As some of you may know last month Jeff and I adopted a beautiful little furr baby, Kiki. We were so excited to start bringing her on some smaller trips and just showing her all the love humanly possible. Kiki had a very rough start in life but we were on a mission to change that for her. As I had mentioned the adoption place had said she was sick. Just a little kennel cough they said. I of course took her to my own vet immediately. I was actually lucky in that part since I was able to find on Dr. Caesar who made house calls. I was concerned to allow her near any other furr babies as I didn’t want them to catch the kennel cough. So this was great and he turned out to be quiet nice. The first visit he started her on some antibiotics for a fever and a cough expectorant. We arranged for me to contact him in a few days so we could update any vaccination shots and schedule when to get her fixed. The following week she seemed to be doing well playing, eating, going on walks. But still a little lethargic and coughing a lot.
Suddenly that all changed nearly overnight. I noticed when she was cuddling with me in my arms her right side seemed to have a slight twitch? At first I thought I was being paranoid but than she started fidgeting a lot. The next day she started biting on her leg constantly. I called the Dr. and arranged for him to see her the next day. Again we started a more aggressive antibiotic she still had a bad cough and a little fever. He added a small dose of an anti inflammatory because the Dr. thought maybe she pulled a muscle.
She was sleeping more by this point but still active and eating well. Later that night, this tiny 5 lb 2 year old dog had a long grand mal seizure at about 2 in morning. It lasted a couple of minutes and she stayed in a disoriented state from that moment on. Again I called the Dr. he came the next day and we started her on phenobarbital. She continued to have break through seizures and was disoriented. Sometimes turning in circles, constantly trying to chew on her leg, sometimes just laying there crying. She would barely eat or drink so I ended up spending nearly every moment of everyday trying to feed her by hand and feeding her water through a syringe. I decided to wait till the beginning of the week to call the Dr. since he had made it clear that if her health stayed as it was we would need to put her down. I wanted to give the phenobarbital time to level out in her blood system. This medication was not new to me it was one of the milder ones my daughter had taken in the beginning of her struggles. I knew from experience that it can take time for seizures to be controlled. My heart wouldn’t let me give up not yet.
The following Monday she was in worse condition. Poor Kiki she couldn’t even lift her own head. She was just laying there crying now and refused to eat at all. I knew it was time…. I called Dr. Caesar and he came over after looking at her he said “distemper”. There was nothing we could do for her at this point. It was one of the hardest decisions I had ever made. Knowing that it was better to stop her pain but also knowing I was stopping her life. I held her as she said good bye and took her last breaths, crying my eyes out. I just wanted so badly for her to finally have a wonderful life full of love and warmth.
Unfortunately Jeff had already returned to Alaska to go back work to take care of our little family so I had to do this alone. Jeff tried to be very supportive and was very sad too, but I’ll tell you there is nothing harder than watching someone dying in front of you. For me this was not the first time although the first time was way harder. If you read the about us page you’ll understand what I’m talking about more. Since I don’t want to take away from this story I’m not going to delve any deeper into that right now.
The hardest part for me is that if the rescue we had adopted her from had given her vaccinations, when she was received none of this would of happen. Sadly many of the rescues here really struggle for money. With the lack of animal health and education in a country like Mexico it makes it very hard for them to get support. So some of them can’t provide vaccinations until an animal has been adopted first and paid for. Unfortunately Kiki was too sick to get them when we first got her.
Distemper is avoidable with up to date vaccinations and proper care. Note I did call the rescue immediately when we found out it was distemper. I wanted to be sure they did what they could on their end. Distemper is extremely contagious and with the way all the events up to Kiki’s life end. I know she had to of contracted it in the rescue. I wanted to be sure that none of the other dogs would be sick. Honestly I don’t know if they really did or didn’t do anything with the information but at least I knew I did what I could. I’ve included a link to provide more information about distemper if you are interested.
Well this is why you haven’t heard from me in about a week or two. For that I do apologize but at the time I was only worried about doing what I could to save her. I of course had some very dark sad days following and if were to be completely honest I still am. But I just keep reminding my self that shes not in pain now and shes in a better place. Maybe we’ll meet up again someday??? For those of you out there that have been through anything similar my heart goes out to you.
RIP sweet Ms Kiki we will miss you, thank you for being a part of our lives as long as you did. And for bringing us so much love and happiness. You’ll be forever in our hearts.