Sunday, September 14, 2008


This post is going to be all about my dog, Hazel.

She is an Italian greyhound (all my dogs are!) and I got her from the IG rescue. She's a beautiful dog with an interesting and mysterious background.

According to the people at the rescue, she was found in someone's garage right after giving birth to four purebred Italian greyhound puppies. They were all taken to the rescue and, since she was obviously bred, much care was taken to spread the word and contact any breeder in the vicinity that she may belong to. No one ever claimed her. She was at the rescue for over a year when they finally gave up and put her up for adoption.

Our local rescue had a booth at a dog show where we saw Hazel for the first time and we went through a lengthy interview and paperwork process to get her. I guess she had an ill-fated adoption before us, when, allegedly, she attacked the new owner's pet bird--I can't imagine though--I think it was an excuse!.

She has been a great dog--but with no shortage of drama! A couple months ago (while I was McBlogging!) I wrote about when she escaped from our vacation house--providing the only negative scenario in our otherwise perfect vacation. Luckily, she came back and all was well.

About a year ago, she started acting really sick. Just out of the blue one day. She didn't eat (which is her joy in life) and retreated to her kennel--I knew immediately that something was wrong.

I took her to the vet right away and he, upon examination, noticed that her entire underside was bruised. It startled me and I couldn't imagine what had happened. The "vet's" (I use this term loosely as he was such an idiot) suggested that she had been attacked by an animal in our yard, hence the bruising.

"Impossible," I told him, "Our fence is seven feet high and I would have heard that kind of commotion."

Not to mention there were no scratch or puncture marks. I joked with the kids that the vet's diagnosis was that a bear scaled our fence, punched Hazel in the stomach and left!

I asked if maybe she was experiencing a blood clotting disorder--but he said no--we would see bruising in other places if that was the case. He maintained that she had been attacked, but ran some blood work to rule out some diseases.

The next day he called to say the blood work looked ok, but to come in again for another blood draw so they could compare values. Meanwhile, Hazel seemed really sick and the bruising was worsening.

The following day (which, of course, was the day we were expecting out-of-town guests and I was in a cleaning frenzy) the vet called in a panic and said that based on the blood work, he thought Hazel had ingested rat poison (they call it the ominous-sounding rodenticide (good band name? I think so!)) and that it was imperative that I drop everything and take her to the emergency vet immediately. He said she needed 24 hour care.

So I high-tailed it to the emergency vet (NOTE--I tell my kids that if they want to be millionaires, to go into the emergency pet business--that's where the big bucks are!) and they took Hazel right in.

I was dismayed to hear the vet say that things were going to be "hit or miss" over the next 24 hours. I guess what happens with rat poison is that it removes the vitamin K from the body (that's what makes blood clot) and without it you start bleeding internally. That's why Hazel had all the bruising--she was bleeding!

The vet said that they would start administering vitamin K--but if she starting bleeding somewhere like her brain--there would be nothing they could do--as operating when the blood isn't clotting would obviously cause more bleeding. The last thing she said was "Hope for the best but expect the worst."

I felt sick.

The next 24 hours were excruciating as I was trying to entertain my guests but so worried about poor Hazel. I was really mad at that first vet for not having a clue that she could have been poisoned and said that ridiculous thing about an animal attack. Apparently time is of the utmost importance when dealing with this type of poison and we had already wasted two full days.

Luckily, everything worked out. They were able to get her clotting levels back up and I had to continue giving her vitamin K pills for awhile after that. But she was back to her old self again!

Fast forward to yesterday--I let the dogs out in the yard as I do every morning. after they had been out for a few minutes, one of the dogs was barking relentlessly which is really unusual.

I went out there and saw right away that something was wrong with Hazel. Her whole body was rigid and she was flailing around--trying to walk, but she couldn't. I picked her up and she fell into a stupor--glassy eyed and drooling.

I started screaming for the kids to get in the car so I could drive her to the emergency vet (NOTE: getting five kids, including an almost-two-year-old, and a sick dog in the car is no easy task.) As we were driving, Hazel seemed to snap out of the stupor, so I decided that it would make more sense to go to wait a half hour until our regular vet opened. By the way, I have since switched vets from the ones who misdiagnosed her the other time.

When I explained to the vet what happened, she said it was definitely some kind of a seizure but that figuring out why it happened would be tricky. Of course, they ran blood work.

Later that day, she had another seizure which worried both me and the vet. Her blood work came back normal except that she was low on phosphorus (whatever that is). The vet said to give her some whole milk which apparently is a quick way to get phosphorus into the system! (Don't ever say I wasn't handy with obscure medical advice!)

I took her back today for more blood work and now all the levels are fine. She has not had any more seizures--but I feel like I'm on pins and needles!

Right now, she's curled up next to me while Don and the boys watch football (bor-ing!) and she seems fine.

I don't know how this latest Hazel drama is going to turn out--but please cross your fingers it has a happy ending!

I don't know who the bigger Drama Queen around here is--Pickle or Hazel!



Candid Carrie said...

I'll run this past my friend who has bred and shown IGs forever! I'll get back to you later today ;)

Hang in there. There are so many unique "disorders" to each breed that often times E.R. vets aren't aware of ... and I have heard of Vitamin K deficience in IGs before that had nothing to do with poisening as much as what they had been fed thus needing a diet that had been rich in K ...


Hazel is so cute ! I like Iggys.
I'm glad she's doing better. I wonder if you could give her milk occasionally to prevent another seizure?

Lori said...

How frightening! You sure have been through some rough stuff with your furry babies recently. I'll keep my fingers crossed for Hazel.

Kelly said...

Oh, how scary!! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Hazel. She looks like she has quite a little personality!!

noble pig said...

OMG are you broke now? I used to have pet medical insurance for my Shar-pei because the doctor care was crazy expensive! At one point he needed plastic surgery to remove some of his wrinkles because he was so wrinkly! Purebreads really are a committment financialy. Hazel is so lucky to have you guys!

Jennifer said...

Thank you Everybody!! I'll keep you posted on Hazel.

Carrie--Thanks for checking w/ your IG friend--I appreciate it.

Dysfunctional Mom--The vet did say to continue to give her the milk over the w/e. I hope they'll have more answers on Mon.

Lori and Kelly--Thak you for keeping your fingers crossed!

Cathy--the amount of money the "rat poison incident" cost was ridiculous. Thousands! But what can you do? LOL at the Shar-Pei plastic surgery--you need to blog about that!

amelia bedelia said...

poor hazel! I hope she is ok. I love my dog too.

Shannon said...

Oh, I am sorry to hear about Hazel's troubles! She is a beauty! I hope the vet can figure out the problem and get her better soon.

Dee said...

Is Hazel old? I know my old cat is having seizures due to her age, her brain is getting old I guess, so the vet says. I hope she gets better and stops giving you all these frightening episodes.

oº˚ Queen Bee ˚ºo said...

So glad to hear she is doing better. We had a Boston Terrier we lost about 6 years ago. She started having seizure's but never found out what was causing it. We had to make the decision to put her down.

Jennifer said...

Thank you Shannon and Amelia!

Dee--I don't know exactly how old she is since she was a stray--I'm guessing around 7--but that's totally a guess. She could be way older!

Anissa--I'm sorry about your dog--that's awful.

CaraBee said...

It is so hard when our little furry babies have problems. I have spent more than I ever care to say on Pet ER visits. But I would do it again in a heartbeat because they are that important to me! Here's hoping that sweet little Hazel is okay!

Kendrawolf said...

I'll be praying for the pup. We are very attached to our pup as well. He's not an IG, but is a Hairless American Terrier (a HAT).
BTW, I got the bath stuff and had the most wonderful relaxing time in the tub last night. Thank you!

Ronda's Rants said...

I am so sorry...We love our dogs too...they are a part of our family!

Anonymous said...

Oh my....that is so scary. Poor lil girl....sure hope she's okay! Sounds like you've all been through a lot.

Yeah, your kids would be smart to go into that business....I swear...I spent $900 when my cat got a UTI.....I mean, we weren't curing was just a UTI. And the vet screwed up too! I shared with her a piece of my mind...I figured I give her that much for free!

Jen/michmomma said...

Oh no, Jen. So scary- Keep us updated on her. Hugs.