Since bringing Bonnie and Clyde into our lives, we have been doing a lot of research on Google- what kind of food is best for pitbull puppies, training methods that work best with pitbulls, breed specific health issues, etc. We also did quite a bit of looking at Google Images to see whether or not they looked like typical pitbull puppies and how big we might expect them to be. While on Google, we discovered not only that "pitbull" is not actually a single breed but rather a term used to describe several breeds, but also that there is such a thing as an American Bulldog that is even larger than the American Pitbull Terrier, which I think is what Bonnie and Clyde are. I (Mom) was perfectly happy with Bonnie and Clyde and was quite content to just ooh and ahh at the pictures of the American Bulldog puppies. Dad however, became a little fixated on the idea of having 130lb dogs in addition to Bonnie and Clyde and decided that we needed two more puppies.
When we were at the Vet with Bonnie and Clyde, he told us not to take them around any puppies because they are not finished with their puppy shots yet and are vulnerable to parvo. After much discussion on the subject and objections from Mom about getting any new puppies before B & C were done with their shots, Dad decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and bring home two new American Bulldog puppies. He also decided that they needed their ears cropped. So we waited for their ears to heal a little and agreed to pick them up the Thursday following July 4th. On Wednesday, we found out that one of the puppies had died suddenly with no previous symptoms. The breeder thought that it was a possibility that one of his kids had dropped it without telling him. Mom was instantly concerned and tried to convice Dad to wait a couple of days to make sure that the second one didn't get sick too and expose B & C. Dad was convinced that the puppy would be safer at our house. Mom agreed on that part and we decided to take the risk and bring her home. When we went to pick her up, her personality had completely changed from when we had looked at her. Before, she was very lively and energetic, trying immediately to play with Mom's hand. This time, she wasn't moving around at all and just wanted to be held. (Sign #1 that something wasn't quite right). The breeder said that she hadn't eaten all day but that they had finally gotten her to eat a little bit. (Sign #2).
When we got her home, we couldn't get her to eat or drink at all. She even resisited when we tried to force her mouth open to drizzle a little water into her mouth. She was very tired (Sign #3) and only wanted to be snuggled. Even though she hadn't eaten all day, her belly was really puffy- almost distended, and Mom was a little concerned about it (Sign #4).
We let B & C smell her a little. They were totally excited. Clyde started licking her head gently and trying to nudge her to get her up. She was a little scared of him and just looked up at Mom (who was holding her at the time) with big eyes. They were both very gentle around her and really wanted to be able to lick and play with her.
We were a little worried about her and didn't want to leave her in the other room while we slept or in a kennel where we couldn't see what was going on. We made a little pile of newspaper and folded towels for her to rest on the bed with us so that we could keep a closer eye on her. Somewhere around 11 the trouble really started. She got up and peed on the towel, which we quickly changed out. That part was to be expected- little puppies can't hold it for very long. Not long after that though, she started throwing up. A lot. (Sign #5). Throughout the night, she alternated peeing and throwing up. By morning, she had apparently thrown up everything that had been in her stomach and was just skin and bones. She did #2 in the yard, and walked around a little. She was very wobbly, but we think that was just because of dehydration and not having anything in her stomach. We tried putting peanut butter and yogurt on her muzzle. She would lick it off a little but not much. She wouldn't drink anything.
We were going to take her to the vet with B & C on Saturday, but we decided that she wouldn't make it to Saturday at this rate and that we needed to take her in right away. We took her to the local vet, and he told us that her condition was very poor and that she only had a 50-50 shot at survival. I think he knew that she probably wouldn't make it but didn't want to freak us out. He checked her for Parvo and worms. The Parvo test came back negative- which apparently is not definitive and could mean that she still had it but it wasn't showing up yet. The vet told us that she had worms really bad and that they were causing the weakness, anemia, loss of apetite, vommiting, etc. He gave us two worm medicines to give her and some nutritional vitamin paste. We took her home and gave them to her immediately. I think though, that it was a little too late, and she passed away in our arms around 5pm (less than 24 hours after we brought her home). We were absolutely heart broken.
Our attention immediately turned to Bonnie and Clyde. We started them on a course of broad spectrum dewormer right away just in case they had caught any worms from her and washed everything she had come into contact with, with bleach. All of the counter surfaces and the clothes that we had worn were also washed with bleach just in case she had Parvo after all. We even poured bleach on the spot in the yard where she had had a bout of diarhea in the afternoon before she died. B & C got their second round of puppy shots two days later on Saturday. The puppy shots, dewormer and flea medicine combined made their stools a little runny for part of a day and we instantly worried they might have gotten sick from the puppy. We fed them pumpkin, which helped and within a day or so, they were back to normal.
Here is a picture of our little Popcorn sleeping on Dad's lap when we first brought her home. Notice the peanut butter on her upper lip and the distended belly. You can also see in this picture that despite the belly, she was fairly boney. I think that all of the food she was eating was going to the worms instead of her. Such an adorable little puppy! We had already named her Popcorn before picking her up- even though the name didn't quite fit any more.
The second lesson we learned from this is that Google is dangerous- especially the Images tab. It can show you all kinds of things that you didn't know existed and make you think that you need them. Beware when looking at Google Images!!