Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Explanation as to what happened to Tiny.

I talked to Tiny's vet. He said Tiny died from kidney failure and possibly an embolism. If there was an embolism, it probably blocked blood flow to his kidneys, causing them to shut down.

As for what started it all off. Tiny had been drinking tons of water for about the past month. We had Tiny at the vet about 3 weeks ago for his yearly checkup and vaccinations. They had checked his BUN and creatinine levels (BUN = Blood, Urea, Nitrogen) That's done by testing his blood and urine. At the time, there was absolutely no sign that anything was wrong. So he was given a clean bill of health.

Fast forward to sunday March 12th. Tiny slept in my room, and I thought it was strange that he was so restless saturday night/sunday morning. He also was not sleeping on his dog beds like he usually did. I had noticed that he'd developed a cough a couple of days before, but thought that was because he had jumped at a car while on his leash, and thought he might have choked himself a little.

We had a thunderstorm and hail sunday morning, something Tiny was seriously afraid of was thunder, he was really stressed...very clingy.

I went out with some friends to go to a car show and for dinner. I got home at around 11pm. My dad told me that Tiny had gone out front to go potty...after he was done he just lay down on the grass and would not move. My dad thought he was dead. So he used his cellphone to call my aunt Janice who lives across the street.

Tiny really loved Janice and her pug Pudge...Janice came over with Pudge and as soon as he saw Janice he got up and seemed to act alright. Janice went back to her house to get him some treats, and Tiny dragged my dad across the street. That was apparently Tiny's last true burst of energy.

Janice gave him a bunch of treats, which is something that I had not been letting Tiny have the past few months because I thought there was something in them that he was allergic to. So, I'm really really happy that Janice spoiled my dog a little bit that night.

I checked Tiny when I got home, and he was very shaky. I took him outside and he did his business but could barely stand up.

Around 5am monday morning, Tiny woke me up with his "I need you" cry. He was very thirsty. So I gave him some water...when he was done drinking, he laid down on the carpet. I could tell there was something seriously wrong so I called the vet. They were closed. I left a message.

I sat down on the floor and petted Tiny, and held his foot. I noticed that if I touched his stomach near his kidneys he would cough or start to choke like he couldnt breathe.

I started to panic a bit. I called the Doggy ER and asked if they thought he could wait to see his regular vet or if I should bring him to the ER. They said they were about to close and were discharging all their animals, but that I could bring Tiny in and they would try to see him. I decided to wait for his regular vet.

About 730, I got a hold of someone at the vets. They said I could bring him in at 930...I said ok, great...and then I loaded Tiny up into the car and set out an hour early.

I really started to worry when Tiny could barely climb into the car. I had to lift his bottom half into the car. I knew something was seriously wrong when I didnt have the drooling, yodeling, yapping and occasionally growling dog I normally got when taking a drive with Tiny.

I got to the vets office, and Tiny would not get out of the car. I got Dr. Ramm, Tiny's vet, to come help me out. Dr. Ramm had to pull Tiny to get him out. As soon as he was on the ground, I could see that Dr. Ramm was concerned. We had to help Tiny in the building, and I had to walk in front of Tiny and coax him into the exam room.

About 30 seconds into the exam, Dr. Ramm had barely touched him and he said that Tiny was in serious condition and that he was keeping him. Tiny laid down on the floor and started to cough. Dr. Ramm, another vet and a vet tech got a dog sling and put Tiny on it and carried him to the x-ray room.

Stuff gets technical there. They did x-rays, put him on an IV of Ringers Lactate, got an EKG (his heart rate was 260 beats per minute!! normal for a dog is 80bpm) They gave him medicine for his heart rate, took his blood pressure (that was all over the place) They carried him into a crate so he could lay down and rest and they put a catheter in to monitor his urine output.

Dr. Ramm thought Tiny had something called Addison's Disease (an adrenal dysfunction) and decided to treat him with a steroid to see if that would help. His bloodwork came back and there was nothing that strange on the BUN and Creatnine tests...the creatnine was slightly elevated, but not much. All his other bloodwork was normal.

Dr Ramm said he would continue to treat Tiny for the tachycardia (fast heartrate) and give him the fluids for dehydration and the steroids...he told me to go home for a bit and he would call me to tell me how Tiny was.

Later that afternoon, I talked to the vet...he told me that Tiny had not had any urine output thru the catheter, even though he had had FOUR units of fluids, and did not seem to be reacting to the steroid.

I'm pretty sure Dr. Ramm dumbed stuff down for me, because when I asked him to explain things to my dad (a nurse) he explained things in medical terms to my dad. I've taken a year of medical terminology for a certificate I've been working on in school. So I knew the definitions of most of what he told my dad. I might not have completly understood what it all meant, but I knew enough that he was telling my dad that Tiny was going to die.

I'm so grateful to Dr. Ramm for being such a good vet for Tiny. Tiny really loved going to see Dr. Ramm. The vet techs in his office were so nice and always good to Tiny...even when they were wrestling him to the floor during previous visits for vaccinations and nail clippings. So, I'm glad that the last person Tiny saw before he died was Dr. Ramm.

I got a phone call at 7am tuesday morning. It was Dr. Ramm calling to tell me that Tiny had died during the night. He explained that he thought it was not Addison's Disease, but that it was probably kidney failure, which he thought might have been caused by an embolism or something similar.

We're having Tiny cremated by Rainbow Bridge and should be receiving his ashes in a little wooden box with a metal nameplate with his name and birth and death dates engraved on it.

Tiny was only 9yrs old...old for a large dog, but I really thought we'd have him a bit longer (his dad Teddy lived to be 13 or 14yrs old)

I'm still in shock at just how fast things happened. If someone had told me saturday that my dog would be dead by tuesday, I'd have thought they were nuts.

TinyMonsters was a good dog...even tho he chewed on my bed, clothes, and important paperwork. He loved to sit outside in the front yard, watching his imaginary sheep and scaring the joggers running past.

He had lots of doggy friends, his best friend being my aunt Janice's pug Pudge. He loved walking with Pudge, Janice and me thru the neighborhood.

His main goal in life, other than driving me banannas was to someday catch the UPS truck. What he planned to do with it if he caught it I'll never know. (maybe he was expecting a delivery?)

His favorite thing to do was eat, sleep, chew on my bed, and sleep.

He thought everyone who came to visit us was there to see him, not the humans.

If someone was cooking in the kitchen, Tiny was constantly trying to trip you so that he could have what you were having.

If Tiny's a ghost and wants to haunt someone, I hope he's down the street at the neighbor's house, haunting the jerk who dumped 30 pounds of dog crap in our yard and Janice's yard last week. (30 pounds per yard)

We're planning on getting another dog in a month or so...a Yorkie Terrier (I hope) I just need to find a reputable breeder.


Dot said...

Erin, I'm so, so, sorry for your loss.

ErinLindsey said...

Thanks Dot.

Karen said...

Hi Erin. Such sad news but I have to say I sure got a kick out of the UPS part.

You are a great writer. Have you ever thought about writing a book? I think you would do a great job.

I do hope TinyMonsters haunts those nasty people. How rude!

Take care of yourself.

Rest in peace TinyMonsters!!


ErinLindsey said...


I've never thought of myself as a great writer...mostly a bad one. I did horribly in English Composition in school, and I'm pretty sure that I still owe my Creative Writing teacher some homework. (shh!! dont tell her where I am!)

I wanted to write fan fiction for a tv show that I watched once...tried it, realized I suck as a fiction writer.

brat514 said...

I'm so sorry about Tiny. Reading about Tiny brought tears to my eyes.

Tiny was lucky to have you in his life. He's in no more pain now.

Again, I'm so sorry.

ErinLindsey said...