A Pup Stop

Literally on the Edge of Death

So, one of my dogs got sick. She got really sick. She became so ill I thought I was going to lose her. I want to share this horrifying experience with you for a few reasons. For one, I hope to help others who may encounter similar issues with their female pooch, God forbid. I would not want anyone to endure what we just went through. Another reason, in fact more important, is to help others see that natural remedies do, in fact, work. And they work amazingly well for your dogs. While I share this, though, I truly hope you can clearly see the awe-striking, flawless work of our Lord and King. God’s design for literally everything never ceases to keep me in a perpetual state of awe–even as we were literally on the edge of death.

So, what happened?

The photo here is my girl Hanani after a week of being ravaged by an unexpectedly common infection. It was truly exhausting.

Toward the end of January this year my husband and I woke up to Hanani violently puking all over her room. (Yes, she has her own bedroom.) I noticed during the few days prior that she was feeling a bit off and just kept an eye on her. Over the next few hours, days and weeks, I learned a lot that I never imagined I would need to know. While I watched my once vibrant, irritatingly active monster of a dog rapidly deteriorate, I dug in and researched as much as I could find and began implementing suggestions that made sense.

Before I go on, I need to say that I am neither any sort of medical professional, nor have I ever been accused of having a medical degree. Be mindful of this as you read on, acknowledging that this is not to be construed as medical advice. I will not go as far to parrot the cliche, “consult your veterinarian.” Not because I am anti-vet, but more because I firmly believe most have little to no idea about alternatives. But again, you do what you feel is right. However, please note that I am here to encourage you to LEARN, LEARN, LEARN! That’s why I started this website years ago: To encourage folks to learn to train their own dogs and how to evaluate the resources they find so they know they’re getting sensible, usable information (as opposed to the latest fad crap going around).

That said, if anyone has any questions after reading this, feel free to reach out either in the comment section below or a private email. But again, keep in mind that I will only help you learn how to think for yourself, sort through information and may be able to provide based resources.

Okay, okay. So, get to the point–right? I’m sure lots of folks have heard the term “pyometra”. For those that have not, Pyometra is a uterine infection that can occur in intact female dogs (as well as other animals). The vast majority of information out there cautions folks to rush the dog to the vet, who will inevitably demand an emergency removal of her reproductive organs (spaying). Granted, I get the urgency of the situation. Believe me, especially within those first couple weeks, it is a scary experience. Especially when you read that there are two types of pyometra: open and closed. In the very basics, open is where the pus drains out visibly; closed, not so much. Although there is some good information on alternatives for open pyometra, all of the information for the closed version cautions about the “immediate risks” of death because “it can rupture the uterus.”

Closed Pyometra. (Photo borrowed from https://www.marvistavet.com/pyometra.pml)

You can see in the photo above the light grey area that looks almost like a balloon animal. That’s the swollen, pus-filled uterus in that dog. (This photo is not my dog.) Normally, a uterus cannot be seen in a radiograph image. I urge you all to start digging for yourselves–especially if you have an intact female–and learn more about this absolutely horrifying, yet definitely curable disease. For now, I’d rather tell you how the Lord worked in our home.

Struggling for words

For the past couple months I have been struggling for words to really help you all fully understand where we were in those moments. Partly for the fact that I need you to truly see that I am nobody special when it comes to faith, strength or understanding to get through tough times. Frankly, I was terrified on a regular, sometimes daily, basis throughout this experience. I share this in hopes that readers can connect and not be intimidated away from delving into natural remedies. I pray this resonates with the masses, for it is not only our pups for which we need to learn such self-sustaining measures.

So, guess which version of pyometra Hanani had? Yup. Of course, the worst (closed) and most horrifying. This beautiful, bouncy, ball-crazy, food hog of a dog was interested in literally not a damn thing. Except cuddling. She did want to cuddle more than usual. There were too many times to count when she would not even get up or lift her head when I tried to get her outside. It was apparent that she was giving up, but by God’s grace, I would not let her. I prayed over her constantly, cleaned up the puke innumerable times a day (my living room rug is trashed), gently massaged her swollen belly with warm towels, and even if I had to carry her part way, I got her butt outside and moving around. All this, while I watched her body turn into mere skin and bones. I kept her by my side almost constantly. Many a night during all this I entirely expected to awake and find her dead.

Yes. It was seriously that bad.

At this point, many might be wondering why I did not just rush her to a vet. Good question. Hopefully I can answer it to your satisfaction.

For as long as I can recall, most “mainstream” things just made no sense to me. I don’t say this in judgement, just honesty. And it’s not that I do not understand blank or blank. It’s more that I do not understand that, even when well informed, most folks flock to the “blank” that is popular, mainstream or maybe just easier? This illness with my precious pup is a fine example. As noted earlier, had I taken her to a vet, their remedy would be emergency surgery and massive antibiotics and pain killers for weeks. I do understand that and God bless them, sincerely. However, any time an animal is put under anesthesia it can be risky. Then, if they do make it through surgery, add synthetic antibiotics and pain meds. Yuk. On top of that, particularly with closed pyometra, I learned that recovery time after said surgery can be 2-3 months or more. Then add to that the hormonal imbalances that come from a full hysterectomy. The list is lengthy.

Since I learned that this condition is generally caused by the fluctuating cycles of hormones during heat periods, this was a good starting point. When the cervix remains open, bacteria from the vagina (etc) can more easily find its way into the uterus. Older, intact female dogs are more prone to this than younger. Hanani is 6 and just completed a heat cycle one week prior to this onset. I also learned that the two best ways to prevent pyometra are spaying, as we talked about, and pregnancy. It took some serious digging, but I did find a surprising amount of information on using homeopathy and herbs to treat this condition. Similar to mainstream methods, with natural remedies the healing time can be two to four months.

After lots of praying through lots of information I determined that, in my opinion, the only reason to take her to a vet would be for a formal diagnosis. That would inevitably lead to pressure for emergency surgery and hella antibiotics, and they’d likely try to push some pain pills too. Said with all due respect, but we did not need any more stress. In contrast, I already knew what was wrong with her and I had an opportunity to provide her the best care without upsetting her further (ie: rushing to the vet for emergency surgery). Y’all know, if you’ve read previous blogs here, Hanani does not play well with strangers. Taking her anywhere would have added to her stress and, I believe, would have caused more unnecessary pain for her. The recovery time is virtually the same, yet I had an option to help her body strengthen through this with no chemical medicines, etc.

For me, this was a no-brainer. Granted, I could have lost her, and we did come terrifyingly close several times. But surgeries and chemical medicines can not only have the same outcome (death) they can inadvertently cause other issues that last for life. Again, to me, this does not take any debate. I chose to learn more about natural remedies and trust in God’s design for the outcome. True, I wavered. There were a few times I begged God to just end her misery, but nevertheless I made the choice as I became fully informed.

Again, I cannot stress enough (especially considering the times we are in) the importance of LEARN LEARN LEARN for yourself. Your, and your pups’, survival depend on it.

God’s mysterious glory

Though I have always been a nerd, with my nose in books about what was then considered obscure things, and studied natural remedies and nutrition since… Gosh. Since… Ummm… Oh! Since my late teens–way back before the internet 😉 And though I used natural remedies for my kids from birth on, I still hesitated. Yes, I did say the choice for me was a no-brainer. But even I did hesitate at first.

I do love the saying about how most folks fear what they know nothing, or very little, about, coupled with “Knowledge is power.” Those things, in my experience, are some of the greatest truths, that fit so perfectly together. Case on point: I hesitated, for I knew very little of what I was stepping into. At the same time, I became increasingly empowered the more I learned and experienced. Folks, please take a moment to marinate in that point and grab the Grace to apply it to all other areas of your life–especially considering how life is nowadays.

Elohim… God, Creator of all that is, never ceases to blow my mind with His awesome Creation–including how much sense it makes. You give a body what it needs and it can endure pretty much anything. That truly doesn’t matter if we’re talking human body, dog body, and so on. God designed it this way and this, along with trusting Him, is such an amazingly beautiful thing to experience. Lots of folks look for miracles, but miss the daily wonders God does provide. Do not let the enemy rob you!

So, what did I use?

Gosh. I tried a few things, starting with what I had on hand. In the first few days, I started with Colloidal Silver and Homeopathy. Funny to note that as I researched more, I received a shipment of Turmeric powder along with a few other things I ordered from the Health Ranger Store. I bought the turmeric powder mainly to have it on hand, plus I have been trying to convince my husband to take it regularly for some pains he has. Either way, God made sure I had it right on time. The day it arrived I had just read some articles on turmeric and honey for healing pyometra. No joke!

Most articles on the topic recommend Manuka honey, but frankly our local market honey made from Ohio bees worked just fine. As much as I do love homeopathy and as much as it does work for many ailments, I went with the turmeric and honey because it had more immediate results. Within a week she went from the closed pyometra to open, which meant that at least her body was expelling the infection.

Since she was so weak and not even interested in eating I mixed the honey and turmeric with goat milk and fed it to her in a syringe several times a day. When I could get her to eat, it was usually my husband’s pulled rotisserie chicken from the local deli, a few bites at a time. Other times it was a pancake or hard boiled egg here and there. Many times I pureed these things and fed it to her in a syringe, because she was that weak. I also stocked up on water with electrolytes to help her along and keep her from getting dehydrated from vomiting so much. After about a solid month of this she finally began to show a fairly regular appetite. Not her regular, but at least more often.

Now I’m gonna tell ya, this is not for the faint of heart. I could not believe sometimes the stuff coming out of her. To try and keep her from licking the discharge (for that was one of the things that made her puke often) I put diapers on her. This also helped so she could stay next to me around the house. There was so much pus pouring out of her for about two weeks that we went through probably five packages of doggy diapers. As she regained strength, though, she learned to take them off. So, I added tape to better secure them. Then she started chewing through to clean herself. And, of course, she puked up the cotton. After that I only put them on her when she was out of her room. But at least I could see she was improving.

In fact, look at her now! (Photo taken April 14th, 2023.)

In conclusion…

From the first morning when we awoke to Hanani violently vomiting all over her room, until the last day of any discharge was approximately ten weeks. The first and worst stage lasted around 5 weeks. The next, about 3 weeks and the last stage about two weeks. I detailed already the worst of it, but the two latter stages are just as important to note. During the second stage, the discharge changed from thick, brownish tinged to thinner and white, and became less and less profuse. Also, near the beginning of this stage, the swelling in her belly eased and her appetite increased. The last stage entailed mainly a clear, sometimes pink-tinged discharge that looked like snot. As annoying as this was, I took it as a good sign. It made sense to me that this was the completion of her body cleansing and healing. That just cleared up almost a couple weeks ago. Throughout all stages I continued giving her the turmeric and honey concoction, but in the latter parts I did not include the goat milk. No imperative reason. She just did not seem to need it, but to watch her begin to put on weight and become more active has been a blessing beyond imagination.

The Lord our God created so many wonders that breeze around us daily, yet too often go unnoticed. I truly believe that most in today’s society are oblivious of these wonders, especially when it comes to the many things He has provided for our–and our pups’–wellness and healing. He has provided literally all we need. At the same time, today’s world demands we either become more self-reliant and informed, or be crushed by the chaos and tyranny. What will you chose?

…before you answer that, consider what I have just shared here and realize the life of your pup depends on whether you chose to remain ignorant and dependent, or well learned and self-reliant. And do recall not so long ago the same establishment that tells you to rush your pup to the vet, just admitted that those shots that were forced upon everyone are dangerous and do not work as intended.

So, all things considered, what do you chose? While you ponder all this, take a walk outside. Take in the sights, sounds, the smell of spring. Each plant you see, including those dastardly dandelions, make a note or take a photo. Then go home and look up all its God-designed benefits. As you do, let yourself be filled with awe at the Lord’s work. It is truly amazing and He truly does love you…and your pup 😉

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