How taking my puppy to the lake almost killed her.

  1. lorianne621 Member Member

    I thought I would tell you how taking my 6 month old chihuahua puppy to the lake almost killed her.


    My husband and I were planning a float trip in our Kayak... and part of that plan meant making sure Jesse, our 6 month old chihuahua would be safe... we bought her a life jacket and in late June we took her out to one of our local lakes and gave her a test run.

    She loved the kayak and didn't mind the life jacket. It fit her okay and we stopped at a nice little spot and got out of the kayak and taught her to swim with it on. I wouldn't say she liked it, but she did figure it out and the vest kept her head well above the water. So after about 5-10 minutes we put her back in the kayak and headed back to the truck and went home.

    That was on a Saturday. It made her tired which did not surprise me but she continued to stay tired for days and by late Tuesday evening she began to have loose stools. They were not runny, just a little soft and she slept all day. Then she woke me up at midnight because she had diarrhea in her kennel where she sleeps. She had never messed in her kennel, not even as a baby. So I took her outside and cleaned up her bed and she went back to sleep only to wake me up at 2am. This time I stayed up with her. She continued to have the runs all night long until by morning her stools were bloody and I took her to the vet the minute they opened.

    Jesse weighed 4.12 pounds at the vet the week before and that morning she weighed in at 3.06. She had lost 1.06 pounds over night. That was 25% of her body weight and a dangerous amount! They kept her and put IV fluids and ran test and started antibiotics. The began looking for everything and anything from Parvo to Giardia to E-coli.
    She would stay with the vet all day on IV fluids and come home at night with the IV capped off. I was so scared she would die because she was so tiny and they could not figure out what was wrong with her. By Friday she was looking better but we still didn't know what was wrong with her. We had spent all of our float trip money on the vet bills (well worth it) and we still didn't know if she was going to be okay for sure because we didn't know what was wrong.
    Though things were looking lots better because of all the fluids she had been given all week.

    She continued to improve over the weekend even without the benefit of fluids, though she was so skinny. Then on Monday the vet called to say he had some test results. She had picked up Clostridium Difficile, a bacteria similar to E-Coli and he suspected it came from the lake water. We never saw her drink the water but she could have ingested some while swimming. <sigh>

    So... we are going to wait until she is a little older to try again with water based activities. Her doctor said that this was probably a fluke and that she should be okay once she fully recovers. But we don't want to take any chances since she is so small at just 4 pounds once her weight is back up where it belongs. Which it is as of this past week by the way!

    Here she is when she wasn't feeling so well...
    smJesse.jpg

    And when she is doing better :D
    Jesse in St Joe.jpg

    It is amazing to me to find out that I love this little baby so much! I thought that kind of love was reserved for my human babies... but it isn't. She is so special to me and I love her and baby her so much I am sometimes embarrassed to admit how much. I am starting to think that God made little creatures like this for us to care for when we are really too old to have babies at home any longer but not too old to mother things and to do it well... :D Seems logical to me.

    I hope this information helps someone to realize that a sleepy puppy may be more than it seems.
    Blessings to you all.
     
  2. Flowingfins Fishlore VIP Member

    I'm glad she is feeling better! She is adorable!
     

  3. Coradee Moderator Moderator Member

    Chihuahuas are tough little dogs, inside every one is a Great Dane just itching to get out but when they go down with something they fall hard.
    Glad your little girl was strong & made a good recovery :)
     

  4. Micaela13 Well Known Member Member

    so glad she is doing better!! that must have been scarey!! i had something similar to that happen to my lab pup and it scared me really bad. it only lasted a day but felt like a week!! she had eaten bad food that made her sleep all day, and when she wasn't sleeping she was throwing up, and had the runs that turned into bloody looking stuff. it wasn't blood thank god, but it was still freaking me out. she slept it off and was her happy hiper self within a few hours.
     

  5. petaddiction Well Known Member Member

    happy she is better! sick puppies are bad. I had to deal with similar stuff with my pup. She's adorable.


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  6. lorianne621 Member Member

    Thank you all! I am so glad she is better too. Like I said, I have grown so attached to her that it surprises me!
    My oldest son (30 yrs old) went through a very similar situation with a puppy he found near his business just over a year ago. He tried so hard to save the little guy, whom he named Zero, because he was so small. At the time, which was before I got Jesse, I thought he took it way too far trying to save Zero. He would tell me how much money he was spending and the hoops he was jumping through and I would just shake my head...
    Now I understand why he did what he did and I also remember the day he called me to tell me that he had decided to let Zero go (put him down) He didn't cry... but I knew he had been... and if he hadn't been at work when he called, I think he might have. He was so attached to that puppy. He got up with him several times a night for about 6 months because the little guy couldn't make it through the night without having to go out. I know men who won't get up with their own kids that many times a night. My son loved that puppy! Zero was a sweet dog and he loved to just cuddle up with my son. He would take him to work with him too. He owns his own business so that made it easy.
    When Jesse got sick and the symptoms mimicked Zero's, Stephen checked on her often.

    Thankfully he has a new dog now who keeps him happy. Though none of us will ever forget sweet little Zero :D