Ritka and Heat Stroke 19 Aug

I had a call from the weekend vet student, Laura Whitehead, about 10:30 on Saturday 19 August. Ritka vomited twice since last night about 3 am and about 6 am. She gets up and tries to leave her bed to vomit. She also pushed on the x-pen door when Laura approached with a leash. So she is more active than before. She will have to move beds if she gets too active as the x-pen does not really close. When they did the ultrasound on her kidneys they also looked at her gut on Thursday. The area near the duodenum and again at the iliocolonic junction was dilated with thickened walls and peristalsis was slow. Ultra sounds since then indicate perhaps slight improvement, but peristalsis is still slow. There is no evidence of new bleeding. The sores from IM and sub-Q injections may finally be scabbing over. She is still jaundiced so her liver is still compromised. They doubled the amount of fluids she was getting from a maintenance levels and the urine production doubled so the kidneys are working even if damaged. She is considered in Multiple Organ Disorder (MODs). In her case: liver, kidney, clotting and GI. We have an appointment at 7pm to go visit tonight and will learn about the blood tests results then.

Wesley and I had dinner with my brother Joe and his wife Angela at RedRum Burger in Davis before going to visit Ritka at 7pm. Ritka was very sleepy but more demanding to be petted than she was last night. Laura said that she had convinced some of the techs to sit with her and she liked laps. Laura felt that if she recovered without any chronic organ problems that Ritka could probably go back to participating in her normal dog activities such as hunting, agility, etc. I of course will have to watch her to keep her from overdoing. She seems to be lacking in certain aspects of self preservation when caught up in the hunt.
We talked to Laura Whitehead about Ritka’s status. The kidney enzymes are showing some improvement from the 17th to the 19th with values of 4.2, 4.2 and finally 3.2. Urea Nitrogen was pretty stable with 76, 78 and finally 75. So there is slight kidney improvement. The liver showed acute response on the 17th with an ALT=517 and AST 702. Both of these dropped to the 300s on the 18th and continued to decline today. The tests that measure the liver’s response Alkaline Phophatase, Bilirubin total and Gamma GT all increased over the three days with todays values at 294, 7.6 and 10 respectively. They were all about double or more from their values on the 17th. This is indicating that the liver is trying to cope with damage from on about the 17th. Body temperature has stayed near normal for the past three days which is good. Ritka’s platelet count was 12,000 on the 17th. The 22,000 reported for the 18th they decided was not valid based on the appearance of the cells. Todays count was verified at 32,000. I certainly hope that is a continuing trend. I know the vets want her at least above 50,000 and eating.
Laura said I could bring some food from home to try to temp her to eat. She has been offered canned dog food. I brought boiled chicken, garlic liver, liver brownies and natural balance. Ritka sniffed them, but then turned her head away. When I offered again she quickly turned her head way as if to say “I said no already.” I also wondered if the smell triggered nausea. She is still vomiting clear fluid about every 6 hours and has runny diarrhea. Laura kept the tid bits to try to tempt her to eat. She has not eaten since Tuesday morning. After 7 to 10 days they may try a stomach tube or feeding her through an IV line. They don’t want to put in a jugular feeding line because of the low platelets. The stomach tube won’t help if her stomach is not working. But perhaps a tad of food will help get it going?

Well, so far overall slight improvement, but not out of the woods yet.
Sick dogs are expensive – to the tune of about $2k/day.
I sure hope the platelets continue to go up and she starts eating soon!

2 Responses to “Ritka and Heat Stroke 19 Aug”

  1. Jane Horsfield Rock n rovers Says:

    I am so glad to hear Ritka seems to be getting better……it’s always so scary when one of our beloved’s are so ill.

    My thoughts are with you….try to keep your courage up…..

    :( I am so so so sorry she is so gravely ill and wishing and praying for her recovery


  2. Karen Says:

    So how is she today?

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