Pony Party: Not My Best Day **updated**

My dogs have been sick. Really sick. Both of them. We first noticed one was acting funny on Thursday night – nothing alarming, but he wasn’t 100%. On Friday morning, we noticed that he was still lethargic, so we called the vet. We were able to get an appointment for 3 pm.

We were able to leave work at noon. Fortunately for us, we have flexible jobs. I guess that’s an advantage of working such long hours. Anyway, when we got home, the sick pup was even sicker and the other was also showing signs of illness. Both were lethargic and walked like their joints were sore. So, we called the vet and moved up our appointment to 1:15 pm.

The vet took their temperature (to the utter dislike of my pups) and drew blood. The blood work looked normal. The vet said that it was possible that they had eaten something that was making them ill. We tried to think what they could have eaten, but we hadn’t changed anything around our place. No new plants, no new food, no new cleaning products. Why would they suddenly eat a plant – both of them – that they had previously ignored? They’re never outdoors without being on a leash. It didn’t make sense that they would both be ill.

The vet decided that they should stay overnight, with fluids administered intravenously. He said he’d call in the morning. So, we spent an unhappy night at home, without the warmth of our beloved critters.

In the morning, we called the vet – he said they were doing well – still acting lethargic, but better. We could take them home. Happily, we rushed to the clinic. They were still walking funny and had goopy eyes. But at least they were coming home.

They hadn’t progressed from Saturday afternoon. By Sunday, they appeared worse. Neither was eating anything of substance. They would barely walk and were really not happy. So we took them back to the vet. They again spent the night on IV.

Today, the vet called to say that they are both showing signs of renal failure. They’re about to examine them using ultrasound. The vet should be calling soon. I’m really scared.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to comment, but thanks in advance for your thoughts.

UPDATE 19:46 PDT Thanks for your comments and wishes. My boys are stable, but still very ill. We will need to wait a day or two to see how their kidneys are functioning.

We can’t think of anything that they could have had that they didn’t already have access to. We have various plants, etc, but nothing new. On walks, they could have lapped up some water with antifreeze, pesticide, rat poison or fertilizer, but we really don’t know for sure. All of those can cause renal failure. We can’t imagine anyone poisoning them intentionally. They’re our little gherkins, and it is so painful to see them ill.

I’ll keep you posted. Again, thanks for all the kind thoughts and I’m sorry that I didn’t respond individually.


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  1. check for tick diseases (all of the tick diseases!!!!)

    and what about licking up antifreeze (i think it’s antifreeze) it’s sweet and dogs will lick it… but that might cause liver failure though and not renal failure…

    do they get out loose? do people set out poison? or some kind of rodent carried disease like havanta virus (don’t know how to spell it)

    oh, pickle. poor babies… my heart goes out to you.

    please keep us updated when you can.

    oh… pickle… so so so sorry for you and your babies…

    do you use those flea/tick drops on them? check the batch number and see if any other dogs have gotten sick. or check the food…

  2. My animals (cats and dogs ) are my babies since I have no human ones.

    Took my cat to the vet today because he had been limping badly for two days. I prodded him and felt nothing resembling broken bones. Turns out a cat ( one of mine or a neighbor cat he encountered during one of his outside escapes ) chomped on him and he had an infection.

    I will be thinking of your lovely dogs and hoping for the best.

  3. My heart goes out to you… please let us know asap what’s

    going on.

  4. And more HUGS.  It could be something environmental.  Have any factories opened up that might be poisoning the air?  Could the pet food be contaminated?  (Remember that Chinese-made pet food trauma from last year?  There’s no fucking way that isn’t going to be repeated–assuming it isn’t being repeated right now.)

    • RiaD on April 22, 2008 at 01:38

    what a dilly of a day for you 🙁

    my first thought was poisoning…both babies getting sick at once leads me to believe this is no accident…..

    do you have any new neighbors…had any problems with existing neighbors?

    or anti-freeze as pf~ suggested….

    O…I just can’t imagine what you’re going through…

    sending many many warm, healing happy thoughts your way….

    please, please let us know how they are…

    {{{{{{{{*{pickle puppies}*}}}}}}}}

  5. oh, dear….please…PLEASE…dont worry about us…or about commenting.  worry about yourself and your clan.  let us know if there’s anything we can do, and take care..


    • Alma on April 22, 2008 at 01:52

    Sending good vibes for you all.  I’ve had 2 cats with renal failure, so I know how heartbreaking it is.  

    I agree with the others that with them both getting it at once that its either pet food, or maybe intentional, or unintentional poisoning.

    ((((((((((((More Hugs for You))))))))))))))

    • shpilk on April 22, 2008 at 06:32

    Their food .. did you start a new bag of kibble recently?

    If you still have some, I’d bring a sample to the vet.  

  6. I read this earlier and have been thinking of you and the pups all day.  Can’t imagine how frantic you must be for both of them.   Many many well wishes to the little guys and to you lep.  They are going to be OK!  


  7. we’ll keep you and yours in our thoughts and hearts.  take care of yourself as well!!!

    • Alma on April 22, 2008 at 16:31

    Thanks for the update.

    (((((((pickle & gherkins))))))))

  8. I really hope they’ll be okay. I don’t know how I’d be able to function if one of my pets got sick so suddenly.

    Please be careful with the food you’re giving them (assuming they’re eating) – I hope the vet gave you something different to feed them, just in case.

    Many warm wishes to you and your pups.

  9. in the loop.  Much love to you and your babies!

  10. The artificial sweetener Xylitol (prevalent in a lot of sugar free foods nowadays) is highly toxic to dogs.

    In both humans and dogs, the levels of blood sugar are controlled by the body’s release of insulin from the pancreas. In human xylitol ingestion does not cause any significant changes in insulin levels or, therefore, blood glucose. However, in dogs, xylitol causes a fast release of insulin, which results in a rapid decrease in blood glucose (hypoglycemia).

    Clinical Signs

    Clinical signs of xylitol toxicity can develop in as few as 30 minutes after ingestion. Clinical signs may include one or more of the following:

       * VomitingWeakness

       * Ataxia (uncoordinated movements)

       * Depression

       * Hypokalemia (decreased potassium)

       * Seizures

       * Coma

       * Liver dysfunction and/or failure


    After ingesting a xylitol-containing product a dog may receive one of more of the following treatments, depending on the amount of time that has lapsed since the ingestion occurred. The induction of vomiting is recommended if performed very soon after ingestion of the xylitol-containing product but before clinical signs develop. Frequent small meals or an oral sugar supplement may be used to manage dogs that have not yet shown clinical signs. Following the appearance of clinical signs intravenous dextrose can be used to control hypoglycemia. It may also be necessary to treat the patient for low potassium levels (hypokalemia), if indicated. Treatment should be continued until the blood glucose levels return to normal levels.

    For more information on this and other poison control questions the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center can be reached at 888-426-4435 or on the web at http://www.apcc.aspca.org.

    Information obtained from AMC, Animal Medical Center, newsletter-Winter 2004-2005

    Please mention Xylitol to your vet because not enough of them are aware of this danger.  I only know about it because a couple of small terriers we take care of once got into a pack of sugar free gum and it was really touch and go for a while.

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

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