Life Update

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If you’re an OG follower of PaleOMG, you know that I share new posts almost every single day on my blog, even while on vacation or in other countries. I make it happen no matter what I have going on. But as of right now, I have nothing left. All my energy and time has gone into saving my dog’s life, and my brain has nothing left because of it. So instead of sharing a new recipe or a skincare product I’m loving while try to fake a virtual smile throughout the post, I thought I would share what’s really going on. And the pain we have been going through the past few weeks.

If you haven’t been following along on social media, I’ll give you a quick rundown on what’s been going on the past 2 weeks with our little pup. Here’s the timeline….

About a month ago, Jackson came down with a little stomach bug that put him in the ER vet.

A week later, he was experiencing ear infection.

A few days after that, he was screaming in pain and could barely lift his head. The vet prescribed him pain meds, steroids, and muscle relaxers and sent us home to see if that helped.

Well, sadly it didn’t and I ended up back at the ER vet at 4am on a Sunday checking him in for an emergency MRI.

He had his MRI the next day where they found a disc extrusion in his neck and some soft palate issues.

Then he went into surgery on Tuesday to fix both of those issues. Well the surgeries went great, but he almost immediately starting dealing with edema (fluid retention throughout his body). All the vets at this location have not seen this reaction before. They believe it’s from the contrast they use for the MRI since he started showing signs of edema immediately after it. Because of this fluid retention, he has trouble moving around, he aspirated a bit which caused breathing issues, and he’s been reluctant to eat since before surgery. He hasn’t eaten in over 9 days at this point.

Then yesterday while I was visiting him, he had a seizure out of nowhere. He’s never had a seizure so obviously this was pretty gut wrenching to see.

So today we decided to move him to CSU vet hospital, where they saved his life after contracting leptospirosis over a year ago. This vet hospital is in Fort Collins (an hour and a half away) and is one of the best vet teaching schools in the country. When we checked him in they immediately told us we have a very sick dog. They quickly removed some of the excess fluid around his lungs to help him breathe then checked him into cardiology to rule out congestive heart failure – all tests came back normal with the heart, luckily. They also found that his potassium levels were dangerously low (potassium ensures that the heart keeps beating) so they got those levels back up.

We left Jackson up at CSU today and we are feeling much more comfortable with him being there. He is in an oxygen crate resting comfortably with their amazing staff. Tomorrow he will be moved over to their internal medicine team and they will start trying to figure out what is causing this edema and how to fix it. Then hopefully we will have some sort of game plan. Since Jackson hasn’t eaten in so long, tomorrow they will most likely put in a feeding tube through his nose to get actual nutrients back in his body. He’s so puffy from the edema, but you can still see his spine and hip bones poking through from the muscle loss, so this will be so incredibly helpful.

This whole experience has been traumatizing, truly heartbreaking, and painful, but I finally feel confident where he is and know that they will do everything possible to figure out what is going on. The last vet just wanted to wait it out and if we would have listened, he would have died. If I’ve learned anything from this experience, it’s that you should always get a second opinion. Never settle. If you feel uncomfortable with something, change your settings. I’ve had a pit in my stomach for so long now and I finally feel like there is hope. I’m so glad I didn’t wait any longer, so f*cking glad. Tomorrow I’ll be heading back up to Fort Collins to stay up there for a few days so I can easily visit him daily. I already can’t wait to see his beautiful face. If you have an animal at home, give them a big smooch for me tonight. Having Jackson back home sounds like truly the best thing in the entire world. I can’t wait to have him back.

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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.

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27 thoughts on “Life Update”

  1. Thanks for the update, because I’ve been thinking of you and Jackson! I’m so sorry you are going through this. It sounds as though Jackson is in GREAT hands at CSU. That’s awesome that you listened to your gut and advocated for Jackson – he’s lucky he’s got such a strong Mama-Bear fighting for him. Best wishes to you and Jackson and I’m hoping he can recover quickly and come home soon!

  2. Juli
    Sending lots of thoughts and love your way. I am so sorry for poor Jackson. I remember when you posted about getting him and have loved hearing about him or seeing pictures ever since. I have 2 fur babies that I love and adore and I am heartbroken that Jackson has to go through this. My family will be thinking of you.

  3. Oh Juli, my heart goes out to you, your husband and Jackson. It is literally the hardest thing to have a sick dog! I’ve been there. I am SO glad to hear Jackson is getting such good care. Our dogs are our babies. Just hang in there and give him all the love and pats you can!

  4. I am so sorry to hear all of this, my thoughts are with you. I’m crying as I read this, it is too relatable and so many of the same thoughts I have had as our sweet baby girl husky had to be put to sleep two days ago unexpectedly.
    We went into the emergency vet for what we thought was an infection and she ended up having Pyometra (infected uterus) due to not being spayed, this vet was amazing and somehow discovered this during a ten minute exam of her and ultrasound when we had been to the vet so many times during the 3 years we had her and no vet we had been to could figure out why she had weird infections/coughing/orange tinted skin/UTI’s and completely misdiagnosed her so many times and basically waved us away with antibiotics to try (we rescued her at 8yrs old and were told she had been spayed and all her paperwork said spayed), so heartbreaking that something so simple could have been solved with a surgery to slay her if we had known and really glad you got the second opinion as I am now seeing firsthand the impact when vets fail at their job. Sadly, she was so sick and either needed emergency surgery which was risky to be successful or to go to sleep,so heartbreaking within the time span of a few hours for that to all go down 🙁

    Haven’t posted before but discovered your blog a few months ago (Westminster CO gal here!) and love it, motivates me to eat healthier and exercise more and awesome recipes, and super hilarious as you say the most insane things as I would so basically that makes you me and now this dog situation has me feeling for you so really hopeful for you and your fam at this time. I’ve had to take a previous dog to the vet at CSU and also had an autopsy done on that same dog and he will be in the best hands there, so many resources they have, so you have been a great dog mom and have gotten him the best care you possibly can and they will definitely sort out how to treat the edema.

  5. I am so sorry Jackson is going through all of this! I had a very similar experience with my dog nearly dying post-surgery and being transported to a vet hospital for a blood transfusion bc the original vet was a bit negligent. We made the 4hr round trip drive every day until she was released because our visits helped her so much. You are so right – if something doesn’t feel right, get out.

    Please don’t feel like you need to be pumping out content right now. Save your brain and energy for Jackson and getting a little rest yourself. There are plenty of posts here to keep us busy! Take care, give Jackson lots of love!!

  6. thinking about you everyday and checking your story for updates!!! Praying for Jackson and hugging my doggos extra tight. Love from FL

  7. Monica Entinger

    So scary when your pup is sick and in the vet! I’m glad you got him to a vet you trust. Hang in there. You are a wonderful dog mama and he is so lucky to be your boy. You’re doing everything you can for him and that really matters. Praying for Jackson!

  8. Oh my goodness…that’s so much. I’m so happy to hear that you’re feeling better now that Jackson is at CSU. Trust your gut! It sounds like they have already been so proactive in trying to figure this out and make Jackson more comfortable. I like my dogs more than the majority of people, so can empathize with what you’re going through. A few years ago one of our dogs had a reaction to medication post-surgery and went into kidney failure as a result. Fortunately she was a tough girl and was alright in the end, but those moments when I thought we were losing her were so traumatic.
    Take care of your family and don’t worry too much about content right now – there’s so much already here for people to use and enjoy. Sending you all positive, healing vibes.

  9. Oh Juli, I am so sorry. You are such a great dog mom and made the right decision. I am sending you so many hugs and while I am not religious, I do believe in a higher power and will be saying my prayers today for Jackson. xoxo

  10. Thank you for the update, I have been so worried and am crying reading this post. My Frenchie baby and I are sending you and Jackson many hugs and positive thoughts!

  11. Sending lots of positive thoughts your way Juli! So sorry this is all happening, but great to hear Jackson is receiving the best care possible.

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  12. I can only imagine your pain, as we have pups and cats at home. So sorry you’re going through this! Sending positive energy for health and healing (all of you). <3

  13. Last month our beloved dog became violently ill in the middle of the night and we decided to take him to the 24 hour emergency animal hospital. He stayed in the ICU about 36 hours. This was one of the most traumatizing experiences of my life, so while Jackson’s case is much more extreme, I do have an appreciation for what you are experiencing and I am so sorry. These little guys are so pure of heart that it’s incredibly painful to see them in jeopardy. I’m glad you followed your instincts and have found some peace by moving him to a different hospital. Wishing you and yours the very best.

  14. Oh, Juli. I am sending so much love to your little family. I’ve been with you since the day you got Jackson and his pictures make my heart so happy! Giving my 2 rescue pups extra love right now and hoping this hospital gives you guys some answers fast. It seems like he’s in great hands! Hoping Jackson is more comfortable and gets back on his feet in no time. Thinking of you guys!

  15. I’m so sorry you all are going through this! I hope you don’t mind that you and your sweet Jackson are on our prayer list for peace, healing and comfort.
    Love and doggie kisses from Piper the golden retriever and Stacy, Piper’s mom

  16. Sending immense care and support, Juli and Jackson! I’ve been following you for years and years (including back when I lived in FoCo – such stellar vets there!). Tons of wishes for healing!

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  17. Wishing you, your husband, and Jackson peace, comfort, and health! Sounds like he’s in the right place. Prayers for his quick recovery 💕

  18. Girl, from one dog mom to another…I’ve been thinking about you everyday and sending you and Jackson all my positive healing thoughts and energies. My dog Wilson and I take a moment every morning to send our best wishes to sweet Jackson. <3 Hang in there, your community is here to give love and support. Thanks for everything you share and produce for us.

  19. Can’t. Even. Imagine. Giving my bulldog extra belly rubs tonight and hoping all goes well with Jackson.

  20. Hi Juli, Thank you for sharing about Jackson. It made me so emotional because we almost lost our french bulldog in January and the CSU Teaching Hospital saved his life. I live in Boulder and in January, my frenchie, Cas, had a foreign object stuck in his esophagus for two days because the ER vet in Boulder kept misdiagnosing him. We finally took him up to Fort Collins and rushed him into surgery after they confirmed he had a bone stuck in his esophagus. I won’t give you all the details so you can focus on your pup, but CSU was so fucking amazing. If you can work with Dr. Pierce Chan in Internal Medicine – do it! He was super responsive and took the time to give us so much information while we were so scared during his two month recovery of feeding him through a tube. I’m sending your family so much love as you go through this.

    1. jesus, how insanely scary!! i don’t understand why things go so wrong at normal ER vets then things go so well at CSU. it just doesn’t make sense and it’s so incredibly frustrating. it makes me want to move to Fort Collins so I can be close to that hospital lol. i’m so sorry you had to go through that!!

  21. I am glad Jackson is doing better. Health care for pets is so difficult as they cannot tell you what is wrong. The vet hospital in Fort Collins sounds amazing and wishing Jackson a speedy recovery.

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