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!