Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Penny is sick

*originally posted 3/13/2010*

This week has been tough. We have been on a roller coaster with our furry child. We had an awesome day at the dog park on Sunday with Alex and Kristel. Penny was allowed to play on the “big dog” side and kept up with the best of them for about an hour and a half. Then came the diarrhea, runny nose, temperature and general “dumpiness” as our vet has been putting it. We went to the vet on Tuesday-Penny had a 103.4 temp (normal for dogs is 100 or less) and was prescribed antibiotics and antiprotozoans and put on a chicken and rice prescription diet(She also had a yeast infection in her ear that i had no idea about so she was put on a topical med for that) No biggy… She is a lab and eats random things all the time… She was everyone’s friend at the dog park and gave lots of kisses so who knows what she picked up….or so we thought. We were told to come back on Thursday if Penny was still acting dumpy. Thursday rolled around and we saw no improvement. Since Monday, Penny had moved from the bed to the couch and back and forth. She is used to at least 40 minutes of exercise a day and had nearly refused to go on even 5 minute walks. She had gotten worse throughout the week.
As we were walking into the vet on Thursday, Bryan and I both noticed that Penny was walking with a limp. I mentioned it to our vet almost jokingly because Penny was just adding on to her host of problems. Well, they didn’t find it too funny and wanted to do x-rays of her limbs. They asked us a few other questions about the limp and then came back to tell us that she was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy-a developmental/juvenile bone disease. It basically causes lameness/limping and extreme pain. It is common in large to giant breed puppies-usually age 3-5 months (some articles say 2-8 months). Penny is a labrador retriever which is considered a large breed dog and she is 4 months old. Our vet could not tell us what caused this problem and none of the articles I have read agree on the cause of the condition. Penny has been in extreme pain and can take at most 2 steps. We have been moving her from the bed to the couch and we carry her up and down the steps to go to the bathroom. She will squat wherever we put her and then wait for us to pick her up. The worst part is all the pain she is in. As soon as we touch her to pick her up she yelps and screams. It is just horrible. She has been such a trooper though. She has probably been sleeping for about 20 hours each day, off and on. Her pain seems to be a lot worse at night so the Barleys haven’t been getting a lot of sleep. She is on 2 different pain medications, and is still on the antibiotic and antiprotozoan. Our vets have told us that part of the disease process is that it resolves itself so the only thing we can do is treat the pain. They are hopeful that it will last no more than one month.
I have been a bit emotional throughout this whole process. I hate seeing her in pain. The Lord has continued to remind me that I am not the one that is in control-He is. We are giving her pain meds, keeping it really quiet and calm, and keeping her on the comfy bed and couch and she will still yelp out in pain randomly. We are doing what we can but it is God who is in control of all of his creations.
Please pray for us during this time. I know that Penny is “just a dog” as some of you are probably thinking but we still desire to take the best care of her that we can. I have been reminded and burdened for the parents of real children who deal with serious diseases and have to watch their children suffer. I am only seeing my dog suffer and I have been a wreck. I know that Christ can be glorified in any situation and so we pray that God would be given the most glory.
Soppy me, I just had to include some pictures….

{Penny on the day we brought her home}


{Penny at 15 weeks}


{today}

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