Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Does Your Vet Listen to You? Cookie's Post-Sedation Complications

In order to try and figure out what was going on with Cookie's lameness, we decided to take the next step by getting x-rays. To get the images we needed, proper positioning is important and Cookie had to be sedated to achieve that.

Everything went well and quickly.


After sedation is reversed, it is expected that it takes a while before the dog comes fully out of it.

However, Cookie seemed bummed out from it more than would be normal.

Even three ours later she was still barely walking, both her head and hind end drooping. We encouraged her to lay down and rest.

About another hour later she went rushing to the door to go potty. In the short time it took for us to put on a coat and go looking for boots she already pooped; she was in a big hurry.

The stool was fine and firm; it was curious why it was in so much hurry to get out.

She went to lay down again only to come rushing to the door once again half an hour later. This time the stool was watery. Hubby took her out while I was cleaning up and she continued to squat and more liquid kept coming out. He hind end was so weak that she ended up just sitting on the ground, leaking out of her bum. The liquid seemed completely clear by then with no color to it at all.

It was also cold outside so when it looked like it was over hubby brought her back in.

She about just walked in when she turned around, sat down and more liquid came gushing out. This continued for about an hour. She was clearly uncomfortable and I started worrying about her getting dehydrated after losing that much fluids.

This did not look like diarrhea at all. I've never seen anything like this.

Should we try to go back to the vet? It's an hour drive and she was miserable and this stuff just kept coming out. How would she do in the truck?

It wasn't urine because after a bunch of that came out she peed and the urine had normal yellow color.

I did get on the phone with the vet hospital explaining what was happening.

They suggested it was a result of stress and voiced the same concern I had whether it's a good idea to take her back in. We agreed that if it continues, she gets worse, or starts vomiting that we'd bring her in.

The whole thing lasted about an hour and then it stopped.

Could all this have been just from stress? Cookie loves going to the vet. Yes, she woke up in the place without mommy or daddy but would that be enough to cause all that trouble? And if so, I would understand her getting some diarrhea but this didn't look like any diarrhea I've ever seen or heard of.

And how would stress explain the weak, droopy hind end and all the effects lasting as long as they did?

I boiled up some chicken breast and eventually convinced Cookie to drink some of the broth and eat a bit of the chicken. She had no further diarrhea and was fine by next morning.

Burning questions remained on my mind.

I talked to Jasmine's vet about all this and he too felt that stress could do this. Including the weakness? The amount of time it took before the effects wore off?

My gut wasn't buying it.

And Cookie was to be sedated shortly after again for her platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment (more on that later).

I acquired information about what exactly was used for Cookie's sedation. There was nothing wrong with the protocol - good, gentle sedation.

BUT Jasmine too had severe reactions to some perfectly good drugs. I voiced all those concerns to Jasmine's vet who was going to do the PRP treatment for Cookie.

What can we do to mitigate the effects? Is there a different protocol we could try?

Particularly since the drive to Jasmine's vet is five hours and this could happen on the way home. The thought of that was ripping my heart out.

Some things we did to try to prevent such tummy trouble included upping her probiotic, adding some extra fiber and keeping her meals the same for the few days before the sedation.

This time, hubby was going to be there with her when she was coming to.

I was on pins and needles to see how things were going to play out.

Hubby called me when Cookie was done and woke up. She was looking good. Little drowsy but steady on her feet and looking for food. About an hour after she woke up they set on the way back home.

We loaded the truck with pee pads, stash of blankets and paper towels in case tummy trouble did hit her during the trip back.

No tummy trouble at all. No hind end weakness either. When they came back home she was happy, hungry, and full of beans.

She suffered no ill effects this time around.

As I was looking through Jasmine's vet's web-based records, I saw that he indeed did use a different protocol for her sedation. God bless him.

He knew that the sedation protocol she got the first time was perfectly fine. He knew that stress can cause stomach upsets and diarrhea. But he also took my concerns to heart.

I could just picture him sitting there, going over all my emails and thinking up the best plan.

He never failed to listen to my concerns or to take them seriously.

I got the information about what and how much he used from him and provided that to our local vet here. I had them add a big, bold, red note to Cookie's file that this was the protocol that worked well.

There is nothing more important than your vet listening to you.

Related articles:
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
And So It Begins Again(?) Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie 
I Didn't Know I Could Fly: Why Cookie Wears A Harness Instead Of A Collar
C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews For Dogs CAN Be A Choking Hazzard 
Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie: The Knee Or The Foot? 
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Too Young For Pot: Cookie's Snack With A Side Of Hydrogen Peroxide  
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization  
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed  
Putting The Easy Back Into Walking
Cookie's Ears Are Still Not Happy 
The Threat Of The Bulge Is Always Lurking 
Today Is Cookie's Three-Months Adoptoversary  
Cookie Meets The Electric Horse Fence And Her First Chiropractic Adjustment  
Why Examine Your Dog's Vomit? 
Why Is That Leg Still Not Happy? Cookie's Leg Keeps Getting Sore 
Cookie Too Is Insured With Trupanion
Does Being Insured Mean Being Covered? Our First Claim With Trupanion
Is Cookie's Leg Finally Getting Better?
Is Cookie Going To Be Another Medical Challenge Or Are We Looking To Closely? 
The Project That Is Cookie: Pancreatitis Up Close And Personal  
Pancreatitis: Cookie’s Blood Work   
Another Belly Upset: Pancreatitis Again Or Not?  
Happy Birthday, Cookie 
Incontinence? Cookie's Mysterious Leaks 
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat 
Don't Just Stand There, Do Something? Cookie's Mysterious Bumps 
Cookie's Mysterious Bumps Update
One Vomit, No Vomit 
Happy One-Year Adoptoversary, Cookie!
Cookie's Leaks Are Back: Garden Variety Incontinence Or Not?
Cookie's Leaks Update 
Don't Panic, Don't Panic: Know What Your Job Is 
The Continuing Saga Of Cookie's Leeks: Trying Chiropractic Approach 
Cookie's Minor Eye Irritation
Regular Wellness Exam: Cookie's ALT Was Elevated 
Cookie's Plantar Paw Pad Injury 
How Far To Take It When The Dog Isn't Sick?
Cookie Has Tapeworm Infection 
Cookie's Elevated ALT: The Ultrasound and Cytology  
Cookie's ALT Update
The Importance of Observation: Cookie's Chiropractic Adjustment
Sometimes You Don't Even Know What You're Looking at: Cookie's Scary "We Have No Idea What that Was" 
Living with an Incontinent Dog 
Summer Dangers: Cookie Gets Stung by a Bald-faced Hornet 
To Breathe or Not To Breathe: Cookie's Hind Legs Transiently Fail to Work (Again)
Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Process 
Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Diagnosis 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Trazodone  
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Other Medications 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Laser, Hydrotherapy and Chiropractic 
Cookie's Recovery from Iliopsoas Injury: ToeGrips 
It Never Rains ... Cookie's New Injury 
Mixed Emotions: When What You Should Do Might Not Be What You Should Do for Your Dog 
Cookie's New Injury Update 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: The Symptoms 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: Battling the Zoomies 
Cookie's Muscle Injuries: What Else Is Going On?
Theory and Actual Decisions for an Actual Dog Aren't the Same Thing: Cookie's Knee Injury

Do you have a story to share?

Your story can help others, maybe even save a life!

What were the first signs you noticed? How did you dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?

Email me, I'll be happy to hear from you!



49 comments

  1. I completely agree with you that the vets should definitely listen! It's really scary when they don't! We actually had a pet die from an anesthesia complication so I always go for extra monitoring and whatever else they think they should do. I also ask that they call me the second my animals wake up. They are always happy to do whatever to make me feel more comfortable about the procedures.

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    1. Great to hear your vets are working with you. It is so important. And sometimes life-saving.

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  2. Such a great post and lots of good information! :-)

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  3. We're lucky to have a wonderful vet, who calls to follow-up and is generally interested and concerned about her patients.

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    1. That is awesome. You hang onto her.

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  4. You must have been so worried! I am very fortunate to have a vet that I can talk to, discuss my concerns with, and most importantly one that listens to me.

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    1. Yeah, I was pretty worried. But everything worked out great. I was very thankful.

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  5. It's so important to have a vet who listens to you - no one knows your dog better than you!

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    1. Yes, it is. If a vet wasn't taking my concerns seriously, I'm gone.

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  6. It is worth the search to find a vet that will listen and understand your feelings when it comes to your pet. I'm so glad that it worked out for you. I'd have been scared too.

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    1. This wasn't really about feelings (though there were strong feelings involved) but about not putting Cookie through misery which could be avoided and which could have end up dangerous to her.

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  7. I'm so glad everything worked out well the second time and your vet gave a lot of thought on Cookie's sedation. That's such a strange reaction she had the first time, that must have been so scary.

    Whether or not it was the stress or how she was sedated, it's good to know they marked it on her chart to hopefully prevent it happening again in the future.

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    1. Yes, it was very strange. And we are not strangers to weird and dangerous drug reactions. So I might be more diligent than most. But my concerns were justified.

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  8. Totally agree - and what a concerning reaction, and your attention to the matter was so very important!!

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    1. Yes, it was very concerning and given Jasmine's history of nasty drug reactions I wasn't going to be taking any chances.

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  9. I'm glad things turned out well the second time and that the vet listened to your concerns. Having a good vet is priceless!

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    1. Yes, it is. Good vets are worth their weight in gold.

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  10. thankfully i have a great relationship with my vet and he has great communication skills that helps so much during our visits.

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    1. I'm very happy you have a great vet. Cherish him/her.

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  11. Love my vet, and the best is if I have questions I can email him and he always replies - have no complaints, oops not true, he sometimes tells me to stop being such a Jewish Mom LOL

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    1. LOL Jasmine's vet has enormous patience with me. I think he secretly enjoys all my queries :-)

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  12. That is definitely concerning! Mr. N had a bad reaction to anesthesia the last time he was under and they had to bring him out early. We're trying out a new vet and I like them so far.

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    1. The thing with protocols, or any drugs, is that they can work a thousand times and then there is a dog who doesn't do well with it. Sometimes there is a way to predict trouble based on a pre-op blood work and sometimes there isn't.

      The important thing is to recognize that something didn't work right and find a different way of doing it.

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  13. I am fortunate to have an incredible vet that I love who never makes me feel rushed and always listens patiently to my concerns. I have actually left a vet practice in the past because I didn't feel like the team really listened and I always felt like I was bothering them with my questions. It is critical to find a vet you connect with and with whom you have a good rapport.

    I am so glad that Cookie's second time under was much better and that your vet really listened and understood your concerns.

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    1. Yes, finding a great vet is critical. And if they don't listen, that can be actually quite dangerous to the dog. And if nothing else it's extremely counter-productive.

      Jasmine's vet is truly awesome. He hears out everything. And we discuss things to death. And he knows I'll ask all kinds of other people and vets, and research the living daylights out of things and he's perfectly cool with all that.

      At the end, I come back to him with what I found, we discuss things and come to a consensus.

      And when there is a concern, you can see how hard he's thinking about things.

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  14. It really *is* important that vets listen to what clients are saying, I agree! Just because a protocol is considered safe, doesn’t preclude the possibility your dog won't do well with it. We see this in people, too. Glad Cookie's vet took alternative action for a good result!

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    1. Yes, I was SO relieved that she had no problems that time around. None whatsoever.

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  15. I am so glad you listened to your gut, and your vet listened to you! Right now I'm trying to find a different doctor for my son, because his current doctor is not up to task of finding out what is going on with him.

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    1. So sorry you're having health challenges with your son. A second, or even third opinion is sometimes what it takes to get anywhere.

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  16. Wow! That is so scary. I wish all bets and medical doctors too would listen better. I'm so glad everything worked out for cookie!

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    1. Yes, they should. Jasmine's vet has always been awesome about that. Always listened to our concerns, always gave everything a lot of thought.

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  17. So alarming! I'm fortunate that we have a wonderful vet team who discusses everything with us. Even so, our one Husky does have issues with anesthesia. The last time, it took her two weeks to get back to acting normal, so we are sure to let our vet know and hope it doesn't happen again. Gut instinct is always right. So glad all went okay that next time around. What a relief.

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    1. So sorry to hear that. It is so important to let the vet know about all these things, investigate, give it a lot of though, so such things can hopefully be avoided next time around.

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  18. OMG you must have been so scared seeing Cookie that way! I'm so glad she's OK now. It's important to find a Vet that takes your concerns seriously and works with you to address them.
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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    1. I was probably more heartbroken while it was happening; really scared when she was to get another sedation. But everything worked out great the next time so I'm very thankful.

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  19. That's awesome that he listened and the second time around was much easier on all of you. I get so frustrated when vets or doctors think they know it everything and don't give your concerns a second thought.

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    1. Nobody knows everything ... just some people come closer than others. But knowing everything doesn't mean things can work in unexpected way. Jasmine had a history of weird drug reactions nobody could have predicted. What's important what we do next.

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  20. I'm glad to hear that your vet is such a good listener. Pet parents have a lot of knowledge about their pets and their inclinations are often correct. I would be really concerned if I had seen what you saw with your dog too! My heart would be beating faster and faster until we got the problem solved. You handled it very well in my opinion.

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    1. Thank you, Robin. I hope I never have to see something like that happen again. Though things can take their own turn without it being anybody's fault. But when they do, it's so important to stop and think and see what can be done differently to prevent such trouble.

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  21. Just like people know their bodies best a pet parent is going to be the best judge of their pet's health. I think I'm very respectful of our Vet but I'm a Nurse Practitioner and do tend to have a lot of questions and I'm often asking, "so this is what happens with people what about with ....?" I appreciate kind and respectful responses which address my concerns. If not, it's time to find a new vet! I'm so glad yours listened to you!!

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    1. I think my vets have to really use up a lot of patience with me and my queries. But Jasmine's vet has always been absolutely awesome about that. I think he might secretly enjoy all the discussions and being kept on his toes :-)

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  22. Wow! Very interesting - thank you for sharing. I will pass it on...

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  23. Glad your baby is doing okay. I know you must have been worried. I am glad your vet listened to you and took your concerns seriously.

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    1. Thank you, Katie, yes I was very worried.

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  24. The stress of not having a parent around when you are in a strange place is a true stress, but so is being sedated in the first place. having drugs that force you to go to sleep, and then more drugs that force you to wake up is a stressor on the body.

    It is good to hear the vet tried a different protocol and it helped.

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    1. Yes, there is stress. Either way, worked out great the way it's been done last time so that's we'll be sticking to.

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  25. Oh my goodness, I'm glad she's feeling better. I'm so nervous about Matilda getting spayed next Tuesday, especially since she's just 4 pounds, I'm afraid there could be complications. I'm double-worried because they told me I had to pick her up the next day, instead of a few hours after surgery.

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    1. Make sure pre-op blood work is done, that's definitely something I wouldn't skip. Protocol and precautions for tiny dogs are different but it can be done safely.

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  26. Glad things turned out okay and how wonderful to have a vet who listens.

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