Our beautiful girl Shandy has 11 puppies, sire O'Mega (Jim & Linda Busch). At 3:51 PM the 7th puppy came out, a huge male I thought, until I turned her over. A girl weighing in at 15.7 oz, she was the biggest pup in the litter. I always help the mom with clean up but usually Shandy does most of the work. This time Shandy wasn't interested, she was busy behind her. When I looked I saw that she had another puppy that came out. No contractions, no pushing. A tiny little thing weighing 7.4 oz, half the size of her sister. We called the big one Tank and the little one Button. Had a discussion with our Vet and we believe that Tank and Button were twins, two puppies, one sac. Tank obviously got the majority of the nutrients. I was very worried about wether Button would survive, she was so small and even lost weight during the first night. We watched her close, she was a tough little thing. She had no problem getting to food, pushing others out of her way to get there. She was a little fighter and was so cute and sweet that we decided to keep her even thou we were not going to keep a puppy from this litter. She "weaseled" her way into our hearts! She is a fearless little girl, always moving. Loves toys and playing with the big kids. Her tail is carried high and is always going! In keeping with our "HavAnother" kennel name and naming our dogs after drinks we decide on Havanother Amber Moon as her registered name. Seems to fit!
I wanted to keep a journal of Amber's progress. I'm hoping it will be helpful for others facing this kind of injury. I know each dog and each injury will be different but will post here how Amber's recovery progressed.
Eric and I spent the day with my Sister, DeDe at the Midwest Horse Fair. We needed to be home by 6:00 PM because our ferrier, Bill, was coming to do the horses' feet. Bill finished and I went into the house to grab the check book. On my way back out I grabbed Amber Moon, thought this would be a great socialization opportunity. Amber came out and met Bill, excited little girl. While Eric and Bill walked out front to Bill's truck I stuck Amber in the fenced in back yard and met them out front. We were talking to Bill, setting up another appointment, probably about 10 minutes out front. I left the boys, told Eric I was going to get Amber. I opened the back door and she was gone. I started yelling for her! Eric and Bill came around the side of the house, I took off running across the field screaming her name. Bill told Eric he would look in with the horses. She was there. Bill told Eric it did not look good. Eric started yelling at me to go in the house. I couldn't do it. He went out and picked her up. I was screaming at him "is she dead?" repeatedly. Bill had left by now. Eric finally looked at me and said "No, but she isn't good." I said "we are going to the er vet". I grabbed a blanket, my purse and keys and we jumped in the car. He handed her to me, she was completely limp. As we headed in to Janesville I could feel her little heart beating away. I was sobbing! I could not believe that we were going to lose this little dog who had made us fall absolutely in love with her. I called the Vet on the way, the poor girl who answered the phone could barely understand me, I had to keep repeating everything. She advised me that we should probably take her to Madison because their X-Ray machine was out for repair. I told her she would not make it that long. I was thinking the whole time X-Rays would not matter, we were going to have to euthanize her.
When we got there they put us in a room right away, the vet came in, took one look at her and said let me take her back. She asked for our permission to start an IV and administer pain meds. We agreed. We sat there for about half an hour until the Vet came back in. She explained to us that it was obvious she had suffered a blow to the head. It was hard to know that because there was not a mark on her. No broken skin, no hoof marks, just an unresponsive little puppy. She said they had started the pain meds and she seemed more comfortable. The also started her on something to reduce brain swelling. She talked to us about our options and did up an estimate for us so we knew how much it would cost. She asked if we wanted to continue care thru the night, we said yes. She then brought us back to see her. She was in the middle of the room on a table. She was on her belly, back legs stretched out behind her, front legs stretched to the sides. There was a rolled up towel under her neck supporting her head. She had been shaved in several places. Her front left leg where the IV was inserted, the flap of skin to the side of her belly where some kind of probe was attached and her back left leg where another probe was attached. She was awake but not responsive. We spent several minutes with her before going home for the night. We both thought it would be the last time we would see her. Did not believe she would make it thru the night.
Got up about 6 AM on Saturday, neither of us had gotten any sleep. Eric told me he planned to go in and "deal with it", I asked him what? He told me he thought we had to put her down. It was not fair to her and would end up costing us a fortune with the same out come. I told him we would wait until we saw her to make any decisions. We got to the Vets about 7:30 AM. The vet came in with Amber and handed her over with instructions to support her head. She said they saw improvement but not a lot. She explained to us that in these situations you go by 3s... 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months. You measure progress at those intervals. We wont know right away if she will recover completely or if she will recover at all. They told us that she is blind and they don't know if that is something that will get better. Amber slept the whole time we were there. It was so hard to see this go, go, go little puppy not moving. She peed on me (the first of many to come) while I held her. We agreed to continue her care. We went back Saturday about 5:00 PM and spent another 45 minutes with her. The staff unhooks her from all the machines and brings her into a room with us. We actually got her to eat a little bit during this visit. This visit she peed on Eric.
We call to check on her later and talk to a new vet. He says he's seeing small improvements. He is worried about her right eye, it is very swollen. He does testing to make sure there is no ulcer. He doesn't see anything so he will start treating with topical steroids.
Got to the Vet about 9:30 on Sunday. We were told she shows more improvement. She is trying to stand to pee and poop and with someone balancing her she can do it. We get to visit with her again. Her right eye looks much better. Not nearly as swollen. She is a little more awake this time but seems to be more uncomfortable. She wimpers alot while sleeping. Doesn't know what to do with herself. Eric tries to stand her up, back legs just don't want to cooperate with her. At one point while Eric is holding her she starts wiggling. He put her down, she takes a couple of steps and starts peeing and slides right to the ground in it. We believe she is still blind at this point.
We talk to the Vet Sunday evening. They are thinking we will need to transport her to Madison on Monday morning. They close the office at 8:00 AM so she will need to be moved for continued care. They are concerned about the brain swelling. They will start to ween her from the IV meds tonight and see how she responds. If positive we would be able to take her home. I inform my boss I won't be in on Monday.
Got to the Vet at 7:00 AM on Monday. We are told we will be able to take her home! Yeah!! A different Vet brings her out to discharge her. He says he believes she is getting some sight back, possibly shadows. He says she is walking much better. He took her outside on a leash and she pooped and peed and did very well. Every day we were there we heard what a sweet little girl she is. She had the staff wrapped around her little pinky! The Vet told us again what a sweetie she was and said that this has been his most encouraging case so far.
We get her home and set her down outside, she pees right away and looks much more steady. We bring her in the house and Elvis comes up and she is more animated than we have seen in 4 days. Her tail wags harder than we have seen it since before the accident.
She was sent home with a pain patch on her back. Because this patch can be very dangerous if ingested she gets to wear an elizibethan collar that makes her look like a little clown. We have pain pills to give her 2-3 times a day and an ointment to put in her right eye several times a day.
Eric goes to work and I spend the day with her. It becomes very obvious to me that she is not the same puppy. When picked up she is very rigid. When walking around she never bumped into anything but walked up to objects (couch/wall) and would stop and stand there. I would turn her around and she'd be off again. I have not gotten a kiss from her. She is not interested in toys. I do get her to eat but find that she does better if the bowl is elevated. When she tires she starts shivering all over. She'll take a deep breath and when she blows it out her whole body trembles. She continues to tremble while sleeping. I grabbed a small heater with a blower and set it up outside her crate. The seems to help, she sleeps much better. I don't know if it is the heat or the consistant noise but it seems to relax her. We keep it running.
She pees alot! We take her out, she pees. We bring her back in and within 5 minutes she pees again. I lay on the couch with her, she is sound asleep and she pees all over me. Take her back out and she pees again. Most of the time it is just a little spot of pee. We hope this will improve but we can live with the pee for now. She will walk around for 5 maybe 10 minutes and then is ready to nap. She naps for hours at a time. We are cleaning up her bed several times a day. It's only laundry right?
She eats and drinks really well. We haven't been able to sneak the pain pills in and are forced to stick them down her throat (we hate this task!) We are putting the eye salve in about 4 times a day.
Woke up about 2:00 AM to Amber crying. Let her out and she took care of business. Also needed to replace all her bedding. Got up at 5:00 AM and fed her and gave her pain pill and eye gook. We have to encourage her to get up and come out of the crate. A lot of the time when we wake her she will sit and pee right in her bed. Once we get her out she starts moving around. She is doing much better with coordination and even tries a little stretch. She is still very unsure of herself. Her confidence spikes when Elvis is near and she can follow him around. I try to interest her in a toy, no interest. When she tires she wants to climb in a lap and sleep. Still haven't rec'd any kisses! When we talk to her she doesn't really look at us... her eyes just don't seem to focus but she is getting around really well so she must be seeing. She get very excited when she hears us preparing food. Her ears and nose are both working great!! She walks in circles, always to the right. It appears that is how she gets going. Will spin for a bit and then move out.
She'll move around for about 20-30 minutes before she is ready to crash. She walks into the crate herself and collapses on the bed. Lots of sleeping going on.
Amber is a little better again. She is still moving slow and moving in circles to the right.
She is getting less stiff, she will relax a little when picked up. I laid down on the floor tonight so my face was real low and she came over and started licking like crazy! First kisses since the accident!!
She still has the pain patch on, we are still giving the pills and using the eye ointment. She is still peeing often! Usually will wait to poop until outside. Gets tired pretty quick still.
It is pretty obvious that Amber can see when she is moving around but she doesn't seem to be able to see close up. Try to give her a cookie and she needs to use her nose to find it. Her pain patch was falling off so we disposed of it and took off the collar. Really nice to see her without it. She seems pretty relieved too.
We took Amber to the Vet today. The staff are all amazed that this is the puppy they rec'd reports from the ER about. No one can believe how great she looks! The Dr looks at her eyes with a pin light in the dark and decides she has most vision back in her left eye. The right eye is showing some response but she doesn't think she can see at this point out of it. She then lifts 3 of her legs helping her balance on one leg at a time to test neurological responses. She reacted well to 3 legs. Front left response was demonstrating problems. Dr says she is doing great and should probably make a full recovery. She is very optimistic about her progress. She does warn us about seizures. She explains that TBIs in such young dogs almost always leads to seizures. No telling how bad they will be but if they happen there are meds we will be able to get to help her. I have read all this on-line also.
Can't believe it has been 2 weeks since that terrible night. It feels like a lifetime ago.
Amber continues to improve all the time. She is running and jumping now. She is playing with toys again and loving to give kisses. We are now trying to keep her quiet more, she gets a little rowdy with Elvis and will bump her nose and give a little yelp! She still has more quiet time than normal puppy time. She will gladly settle on a lap on the couch or climb into bed with us and will sit still soaking up the love for hours. The sivers have almost completely disappeared. If we see them we know she has over done it and will give her a 1/2 pain pill. That is the only time we are using them at this point. The vet had told us last week that we could stop the eye ointment at that point so haven't used that either. She is eating great and isn't as skinny as she was when she came home from the vet.
We took her to a family Easter get together last weekend and she was a big hit. Everyone wanted to hold her and of course she let them. She had a great time meeting everyone! Of course she slept ALL day the next day!! She was really worn out.
We have kept friends and family up to date on her progress on Face Book and have found that she has a fan club... she has lots of wonderful people cheering her on and sending prayers and positive thoughts daily. We feel incredibly lucky to have all the support! We are also very thankful for Amber Moon! She is inspiring us daily!
Had an appointment with the vet tonight. She thinks Amber can see fine out of both eyes. Couldn't believe how great she was doing, big improvement from two weeks ago. Thought she looked and acted like a normal puppy. We are so very thankful for her continued progress!!
Good news (I guess)... Miss Moon has been getting into all kinds of trouble! She has been pulling Kleenex out of the garbage, pulling tp off the roll and grabbing any socks, shoes or slippers she can find. In other words, she is acting like a normal puppy!!
Amber continues to do amazingly well. She is a very sweet, loving little dog who is adored (and very spoiled) by her Mom & Dad.
Had Mead in to the ER vet last night during her delivery, the staff was all asking about Amber. They asked if we could bring her in when we picked Mead up. They had last seen Amber as a weak little girl who could not see and could barely walk. She pranced her way in to the clinic like she owned the place! She ran up to everyone to say hello and get some love. The receptionist sat down to check us out and Miss Moon climbed in her lap and just hung out while she took care of us. The vet, Dr Reigh, could not believe what difference there was. He was thrilled to see her so happy and confident. It was great to be able to show them all the results of their hard work. They still refer to her as the "Miracle puppy"!