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Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Sad Christmas

I had planned on a happy post introducing the newest member of our family, but things have not gone well.

A few days ago, we adopted this little guy from a nearby city pound. For reasons I'll explain later, we call him Murray.

As you can imagine, the pound was a horrid place and we took him straight to the vet. Everything was going well until the other night when I noticed he had tired out particularly fast. Soon after, the vomiting and diarrhea started.

We took him to the vet the first thing in the morning and got smacked with our worst fear. He had the Parvo virus.

Many years ago, when I was a vet tech, veterinarians all across the country were being hit with a monster disease no one could identify. Puppies and even adult dogs died in spades, and they died painfully. I was at the clinic at all hours changing out bags of lactated Ringer's (fluids) and helping with blood transfusions. We lost almost everyone. In the meantime, scientists gave us a name for this disease. Canine parvovirus.

Today, with massive fluids, antibiotics and round the clock care, some puppies and dogs can be saved. This is where I am now.

Greg took Tank and Iko back home with him and I am here with Murray, doing my best to keep him alive long enough that he can rebuild his strength and fight off this disease. There is no cure for Parvo. It's just me and him. His odds are 50-50. He's very young and that's a big strike against him. He doesn't yet have a well developed immune system. But I did catch it early and that's a plus.

If Murray can give me 50%, I'll throw in the other 50 and maybe we can beat this thing. All I want for Christmas is a healthy puppy.

If you can find it in your heart, say a prayer for my little guy. We are desperate for a break from his downward spiral. We had an especially bad night yesterday. Murray needs all the prayers and good thoughts he can get.

I am taking off a few days to spend more time with my sick baby. I'll be back 12-31-11. Take care, everyone.


67 comments:

LD Masterson said...

Praying for your Christmas miracle.

Maria Zannini said...

Thanks, Linda. He made it through the night. I administered another round of fluids this morning.

Poor baby. He hates getting the needle. I could really use another set of hands to hold him while I feed the drip.

Shirley Wells said...

Oh, Maria, that is so sad. Saying lots of prayers and sending warm thoughts and cyber hugs to you and the little fellow. I'll be thinking of you both. :(

Maria Zannini said...

Shirley: Thank you. At this point, prayers are all I have left.

Clarissa Draper said...

It breaks my heart to hear this. I hope he makes it through. Please, keep us informed.

julie fedderson said...

Bless your pup. Strength to both of you.

Cherie Reich said...

Aww, poor little guy! It's so good that you recognized it so quickly.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

oh no! Parvo is a puppy owner's worst nightmare! But i've known a few people who gutted it out with their puppy and he pulled through. I know you and Murray can do this! I'll be thinking of you guys this christmas. And we're sending you good frenchie vibes from MN

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Thinking of you and Murray. I hope you get a Christmas miracle!

Maria Zannini said...

Clarissa: I'll try to post on Facebook when I can.

Julie: Thanks. We both need it.

Cherie: I just wish he'd been a little older so he'd have a better chance.

Sarah: Thanks, hon. Frenchie vibes are worth their weight in gold. :)

Sandra: If ever I needed a miracle, this would be it.

Tia Nevitt said...

How sad! I pray that he pulls through. Keep us posted.

Anonymous said...

Murray, enough of my friends went to heaven this year. We need you here, so please give maria that 50%.Sue Curnow

Mike Keyton said...

Murray needs all the prayers and good thoughts he can get.You've got them, Maria.

darstan said...

Maria, our prayers are with you. I know what you are going through, as my wife and I have an animal sanctuary with 47 animals. It is heartbreaking to lose one. Stay strong, and you will keep Murray strong.

Jim

Angelina Rain said...

Hugs to you and the little guy. Sending prayers that he gets better. It's so heartbreaking to see any animal, especially one that is so young, being so sick. Stay strong!

PS: Hugs and kisses to Tank and Iko as well.

PSS: Marry Christmas.

Mac said...

Definitely in our prayers.

We send tons of love!!

The Blogger Formerly Known As said...

I’ve said a prayer, and hope everything turns out for the best.

I had to take my own six-month old dog into the vet last weekend, after finding her eating pain relief tablets – they contained ingredients which can cause liver failure in dogs. Fortunately she was treated quickly, and is back to her bouncy self again now. But, I can understand what you must be going through.

Ronda (Queentutt's World of Escapism) said...

Have a wonderful christmas Maria. sorry to hear about your baby there, I hope he pulls through. Will check back in with you in a few days for some news.

Just wanted to stop by and say hello. Hugs!

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Oh the poor little darling. Thinking of you and I do hope everything turns out well.

Maria Zannini said...

Tia: It couldn't have happened at a worst time. That's why I opted to treat him at home than leave him in a hospital on holiday hours.

Sue: Amen

Mike: Thank you.

Jim: I know you know what I've gone through. Thanks for being there for me.

Angelina: Sadder still is that his littermates we left behind are probably dead by now.

Mac: Thank you. That's some heavy-duty love your kids are sending us. :)

The Blogger FKA: Oh, no! Is this Nada? These puppies are going to be the death of us. Glad she's feeling better, but what a scare.

Ronda: Thanks, hon. I'll try to post tomorrow on Facebook if he makes it tonight.

Suzanne: Thank you, Suzanne. I think it's Christmas on your side of the world by now. Merry Christmas, sweetie.

Dee said...

So sorry, Maria. Hugs and prayers to you and Murray.

Krista D. Ball said...

Positive thoughts for Murray, and as well for your endurance, health, and energy to maintain the care he needs.

Kay Theodoratus said...

May all turn out well.

Angela Brown said...

I know you cherish your dogs and each one is loved heart and soul. I am praying for Murray and for increased strength for you to help with everything you have.
Whichever way things go, Murray has known your love. I pray there will be many more years of love to come.

The Blogger Girlz said...

Praying for a full and speedy recovery for murray and lots of courage for you and your family! I truly hope you get your christmas miracle!

miki said...

all the best for you two.
My baby had a septisemy this year and i was devastated. I took him at home too and it wasn't easy he couldn't eat so i had to use a syring to give him his antibiotic and such ( he was happy) and he is thanksfully well now even really impatient to get his gift this year( after the vet told me he had only a small very small chance with his heart weakened and all)he is a fighter because he know i need him so much

Stay strong and tell him how much he counts for you and he will give you all he had

all my prayers are with you

Maria Zannini said...

Dee: Thank you. We're just taking it hour by hour now. My goal right now is to make it to tomorrow.

Krista: Thank you. Every time I start to get depressed I remind myself there's no time for that now, not as long as he needs me.

Kay: Thank you, Kay.

Angela: He probably doesn't think too highly of me when I have to stick him with a needle. His crying just breaks my heart. But he forgives me quickly for which I'm grateful.

The Blogger Girlz: I never ask for anything for Christmas. But I'm asking this year. Thank you.

Miki: How awful. But I'm so glad your baby recovered.

I just pray I'm smart enough and intuitive enough to give Murray what he needs when he needs it. My vet didn't give me much hope either, but this isn't the first time I've had to move heaven and earth to save my babies. Thank you for sharing your story.

Rosie Lane said...

Poor little mite. A couple of years ago I asked my vet what his opinion was of the allegations that dogs don't need annual vaccination. He said that if it meant he never saw another case of parvo, in his opinion it was worth it. I hope your baby pulls through.

jackie b central texas said...

Most of my life has been spent cuddling and caring for one pet or another so Maria my heart goes out to you and Murray both. Christmas miracles do happen so all the prayers I can send to make this baby pull through are sent along with everyone else's and strength for you to make it through when your aching body wants to quit!

Hugs, hopes, prayers and good wishes Maria and Murray is in good hands for however long he lives. (Hope that is many happy years with his new family!)

Dru said...

Sending prayers, good thoughts and healthy vibes that Murray pulls through this phase.

raelynbarclay said...

{{HUGS}} Maria. Sending positive thoughts and cyber love your way. Hope that sweetie pulls through.

Maria Zannini said...

Rosie: It's been so many years since I'd heard of anyone getting this disease I thought it was under control. My research turned out two more strains and a new one they just discovered in Viet Nam. It's a horrible disease even when the dog has a fighting chance.

Jackie: Thank you, Jackie. I know you understand this very well. It cuts you to the heart to see a little creature suffer so much.

Dru: Thank you, sweetie.

Raelyn: I wish your cards could tell me what to do next. If I'm not nursing him, I'm researching every veterinary text I can find. It hurts me to see him so weak.

Stacy McKitrick said...

So sorry to hear about little Murray. He's such a cutie, too. I hope you get your Christmas miracle.

Merry Christmas, Maria. I pray everything turns out well.

Kaye Manro said...

I had tears in my eyes when I read this. My thoughts and love are with you Maria. Here's to seeing little Murray recover and soon. So, so sorry.

I wising you a Merry Christmas.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Awww... I swung by to wish you a Merry Christmas, and now my heart is breaking a bit. Parvo is SO hard. Hugs to you and little, adorable Murray! We're praying and sending positive thoughts your way.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Oops ... forgot I was logged in to the biz account! That's me, Marianne! LOL...

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: He's such a good boy considering all the things I've had to do to him to keep him alive.

Kaye: Thank you, Kaye. Every hour I can keep him going improves his chances. We just have to outlast the virus.

Marianne: Thank you for stopping by and for tagging me on Facebook with your call for prayers. Ill's update my FB page as soon as we finish our sub-cu drip and meds.

Cate Masters said...

Such an adorable pup - I can see why you fell in love with him.
Lily survived parvo as a pup, thanks to the round-the-clock care from the rescue shelter volunteer. You're doing all you can for him. Prayers that he meets you halfway.

Maria Zannini said...

Cate: I struggled whether to do hospital or home care. There was a stubborn side to me that said I would do a better job taking care of him than strangers. Time will tell if I was right. Thank you for stopping by.

jackie b central texas said...

If you are still using present tense than the baby is hanging on and you are both still fighting the uphill battle today. Maria Merry Christmas and I hope as we all do that that battle turns out positively for your sake as well as that of Murray. Prayers still coming, stay well my friend!

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: I "think" he is a teeny-tiny bit better today. He ate a teaspoon of cooked egg and a teaspoon of baby food. It's the first real food he's had in over two days. I've been keeping him alive with lactated Ringer's and a little bit of honey on his gums to keep his blood sugar up.

We are a long way from recovery, but I am keeping my hopes up. I am never more than a foot away from him and I watch him like a hawk.

Thank you for checking on us.

jackie b central texas said...

Thought about you both all night and all day today. Eating and keeping nourishment in sounds like a good sign, I know with no doubt he is getting the best care it is possible to give him and my hope is that you are able to pull thus puppy through without making yourself ill.
Hugs and best wishes to both of you and get some rest if you can.

Shelley Munro said...

Aw, Maria. My thoughts are with you and puppy. I'm glad to hear he's eating a little. That's a good sign.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

You're both in my thoughts, Maria. Good luck to you.

Angelina Rain said...

Hello. I'm just checking up on you and the little guy. Hope you are both doing fine. I hope he's getting better.

HUGS

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie, Barbara, Shelley, Angelina:

Hi guys!

I'll have more news this afternoon when I've visited with the vet, but Murray is eating on his own. It truly is a miracle.

For more than two days I watched him waste away. I thought I was going to lose him on Saturday. But Christmas he seemed to turn the corner, and today he actually has an appetite.

He's not out of the woods yet. Recovery takes a long time. But for the first time in days, I'm hopeful. This has been the longest week of my life.

Thank you so much for your messages and emails. I've been all alone with Murray this week and it's good to know you guys are there to keep my spirits up.

jackie b central texas said...

Love finds a way, the little Guy never gave up because you never gave up Maria! I am happy for you now all the joy he is going to bring will make up for all the worry, go Murray.:-)

Melissa McClone said...

Maria,

I'm just getting around to being back on line. I missed this when it originally happened. Adding more prayers to the bunch. When we lost Pumpkin two hours after we'd brought him home it just about killed us. I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. Sounds like a good sign he wants to eat. I'm sure he's in great hands and happier with you than someone else. Take care of your precious baby and yourself!

The Blogger Girlz said...

That's fantastic Maria, and we'll continue to keep him in our prayers.

DeniseCovey_L'Aussie said...

A sad Christmas story indeed. What a nasty thing this virus is.

Denise

Jenny Schwartz said...

Maria, I hope you get your Christmas miracle.

Misha Gericke said...

Oh no! That's so sad to hear. I prayed for you and the puppy, that he might be spared.

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

I'm sorry that I'm late to all of this. I left a message for you at goodreads, then realized you were here. I was in tears reading the post then the comments. Maria, my prayers are with you guys!!!!
All will be well because you believe and have love.
Hugs
Cecile

Rebecca Lochlann said...

Aww. Pounds are horrid. I worked at one for a month. Couldn't take it. Good luck and juju!

Maria Zannini said...

Things are improving. The little guy seems to have beaten the odds. He still tires out quickly, but he's eating and even plays a little with his toy.

If Facebook will cooperate, I'll post a video.

jackie b central texas said...

Wonderful news, hope to see many "happy" Murray stories in the upcoming future. Glad he is better, hope he continues improving every day for his sake as well as yours Maria!:-)

Mason Canyon said...

Maria, just got a chance to drop by and I'm send positive thoughts and prayers your way hoping Murray continues to improve. He's adorable.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Cate said...

Maria,

my prayers are with you and Murray. What a fighter! Your post and the comments have me in tears, and I am sending all good thoughts and those of my friends your way. Take care, and keep us posted.

~Cate

Kaye Manro said...

I keep stopping by to see if there is any news on the little guy. I'm so glad that I did. I see on the 27th you commented that he was getting better. Let's hope this continues and you will have Happy New Year!

Peggy Eddleman said...

Oh! So sad! I'll pray for your little guy. I wish the two of you all the best.

CJ said...

We are, unfortunately, dealing with the same thing. Our 6 month old lab mix was diagnosed Christmas Eve. We've been treating him at home and he's doing remarkably well. He's back on puppy food, off the IV and eliminating solids. I pray you get the same miracle we did!

Maria Zannini said...

Thank you all for your continued support. Murray made it to his 7-week birthday and is still improving.

He was gagging a bit last night, and we were up a good part of the night until the hacking subsided.

***

CJ: Good luck with your puppy. He's got a little more resistance at six months, but Parvo plays no favorites with age. Before a vaccine was introduced, I'd seen dogs of all ages die within days.

Thankfully, treatment today is far more aggressive. If you can catch it in time, you can beat it. Good luck, hon.

PS Checked out your blog. Kevin is adorable! That is one lucky pup.

Misha Gericke said...

I hope that the puppy is doing better.

Just wanted to come by and wish you a wonderful, love-filled 2012.

Sarita said...

Maria, just want to let you know I'm thinking of you. Sending heaps of good thoughts and prayers your way. Really looking to hear some good news from you.

miki said...

Seems as he is better and for that i'm really happy, i hope he will continue to improve

all the best and Happy New Year to you, Murray and the rest of the family

jackie b central texas said...

Maria, Murray hope your New Year starts off well and you both are doing fine.
Since 7 weeks have gone past and improving as time goes on it won't be too long Murray before you are running circles around Mom and running her ragged from the sheer energy of a playful puppy!

Maria Zannini said...

Thank you, everyone! Murray is continuing to do well, but we had a little setback. Nothing too serious (I think), but we'll be going back to the vet on Monday to make sure. Evidently, we still have some work ahead of us.