June, 10, 2007 @ 11:01 am PDT; the day Cali passed

I have been a very sick little girl. I have Pancreatitis, Diabetes, Arthritis, and I am losing the vision in my right eye.

On the Sunday evening of November 30, 2003, my dog, Calidad began vomiting (26 times) throughout the night. I took her to the vet on Monday (Dec. 1, 2003) and she was immediately hospitalized. In March of 2003, Cali’s primary vet had suspicions of Cali possibly having Cushings and suggested I have a ultra sound and Cushings test done on her. He said he knew I was leaving for a few months to assist and attend my daughter’s wedding and to wait until I got back. I did research on Cushings and was appalled at the ‘conventional’ treatment for Cushings. They give the animals Lysodrine, which is a derivative of DDT and was banned in the USA for crop spaying. On August 23rd. I went to a holistic vet for the first time to see if Cali had Cushings and if there was an alternative treatment other than DDT. She wanted to change Cali’s diet to a raw diet. Her instructions were that I take two months for the complete transition (10 days to get her off the food she was on and then the rest of the time slowing transcending from cooked meat to raw meat). By the end of October, 2003 she was completely on a raw diet; consisting of 80% raw meat and 20% vegetables. Because the vet did not give her blood test before putting Cali on this diet, she was not aware that Cali had latent Pancreatitis, which in turn caused Diabetes, also. Cali almost lost her life because of the high protein and high fat diet. Had the vet given her a blood test first, she would have seen that with Cali’s system and age (11yrs) she should have never been placed on a raw diet. I have spoken to several other vets, some holistic; some not, and all of them said that with Cali’s age they would have done a “Senior Comprehensive Blood Panel” before even suggesting a raw diet. Needless to say she will not be returning to that vet and I have filed a complaint with the San Diego County Veterinarian Medical Board. If you live in San Diego County never go to Dr. Jacque McAndrew in the southern part of the county…..what a drive that was just to have her almost kill my dog die. When I told her that she should have never put Cali on a raw diet said I never talked to her about potential Cushings…bologna! That is why I made the appointment in the first place and was willing to drive 20 miles each direction to her office. I even stopped at Cali’s regular vet’s office to pick-up her x-rays with me. I really get so frustrated when people don’t take responsibility for their actions and words. Her bad karma!!!

Cali almost died. She had ketones in her blood & urine from the Pancreatitis, which is deadly not only to dogs, but also to people. The vet at the hospital, Dr. Sara Ford (an veterinarian internist and a spectacular vet with a huge heart) spent days trying to get her lipids regulated so she could come home. She even said “ONE bite of raw food could easily cause latent Pancreatitis to flare”. More than likely the Pancreatitis would have flared later in her life and she would have immediately been taken to the vet, but the raw diet not only caused it to flare, then in turn caused diabetes and almost killed her. With Cali in the hospital it was very difficult for both her and I….Cali because of her health and missing me….and me because I missed her (In all the years I have had her we had only spent one night apart until this). Finally, on the evening of December 11th I was able to bring her home.

Then our lives were turned upside down. We were on an intense regime 24 hours a day with her feedings, injections, pills, and IV fluids. I even had get to get up at midnight for meds, and 2 am for one set of feeding and meds. It is not something I was accustomed to, but did it and didn’t mind. We thought she would be on 6 injections, and numerous pills for the rest of her life, but it turned out not to be so extensive….thus far.

Our schedule when I came home from the hospital, December 11, 2003:

12 am eye drops (Gentamicin) & urine test for ketones and glucose (use what is called a Keto-Diastix)
2am 1 pill (Propulsid also called Cisapride), 1 injection (Reglan), and 2 tbs rice.
8 am food (2 tbs of rice only), 4 different pills (Baytril [aka Enrofloxacin], Propulsid, Zantac & Flagyl), 1 injection of Reglan, 1 injection of insulin, 2 types of antibiotic eye drops (Gentamin & Cyclosporine), and urine test.
9 am 200 ml of fluids (260ml equals 1Cup so you can imagine a 17 pound dog taking in this much).
2 pm same as 2 am / 1 pill (Propulsid), 1 injection (Reglan), and 2 tbs rice
4 pm eye drops (Gentamicin) and urine test
8 pm same as 8 am minus the Gentamicin / food (2 tbs of rice only), 4 different pills (Baytril, Cysapride [also called Propulsid], Zantac & Flagyl), 1 injection of Reglan, 1 injection of insulin, antibiotic eye drops (Cyclosporine), and urine test for keytones and glucose (use what is called a Keto-Diastix).
9 pm another 200 ml of fluids

As days went by we increased the rice by 2 tablespoons each meal. Taking it very slowly as not to irritate the pancreas, again.

The couple months of this (from 12/10/03 to the beginning of Feb. 2004) was up and down. Several times Cali had to be taken to emergency because of set backs (once on Christmas Day when the kept her for 24 observation. Loved that Christmas!). Her fluids were increased to 400 ml twice a day instead of 200 ml twice a day. And it seemed if I was not at the hospital I was on the phone everyday with her vet about this or that….such as vomiting, glucose irregular, not eating, or diarrhea. And because of the Reglan she was getting aggressive when I gave her medications. But her aggressiveness was worse if her glucose was up also.

Then on her appointment Feb. 3, 2004 she actually had begun to gain weight. She was 16.8 pounds. Still too thin. Cali, who was groomed every month to six weeks maintained her weight always around 18 pounds, but being sick dropped down to 14.2 pounds and that with all her fur (she hadn’t been groomed since the week before Thanksgiving). So going up in weight to 16.8 was great. Though she still looked thin.

In mid January, Cali was having trouble walking. So again she was taken to the hospital where x-rays were taken. She has arthritis in her left rear knee and very bad arthritis in both her left and right front knees. She was not sleeping well and was in quite a bit of pain. Two more medications were added; Deracoxib for the pain and a mild sedative to sleep. So I began taking her to a chiropractor, who normally works with people, but because his wife is a vet he began working with animals….thank God and Cali seems to be doing a bit better; she is sleeping well and very seldom does she need the pain meds. And she adores Dr. Steve Haley, D.C. When we go to the office (he sees Cali at his wife’s vet office) she immediately lays down on her back because she wants a tummy rub from Dr. Steve before her chiropractic adjustment. 🙂

Then on the night of February 10, 2004 I had a bad bad dream (really a nightmare). I dreamt that while carrying Cali I was walking down a path and came to a crossroads. I was told that if we went one direction Cali would die, but if took the other direction a younger dog would heal Cali. I just was not told which direction was which, but knew it meant GET ANOTHER DOG. I woke up sobbing and in cold sweats. The next day I decided to call my friend, Janice, who has a rescue organization I work with. I told her about her dream. Janice immediately told me about a young male Lhasa Apso mix that was just relinquished by the previous owner. Cali and I went to Janice’s home to meet him. Cali took to him instantly and I decided to bring him home on a trial basis.

His name was Bashful, but I changed it to Tashi Deleh and once he was at the house incredible miracles began. Cali is no longer on Reglan, Flagyl, Deracoxib, nor the sedative. And she is taking the fluids, not twice a day, but once ‘every other day’. Her arthritis has gotten so much better than even Dr. Steve (the chiropractor) expected. He is amazed at how quick she is responding to treatment. My schedule has lessened considerably….I even get to sleep though the night now. She is not only eating rice, but potatoes, pasta, turkey breast, chicken breasts, and tuna in spring water. She even got groomed for the first time since in 4 months, which I sure made her feel a lot better. Last weighing she (March 18, 2004) was 17.9 pounds and that is without the one plus pound of dog fur that was groomed off. She is looking back to her so much better and I just pray it keeps on this way.


Our schedule as it was April 3, 2004:

8 am food (4 oz of meat/11 oz of potato, pasta, and/or rice), pills (1/2 of a Baytril, 1/4 of a Zantac, Propulsid, & 2 oriental medicine called Bao We Han), 2 types of antibiotic eye drops (Gentamin & Cyclosporine), insulin injection, and urine test for ketones and glucose (use what is called a Keto-Diastix).
2 pm 1 pill (Propulsid), and food (4 oz of meat/11 oz of potato, pasta, and/or rice)
4 pm eye drops (Gentamicin)
8 pm same as 8 am, minus the Gentamicin / food (4 oz of meat/11 oz of potato, pasta, and/or rice), pills (1/2 of a Baytril, 1/4 of a Zantac, Propulsid, & 2 oriental medicine called Bao We Han), eye drops (Cyclosporine), insulin injection, and urine test for ketones and glucose (use what is called a Keto-Diastix).
11 pm eye drops (Gentamicin)

Also, on alternate days I give her 400 ml fluids. AND every night we get to sleep the entire night through! YEAH!!!!

As of July 3, 2004, our schedule was: I am getting so much better

8am 18 oz of food consisting of 7 oz of meat, and the other 11 oz of potato, pasta, and/or rice. Now I even get fresh vegetables (broccoli, yams, zucchini, green beans, spinach, yellow squash and Brussels sprouts), fat free cottage cheese and fat free milk (I really love milk). And I get beans (my favorite are red beans, black beans, and mung beans, but I do like the others, too). I also take pills (1/4 of a Zantac, and Propulsid, 2 types of antibiotic eye drops (Gentamin & Cyclosporine), insulin injection, and urine test for ketones and glucose (my human uses what is called a Keto-Diastix).
2 pm 1 pill (Propulsid)
4 pm eye drops (Gentamicin)
8 pm same as 8am, minus the Gentamicin.
12 am eye drops (Gentamicin) And my human gives me cookies, too. They are really rice cakes, but I love them.

As of October 3, 2004
Cali’s schedule is the same as above, but now she has an additional eye drop that we use. It is a steroid…I don’t like those things, but she will have to use the rest of her life. I have to put 2 drops in her right eye 3 times a day (8 am, 4 pm, and midnight). It slows down the blindness that is taking place in that eye. And hopefully she won’t go blind in her left eye.

On a better side the Pancreatitis is pretty much healed. Her blood work has been showing wonderful improved signs. She has put back on some weight, but not to her normal. Normal: 18 pounds. Now: 17.25 pounds. When at her sickest: 14.2 pounds. And she is down to using 7 units of insulin twice a day. Her favorite upside: we go to the vets now every 6 weeks instead of every week. She is one happy dog about that. So progress is being made and it is through her care and all your prayers.

As of February 15, 2005
In addition to the Diabetes, Pancreatitis, and Arthritis in 3 legs, I have now been diagnosed with a heart murmur and
Hypothyroidism, which is caused by an underproduction of thyroid hormone. Twice a day I am taking a thyroid medication (Levothyroxine), which is a chicken flavored chewable tablet – yummy. Also, for 1 week of each month, twice a day I have to take an additional antibiotic, Baytril (Enrofloxacin), which is also a chicken flavored chewable tablet. At my last vet appointment my Glucose (the Diabetes) and Lypase (part of the Pancreas that breaks down fat) were both looking very good. I am now back up to 17.6 pounds and most of the time you would never suspect that I am sick because I don’t act it….though some days I do. And my schedule has changed a little.

8 am First thing to start the day is my human collecting my Urine (Oh, I just love this part) to test both my Glucose and ketones; with what is called a Keto-Diastix. I also take pills (1/4 Zantac, 1/4 Rantidine [acid reducer], 1 Cisapride [also called Propulsid another chewable flavored tablet], 1 Levothyroxine, 4 types of antibiotic eye drops (Gentamin, Dexasporine, Cyclosporine & an herbal eye drop made by my holistic vet)

I am eating more; up to 23 oz of food consisting of 5 oz of protein (1 oz of boneless skinless low fat chicken and 4 oz of fat free cottage cheese), 12 oz of carbohydrates (potato, pasta, and/or rice), 2 oz fresh vegetables (yams, zucchini, green beans, yellow squash, or Brussels sprouts), 2 oz or legumes (red beans, lentils, navy beans, black beans, and/or mung beans), 2 oz fat free chicken broth or fat free milk (I still really love my milk)..After I eat I get insulin. The amount of insulin is based on the amount of food I eat (some days I eat less because those are the days I am not feeling my best).

2 pm 1 Propulsid & 1 Baytril (this is taken for 7 days every month)
4 pm eye drops (Gentamicin, Dexasporine, & the herbal eye drops)
8 pm same as 8 am, minus the Gentamicin, Dexasporine, and herbal drops.
12 am eye drops (Gentamicin, Dexasporine, & the herbal eye drops), 1 Propulsid & 1 Baytril (this is taken for 7 days every month). And my human gives me a rice cake, which I love them.
As of June 8, 2005
I went to both my vets today. First I go to Dr. Sara Ford, who is my ER vet. She does my blood panel and checks me out. Then I go see Dr. Patricia Ungar, who gives me acupuncture based on my blood work. My weight dropped to 15.3 pounds and said they would like to see at least an additional pound and a half (I just thought I looked thin like a model), but all the blood work showed I was doing fine, though the Lypace was still a bit high (2900 and it should not exceed 1800…when I was really sick it was 6000). They said it looked great considering that I got into Tashi’s food two weeks ago, which made me very sick, but it really tasted soooooo good…love that 12% fat that I am forbidden to have. I had to be put on 300 ml of fluid (Cassandra injects it under my skin, which I don’t really care for, but she did do it outside on the terrace and I love the Sun on me) and Anzamet (37 units twice a day) for a week. Though I am tired more frequently and even though I still play with Tashi it is less and I can’t run as fast nor as far as I did even two months ago.

Cassandra told both vets that I am sleeping a lot more than my last visit, but since I can’t tell time I don’t know. I do know that she is concerned about me. When she feels sad I cuddle up against her and give her kisses; especially on her arms, which makes her feel better. I like it because you humans have salt on your skin…don’t tell Cassandra that is why I kiss her.

As of December 6, 2005

Over the past few weeks I have been having blood work done. The first set of work showed my potassium level very high and my sodium very low, which they thought could be Addison’s Disease. Dr. Unger waited a week and took more blood to again check my electro-lites. This time the sodium was normal and so was my potassium levels; though the potassium was at the higher end of normal. In January I will be tested again just to make sure.

I am not seeing Dr. Ford at this time because she is on leave. On Oct 27th she gave birth to triplets; 2 girls and a boy. She really has her hands full. But she will be back to work in January.

My weight is still 15.3 pounds, but at least now they are not concerned because all my blood work, including the Lypase is excellent (2700 compared to the 6000 when I was hospitalized…normal for dogs and humans is no higher than 1800). However, I am almost completely deaf now. Though that does not stop me; I am still play and am very much loved by Cassandra and Tashi and all my other friends (humans and animals). And as you can tell I don’t need to see the doctors as frequently. I guess since my medications and schedule hasn’t changed in over a year I am holding my own….and now even my Lypase is NORMAL.

As of February 6, 2006
Today I went to see Dr. Ford, who is back from her paternity leave (we got to see some photos of her triplets). She ran blood work on me and my potassium level is fine (Dr. Ungar did test twice since my last writing and both times the potassium level was normal).. So the last three time it was in a good normal range. Also, my lypase (part of the Pancreatitis) is the lowest it has been since I got sick (normal is no higher than 1800 and now mine is 2300). Dr. Ford was very happy about that, but still feels I am under weight; I am still 15.3, but I eat a lot. I guess that is to be my ‘normal’ weight.

My right eye is now completely blind and I am losing my vision in my left eye, also. I no longer go down the stairs, but that is alright because Cassandra carries me, which I really like. When I am feeling good in my legs I do go up the stairs, which makes Cassandra chuckle because she says I come up the stairs hopping like a rabbit, which I know I do. She says it must be a past life as that is how I have always come up the stairs.

As of June 8, 2006
Today I went to see Dr. Ford because I have been doing a lot of coughing and hacking. Dr. Ford was concerned that my heart was weakened because of the heart murmur and my be ready to give out. She had a couple of x-rays done and my heart is fine. So she is concerned that I might have asthma. So for 2 weeks she wants me on Enrofloxacin (Baytril it is an antibiotic) which I have been taking every month for 7 days (the 7th to the 13th). Since yesterday was the first of my regular monthly week I guess I will take it for 2 weeks this month.

While we were there Dr. Ford said that she was amazed that I was still able to walk because the x-rays showed that my arthritis was not only in 3 of my legs, but also my lower back. Cassandra told her that I go to a doggie chiropractor twice a week and acupuncture once a week and that I still run, but not as much as when I was younger. Dr. Ford was very surprised about that; even more so since according to the x-rays I should not even be walking. Guess x-rays are always what they are cracked up to be.

As of June 22, 2006
Today I went to back to Dr. Ford today about my coughing and hacking. The hacking is gone and the coughing has subsided to almost nothing. She and Cassandra decided to keep me on the Enrofloxacin for two more weeks just to make sure. Dr. Ford said if I was still coughing she wanted to run some test to see if I was asthmatic, but if I wasn’t then just call her and they will talk about it. I say I hope I won’t be coughing at all.

As of July 3, 2006
I am not coughing anymore. My hope came true. 🙂 Cassandra called Dr. Ford today and they decided that is may have been a bug, which many dogs have been getting. But since my health is so delicate there was more concern about me. Cassandra told Dr. Ford that she has the air conditioner on 24/7 and that we have 7 Sharper Image’s Ionic Breeze air purifiers in the house. Dr. Ford was very pleased about that; especially the Ionic Breezes. Dr. Ford said now that the windows are always closed they can work better and that is probably why the cough stopped; along with the fact that I am no longer subjected to the heat we have been having. Terrible heat; some days it has been 105 degrees of humid heat and for San Diego that is bizarre

As of July 30, 2006
In the morning when it is time to go out I wait about a foot and a half away from the top of the stairs until Cassandra props open the screen door then picks me up to carry me down the stairs. I’ll let her tell you the rest of what happened.

Last Thursday, July 27th, after I propped open the screen door I turned around only to see Cali deciding to go down the stairs by herself…she was in the process of taking the first step. I rushed to grab her, but missed. She fell about 3 steps and I rushed to grab her again. And again I missed. She rolled down the entire set of cement steps and landed on the cement sidewalk below. I just was not fast enough to prevent it. She went down the steps with her head towards one side of the step and her tail toward the other. I thought for sure she would break a leg or her back. I continued rushing down the steps in tremendous fear that she was dead. I immediately looked at her chest; it was raising and falling as she was inhaling and exhaling….she was breathing NORMALLY!!! ????? Thank God. But the continued breathing and the possibility of broken bones and/or sprains scared me to no end. I bent down and began lightly pressing her body; expecting a yelp at any time, but nothing. I gently turned her over expecting yelping in the process, but again nothing. I checked her other side and again nothing. I gently picked her up and pressed around her body, but nothing. So I decided to see if and how she would be able to walk. I set her down and held my breath. She simply walked over to the grass and tinkled. Then walked around until she decided to poop and then laid down and began eating grass. I thought she may be in shock. I thought “I am very glad we have Deracoxib (and anti-inflammatory) upstairs and glad she has an appointment with the chiropractor today”. Before she ate breakfast I gave her 3/4 of a Deracoxib (dosage for her weight) because I thought the least she was going to be very bruised and sore. After breakfast we went to the chiropractor, who also felt around her body and said “she seems to be fine”; with a puzzled look on his face.

After we left his office I was still very concerned so went to the hospital to see Dr. Ford. Just for precaution Cali was given x-rays, which proved she had no broken bones…thank God. We stayed there for a few hours so Dr. Ford could observe her. Then we left after Dr. Ford said she would call the next day (Saturday, the 29th).

The next morning I gave her another 3/4 of Deracoxib (even though she had no breaks or sprains Dr. Ford and I felt she would be very bruised or sore at the least). But nothing. Absolutely nothing happened to her, which is amazing. When Dr. Ford called and I told her she was also amazed and said “that just seems impossible, doesn’t it?”

Think about it…she is 14 yrs old, which is equivalent to 98 yrs old in human years. The steps and sidewalk outside my condo are cement. They are also open steps and the sides are made wrought iron. There are so many ways that she could have been injured or killed (boy, that would have laid some guilt on me). Yet nothing happened to this 15 pound 14 yr old dog!!!!
I keep saying “God, must have cushioned those steps with clouds”. It is truly an amazing miracle. And I am still extremely grateful to God for protecting Cali.

As of August 9, 2006
Today I had an appointment with Dr. Ford and my blood work looked good; except my lypase, which was elevated. It was 3400 and really should be no higher than 1800. My vision is waning, but outside that I am feeling fine. Though Dr. Ford is concerned because one of my eyes doesn’t look well. Seems there is a red coloring in it that concerns her. Since the eyes are not her forte she wants Cassandra to take me to a veterinarian eye specialist.

Today I also went to the eye doctor and had an Ocular Exam and Tonometry (Intraocular Pressure Exam). The doctor said that a couple vessels in the eye have broken, but will heal within a couple of weeks. So it was nothing really serious.

I don’t need to go back to the eye doctor again, but will go back to see Dr. Ford in November.

animated heartanimated heartanimated heartThank you for your prayers and for caring.

Cali, Tashi & I send you love.

PS. More of my story/saga is on the next page. To read more please click here


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