Elle came to our home almost two years ago and has been a wonderful addition to our family. She's very sweet and has moxy when it comes to being a strong little dog who knows who she is. She came from a home that didn't want her anymore because they felt she barked too much and was bigger than what they wanted. She weighs sixteen pounds and is a joy. She makes us smile and laugh a lot and we can't imagine life without her. She's three years old.
My husband and I have had enough dogs in our time together to know about commitment, loyalty and the unconditional love dogs give us. We also know dogs can get sick and injured and need medical attention from time to time just like we do. We were not expecting, of course, and didn't see any signs of Elle being ill. Just last Sunday, (August 12th) while we were away for a long day, we came home to Elle bleeding from her mouth. We thought she had injured herself and looked to see what it may be. We didn't find anything conclusive so we decided to check again the next day. She wasn't bleeding as bad and the next day it seemed to have almost stopped when suddenly it got worse. Blood was on her teeth, lower lip and leaving small puddles wherever she went. Again, we found no evidence of a tear, broken tooth or injury.
We called first thing the next morning and took to the Veterinarian, scared for her because of the now increasing amount of blood coming from her mouth. The nurse asked lots of questions and took Elle's temperature. She noticed tarry stool and said she needed to takee Elle to get blood drawn. When she brought her back to us, Elle just lay at our feet, quietly, which in itself made us even more aware of how lethargic she seem,ed where normally she would be very alert, even growling a little (in a protective way) at all the other noises she was hearing from the other rooms. Soon she and the doctor came in to talk to us. The doctor explained what I already suspected about the dark stool; that it was mostly due to the ingested blood, but we could sense their concern.
The doctor asked us questions regarding if Elle had been around any chemicals or human medications recently. We told her no, we only use natural chemicals to clean with and our medications are not in her reach. She told us she suspected "rodent poison" or a blood disorder from what she was seeing so far and gave it a big name I cannot even begin to say or try to spell. She asked if we knew about Coumadin (blood thinning medication) and I told her yes, I had been on it for blood clots before, years ago. Warfarin is also a component of rodent poison. She explained this was very serious and hinted that Elle could die from it. She said Elle may need a blood transfusion due to the amount of blood she'd lost and that her blood platelets were low. She also said they could not do that at their facility because they were not a Emergency Clinic or place where they normally do that. They wanted to keep her over night and observe her and do more blood tests. They would call us if there was any change and also keep us informed.
I gave Elle her blanket and I was in tears before I got out the door. I hated leaving her, but I knew it was for the best. We were unable to do anything for her at the moment, (other than healing Reiki energy and prayer) so I asked the angels to watch over her while in the doctors and their medical teams hands.
While we were driving home, we were in shock and sad. We discussed the situation and did our best to think of ANYTHING we may have missed. Suddenly, our daughter said something about our Granddaughter using sunscreen and bug spray that day, and that she always had it with her. I gasped and said, "Oh my gosh!" Elle is a licker and the kids had been wearing the mosquito repellent for about two weeks, and more than a few times we had to tell Elle to stop licking it off their legs! We immediately called the Vets office and told them that could be a cause for some of the symptoms Elle was having. They asked us again, if there was anyway Elle could have gotten hold of "rat or rodent poison" because some of the symptoms she was having, especially the bleeding, was a sign of poisoning. (Note: The mosquito repellent has been thrown away anbd we're back to natural only for kids and dogs!)
When we got home, we got on the internet to check some questions we had and we called Poison Control. Poison Control wasn't much help, (the regular one, not one for pets) saying she would have to have a large amount to do what was happening, although, in hindsight, they never asked how much Elle weighed, how old she was or her size! Questions we felt they should have asked. We let the Vet know what they said at Poison Control and also shared that several years ago, we had used some "rodent poison" in crystal or pellet form and when our kids moved in, we moved some storage containers and noticed a little on the floor. We always kept it away from our animals and in locations far from reach. We swept it up and didn't think much more about it. They asked if we could give them the name of what we used, it would be helpful.
When the Veterinarians office called this morning, they said Elle woke up perky and wagging her tail, but was the same. They had an iv going and were going to start her on Vitamin K to help slow down the bleeding. Vitamin K thickens the blood. They're keeping her over the weekend and are hoping her blood tests come back today. They also said she was refusing to eat so I gave them a few tips on how "Princess" Elle is when she eats. Elle's a little lady, taking it slow and being polite.
The Vet told us if Elle is not better by Monday, she's recommending a blood transfusion. All of this is gut-wrenching for us, but we will do what we have to do for her. We love her very much and have five other dogs we have given loving homes too from many sources. All have been adopted from people or places that could not keep them or didn't want them.
~UPATE: August: Elle came home and is on quite a few medications. She's on Vitamin K twice a day to thin her blood. It took her several days of resting to begin to act like the Elle we know. One week later, we took her for more blood tests and her blood levels are up, which is good and she's eating well. They still do not know what caused the problem, but thank heavens she is healing and doing better. She will have her blood checked often so we can stay on top of it. Her treatments and hospitalization have been expensive but we feel an angel is watching over all of us when the bill was a lot less than we imagined it would be.
I want to thank everyone for all the healing energy, love, Reiki, and prayer being sent and for candles lit. We truly appreciate the donations too helping her get what she needs. Please continue to share her page! Thank you!!
Elle has continued to gain weight since she's been on medications for her blood condition. After three weeks, she got very tired of having to take her medications, so we had to get creative and put them in food we knew she would eat. We took her back to the vet and she had gained back a couple of pounds. We've had her back once a month since this all began for testing and so far she's doing well and has not had to go back on medication. They still don't know what caused her blood loss for certain. We did have an outbreak of fleas for the first time in years, we used natural home-made shampoo and flea control, but when they stopped working we had to resort to chemicals to help Elle and a couple of others that were having some strong reactions to the fleas. We've gotten rid of them now and all our dogs are doing pretty good. Elle has her spunk back, but we're cautious and careful, always keeping an eye on her. She was allowed to have her other shots after she got her strength back and showed improvement.
Although we still owe money to our vet, we're happy and blessed they did such a good job with Elle and they also do a really good job with all our pets. We recently saved a little pure black cat on Halloween night and we named him Binx (yes from the movie, "Hocus Pocus," one of my favorites.) We haven't had cats in years and he will need to be fixed. We're keeping him in a safe section of our house because some of our dogs don't do well with cats. They see them as sport and have not been raised with cats. I'll post some pictures soon. We're always doing rescue work with dogs, cats and birds, so your ongoing donations are always welcome. Thank you and blessings.
UPDATE: January 2013: We decided not to keep Binx the kitty, but we called a no-kill adoption center not far from us and they said they were full, because it was close to the holidays, they weren't taking anymore animals or adopting any out. They called me back and said they had an application on file of a family that was looking for a all black kitten. I called them and we talked back and forth, then finally came up with a time to meet. We went to their home, which wasn't far away and visited, taking Binx along to check things out. They were very nice people and the son wanted Binx for his Mother who lived there alone. He was visiting and wanted to surprise her. Binx was shy, but he had the whole house to himself! Everything seemed to be great and we hope to hear from them soon and get pictures on how he's doing. I think it was meant to be and we're very happy Binx has a new furever home now!
Our Elle did good for a while, then on New Year's Day 2013 she took a very bad turn for the worst. Showing no signs of being sick, by noon that day, she began acting a bit odd and was quiet, starring a lot and staying away from everyone. We checked her out and didn't see anything alarming. By eight that evening she went outside and didn't come back in. Please read Elle's last story here at my blog and please feel free to join and comment. Thank you.
Her story is called, "A New Year, An Ending and A New Beginning."
We miss her so much and think about her all the time. We know she is always with us in spirit.~
Blessings and thanks to all that helped in the summer and to all that have sent loving, healing energy to us and our dog clan during the time of transition without her here in the physical.