Please Keep My Boy In Your Thoughts
Mike and I adopted Larry from Labrador Retriever Rescue of Fresno on July 8th, 2016. He is our fourth senior lab rescue, and is so very loved by everyone he meets (dogs, cats, and humans)! And because he has such a loyal following, I thought everyone should be updated on what is currently going on.
Larry was diagnosed with severe pneumonia yesterday, most likely caused by aspiration (where a foreign substance is inhaled into the lungs accidentally – water, food, saliva, etc.). He has had a very difficult couple of days. (We all have.) Larry and I were at the veterinary ER for several hours – him with a high fever, lethargy, severe cough, not overly responsive (and me with a broken heart, fearing the absolute worst).
They ran bloodwork, a urinalysis and did multiple X-Rays of his chest and abdomen. He ended up having IV fluids, as well as IV antibiotics. After about four hours at the facility, I brought him home, wondering if he’d make it through the night. The ER vet had recommended we leave him overnight, but I just couldn’t fathom leaving him in a kennel away from home. I knew that the staff would take excellent care of him, but it just wouldn’t be the same as having his mother’s love. (FYI – this is not something I recommend anyone do with their pet. The only reason I felt comfortable caring for him myself is due to my knowledge, training and skills in caring for animals that are ill. Mike and I were ready in a heartbeat to take him back to the hospital immediately if he went into respiratory distress, which is a very possible scenario in a case of pneumonia.)
I “slept” downstairs with him, but we were up and down all night long. He would wake up in fits of coughing, confused and upset. He needed to go outside to potty almost every hour (most likely due to the IV fluids and the huge amount of water he was drinking). Every time he moved or tried to turn over, the coughing was triggered.
The good news is, he is much more comfortable today! Mike and I both stayed home with him. He will be taking an extensive course of antibiotics for at least the next 10 days. At that time, his primary veterinarian will re-evaluate his pneumonia (most likely with lung X-Rays). Then she will determine whether he’ll need to continue the antibiotics for a longer period of time. He will be unable to swim or do much in the way of exercise for a few weeks – we’ve been told to just let him exercise within his comfort level. (Those of you who know Larry personally are laughing right now – you know you are!) My lovable chocolate lab is not well known for being overly active, but instead excels at the art of napping (a habit that is currently a good thing)…
Larry will most likely be staying home from the pool for a few weeks, for his own health and safety. Although his condition is not transmissible to other dogs, the excitement he feels when all his friends come to swim will need to be kept in check for a while.
I will write additional posts to update you all, and ask that you keep him in your thoughts and prayers. And feel free to write him a note or comment below. I will make sure he gets to read all of them!