Kona was born on May 25, 2014. I came home to her as a surprise from my husband for out first wedding anniversary on August 14th. She was 11 weeks old and very small. She was out first GSD puppy so we didn't really realize she was abnormal. She was eating, very active, and very vocal. Looking at her pictures now it amazes me that we didn't know. Kona was very sick when we brought her home. Her symptoms showed up 2 days later.
I came home from work on the 16th and she barely even reacted to me- I mean barely even lifted her head. It was then I notices she was also coughing a lot. She actually even coughed up mucous a couple times over the next hour. She had not exhibited any signs the night before so as fast as she went downhill, I still know she had to have been sick for her to have gotten so severe.
I took her to the petsmart vet (because it was after hours for our vet) and as we waited to he seen, she continued to be unresponsive to any person or other dog. The Banfield vet sent us straight to the Emergency Animial Hospital.
The vet at the EAH offered little in the way of hope. Once her parvo test came back negative, she seemed only slightly more optimistic. Kona stayed the night there in breathing treatments an got chest X-rays. She almost died that night. She had a severe case if pneumonia, and spent the entire next week at our vet getting round the clock care.
When she finally came home she was a happy and seemingly healthy bundle of energy. At her first well visit she weighed it at only 11 pounds at 13 weeks. Our vet wasn't sure how much of that was just her and how much was due to the sickness. We didn't care. Our main focus was just getting her healthy.
Don't get me wrong, there was a hint of disappointment when the vet estimated she would only be about 40 pounds full grown. But more importantly we wanted a happy, healthy dog.
Kona developed digestive issues over the next several months. It was basically just a sensitivity to every food we tried. We even tried a strictly chicken and rice diet for a while. She also became a picky eater. Who can blame the girl, every food made her sick.
Eventually we got her on a prescription food, and then transitioned her to Royal Canin German shepherd formula. She is doing great on that.
Kona is almost 2 years old now, and weighed 43 pounds at her last check up. She isn't all that tall either and looks to be a good weight for her height. She is purebred, so she's just a very a typical GSD. We will never know how much if that is a result of her illness, genetics, or maybe she's the runt, or any combination of reasons. That said, we got a dog with a wonderful temperament and we trained her right and we have a great dog.
2 weeks ago we added Kooper, a male GSD puppy to the family. Looking at him, and looking at her baby pictures it's just amazing what a difference there is. Kooper is just under average at 20 pounds at 11 weeks. He is gaining almost a pound a day right now though, so he may catch up quickly. He is currently barking in his sleep in his crate next to me. I wonder what he is dreaming about tonight?
Kona was a frustrating and challenging but wonderful experience. I wouldn't have traded any of the struggle we had for a "normal" GSD. She's a great dog.
Below are pictures of her as a pup before and after he hospital stay. You can see the difference in health clearly. Also there is a more recent photo of her. We call her "permapup" as a private joke because she still looks like a 5 month old. We love her
normal" GSD. She's such a great dog.
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