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The Mysterious Case of Plum Plummeting
July 8, 2009

We had to make an emergency trip to the animal ER last night....I didn't get home until 11:00.

plumplum.jpgIt all started about a week ago when Bebe arrived and Plum became very jealous and aggressive towards her. It wasn't improving over time, kind of surprising considering the info Plum came with said she got along really well with other dogs. This wasn't the case when my 2nd foster arrived anyway...

All I could think is this is the only time in poor Plum's life that she has been given unconditional kindness and love - cause I have all that leftover Sausage love to lavish on the foster pugs now - maybe it was too much and she didn't want to share that with any other dog.

Long story short we had to place Bebe in a different foster home. It was really sad and I cried the whole way home after I dropped her off, so easy to get attached you don't even realize it until you have to say goodbye....but I knew it was better for Bebe because she is the complete opposite of Plum - Bebe needs to be with other pugs that will show her some doggy love. She wasn't getting it here.

A few days ago I started to notice Plum wouldn't walk up the stairs anymore, where previously she had a little routine of going up everyday. I thought maybe she was trying to block Bebe from coming up, or feared she might have Lyme's disease...she also began acting really lethargic and the day before yesterday she was vomiting in the AM.

Yesterday she wasn't improving she just lay on the couch sleeping like a lug while I worked in the office. Around 4:30 I decided to call the vet and make an appointment for her the following morning. I was sure she must have had Lyme's b/c I remembered pulling a tick off of her eyelid a few days before...and her records showed that she never had a Lyme's test or vaccine.

A couple hours later Plum began to plummet ....I noticed she started trembling all over like she was really in pain. Of course the vet office was closed by now. I live in a really rural area where the closest 24 hour animal clinic is 2 hours away...She had been laying down for hours so I decided to lift her up and bring her outside to pee..her poor body was lifeless dead weight. I set her down on the grass and she could barely walk and most horrifying of all she started pooping bloody diarrhea...even after she was done eliminating I brought her inside and set her down on a pad where she was really trembling, hot, and there was still blood dripping out of her rear end.

I quickly paged the vet and phoned the rescue experts to ask what I should do...they agreed I needed to get her into emergency care asap. It seemed like it was taking forever for the vet to call back but actually I think it was about 20 minutes. I was sure I was going to lose her. All I could think is that I can't lose another pug in this house...Not this soon. It hasn't even been a year yet. I kept thinking next time I need to foster a young healthy one...but then I remembered how much I love the seniors too, and how I seem to get more attached when they are older, sick, and needier. And after all she took such good care of me when I was recovering from my surgery.

The hardest part with a rescue dog is you don't know anything about their history in some cases. For all I knew Plum could be riddled with tumors in her belly and not know because her owners never took her to the vet.

I knew Lyme's disease couldn't make blood come out of the rectum, but I did know cancer could...it was like having the Sausage here worrying about him all over again. Patting his head when he was sick telling him it would be ok. I didn't think I was strong enough to go through all of this again but somehow I held it altogether and was....maybe because I've been through it all before. Maybe because after losing my best friend, I know that nothing can ever hurt me that badly again... and I could survive just about anything life has to throw my way..

We met the vet at her office at 9:00pm. She ran about a million tests and different exams to try to determine the problem. Of course Plum wasn't going to make it easy. I had to help hold her down when they took blood and she thrashed and tried to bite me then the needle popped out. When we laid her down on the X-ray table she screeched and howled noises like I'd never heard before and she tried to bite the Dr. and she trashed so hard her patella popped out and the Dr. had to pop it back in..

It was during the 2nd X-ray that I was introduced to the most ingenious invention I'm sure I will ever witness in my lifetime - the pug muzzle. It was this thin nylon muzzle designed just for flat nose breeds that covers their eyes and mouth so they can't see or bite and leaves an opening at the nose so they can still breathe. Completely safe and harmless but so effective.... I immediately took note of the company name on the tag so I could order one at a later date. It is obviously for short term use only but something I think every feisty pug owner should have for trimming nails, putting in ear drops, all the things pugs won't easily let you do.

After about 2 hours at the clinic Plum was stable. Her heart rate was ok, bloodwork was perfect, she was not dehydrated, she tested negative for Lyme's, not anemic, X-rays looked good no signs of obstruction and her breathing was steady.

She did have a fever and her stool sample showed an overgrowth of bacteria in the GI tract. After ruling out everything else they diagnosed her with acute canine colitis of unknown cause.

Who knew dogs could even get that? It's like doggy IBS or Chrons. Because it came on so suddenly, it was most likely triggered by something she ate (she did get into my garbage a couple weeks ago and ate some rotten food), could be her new allergy medicine which we have discontinued for a few days, and the Dr. also said it can be brought on by stress related stuff when there is a change in their everyday environment, moving or boarding. It is very possible that having Bebe coming in really upset her and pushed her over the edge.

All is well now and she is resting comfortably. Of course all of this means it will extend her stay with me as she can't be placed until she is fully rehabilitated. Now we need to still get her allergies under control, get her colitis under control, and once that is all done she still needs to be spayed.

I teased Plum this morning and told her I think she is having all these mystery ailments that take a while to fix just so that she can stay with me a while longer.....she is a crafty girl.

Posted by Lori on July 8, 2009 2:04 PM permalink Comments (11)



Neas Nuttinessl commented July 8, 2009 3:17 PM

Poor little Plum. I don't think there is anything more heartbreaking than a sick little pug, who can't tell you what's wrong. Maybe Plum does know that she is just a foster...and is stressing about a change. Maybe she was sent to you to fill the void that Sausage left? Maybe you should be her forever home? Maybe I'm laying on the guilt here, cause I hope that they two of you will stay together? Maybe I should just mind my own business?

Hopefully Bebe will be much happier in her new foster home, and will find a forever home very soon.

Sending healing vibes for you and Plum@



jules commented July 8, 2009 3:59 PM

wow you had a night last night. Sorry Bebe had to fine another home but it's in the best interest for all.
Hang in there !!



Becky commented July 8, 2009 7:06 PM

Lori, I think Plum is working the system, although she went a little overboard getting sick like that. I was so hoping they would become best pals. Gidget is getting better day by day. Lsst night I talked with her mom and she is hoping to recover enough from the stroke that she can get Gidget back. I don't know that I want to let her go now. It will be quite a while since she had a major stroke affecting her whole left side. Plum is a keeper, I'm just telling you the truth! Glad she is on the mend!



emily the biker pug commented July 8, 2009 9:10 PM

Glad to hear Plum doesn't have the big c.
By the looks of the pic she is on the mend and a huge difference from when you got her, healthy pink ears that were red with infection before, looks like her muzzle is in good shape , eyes clear and alert and a content face. I think she was so neglected and with your care she has become so bonded with you she does not want another pug to share the attention, somewhat like food aggression with some dogs.
I know what you mean by the muzzle, Sunshine (in wheels) does not tolerate anyone (but me) to do anything to her that she thinks may hurt her. She has bitten the vet and groomer so they put that muzzle on her (very funny) they said it was a cat muzzle and just as you described,
Sunshine is a tiny pug at 10 pounds so any dog muzzle would not fit.
I even had to hold her when they took a urine sample, that was a needle into her belly right into the kidney, that would have been impossible without the muzzle.



Brutus/Stacy commented July 8, 2009 10:41 PM

Lori, glad to hear Plum is ok. Sorry about Bebe. I had a foster once that I had to let go to another home b/c he was aggressive. I was very sad to see him go. Turned out he needed eye surgery so it all worked out. Bless you for the care you give cute Plum.



sl commented July 9, 2009 8:22 AM

me thinks Plum is exactly where she needs to be...with exactly whom she should be with ;-) glad she's okay.



Casey commented July 9, 2009 8:56 AM

Wow - how scary! Glad it turned out OK and good for you for being so strong!! I also think it is good that Bebe is in a new foster home since she definitely needed some pug companionship. I know you must miss her but it is better that she can be happy and Plum can be happy to have you all to herself again :)



Lori commented July 9, 2009 11:29 AM

Becky commented July 8, 2009 7:06 PM

Plum is a keeper, I'm just telling you the truth!

She is lobbying hard!



Lex commented July 9, 2009 11:47 AM

Oh poor Plum and poor Bebe!
Plum may have been overly agressive with Bebe if she wasn't feeling well.

My neighbor has colitis and thankfully has been in remission for a few years, it is not a fun disease. Very similar to chron's disease but not as severe I think.

A pug muzzle.... that would be interesting...

I hope she feels better soon.



Lauren commented July 10, 2009 12:28 AM

I hope Miss Plum feels better very soon... What a face...



Kim commented July 10, 2009 11:27 AM

My 4th rescue pug Beanie (almost 12) has had colitis twice and both times was when I introduced a new dog to the pack. My vet said it is directly related to the stress of having a new dog around. Thankfully both times she responded immediately to medication and has let the new dog join the family. She is an alpha and snaps and growls at first but I give her some extra attention and it all works out. I think she is loving her new home, some of these poor dogs just didn't get a fair shake in life but now she has you!


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