June 4, 2012

White Dog jumped every time the phone rang this morning and the entire White Dog Army huddled around listening to my conversations. The group was disappointed most times that the calls did not regard Puff, but when they heard me say, "Hi, Dr. Julia, thought you were out for a few days..." they high pawed each other in excitement.

The emergency hospital had emailed our beloved vet last night with an update report expecting that it would be seen first thing at her office today. Dr. Julia checks her emails and answering machine right before bed...and discovered that our Puff was in ICU. She could access the office digital xrays and such but could not get to Puff's chart and files. So our wonderful vet drove in first thing this morning specifically to deal with our girl. In her call, Dr. Julia pressed me for all of the details from the weekend that led up to our decision to take Puff in; she questioned what we understood the ER vet and the internal medicine specialist had diagnosed. She listened to my concerns about the sedation needed for the bronchioscopy (and wondered also about the safety of anesthetizing a pup who was still being kept under oxygen). She agreed to call Dr. Reese (whom she knows and respects) before the procedure and discuss his ideas and game plan.

Ultimately we all decided to do the scoping and Puff the Magical proved herself once again by coming through it without issue. The procedure however, provided no answers. Yes, our girl has a very narrow trachea but it is not collapsed nor is there any other site of collapse down the bronchial tube (which is what Dr. Reese was looking for). The team took samples to send for culturing and to send for pathology (looking for unusual diseases). But we are now on a Sherlock Holmes hunt to find the cause of Puff's breathing difficulties since the usual tests have revealed nothing.

We have ruled out parasitic pneumonia, parasites in the bronchial passage or lungs, Hanta virus, and a host of other possibilities. The blood panel has turned up nothing out of the ordinary either. There is mild pulmonary hypertension but both vets agree that this is probably attributable to the stress SAWD is under right now rather than the cause. Meanwhile, Puff is still in the oxygen chamber and doing well in there.

Dr. Julia believes that we will find Puff has chronic bronchitis which when combined with the super pneumonia has just been more than our fragile girl could handle. The question is whether the bronchitis is bacterial (in which case an antibiotic will be chosen) or allergic (a steroid). This will not be known until the culture comes back in a couple of days. We have asked that she head up the decision making process on Still Another White Dog since she has a long view of Puff's history (with no slight intended to Dr. Reese).

The plan in place is that Puff will stay one more night in ICU in oxygen. At 1am she will be given a steroid to reduce inflammation and her usual heart meds. In the morning Puff will be moved out of the oxygen chamber into a regular kennel where she will be monitored and in the afternoon given a second dose of steroids. We should be able to bring her home late afternoon. Dr. Julia will see her on Friday and will remain in regular phone contact as she settles back in at home.

It is Dr. Julia's "gut" that the bronchitis will turn out to be allergy driven and since Puff's cough seems to be worst first thing in the morning she is focusing on something in her sleeping environment. In preparation for SAWD's return we have washed all of her blankets and sleeping pad in hypoallergenic laundry soap and scrubbed the floor with vinegar. We have thoroughly dusted and made the areas as dust free as possible. For now we are to leave the windows open near her area as we normally do since she has no coughing problem on her nightly walks or when she is in the yard.

Both Dr. Reese and Dr. Julia have instructed us on how to make an oxygen chamber out of a travel crate, plastic, and the oxygen concentrator I use for my sleep apnea. That way we have a safety plan should Puff face breathing issues or need a boost during her recuperation. That is all we can do for now until we get some results from the cultures.

We are, at White Dog Ranch, feeling incomplete without Puff. The WDA is depressed and lackluster and still check the door and frenzy every time they hear a car door slam or a pup bark in the neighborhood. She simply cannot get home too soon for us. We wish there was a clear explanation and an obvious "fix" but at this point we will take a smoother breathing Eskie girl who is not in pain and who is glad to be home. The White Dog Army is planning a victory party for when Puff gets back to health...with a VERY special place for Dr. Julia.

And just because all of this has not been challenge enough, this morning began Steve's grad seminar at the University and it is his late night of teaching.

Although we are out of catastrophic crisis mode, Puff still has much healing to do. Please, we ask, keep our littlest one in your thoughts...you are working miracles for her.

With love and thanks.


Nola said...

All paws still crossed
Dachshund Nola

meowmeowmans said...

We are so very glad that you are out of catastrophic crisis mode, WDA! But that sure is a lot of stuff still unknown, so we will keep right on purring, praying and sending lots of positive energy for Puff. We love you all!

Tweedles -- that's me said...

I just got back from the ocean and came running over here to see how Puff is.
I am keeping my paws crossed and sending lots of positive thoughts and doggy prayers and healinb bubbles.

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

As we pawed on FB, please give Dr. Julia a hug fur us!

We think the plan and preparations make soooo much sense!

Paws khrossed!


♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

How awesome to have such a dedicated and loving vet there for you and Puff. We will continue to hope for all good things for Puff. Hugs to you too.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

Sally Ann and Andy said...

We are glad she is improving. My paws are crossed just for Puff. I won't uncross them, save bathroom breaks, until I know she has improved.

haopee said...

Puff is a strong gal. i'm sure she'll be alright and the WDA will have their victor party for Puff.

We are giving you all our paws and prayers so Puff gets all Magical again.

Huggies and Cheese,


Suka said...

hey WDA and Family,

Puff the Magical is a very lucky pup to have so many circling her with love and support. Dr. Julia sounds like an awesome Vet and Puff is very lucky she is helping.

WDA, I am very impressed by all your preparations to make sure Puff has a safe and clean environment upon coming home. Your care and concern and love for your sisfur is heartwarming. The home-made oxygen tent sounds like a super back-up plan just in case...but paws crossed and prayers she won't need it.

Please know we are behind Puff, sending her much love, positive healing energy, and prayers that a diagnosis is made and a cure forthcoming. Hang in there sweet Puff! Get well soon!!

Suka and K

Jo's World said...

Add me to those who admire your Vet and your relationhip with her.

Our thoughts and prayer will be right with your little girl until she is home and well.

Jo, Stella and Zkhat

Mr. Pip said...

Oh poor Puff ...what a difficult and scary few days. I think not knowing is always worse than knowing. I hope Puff is home soon and you get answers soon. Our paws are crossed for Puff's healing and return to family life.

Your pal, Pip

Brian said...

I am sure glad she is doing some better and that she did the scope thingy just fine. You have surh a wonderful and caring Vet. Perhaps, if you don't already, you might want to look at a couple air purifiers to get the yucky particulates out of the air too. Hugs and purrs to Puff.

Random Felines said...

Oh Puff - we are still sending purrs. We are even going to send some kisses from the White Kitten Brigade - we know those will help. Sometimes it would almost be better to have an answer than be left guessing - but we know you are in good hands with Dr Julia and the other vets. :)

24 Paws of Love said...

Just catching up. So sorry to hear about Puff. How scary that must have been. Glad to hear she is doing better and we will be sending out our Sibe Vibes for your family and Puff that she comes home soon. Safe and sound. <3

Amber DaWeenie said...

Still sending lots of healing vibes in Puff's direction. Glad to hear she's doing better, but it'll be so much better when she gets home again.

Zoolatry said...

Dear Little Puff ~ you are in our thoughts and prayers, be well soon!

(PS ~ note to Mom Sue, we have emailed you about something ...)

Maggy & Zoey (and Ann) from

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Oh My Gosh, where have we been! Puff you little sweetheart, we have paws crossed for you! We're so sorry you haven't been well. Hugs to everyone at your home and special gentle hugs for you. We will be thinking of you till we hear again. Love Stella and Rory (and Carol)

Kari in Vegas said...

your vet is simply amazing

Stop on by for a visit