in the last two weeks, and we still don't really know what's even going on with Charlie. My husband is a teacher and I stay home with our youngest little boy. We have discussed hospitalization several times with the vet, but he keeps trying to reassure us that Charlie is not dehydrated and hasn't lost much weight and that his kidneys look good. He says that these are signs that Charlie is not gravely ill. I don't really agree with him; I live with Charlie and can see with my eyes that he is really sick. But we don't have an endless amount of money to spend. I asked the doctor what they would do for Charlie if we hospitalized him, and he said that they would put him on an IV and monitor him. This would cost us around $300 a day. If you add additional testing in, it could easily cost us $3000 for this next week. We don't have that kind of money to spend. We have already spent most of our emergency savings.

    I do agree with you that something else needs to be done. We are going to contact animal hospitals in our area and see what they say. We are in the DFW area if anyone on this board knows where we should take him.

    Thank you,
    Andrea

  10. #10
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    I've been thinking about Charlie since I first read your post and if you have an emergency center near you, I would get him there ASAP. I know I would feel better if someone were watching over him constantly and is able to respond immediately if his condition deteriorates further. Keep us updated.
    Bev
    Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)
    In loving memory: Oliver (blenheim) 2001-2015; Riley (black & tan) 2002-2017

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