Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Keeper was up a lot during the night, like every 30 minutes to an hour wanting to drink water. One of the side effects from both meds she is on is increased thirst and dry mouth. She looks like she is breathing better than in Cuenca, but it is still labored. She is unsteady on her feet as well. Another side effect of the drugs is dizziness. So are we seeing symptoms due to side effects or from her Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)?

Heidi had been invited to go the mercado with Dodie this morning. Evidently, the mercado here takes up blocks, being one of the biggest in this area. Because Keeper is still “not right”, Heidi is skipping the mercado and we are taking Keeper to the Vet and have some blood work done. One of the things we want her tested for is tick fever. She definitely has CHF, but maybe she got tick fever when we were in Bahia? Chances of that seem slim, but some of Keeper’s symptoms would support this diagnosis. Left untreated, tick fever will kill a dog. I know it us looking for a more solvable solution to her declining health, but we need it ruled out.

At the Vet, he listened to Keeper’s heart and lungs. We had told him she is breathing better than when we were in Cuenca. He removed his stethoscope and said, “She is breathing better now?” We said yes, and he replied that her breathing is terrible. After his exam he told us she has advanced heart failure and is in its final stage. Obviously not the news we wanted to hear.

He drew blood to check for tick fever, anemia, heart function, liver function, kidney function and blood sugar. After he drew her blood he told us she was anemic based on the amount and rate it came out. I don’t know how one tells from that, but she is getting a hemoglobin and hematocrit to check.

The labs have to be sent to Guayaquil, so we will not get the results until late Thursday afternoon. I hope we get them then, and don’t have to wait until Friday. I’ve learned that a stated time for anything in Ecuador is an approximate, a good guess, or even a best intention, but it is rarely the time something will happen. Until then we will wait and hope Keeper rebounds.

Before we left the Vet I asked him about the side effects of the medicine and how they are affecting Keeper. I don’t see a difference in her breathing since we started the meds, but have seen a significant change in how much she is drinking and how difficult it is for her to walk. Today she face planted it while she was peeing in the grass. The Vet agreed we need to cut the dose in half and see if her gait improves.

Last night Keeper began eating her food and walking around some. It looked like maybe the change in altitude was having a beneficial effect. Today she isn’t eating and not moving much. In her defense, this morning the Vet had to poke both legs before he got blood, so I know she was stressed out from her visit.


Time will tell how she does. What is on everyone’s mind though, is not letting her suffer.