A Lesson Learned

Posted By: USMom

A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 02:04 AM

I am posting this with great trepidation, because I know that there are parts of this that will upset some of you. However, the lesson learned is too valuable to pass up because of my discomfort.
My heart has been hurting all week end long. I posted before about my sick girls. Well the girls are well, and I thought they were eating. I would go into the glider room and see them both at the plate, and in the morning, quite a bit of the food gone.
Friday night I took the twins out of their cage to do a good evaluation for the first time in a week. Cuddle Bug is fine. She is eating well, playing and just being a glider.
Doodle Bug, however, was very lethargic, looked sleepy, very thin, and just no energy. I took her out of the cage, and into the living room. I weighed her, she was 64 grams, down from 86 grams on Jan 1. I got her to take about a tablespoon of ensure, and a couple of mealies. Saturday morning, she didn't eat much, maybe 2 cc's of ensure. I tried several times through the day to get her to eat, and she would, but only a few licks at a time. So, I thought, I'll syringe feed her some water. She immediatly had siezures. This lasted for about 10 minutes. She aspirated some of the water. She has been popping when she breathes ever since. She stopped eating completely. And when startled she would sieze, if you touch her she would have a siezure. She has had so many siezures this week end, I've lost count. She would stop breathing at points. She does the climbing action that a dying glider does. Some of the siezures were horrific to watch, she would be spread eagled out, and arch her head back, and she would cry. I sub-q'ed her Saturday night and Sunday. Sunday she ate about 2 cc's of liquid in the morning. Then she started the siezure activity again. All along I kept thinking "She is going to die." I, after watching 9 gliders die in the last 3 years, was convinced that she would die. But she didn't. She was alive Saturday morning, Sunday morning, and all day Sunday when she would have these horrible siezures, I thought, okay, this is it, now she is going to die. Sunday night I went to bed with my heart just hurt, my chest actually hurt, because I just knew she was going to die.
I didn't take her to the e-vet, I don't trust the ones I know, and honestly, I thought the only thing they could do is sub q her, and I did that myself.
This morning, she was still alive. She has only had 1 siezure that I know of today. I took her to the vet crying, because I was going to have her put down. I just couldn't see how she could live. She was so weak.
My vet never even discussed putting her down. He looked at her, did a good long exam. Listened to her lungs, and checked her abdomen. He said we need to sub q her more. But more, he said we need to feed her, and I have a gavage you can use for that. They sub q'ed her for me, and showed me how to use the gavage, giving her some sugar water. I didn't even know there was such a thing for a sugar glider. I just thought we were out of luck, as there is no way to do an IV.
I was wrong. I thought that I had enough experience to know that she won't live through this. I gave up on her. But Doodle Bug wouldn't let me. That little girl is still alive. She is going to hate me when we are done, because I will be sticking a tube down her throat and force feeding her, and sub-q'ing her.
The lesson is never give up on them. While I didn't neglect her, I had no hope. She is still alive. I don't know everything, and there are wonderful tools out there to help our babies.
We have work to do. We have to start her on meds tonight, because of the wheezing and popping, the vet could hear it in her lungs. He thinks she declined so fast because she wasn't ready to be done with the meds. She was probably still sick.
I am going to post some pics of the gavage (which is stainless steel) and of her. She looks terrible.

Description: Doodle Saturday
Attached picture Doodle Bug 023.JPG
Attached picture Doodle Bug 024.JPG

Description: See the missing hair
Attached picture Doodle Bug 027.JPG
Attached picture Doodle Bug 025.JPG
Posted By: USMom

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 02:05 AM

Here is the gavage. It is a slender tube with just a bit of a bulb at the end. You can see how little it is.

Attached picture Doodle Bug 028.JPG
Attached picture Doodle Bug 029.JPG
Attached picture Doodle Bug 031.JPG
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 02:20 AM

Aw Shawna, I'm so sorry to hear about Doodlebug. It's very important to never lose hope though. Never give up on them. Sometimes your faith and hope and love is what keeps them (or anyone, when sick..) going. I will keep her in my thoughts. She looks so precious.

hug2 hug2 hug2 hug2 hug2
Posted By: pappy1264

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 02:30 AM

I am just bawling here after reading this. God bless her little fighting spirit! Praying very hard for little Doodlebug. And as hard as a lesson learned, it reminds us all to keep fighting for our babies. Thank God you have a vet that knew what to do! Please keep us posted on how she is doing.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 02:51 AM

I too am crying!! I am praying for her and the rest of your family. (((Hugs)))
Posted By: Jackie_Chans_Mom

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 03:10 AM

AWWW, Shawna
I don't think she looks horrible - I think she looks precious.

I am so glad to hear that she is still with us. I hated to call and ask - I, too, was afraid. NOW, how 'bout when I get there we can take a turn caring for each other's babies. I'll care for D.B. for a bit and you can care for Jackie & Nugget. FAIR?

Can't wait to meet the little precious one!
Posted By: USMom

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 03:15 AM

Thank you. I forgot the reason I made the post. I should have taken her to the vet on Saturday, as soon as I realized there was something wrong. My vet is open on Saturday. But I thought I could handle it, then within an hour I thought she was going to die, so why bother. I am getting ready to feed her with the gavage, and I am scared out of my mind, so please, please pray for both of us, I don't want to hurt her.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 03:17 AM

Wow Shawna. I am so sorry that you had to go through this! As a newbie on here, I would like to say that as painful as it is to show pics, stuff like that helps me see exactly what a sick glider looks like.
Little Doodle Bug in in my heart, thoughts and prayers! hug2
Posted By: mommawannabe

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 03:29 AM

Awwwww Shawna, it is a hard lesson learned. Keeping you and Doodle Bug in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted By: USMom

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 03:41 AM

She's gone. She was here an hour ago, and I went to get her for food and sub q, and she was curled up in the same place she was in when I left her, still holding her tail in her hand. It looks like it was peaceful.

If I had taken her Saturday this might be a different story. Please, please learn from this.

I have to go now. I can't deal.
Posted By: pappy1264

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 03:44 AM

Oh no, Shawna, I am so very sorry!! You did all you could for her. I am praying for peace for you and I will light a candle for her here. Godspeed sweet angel Doodle Bug.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 03:48 AM

hug2 I'm sure she knows you loved her very much and did what you thought in your heart was best for her hug2
Posted By: BeckiT

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 03:48 AM

I'm so sorry Shawna hug2

gonna move this to rainbow memorials
Posted By: krysKritters

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 03:52 AM

Posted By: Anonymous

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 03:55 AM

I so sorry about your little one!
Posted By: ValkyrieMome

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 03:56 AM

Shawna -

I'm SO SORRY for your loss of precious DoodleBug.

PleasePleasePlease don't blame yourself. Remember: You made the BEST decision you could make with the information available to you at the time. Second guessing yourself comes with hindsight - and you don't need to beat yourself up over this.

She is a precious one, she knows she was loved, and you need to think of her continuing on as you found her ... curled up peacefully.

Big Hugs
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 03:56 AM

hug2 hug2 hug2 hug2 hug2 hug2 hug2

I'm sorry Shawna. She'll be keeping a watchful on eye you. She knew she was loved.

Posted By: Anonymous

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 04:56 AM

Shawna I'm so sorry hug2
Posted By: Srlb

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 05:04 AM

Shawna hug2 hug2

We talked Saturday. I know in my heart just as you know in yours you DID do EVERYTHING you could do. DO NOT hold yourself responsible for this. God needed her up there to sit on the shoulder of that other dear person we discussed on Saturday.

They are both together right now. Looking down smiling and saying what a wonderful place they are both at.

her death was NOT in vain. You know I had NEVER heard of that equipment before. so she DID teach all of us something.

I am so so sorry for your loss.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 05:52 AM

I'm so sorry to hear she didn't make it.
Don't blame yourself, you made the best choices you could with the information you had at the time. You couldn't have known that this would end up happening.
I know it won't help bring her back, but remember that you did all you could to help her, and make her comfortable and loved.
I will keep you in my prayers during this sad time.
Posted By: GliderHappy81

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 05:56 AM

cry Im so sorry. cry hug2 hug2
Posted By: Lucy

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 06:14 AM

Shawna, 2nd guessing is a dangerous thing to do. When I read your post and heard the "popping," I thought "oh, no." I've seldom seen a glider survive the kind of respiratory distress that produces that unique sound. Honestly, I'm not sure one day was going to make a difference here. I don't know if you had a necropsy done, but I would guess there was something going on with fluid on the heart (kind of congestive heart failure in people), and if so, she probably wasn't going to survive long regardless of what you did.

I'm so sorry. I know you're blaming yourself, and I really doubt that anything could have been done. I'm always impressed with how gliders courageously tend to do better and rebound and give us hope, and then they just can't sustain the progress if they're really ill. It's heartbreaking. I hope the love and support you get here helps --

I hope
Posted By: Cora

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 06:29 AM

Posted By: Xfilefan

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 12:41 PM

Oh, Shawna, I'm so sorry!! Don't you DARE beat yourself up on this one!! hug2 hug2 You have had SO much going on with this infection and Coop, and round the clock care of those babies, and by the time they lose enough to be visible it's a lot on such a small animal-it's NOT YOUR FAULT. hug2 hug2 I might have done the same thing. Before this you and I were even on gliders we've seen go to the Bridge. frown If it helps, I spent over 14 hours debating on Lyah as well (she was also popping when breathing)-plus other symptoms-you were likely right in your inital assesment. Sometimes we can keep them with us another day or so, with vet help, but then that's all we get. And one day wouldn't have mattered by the time they showed us something was wrong.

I know your heart is hurting-and know we are here for you, K?
hug2 hug2 hug2

And thank you for posting the pics of the tool. I think I need one for my own emergency kit. hug2
Posted By: BCChins

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 01:12 PM

Shawna big hug2 for you. You did everything you could for her. Do Not blame yourself for this you tried all you could and you were there for her when she needed you. This is a nasty bug they have and you are doing all you can to get them healthy again.
I am sorry for you both and the gliders for having this illness.
Posted By: LSardou

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 02:18 PM

hug2 Shawna, Doddle Bug is at peace. May your heavy heart be filled with the joy she feels now, and the love that she holds dear towards you for all love that you gave her precious little heart. God Speed Sweet Doodle Bug. gangel
Posted By: morksmom

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 02:52 PM

hug2 Sorry hug2
Posted By: Candy

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 03:23 PM

cry This just breaks my heart. I'm so sorry for you loss hug2
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 03:35 PM

hug2 I am so sorry for your loss Shawna. I feel with suggies that most of us do the best we can with what we have. If you have ever owned a dog or cat before your suggies, you probably become frustrated like me. You can walk in and you know what is wrong. With my suggies, I sometimes beat myself up over is something is going wrong. You have owned many suggies and from what I have read about you, you are a GREAT mommy and I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my prayers and thoughts. Sending hug2 hug2 and more hug2 your way!
Posted By: sugarlope

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 03:58 PM

cry I'm so sorry Shawna. hug2 This isn't your fault. She knows you loved her and that you would do anything for her, all of your kids know that. You didn't let her down, you were there for her to let her know she was loved and you did everything you could for her, there is no question about that. hug2 hug2
Posted By: dranger1108

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 04:01 PM

I'm so sorry for your loss
Posted By: USMom

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 04:04 PM

Thank you all. I just hope that someone who looks at their glider, and knows something is wrong, reads this, and instead of taking care of it at home, takes them in.

I fought for that tool, the gavage. It is stainless steel, so I can sterilize it, and re-use it. The tube is very narrow, so you could do water, sugar water, ensure or juice or something, but nothing with any substance. BML wouldn't go through, even thinned out I think it would clog. I am going to just do a test with the HPW tonight (not on a glider) so I can see if that would go.

Doodle Bug went peacefully to the bridge, so that is some comfort for me, and I have 17 healthy gliders. Of course, 6 of them are singles right now...

Once again, thank all of you for your thoughts, and hugs, I needed them.
Posted By: USMom

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 05:47 PM

Speaking of the gavage, please, please have your vet show you how to use it! It only goes in a tiny little bit. They can demonstrate on a glider, it won't hurt them. Its a little uncomfortable, but that is it. But if you go too far, or to the wrong place, you can kill them.
Posted By: jacknsally

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 06:19 PM

Aww Shawna :hug2- I'm so sorry about your little girl. As I started reading- I was going to caution you about her weight loss but then realized she had glided across the rainbow bridge. DB lost a large amount of weight in a very short time- rapid weight loss like that usually triggers lipidosis. I don't think there's much help or knowledge on gliders surviving lipidosis- it's fatal in cats if not caught early. So please don't beat yourself up- you can't question to know if one day would have made a difference.
Posted By: JayAndDiana

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/22/08 10:00 PM

hug2 so sorry you had to go thru this Shawna hug2
Posted By: SweetGliders

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/23/08 04:34 AM

Oh Shawna,
I am sorry you lost your baby girl. Sending you hugs.. hug2 hug2 hug2 hug2 . Please don't beat yourself up these things happen for a reason which we can't understand or explain. She was loved very much and she knew it before she passed over.

Anita heart
Posted By: kthiessen

Re: A Lesson Learned - 01/23/08 05:08 AM

I'm so sorry. hug2
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