http://www.highwayman.org/gallery (for photos).
However, the road has been a rough road indeed. At six months of age, we had gone ahead with having Jo-Jo spayed and what a routine operation turned out to be a little more intense. What the vet discovered was that much of her internal organs were still contained within a fibrous like membrane, keeping much of her orgrans bunched up and confined. A minor complication but mysterious as to the cause. The vet, Dr. Hambreicht, concluded that Jo-Jo had probably suffered some illness during her development but none of the regular visits to the vet and bloodwork reveal any such abnormalities.
Jo-Jo remained in good spirits and vigor after the operation and the only visible abnormality was that the region about her stomach expanded (much like Jo-Jo was preganant). The doctor continued with more tests only to reveal that there was lots of fluid in her abdominal area. More tests were conducted with follow-up visits to the vet. They even had her stool sample sent off to Texas for more in-depth research and examination as to the cause. From what the doctor could gather at the time, her stats were not within the normality region but at the same time, they were not in a region that would be considered 'critical' or 'serious'. Despite the increase size of her abdomen, she was just as active and playful, no signs of her condition afflicting her mood.
About one-and-a-half weeks ago, the doctor diagnosed Jo-Jo's condition as a chronic intestinal illness which caused her to lose proteins, creating fluid within her abdominal region. The doctor prescribed three prescription drugs as well as a high-protein dog food. What he concluded was that Jo-Jo was not getting enough protein, due to her in-ability to process the proteins from her current food (Nutro for Large Breed Dogs) efficiently therefore, she would require more food. He hoped that this new prescription dog food (Z/D), which is high in protein, will provide Jo-Jo with the necessary proteins to compensate for the loss while reducing the amount of matter intake.
This treatment appears to be working fine and there's been positive improvements, the fluid began to lessen and her stomach started to shrink. All seemed well until about Wednesday, March 19. We had given Jo-Jo a new rawhide bone to chew on and in the past, had no reaction to such toy, but on that morning next day (Thursday), we found that she had basically vomitted the entire contents of her stomach. From that point on, she wouldn't eat any solid food and barely drank. She infrequently urinates or provided any stool. We had her visit the vet on Thursday (Dr. Weiss covered for Dr. Hambreicht that day) and advised that she might have an allergic reaction to the rawhide bone (which was a different brand than what we normally purchase) as well as a slightly elevated temperature of 102.x (not critical) and that she should recover within 24-48 hours. She hadn't vomitted during her stay at the vet. So we took her home and provided her water whenever she's willing to drink and to continue with her medication. That next day, she vomited again - so we called the doctor. Dr. Weiss ask us to bring in Jo-Jo for another examination and this time, to run a x-ray scan for potential blockage -- none were found but she did have a temperature of 103.x. She recommended that we should leave Jo-Jo in the emergency clinic next door so that they can monitor and administer an IV to keep her hydrated as well as provide medication intraveneously.
I called Saturday evening around 6:30PM and her status were good ... she hadn't vomitted and her temperature had dropped down to within norms... and to call back at 11:30 when she'll be given the next set of meds. At 11:30PM ... the prognosis continue to look good, she was more lively and energetic. If all signs continue to improve they will see about giving her solid food at 10:30AM Sunday.
Sunday at 12:30PM, I placed another call to check her status and the nurse had reported that she had her first solid food at 10:30AM and 11:30AM -- if everything goes well by 3:00PM (another feeding), the doctor on duty feels that she'll be fine to come home.
We'll see then -- she is our little girl.