White Dog held up a paw. "Put her regular fish and rice on a plate with a few bits of turkey. She has agreed to try eating the solid food she is used to." Steve did as he was asked and I held Nuka in my arms. He put the plate under her nose; she sniffed...and turned away. I looked at WD who nodded at Another White Dog. AWD tentatively took a tiny bite and held it in her mouth; she chewed. She buried her snout in the plate and ate the mixture...a couple of tablespoons worth. The WDA, gathered around us, wagged in glee. Steve scooped up the little bits she had pushed off to the side and encouraged her to finish. At least we would not be going to see Dr. Julia in complete disgrace.
Nuka has lost 3-1/2 lbs. over the past week; this is a lot when you only weigh 19lbs. to begin with. But the blood work was fantastic: pancreas enzymes way down; liver good; gall bladder going down. Kidney values were slightly elevated and we were cautioned to try to increase Nuka's water intake or if necessary to do a subcutaneous hydration. This condition, Dr. Julia explained, is not unusual because Nuka had so many toxins circulating in her little body from the sickness.
Together we looked at the xrays and Dr. Julia double checked the white cell count. She reassured us that her training and instincts tell her there is no cancer involved. It is her feeling that Nuka has been hit with a particularly severe attack of pancreatitis and that her bounce time will take a while as a result. Nuka's eyes were clear, she was alert, and she was feisty enough to nip at Coral, her favorite tech, when Coral grabbed her to keep her from squirming off of the exam table.
The key now is to keep her eating. Syringe feeding will not put weight on, we were told. She needs to be eating and we should let her have whatever food and treats she wants (within reason, Coral interrupted winking at Nuka) to help bring her weight back up. "You can explain THAT to the rest of the Army," I suggested to Steve. Dr. Julia wants to see her Monday morning to spend a couple of hours making sure she is hydrated enough but we are officially on the road to recovery!
At home we celebrated with a round of duck jerky, of which Nuka happily ate a small strip and one of her favorite mint cookies. The WDA took total credit for her shift in attitude. "We just made her understand how important she was to every one," Quinn shared. Whatever the conversation, it seemed to have been a turning point. I kissed each pup in thanks.
Tonight we waited until after all had dined to feed Nuka. Again, in my arms and surrounded by her brothers and sisters, she wagged as Steve brought in a plate of turkey, rice, and mackerel drizzled with a bit of fish oil. "Is mademoiselle hungry?" he asked. She flirted and was coy but only until the scent hit her nostrils.
|Nuka, a member of tonight's nearly clean plate club. There were LOTS of volunteers to finish the job!|
Thank you for your prayers and belief even when I wavered. Nuka still has some recovering to do but I finally feel we are coming out of the dark scary woods and into the healthy sunlight. Have a wonderful weekend!