So there I was, half heartedly looking at Rottweiler puppy adverts because I was feeling so empty after losing my lovely boy Jed. And Millie was so quiet, her Mojo had disappeared without her big boys to look after and boss around any more.
We had no intention of getting a puppy so soon, as it was all too raw and you feel like you’re being some sort of traitor to your lost one’s memory. But then a headline caught my eye ‘Champion Bears for sale’ I clicked on the advert and saw it was for some gorgeous Rottweiler puppies not far from where we live.
I tried to contact my husband but couldn’t get hold of him. I knew he would be home at lunch time but then he came in later than expected. I was half excited and half anxious. Not knowing what I really wanted. Anyway, when he did eventually come home, I asked if we could just go and have a look? He agreed and I phoned up the breeder. He said we could go along straight away, so off we set.
Of course, as soon as we saw these beautiful pups, there was no going back, we knew we’d found our next broken heart in the making. (Sorry if that sounds depressing but we’d had a hard year up until then and felt very vulnerable)
We brought him home 22nd July at 8 weeks old and he brought life back into the house, putting a sticking plaster on our broken hearts.
Unfortunately, he also became unwell.
I took him to the vet for a check up and 1st vaccine on the Monday. She asked if he had normal poo but I had to say it wasn’t that firm, so she wouldn’t give him his vaccination at that point. Also, he was underweight, which we’d put down to the fact he was from a large litter of 12 and his poor mum was exhausted.
I was given some Royal Canin Gastro intestinal food to give him and Panacur 2 for any worms that hadn’t been killed and told to come back on Thursday once his tummy was right. Within a day his motions were perfectly normal, so on the Thursday off we went again for the vaccination.
Later that day, he had diarrhoea, which I thought was just a normal reaction to the jab. We gave it a day but it didn’t clear up and he started to go downhill. Also, I’d been collecting fecal samples over the past couple of days in case they were needed and had to do one more. On the Friday morning I called the vet to say I was worried about him and was told if I brought in the fecal samples before teatime, they would go off that day and we’d have some results the following Tuesday probably. So that is what I did.
That evening I was back up the vet with him as he became lethargic and had a temperature. He was given rehydrating fluids, Kaolin to settle his stomach and pro-biotics. The next day he gradually got worse and and Saturday evening we were back up the vet’s again. This time he was given some antibiotics in case he had Giardia. They took blood and that was all perfect but all we could was wait for the fecal results.
The anti-biotics seemed to help and he was putting on a bit of weight but still had diarrhoea, though not so frequent.
On the Tuesday I phoned to see if any results were back and was told they weren’t but to try again on Wednesday.
Wednesday came and went – still no results. He also didn’t like the dry food they had given him. He was starving hungry as he would rush towards Millie’s dish or us when we were eating. The next day morning (Thursday) I took him back up the vet’s because every time he did a poo, there were tiny white dots in it. Which, when I looked this up on the internet pointed to Tapeworm eggs. That morning there were loads of these white dots, so I took a sample with me. She seemed to think it was undigested food but it didn’t look like that to me. I asked her if she could find out what had happened to the fecal sample results, so she phoned the lab and they said they hadn’t received them until the previous Tuesday, which was 4 days after I’d left them at the vet. She wasn’t happy and neither was I. It was so frustrating. I asked for some different food as he was so hungry, so I was given some tinned food instead of the dry mix. He loved the tinned food and was absolutely ravenous. From then on his motions started to become more normal.
The next day (Friday) we were asked to bring Jake into the surgery as they’d had the fecal results. We were so worried something was going to happen to him. Especially after losing our two lovely boys within the last three months. Anyway, it turned out, he had a parasitic infection called Isospora, which about 30% of dogs carry but it only affects, the young and poorly causing Coccidiosis. The vet wanted to give him sulfadimethoxine to treat the condition but this doesn’t cure it and can have some nasty side effects (though rare). We said he was almost normal in himself and we didn’t want to risk anything else going wrong. She said she was happy for him to get over it by himself using his own immune system as he got stronger. So, that is what we decided to do. I researched it on the internet when I got home and found that this way is recommended as long as the animal isn’t too sick to fight it.
Isospora is particularly nasty as, when the dogs defecate, eggs (too small to be seen by the human eye) are on the faeces, which can only be killed by extreme heat or ammonia. So, if a dog ingests any fecal matter they will get infected with the parasites and re-infected if they’ve already had it. This could be the reason, lots of puppies and kittens become ill again after a treatment course because the eggs are still alive. The animals can just walk on infected ground, then lick their paws later, swallowing the eggs. Luckily, they can’t be passed on to humans. Every Isospora infection is limited to the type of animal infected. ie Cats spread to cats and Dogs to dogs etc.
Jake would have had this infection when he came to us as it takes 13 days for them to show symptoms and the vaccination brought it to a head. Two things bombarding his immature immune system at once. He came from a farm (not puppy farm) where there were several dogs roaming around and the puppies were allowed to run about on the sand school in the evening and had a pen on the grass during the day. So, very easy to pick up the parasite if one of the adult dogs was infecte.
We decided to fence off the patio, so when he has a poo, we pick it up with a bag, then burn the area with a calor gas weed burner. Or, when Millie goes on the grass, pick it up and spray ammonia on the lawn. We now have lovely dead brown patches all over the lawn. But it’s worth it to get him better as soon as possible.
He’s going for his second vaccination tomorrow (Tuesday), so fingers crossed he’ll be OK. I’ll post additional information when I know the outcome.
At the time of writing this, Jake has just turned 12 weeks and only just fits in his ‘bag’
Useful Carry Bag for Puppy or small dog, for taking them out to socialise and hooking on the passenger seat head rest to take to the vet or just out in the car for a ride. Then puppy can see you without being put in a box and becoming a nervous passenger.