Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"RYAN!!! We have good poopies...."

Yep, 2 months ago, I would NEVER thought I would A. say that B. blog that or C. care about that, but I've gotta say, it was sure a cause for celebration today.  Let me back up and get you all on this wagon.  Ok, so if you've been following my blog, or talking to me at all in the last 3-4 weeks here you know that I've been super stressed and upset about Staley.  She hasn't been doing well, and you can read about this journey here and here.  There is probably some stuff missing between those posts and now, but basically, my baby dog was very very sick and she wasn't doing well at all.  It made me very sad to think about it, talk about, or even type about it but, I really think we may have turned a corner over here at the McGrath household.

I've got to give all the credit to the following people:  My mom and dad for caring for Staley at their house for a few weeks while we figured some things out, my best friend Stina for finding someone with some answers for me, and Dr. Codie and Dr. Sommers at the Freeport Animal Hospital. 

Going back a little to get you all caught up, we tried two different sets of anti-biotics with no results, Staley just kept having really "bad poops" and loosing weight.  A week ago, the vet weighed her in at 57 lbs.  This past Friday, she had lost another 4 lbs and was down to only 53 pounds.  We don't have a perfect starting point, but we guess that she weighed nearly 70 lbs before she started getting sick.  Dr. Condie wasn't very hopeful but promised to do some research on malabsorbtion and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.  Essentially, she had something that was causing her pancreas to not be able to break down her food.  She was eating and eating but literally starving to death before our eyes. 

Then, about 5 days ago, Stina called me to tell me that one of her friends had a Shepard with the same disease.  Sadly, Sondra's dog was hit by a car a few weeks ago (on the 4th of July...sad face!) and she had an entire bottle of meds for the disease that she wasn't going to be able to use.  Sondra was so sweet and offered to let us have her meds to try them out for Staley and see if they would work for us. 

She is just skin and bones. You can clearly see her ribs and hip bones in this picture...she looks Ethiopian. 

The hardest part about this disease is that it is very hard for normal everyday vets to diagnose.  They told us it would take lots and lots of test and that we should think in terms of thousands, not hundreds.  So, finding Sondra was going to allow us to try out some meds and see if they worked without having to rack up a huge medical bill. 

So...today, when I screamed "Ryan, we have good poopies" it was one of the happiest things I've said in a long long time.  Staley has been on this new medicine since Friday afternoon, but I am seeing signs that it is working already.  She obviously hasn't gained noticeable weight yet, as it's only been a few short days, but I'm hopeful that she might be turning a corner. 

All that being said, we have a tough road ahead of us.  This is medicine that Staley will need to be on for the rest of her life.  We will need to sprinkle a powder (of enzymes) on her food every time she eats, and the vet was very honest with us that this is just the beginning of a long list of possible problems that she might have, but it's a start and today I am going to celebrate that.  I don't know how long she will be around (we were told to expect that this could extend her life for a few years) but I'm not going to to think about that right now.  Today is a day to celebrate and be happy!!

These aren't the best pictures of me, but it ain't about me today!!

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