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I can't do this to my children....

(70 Posts)
Solo2 Thu 07-Jul-11 05:01:02

I can't do this anymore. We are due to go on hol for our only break of the yr tomorrow and Rollo - our golden retriever puppy - aged 5 months - has had me up since 2am - with diarrhoea yet again.

If you've followed my other threads, you'll know that he's had this on and off for 3 to 4 weeks - recovering and then getting it again.

He's now on an expensive vet diet for hypersensitive tummies. He's had several courses of antibiotics and various other meds for tummies. He's been totally, totally fine for a week now. His poo samples came back as fine and I've been happy to pay hundreds of pound on vet fees.

He is due to be picked up by his trainer at noon today and she was going to have him whilst we were away. I am happy to pay her £350 as she was going to have him in her home and I trust her to care for him well. She has been monitoring his health of course as she can't be expected to have him if he's ill. She has 2 dogs of her own and for the next 4 days is also looking after someone else's dog. Rollo is fine with all these dogs and we were on course for our holiday.

I REALLY need a break from Rollo. I REALLY need some sleep and I REALLY need my DCs to have a holiday. Now it looks like we may not be able to go.

How am I going to tell the DCs? They've been looking forward to this hol all yr although it's only a UK cottage hol. We've never been abroad and this one week a yr is everything for them.

What am I going to do? I know this is coming from a lack of sleep (never had more than 6 hrs a night on the best night since Rollo joined us in March and obviously virtually none at all for nights and days on end when Rollo has been ill). Bu tI keep getting drastic ideas in my mind about getting rid of Rollo and really cannot go on like this. If it were just me, I'd cope. But my first loyalty and responsibility has to - and does - lie with my DCs and it's not just about this holiday.

We have had no fun from the puppy, as a family. I am totally sleep deprived and desperate. I am juggling puppy and DCs and running a fulltime business singlehandedly (no relaitves or partner around, so I do it ALL alone).

Please help me to think straight. My only thought is that I'll have to get the vets to see Rollo this morning and although I don't want to tell the trainer about what's happened, I'll have to and then it's possible our holiday is cancelled.

Are there any other options? I am having rather crazy ideas right now about rehoming Rollo today or even worse. He is a lovely puppy and for those familiar with dogs, he is apparently fairly easy going and lovely natured. He needs someone who has no other committments and can stay up all night with him and love him and be there for him.

I don't think I can be that person for him.

allhailtheaubergine Thu 07-Jul-11 05:24:08

God that sounds awful. Have you tried elimination diets? We had a wheat intolerant lab once - sounds similar.

But that doesn't answer your question for today and your holiday.

Is the reason the dog sitter can't have Rollo while ill because of risk of making her dogs sick, or because you can't saddle her with a squitty dog?

NunTheWiser Thu 07-Jul-11 05:30:45

What does your breeder have to say about all this? If you are really serious about being unable to cope, a responsible breeder should be willing to take the puppy back if there are major problems.
I'm sorry you're going through this, it does sound tough and 5 months is a tricky puppy stage anyway! What does the vet say?

Solo2 Thu 07-Jul-11 05:34:27

Thanks for replying. I'm pretty sure that Rollo hasn't got anything infectious. It's more that the trainer won't want to have Rollo - who'll need to be taken out every 30 mins at least night and day, whilst his diarrhoea lasts, especially when she has another 3 dogs to look after.

I'd offer her even more money at this point - but I don't think she'd do it and I'd be spending almost as much as the hol. itself is costing - which to be honest is not the issue right now. I'm just desperate not to ruin this for my DCs. They're in clubs most of the rest of their summer hol. (they get 9 weeks hol!) and this was really our one quality week together this yr.

Yes, I've done elmination diets, chicken and rice etc etc etc and ended up on the best hypersensitive vet diet you can get and have just bought in bulk. I really don't think this is caused by diet but somehow he gets hypersensitive and then everything gives him the squits.

I've been obsessively hypervigilant about not lettign him eat anything else at all, only doing lead walking and yanking him away from absolutely anything on walks. Last night he did dig another hole in the lawn and chewed some moss/ soil/ grass for maybe one min but nothing else at all.

DS2 has now woken and I'm going to have to tell him what's happening and I'm totally dreading his reaction. He has Asperger's traits and this is going to be v v hard for him to handle, if our hol. is cancelled.

Solo2 Thu 07-Jul-11 05:36:52

Nun, just seen your post. Only had one contact with the breeder since we got him and he was fine then so not discussed this with her. The vets think it's simply a hypersensitive stomach that might last lifelong and that I need to ensure he avoids everything but the vet food. No longer able to give him treats for trainign etc etc. It's a nightmare.

slinkyboo Thu 07-Jul-11 06:22:13

Solo I've been following your story and I think you are remarkably resilient. So many people would have given up ages ago.
Your pressing problem is today and your holiday, of course. When was the last time rollo had diarrhoea? How long does it usually last (if there is a 'usually')? I think if you explained everything to the trainer and she would still take him, for more money, then I would still go on the holiday as I think it's crucial for you and your dc's. If you can bear all the cost than do it.
As for rollo's stomach condition, does the vet think it's some sort of genetic flaw?? I don't see how you can manage such a constantly poorly dog with all your commitments sadsadsad maybe he does need to be with someone who actually has the time for his, sadly, highly abnormal needs. You have done above and beyond your best.
Please please go on this holiday if at all possible.

Solo2 Thu 07-Jul-11 06:32:41

Thanks slinky. Yes, I want to pull out all the stops to go on the hol. Have now told the DCs and they are crying and DS2 (with Asps) wants to be left alone for a while. I talked to him about rehoming Rollo but this made him cry more, whereas I'm pretty sure DS1 would want us to now.

Meanwhile....Rollo has had SLIGHTLY less worse diarrhoea so far this time but that doesn't necessarily mean anything as it's always started slow and then got worse and always lasts 24 hrs. the less I feed him the better but the vet said to feed as normal throughout the diarrhoea as he's a growing pup.

Don't know if this is a genetic flaw. Breeder was recommended by my first choice breeder and all her own dogs seem healthy (first breeders matings didn't work for ages so she passed us on to someone with the same genetic line of dogs).

I think there's a connection with Rollo finally coming off his 10 days of meds. and 24 to 48 hrs later getting ill again. But I can't be sure of this.

Vets opens at 8.30am but not sure they'll have appointments this morning. Will also phone the trainer once I know about a vet appointment.

Don't know whether to act as if our hol is going ahead or not. Got loads of preparations to do and was banking on being dog free from noon so I could do laundry and pack etc etc.

I HATED telling the DCs and it's almost worse that they're being so good about it all. i will offer more money to the trainer but just not sure what she'll say/ do now.

Wish I could just get some sleep....

Jennytailia Thu 07-Jul-11 06:52:46

This is such a desperate situation solo2,
I do hope you get your holiday, have a think about it whilst your away(if you get away). If you did decide to rehome no one would hold it against you, you have put up with so much.

Solo2 Thu 07-Jul-11 07:38:25

Not looking good. He's still having diarrhoe and it now seems to be yellow ochre coloured too. Does anyone know what that might indicate? I've got some ProKolin left over from last time and have given him two lots since 2am but it's not helping but might this turn his poo yellow?

Wish the vets were already open.

ceres Thu 07-Jul-11 07:41:45

as you have been to the vets and it seems likely it is simply a very sensitive tummy, you might try slippery elm bark powder.

it is totally safe for dogs and humans (many people use it for ibs) and we have found it brilliant with our staffie who has colitis.

i don't like using conventional drugs if i can avoid it. the slippery elm bark powder, along with diet, means that our dog very rarely has colitis flare ups now.

we feed nature's harvest and mix the slippery elm in with that. make sure you get the powder not the capsules - the powder is cheap and available from any health food shop. mix the powder with hot water, it goes like jelly (ok, it looks disgusting and mucous like!) then you simply mix this into his food.

it works by lining and soothing the digestive system and is amazingly quick at firming up diarhoea.

i'm not sure what dose you would use for a puppy but if you google there is loads of info out there.

hope this may be of some help to you. good luck!

daisydotandgertie Thu 07-Jul-11 07:43:15

Carry on as though you're going on holiday. As Rolo's problem is clearly not infectious and historically lasts about 24 hours, you trainer is less likely to worry about it and you really, really need a break. Try and assume she won't change her mind; she's less likely to than it feels right now.

The problem is obviously not solved by the vets diet, it sounds as though the meds are helping him process it while he's on them, but once they've worn through, the runs start all over again. There are lots of other options though; I'd eliminate the main food sources in the vets food - eg chicken and rice and move to a fish and potato based food to start with to see what happens. Also, I'd insist on a referral to a specialist asap.

daisydotandgertie Thu 07-Jul-11 07:44:50

Solo - ring the emergency vet number to talk it through with a vet. It won't cost anything and will probably ensure you get an appointment first thing this morning.

misdee Thu 07-Jul-11 08:05:06

Doesn't sound like he is ill. Sounds like a sensitive tum. Dsis labradoodle had constant diahorrea and she switched him to natures diet.

Mine has a slightly sensitive tum, and we feed raw food. Works a treat.

Kingsroadie Thu 07-Jul-11 09:21:18

Solo - don't think I have actually posted on any of your threads (as I am a complete novice so not much advice to give!) but I have read all of them and I think you are doing so bloody well to cope with all this shit (literally). I can't imagine how hard it must be for you on your own (I sometimes get fed up and I am not on my own) and with constant diarrhoea. My puppy had it for a few days and it was awful.

Maybe just call the trainer and beg/more money etc?! My dog sitter was actually fine to have my pup when he had runny poo (admittedly though he wasn't up in the night etc). He might improve today...I do so hope you get your holiday - you all thoroughly deserve it. And you are doing so so well.

BeerTricksPotter Thu 07-Jul-11 09:26:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Solo2 Thu 07-Jul-11 10:11:39

Thanks. Here's an update. Rollo is staying overnight at the vets. we got an emergency appointment. He was sick on the floor for the first time ever whilst there - all yellow liquid. The vet still thinks he's basically OK and not contagious and recent stool samples ruled out stuff like, I assume, campylobacter.

The trainer is in principle still willing to have him IF he's definitely not contagious and so is picking up his stuff from us at noon, as planned and hoepfully him from the vets tomorrow when he should be back out.

I daren't assume all is well but am acting as if we're going away. The DCs are v v subdued. the vet bill will be about £300 I think unless they keep him in longer and do more tests. Basically the vet thinks he's just hypersensitive and may need lifelong medication. If he's going to keep getting diarrhoea v frequently, I really can't cope with this. I really can't - it's the sleepless nights and the long days all day in and out of the garden whilst also working and looking after DCs. I really can't do this longterm.

DCs DO want to keep him and in another part of me I'm really worried about Rollo and v guilty about leaving him and going on hol when he's ill.

So it looks a little better today but an unceratin future and can't rely on trainer definitely having him but HOPE she will.

I am exhausted but now need to start laundry and then begin packing and do all those things you need to do just before you go away. I'd rather just go to bed for 24 hrs to be honest.

QuietTiger Thu 07-Jul-11 10:26:08

This is a suggestion - given from having been where you are with the exhaustion and general weariness of trying to deal with things (only with a cat).

Can you board Rolo at the VETS whilst you are away? if you are prepared to pay £350 to the trainer, then you could use that money to pay the hospital boarding fees. It will also give them time to settle him down and get his stomach sorted, plus your trainer won't have to deal with what is essentially a sick dog. At the same time, they will be able to get stool samples and check for things like camphylobacter. IIRC, Camphylobacter only sheds intermitently, and so it is easy to miss in a stool sample. (Please, one of the vets here correct me if I'm wrong).

You clearly need a break, and a 5 month puppy with a runny tummy every 30 minutes is more than a sensitive tummy, especially if he is now being sick.

Bandwithering Thu 07-Jul-11 10:28:37

Good grief. I'm a single parent of two kids who'd love a dog but no way could I cope with that. I would re-home him in your shoes.

daisydotandgertie Thu 07-Jul-11 10:54:18

Quiet Tiger's solution is a very, very good one and worth exploring. It'd also be an opportunity for the vet to refer you to a specialist who will be able to work out what is actually wrong.

I posted on your other thread, but I honestly can't emphasise enough that the vet's sensitive tum food isn't a cure all. It still contains a number of common allergens, including soya and poultry. The wet food also contains poultry. So did the Golden Retriever Junior food, which also contains Soya.

IME vets always push the foods they sell (for one reason or another) and those foods are NOT necessarily good quality or a cure for the sort of problems Rollo has.

How are his sore ears and leg? Both ailments are classic signs of a food intolerance in dogs - along with poor coat condition, moulting, dandruff and so on.

When you get back from your holiday - or even while he's at the trainers - try eliminating rice, soya and chicken from his diet. Get him onto a potato based product with either pork or fish as protein and see what happens. It can't really get worse, can it? grin.

SoupDragon Thu 07-Jul-11 11:01:37

You poor thing.

I agree with seeing if the vet will board him as an opportunity for them to sort the problem.

hephaestus Thu 07-Jul-11 11:03:07

What prescription diet is he on? I have to say that I've never encountered one yet that wasn't full of potential allergens and they're so expensive, it's basically a great big scam that proves very lucrative for the vet.

If you've tried chicken and rice as an elimination diet then you further need to eliminate those - fish and potato is good as suggested further up the thread, Fish4Dogs or similar.

Some dogs cannot cope with grains or fillers at all and a raw diet is the solution. The idea of feeding a squitty pup on raw chicken wings usually fills people with horror but it works.

Solo2 Thu 07-Jul-11 11:23:48

I did ask the vets if they could keep him but they seemed to think he neither needed this nor would it be in my best interest financially. The vet did suggest that they try different food yet again overnight. Now at home I have a massive massive bag and a half of his original Royal Canin kibble, two medium massive bags of the vet prescribed Royal Canin Whitefish and Tapioca kibble and 2 large trays of tinned Royal Canin chicken and rice.

How does anyone manage to keep a dog with a sensitive tummy lifelong? Do you simply have to muzzle them ALL the time they're out and about, in case they snatch a bite of something they shouldn't? How on earth then do you train whilst out and about if you can't give food for treats through the muzzle...?

These are my longterm wonderings....Why did we end up with a hypersensitive pup? DS1 has had lifelong recurrent vomiting episodes (been on various other threads about this) and DS2 has had lifelong recurrent diarrhoea and cat 1 has recurrent diarrhoea if he strays from his normal food or I don't space his meals and cat 2 has gingivitis. I have a cast-iron stomach and have no time at all to be ill ever! I could well have done without another member of the household with a dicky tummy!

I'll talk to the vets about a raw food diet. Won't any chnage in diet at all give him tummy trouble, however? Won't he chew and splinter chicken bones and choke on them?

DogsBestFriend Thu 07-Jul-11 11:29:05

Solo, whereabouts are you? (PM me if you'd rather not say publicly). Am just wondering if I or anyone I know (it's Val, btw, I namechanged), could be there as a backup to your trainer whilst your away in case they can't keep him while you're away or in case of other problems, or if I/anyone could help in any other way.

DogsBestFriend Thu 07-Jul-11 11:31:04

PS agree with Daisy about the crap in most of the "specialist" diets.

PGTip Thu 07-Jul-11 11:40:03

Sorry but the dog should go. You and your children are more important, as is your time together as a family.

We have a dog and don't take him anywhere, he is a pet and to me a holiday that contains the phrase "sorry we can't do that/go there because of the dog" is a holiday ruined. He goes in kennels every month as we have a static caravan and the site rules state that we can't leave him in their if we want to go out for the day.

Its a shame that he has something wrong with him, but it shouldn't ruin your holidays when you look forward to them so much.

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