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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As some of you know, I almost lost Dexter 10 days ago. He suddenly started vomiting and losing a very impressive amount of blood and I had to rush him to the closest vet, 14 hours away. I barely made it on time at the vet. He couldn't even walk out of the car and lost blood during the entire ride. Resistant bacteria who had survived a first round of antibiotics and ulcerated his stomach in the process.

He has been on anti-toxin, painkillers, anti-vomiting, anti-diarrhea and antibiotics on top of special food. 10 days later, he's done with antibiotics tomorrow and has some painkillers left.

He stopped losing blood after a few days and his appetite is back now.

His energy level is still low. He's usually getting 2-3 hours of fast walking and sledding every day. Now, it's a 50 minutes walk and he has trouble finishing it. I barely hear him in the house too. But mostly, it just breaks my heart to see him struggling to climb up the last little hill before home after the walk.

Is it still normal after 10 days? How many days should I "give him" before worrying even more?
 

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oh my! I do remember your thread and my heart went out to you. I'm glad to hear Dexter is doing better.

Do you think 50 minutes of walking every day is a good idea so soon? I would give him more time. He went through an awful lot and even though his mind is willing, it doesn't mean his body is fully recovered and ready to keep up. I know it takes me a quite a bit of time to recover from issues much less serious than that.

I would call the vet and ask what to look for in his recovery and when they feel it is safe to begin an exercise regime (also how much).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply. Much appreciated.

50 minutes (+ the fact we slowed down) just feels so....little to me. We're used to always being on the run, so seeing him get tired so fast (and spending the rest of the day sleeping it off) just breaks my heart. The walk is also my time to be social. My walking buddy will be away all week...maybe this will give me the occasion to cut down the walks even more:(
 

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Muggsy got gastoenteritis a few times, though not as bad as poor Dexter. I'm happy to hear he's on the mend!

It was at least a month each time before Muggsy was completely better. Just let him rest. He'll let you know when he's ready for more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Muggsy got gastoenteritis a few times, though not as bad as poor Dexter. I'm happy to hear he's on the mend!

It was at least a month each time before Muggsy was completely better. Just let him rest. He'll let you know when he's ready for more.
Yeah. I've cut down exercice even more:( I'm kidnapping dogs around town so I can walk them too. My energy overload is going crazy.


I talked to the vet again last night. She said to give him at least a month too, but added his energy level might never come back to what it was before. Just breaks my heart:(
 

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Yeah. I've cut down exercice even more:( I'm kidnapping dogs around town so I can walk them too. My energy overload is going crazy.


I talked to the vet again last night. She said to give him at least a month too, but added his energy level might never come back to what it was before. Just breaks my heart:(
Oh, poor little guy! Think positively. Enjoy what you can. Muggsy and I had a new game when he got old and arthritic. I'd roll the ball to him and he'd roll it back with his nose while lying on the floor. It kept us engaged and having fun. It wasn't the same as those endless games of fetch of old, but it was better than nothing.
 

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I think his energy level will return, but it may take until next winter. He just had a major trauma... and he may feel OK in the morning, but I bet he's fatigued by the afternoon. So, I recommend 15 min. walks.
1. Walk 15 min. for two days and observe him. If he he OK, but tired... keep up the slow 15 min. walks.
2. But, if he looks energetic in the afternoon, then try a second 15 min. walk in the afternoon... Continue for a week... or until he seems fatigued.... In all cases, try to walk on level ground rather than up and down hills.
3. If he is still OK... and not tired, then up it to 20 min. walks twice a day... Let him take a nap in between if desired. Don't push him, so that he is tired during the walk.... He may be in pain, he may still have trouble getting oxygen....
4. I think it takes about a month to rebuild blood volume, so keep things slow.... and don't let him go for one exuberant burst that may set him back a week.
5. After a month, try for two 30 min. walks.
6. After a week, if he seems to be doing OK, run him for about 5 min., then walk for 20 - 25 min. twice a day .... You should be able to read him by this time (throughout the day).... if you are holding him back, or pushing him too much.... adjust.
7. When you can fast walk him easily for 30 min. twice a day, with no excessive fatigue.... I think you're on the road to recovery.
8. Start reconditioning him for his marathon exercise. Go slowly, and recognize that cold weather may be much easier to train in than warmer weather (I'm comparing to Texas weather :)....
9. If the weather is not too hot and he can handle it, I think you can incrementally increase his exercise with a target increase of 30 min. every month. .... And by the time the weather starts getting colder again, he should be in better condition.
10. Progressive success is much more important than pushing it at this point in his recovery... I think that your goal is to keep him a little frustrated that you aren't doing enough, rather than doing as much as he wants, therefore letting him overdo it and lose progress...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
He's very lazy in the morning (always been). The walks are already all between 3 or 4 PM and 8 PM. On weekdays anyway.

Big thanks for all the steps, I'll try to stick to that and give the poor thing a chance. Right now, I'm doing a 15-30 walks (depending on how he acts and if he looks tired) before dinner. He then sleeps for the rest of the evening.

And no worries about the heat, but the other extreme can also makes him more tired. He ADORES the cold, but walking at cold temp can be also a bit more tiring (supposed to drop to -46 tonight).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Little update, one month after rushing him down to the vet!

AMAZING progress. His energy level is very close to what it used to be. We've been increasing exercise and he reacts extremely well to it:)
 

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This is wonderful news! Thanks for the update! Dexter is such a great boy! :)
 

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I don't know what -46 is....(and I don't ever want to know)... altho I do know what 114 is :)

Sounds like wonderful news. He won't pace himself, so might overdo it. As long as you recognize that, you might recondition him for marathons, and simply back-off if he has trouble the next day...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't know what -46 is....(and I don't ever want to know)... altho I do know what 114 is :)

Sounds like wonderful news. He won't pace himself, so might overdo it. As long as you recognize that, you might recondition him for marathons, and simply back-off if he has trouble the next day...
We are not fully back on our usual exercise regimen yet. He still sleeps more in between play times (it's amazing the amount of things I can do in a day lately hah) and he sometimes looks tired before our last hill to climb in order to get home. He's fine sledding (I limit it to a short time....about 30 minutes, but he only drags me down the hills and I walk back up with him. He gets break this way and skips the hardest parts!). He's also been putting on weight (yay! Although he was +4 pounds since the summer at the vet...and that was fully dehydrated and after all the vomitting and losing blood!).

He's had bad diarrhea in the last 3 days, but no blood and he has a very sensitive stomach to start with.
 
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