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Author Topic: My Dog's Recovery Story  (Read 1785 times)
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« on: April 27, 2007, 10:49:11 AM »

Just thought I would share my story with you about what has been going on in the last week. This is my first post here.

My dog Mike (2 and a half year old English Bulldog) has been eating Natural Balance Venison and Brown Rice for about a year and a half. He has a sensitive stomach and allergies and did wonderful while on this food. He ran out of food on Sunday, April 15th. My wife made the trip to our locally owned pet food store and purchased a new bag of the Venison and Brown Rice. We fed him his first cup and a half on Monday, April 16th. About 4 hours later he threw up the entire cup and a half of food he had eaten that morning. I didn't think much of it because it's not like he hasn't thrown up before. He was also unusually thirsty that day. On a normal day he might drink 1-2 bowls of water a day. Well on this day he went through about 4 bowls. Again, nothing that would make me think anything was wrong. He didn't touch his food that afternoon. Again, this is not unusual because he is a picky eater and there were many days when he didn't eat a lot or at all in some cases.

At about 5:30 AM Tuesday morning he woke me up because he had to go outside which is unusual. He probably had only done that a couple of times since I had him. I attributed it to him drinking a lot of water that day so once again the alarm bells were not going off. He went the whole day Tuesday without eating but everything else was normal. His personality was the same, he was still energetic and playing, and his water consumption was back to the 1-2 bowls a day. Only thing that was a little unusual was the refusal to eat which he had done several times before.

On Wednesday everything was the same. He was still acting normal except for the fact that he wasn't eating. To try and encourage him to eat I gave him a good number of treats that day which he took and wagged his tail and ate like normal. But he still wouldn't touch his food in his bowl.

On Thursday everything was the same. Water consumption was normal, energy level was still high, and everything seemed normal except for his lack of appetite. I was eating my dinner on Thursday and he came right on the side of me begging me for food. This is really unusual because we never, ever gave him table food. I had some chicken on my plate and figured since he hadn't eaten for a few days I would give it a shot and see if he would eat it. I gave him the first piece and he wagged his tail and ate it like he was starving. So I gave him the rest of the chicken that I had. I was just glad he was eating. But he still wasn't touching his food bowl. But once again, nothing else was out of the norm. His energy level had not changed, he was in no pain, and still very playful.

On Friday, he still wasn't eating. So once again I cooked some chicken and he ate the chicken in the morning and afternoon. He did throw up a little of the chicken that day but not a whole lot. I attributed this to the fact that he wasn't used to this type of food and it had upset his stomach. At this point my theory was it must be a bad bag of food. Not one that I had suspected to be part of the previous recall of food but just a bad bad of food. This had happened before. Not with Natural Balance but another brand that we had fed him before making the switch to Natural Balance.

So, my wife went back to the locally owned pet food store on Saturday to purchase another bag of Venison and Brown Rice only to realize she couldn't find one. So she asked the lady at the register if they had any which is when she was told it had been recalled on Tuesday. One day after we had fed him the cup and a half on Monday! She rushed home from the store and we went to the Veterinary Hospital to bring him in for a checkup. We were still thinking to ourselves there is no way he could be having kidney failure because he still looked good, hadn't loss any weight, only threw up two times since we fed him the food, and except for drinking the 4 bowls of water on Monday his water consumption was normal the rest of the week. The vet walked in the exam room and we told her why we were there and after playing with Mike (his energy level still way up) she said she would run a blood test but just my looking at him she didn't think we had anything to worry about. She had seen animals that did eat some of the bad food and most of them could barely pick their head up. Here was Mike jumping up and down and playing with everyone in the Vet's office. She took some blood and we waited for 20 minutes for the results. Still thinking to ourselves there is not way Mike is having problems with his kidneys because we was showing no external signs. The Vet came back in like she had seen a ghost. She could not believe his BUN, CRE, and PHOS levels were off the chart. His BUN was 102 when it was suppose to be in a range of 7-25. CRE was 15.7 when it is suppose to be in a range of .3-1.4. His PHOS level was 13.7 and it is suppose to be somewhere between 2.9-6.6. Then she stated the obvious at that point. Mike was suffering from Acute Renal Failure (ARF). We couldn't believe it. She said they would start him on IVs immediately to try to flush his system out.

We went back home and immediately called the 800 number on Natural Balance's website to report what had happened. We gave this person all of our information including the name and phone number of the Vet's office. He apologized and said his supervisor would call us back. At this point it was 7:00 PM (CST) on Saturday so we weren't holding our breath waiting for the supervisor to call us back. Sure enough about 30 minutes later the supervisor called and said he was sorry and that he had contacted the Vet's office and told them they would pay for any and all costs associated with Mike's recovery. Then he asked for our fax number so he could fax a "Release Of All Claims" form which we would have to sign for them to take care of the expenses. At that point I was just happy to have the expenses taken care of because we had to put approximately $600 on our credit card before we left the Vet's office which only covered his expenses through Monday morning and we didn't know how long he would have to be cared for.

After 24 hours of IV treatment they did some more blood work to check his levels. This time his BUN was 97.... down from 102, CRE was 11.3.... down from 15.7. and his PHOS was 9.1.... down from 13.7. So he did make some progress. At least the levels didn't stay the same or go up. After 60 hours of IVs his BUN was 72... down from 97, CRE was 6.1.... down from 11.3, and PHOS was 9.5..... up from 9.1. We were relieved to hear his BUN and CRE levels had dropped substantially even though his PHOS level had basically remained unchanged. But he was eating fairly well even though his PHOS was still high (on Hills kd) which I was not crazy about but if he was eating that was all I was worried about at that time. The Vet said she was happy with his progress and didn't want to do any more blood work for 72 hours. That meant Friday morning, almost one week to the day he had started on IV treatment.

When the Vet called on that Friday morning (this morning) we were all smiles. His BUN had dropped to 18 which was back in the normal range. CRE was 2.1 which was still above the preferred range but really close to being normal. PHOS was 4.2 which was also back in the normal range. The Vet was really happy with his progress and suggested we start to slowly ween him off the IV over the next couple of days and then check his blood work on Monday to see where his levels are. If they look good then we will finally be able to bring him home after 8 days and 9 nights of being away.

We will keep you updated.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2007, 10:55:37 AM by mikeebd » Logged
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Posts: 21

« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2007, 02:23:09 PM »

So sorry for your week of stress but I'm glad your dog is on the road to recovery.  I do wish you the best!
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