I was just telling my husband that today was hard. Well, yesterday was harder I guess. Finding out that Captain had a clinical diagnosis of distemper, just a week after we got him, left me in tears pretty much the entire day. How can I go from not even liking dogs to loving one so quickly?
After Charlotte came home, I took a walk with her and talked about what was going on with him.
The first thing she said to me after I told her that he was very sick and could die was “I thought you said he would live for 12 months.”
I know she meant12 years.
We had told her he would be with her till she just about went to college and maybe beyond. To a kid weeks, months, and years seem the same. I explained to her that yes, I did say that, but I also wasn’t counting on illness and even humans can get sick and die before they grow up. She took it all pretty well considering. We then went out on a suggestion from some of our friends to pick up Nutrical and doggy Vitamin C. There may not be any specific cure for this, but it couldn’t hurt to try some holistic methods either.
One of the things the vet said was that it made no difference what food he ate as long as he ate. Feed him hot dogs, chicken, meat, whatever he would eat, but he needs nutrients to have a fighting chance. After offering him some lunch meat yesterday, he perked up. Apparently, even sick, it would be a sin to turn down lunch meat. Since I had found his sweet spot, I offered him lunch meat every few hours the entire day and he generally took it.
My cats were starting to get pretty peeved by last night. They don’t really understand how a new animal comes in, gets wet food, lunch meat, AND gets to go outside, all things they are denied.
They were not fooled by this face:
Of course the shot the vet gave him yesterday left him really exhausted.
He barely moved all afternoon and evening and slept soundly pretty much the rest of the day and night. We did take him out in the middle of the night to use the potty and then coaxed him to eat some more. My husband stood there in his robe and I sat on the floor and hand fed Captain some chicken. For some reason he really only eats if I feed it to him or offer it to him on a fork. I am wondering if the infection is stuffing up his nose and not allowing him to smell the food properly. When I put it right at his face he takes it. Because he had eaten, he started to drink a little as well, so this morning he was wagging his tail at me.
For those wondering, I did call the SPCA and talked to a supervisor. She told me that 86 pets were put down due to distemper this month. She was sad about all of it and very apologetic that we had adopted this situation. She said that Captain DID get his vaccination about a week and a half after he came into the shelter. He came in March 23rd and had his first vaccination on April 2nd. I can only assume it was too late at that point. He got a booster of it the day we adopted him on April 17th. It doesn’t appear that the SPCA was negligent but moreso that there has been an outbreak of distemper in the city and it was too little too late.
I can obviously still tell something is really wrong.
He coughed a LOT today.
I say coughing but it’s more like gagging and it’s scary to be honest. And while his nose and eyes seemed a tad clearer than yesterday, and that is something to be thankful for, his cough seemed to get much worse. He crawled in his open crate several times to nap alone on his pillow.
That being said when Charlotte came home, he wasted no time crawling into her lap for some love.
It’s going to be a long road.
But I would rather a long road than no road. I’ll update you as anything changes.