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301 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Though I have trained Blaze to run Snipe into a burlap sack that is held open after I whistle them critters in, I just have not had much luck. The only burlap sacks I can find just do not open up wide enough. So today I tried a large net with a handle instead. Within 5 minutes of making my Snipe call I could see a single Snipe running around the point of the cove we were in. Blaze made a flanking move and ran the Snipe right to me. I was able to scoop it up just as it tried to pass me. It was a great evening of Snipe huntin.

Seriously. This was Blaze's first outing last December after recovering from what turned out to be an unknown rodenticide poisoning that almost killed her. Spur of the moment that afternoon we hit the road to a nearby lake. I only had two hours to hunt before Sunset.

I was surprised after the long break, Blaze was following commands like she had never missed a hunt. After half a dozen birds flushed out of range on the walk, finally I had one down. First and only shot of the evening.

With a little toss and a catch to reposition the bird, I think Blaze really was just having fun.

For the walk back we worked the high ground looking for rabbits. No rabbits, but oddly enough same as last year, a Woodcock was found. It is opening day, but unfortunately not legal game for this particular hunting area.

Though no more game was found a perfectly good landing net and a decent rigged decoy was. Blaze posing with her Treasure.

I don't know how they know, but at Sunset the Snipe just stopped flushing. Blaze and I could walk right up to them, but could not shoot them. And the sky was on fire.

It is amazing how much adventure can find you in two hours if you just let it. This last picture that I took that evening in the sunset.


794 Posts
Wow! Fabulous pictures, oh so pretty land, and Blaze is beautiful! How old is she? I'm so glad to hear she recovered from the poisoning! That's very scary. We had a Basset Hound that was assumed to have ingested poisoning, and she did not make it. We started our V pup on birds, & are learning about all the hunting training, but most of all, I just love having adventures with Pumpkin outdoors. She finds some crazy things ;D Thanks so much for sharing! I really needed a lift this morning, and your post was it!!!

301 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. There was a lot I did not post this season. The unwitnessed poisoning, and then two deaths in the family. We did get some hunting in between the trials and tribulations, but not as much as I usually would. Blaze is 7 years old going on 2. But then I guess all Vizslas still are at any age.

299 Posts
It's great to see Blaze acting like herself. I can't imagine how tough things have been for you these past months. As always your photos make me feel like I was there enjoying what had to have been one of your best times with Blaze. You and she have had a wonderful's wishing you many more miles!!

794 Posts
Sorry to hear of your losses, Snipe John. Grief is a heavy trial that has a way of making many of us appreciate God's grace & the splendor of nature. What better way to enjoy that then hunting with a beautiful, recovered V?!! Our Basset, Blossom, was not seen eating poison either, but her symptoms/death indicated poison was the cause. We lived on a farm at the time, and many of you know how those hounds like to wander. A terrible way to pass.

Are you in Texas? That is the only place I know Snipes live, at least in the winter. Some of your pictures looked like parts of the Carolinas. Blaze must really enjoy slogging. Pumpkin pays no mind to dense or rough cover, so I hope she learns to love the water. Is Blaze a natural retriever? She's very pretty & does not show any signs of middle age :)

301 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you so much for the kind post. Blaze is a fantastic retriever. I am in Texas. It's not as cold here and I love to hunt waterfowl so Blaze gets in as much waterfowl as upland hunting. We call her the Red Lab sometimes. LOL.


301 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok. I kind of inadvertently brought up Blaze's poisoning with the post. It was too overwhelming to post about it at the time. But I have it in Blaze's diary put together from emails so it is an easy cut and past. Maybe it will help with someone else to consider it if their Vizsla has a mystery illness like mine. Caught early, blood coag poisioning has an easy antidote. Caught late, it is deadly.

Blaze the Wonder Dog got into a little Kryptonite. We almost lost her.
So here is what happened. Her last hunt before becoming sick was on October
31st hunting Wood Ducks on a Creek at our lease in North West Texas. Everything
went well. For the next week she was at home and her happy self. Poor girl had a
duck hunt planned for November 13th, Goose hunting planned for the 14th and
15th, then two days duck hunting again after that. She never got to make those hunts.

November 8 we noticed she was not feeling well. She was running a high
fever. As well drinking and peeing more than would be normal for her. But
she was eating fine, no diarrhea, no vomiting and pooping normal. She was
taken to the local Vet. Nothing unusual noted other than stated, but
concerns about those symptoms and lack of other symptoms we had a blood test
done not just to look for minor things, but to rule out things such as
Kidney problems and diabetes. As well as to rule out Pancreatitis which is
what took her Mother Penny. Believed to just be something Viral or Bacterial
and we were offered antibiotics, but I chose to wait until after the blood
test results.

November 9. Blaze was more sick now. Her last regular meal was the night
before. Another visit to the vet. All blood work came back to the Vet and
reported to be normal. Vet was stumped and wanted to test for tick related
diseases. Talking to the blood lab they suggested testing for Addisons, and
I insisted on blood coagulation screening. So more blood work sent off
yet again. Still we had no diagnosis, nothing to treat.
Through the day her drinking slowed to none. She refused to eat and drink
and would only eat ice chips. Her temperature did return to normal. Gums
during the day looked pink and cap refill normal. No hardness to belly when
checked. Again no diarrhea or vomiting. Breath sounds clear with normal
breathing rate. But she was suffering from depression with no energy. I
spent the early evening searching for a new Vet for a second opinion if this
one was still stumped in the morning.

November 10. This had been the second night we stayed up with Blaze. During
the night things became much worse. Peeing had reduced to very little even
though she tried several times. Then she was only eating ice chips.
Breathing became labored, but still a normal rate. By sunup we noticed her
gums becoming pale, but there was no external bleeding. It was clear she was
becoming anemic. She almost fell over twice going out to try and pee. At
that point my wife and I felt we were watching her die before our eyes and
helpless as to why or what to do. A call to the Vet that morning, though
reluctant on their part, we got a rush on the blood work results. An excited
Vet on the return call, you could hear the urgency in her voice. It was
believed to be related to an exposure to a rat poison.

As you can probably guess by now, things looked grave. We rushed her to this
Vet for max dose injections of Vitamin K. Her paperwork and blood work was
faxed to a VCA Pet Hospital and we hit the road cringing with every bump.
Then we hit a dead stop traffic jam. I remember telling my wife. "We are in
****". I made the call to go back and take a different longer route which
was the right move as there had been a bad accident on the previous route we
were not aware of. Blaze at this time, could no longer stand and not
breathing well. She was in her Golden Hour.

What wonderful Vets we experienced this time. Everything was professional
and fast. Blood testing on sight. Blazes PCV had gone below 20 (percent of
red blood cells). Around 45 would be normal. Using ultrasound and X-ray they
could not locate the location of her blood loss. They did not poke around on
her much so as to not cause further damage. Blaze was immediately given a
transfusion of Blood Plasma with a large dose of Benadryl to lessen chances
of a bad reaction. This was followed by a blood transfusion. All donors are
universal blood types, so there was no delays in doing so. Blaze was in
"critical" condition, but stabilized.

It was not 100% rat poison diagnosis at this time. We do have rat poison at
our hunting lease that is kept put up out of reach. Comparing blood work
over the timeline did not add up with an exposure on the 31st. If exposure
had been at the hunting lease, she should not have survived with the number
of days between exposure and treatment. Poison Control, the manufacture of
the poison located at the lease, and other Veterinarians were called. All
felt it could not have been on the 31st and we have no rat poisons at home.
But with what we had, felt it best to continue to treat it as a rat anticoag

The night shift emergency vet had been one of the vets called for input. We
found she had been doing some research for us on her own time. There were
concerns that this could be a hemophilia related problem just surfacing if
not a poisoning. She was aware of a non standard blood test to identify if
in fact this was a rodenticide that could be done at a university in
Wisconsin where she had done her internship. She offered to do this for us.
Though it had some cost, it was minimal compared to having something like
this done locally. Results would not be very fast, but it was not related to
her care at that moment. We were breaking the $3000 mark already, so balls
to the wall on Blaze'a care, we said do it so we could rule that out and
Bless her for taking such a personal intrest in my dog. I have always
wondered if I would have a limit and tried not to think about it. But you
might say I found out that day my love for Blaze is as unconditional as
Blaze's love for me.

November 10 evening visit. Clotting levels were almost back to normal.
Another blood transfusion was not needed. Her demeanor much better. She was
trying to eat on her own when we arrived. With all that time of not eating
she was hungry and guarding that bowl from even me. Comments were made by
staff about how sweet, friendly, and well behaved she was with everyone
unlike every Vizsla they have had in there. Still did not know where she had
been losing blood. Full recovery looked very good. We got the feeling when
we brought her in that most did not think she would survive. In fact I
learned a story of when the blood coagulation screening was given to the lab
when we brought her in, they responded back a question of "are you sure you
want this" related to the time line and her condition. The vet had responded

November 11. PCV was still low at around 20 but her oxygen sp02 was good.
They felt the expense of giving another blood transfusion would not be
necessary. Rather she stayed in the hospital another night to let her build
that back up on her own. If her PCV had been just a little bit higher she
would have come home with us on the 11th. Her blood loss was showing now.
It had been between her skin and the front of her chest. There was a large
lump of pooled blood there. Also she had lost blood under her skin on her
belly. Blaze was happy, eating, drinking normal, if not eating too much. We
got to take her for a walk. As well she got to stalk some blackbirds in the
parking lot. Other than looking a little sore and tired, she was her normal
self. Sad looking, but trust me his was a great day.

November 12. Blaze got to come home around noon. She was to be on vitamin K
orally for 4 weeks. After the last dose of vitamin K she was to get a blood
test three days later to make sure her clotting levels are good and no other
problems. Some dogs have been known to have to stay on the vitamin K longer.

November 20. Everything had been going great. Blaze not getting to go on her
regular hunts this time of year has been restless and a handful. She has
been spoiled and only outside with supervision. Doctors orders to take it
easy until the last blood test. But early on this morning areas of what I would
call bruising was showing on her side, under one arm pit and in areas of her
belly. As well her belly button was very dark indicating she had in fact had
some internal bleeding at some point. Blaze had been crying a lot during the
night for no reason. Discussion with the Vet indicated the bruising was not
normal at this stage. We were also concerned she might be drinking more
water than would be normal for her. So back we went.

Blood work came back normal. Clotting normal. PCV normal.
Concerns over when this roller coaster started on November 8th also
presented normal blood work. But what was seen on that second set of blood
work was a change related to the amount of protein in her blood.
Why nothing was seen on that Monday is because her pancreas/liver may have been
compensating. But by the second day there had been a change in the ratio of
protein to red blood cells. So Blaze will go back tomorrow for another blood
test to see if that is happening again. Another CBC blood test has been sent
out today also to look at her blood platelets, but will not get those
results until Monday. What we want to see tomorrow is another normal result
and then all normal results on the CBC. If not, we will be looking at a
problem with her blood platelets which would be a bad thing. We are hoping
for and expecting the best. It is possible that the bruising is just
residual from the earlier internal bleeding though it really should be
looking better at this time rather than worse.

The results did come back from Wisconsin. It did test positive for a
rodenticide. This was not a witnessed poisoning. It was again discussed that
the hunting cabin on the 31st does not fit the time line for the exposure.
There are a couple possibilities brought up in discussion with my wife such
as someone witnessed in our alley that Blaze was barking at through the
fence that week and a Cat seen leaving our back yard with Blaze seen
investigating something left by the cat that possibly could have been a
poisoned rat. Asking neighbors we learned of a house two doors down that
found two dead Squirrels in their backyard with no obvious reason for it.
We may never know how, where, or when she got her kryptonite.
Blaze is home tonight and we will take her back in the morning. We felt we
would rather watch her rather than leave her for the night. The facility we
are using has a Vet on site 24 hours and we are not far away if anything

November 21. The CBC blood test results today came back with no change
in Blood Protein level. Her PCV test actually a little better than yesterday
and is at a normal level. Could not be be better news. The other blood test
results looking at her blood platelet production will not come back until
tomorrow, but with today's news it is expected to come back normal. One of
the bruises actually looks a little lighter now, and no new ones are showing.
We think what we are seeing is the pooled blood from before just now showing
up as bruising. Daily Vitamin K will continue till the middle of December,
then another blood test three days later. If there is any hint of a problem
with her blood clotting levels, she will go back on Vitamin K for another two
weeks. If everything is normal, she will be through this and no further care
needed. I asked about any long term damage to her vessels, organs, etc.
There will be no long term damage whatsover. If she gets through the next
month with the Vitamin K antedote, and her clotting enzyme levels show to be
normal following that, she will be 100%.

November 27. I was at my hunting lease ealier in the week and all poison we
had on site is accounted for. Both trays are on top of a bunk bed where I
moved them to before Dove season and they still have the rat poison in them.
That was the only rat poison I was aware of that she has been near. Still
dumbfounded as to where, when, how she injested any. Not knowing is scary.

December 18. Blaze had done great. Just had to deal with the usual
complications of a bored vizsla. Stayed on the Vitamin K and this last
blood test 3 days later. Last blood came back good. Blaze is cleared for
hunting again. Not related to the poisoning, but found because of it was a
lump on the side of her chest. A needle draw was done on it and sent off
for testing. Results indicated it was just a fatty mass and nothing to worry
about. Final total paid for everything was right at around $4000.
Blaze the $4000 Wonder Dog is back in action.

36 Posts certainly have been through **** and back.

I will definitely vote for sweet Blaze! :)

(John: If you haven't already, you should post in the photo section so people will know to vote. You are winning by 1 vote (mine). :))

301 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Guys I do appreciate the votes. Please do not vote for me anymore. I have decided to bow out of the contest and let the little girl have it.

794 Posts
Was the little girl your main competition? I didn't look, but a very sweet gesture on your part ;) I have 3 young kids (2 girls), and I know it will mean a lot to the little girl. Now that you bowed out, she better win-Ha!

Thanks for the poison post. I don't think a lot of people would know the signs and symptoms or how common it is. We did not keep Poison in the barns (just a killer cat), but our Blossom found it somewhere. Hundreds of acres & the closest neighbor a 1/2 mile away. She must have ingested a lot, because it was a fairly rapid demise. Absolutely a horrific, frightening way to go. There was no chance for Blossom, but I'm so glad you had good medical care around to help save Blaze. No doubt you & your wife's love & devotion was a big part of the equation. I believe dogs sense our love & prayers, even if we have to say goodbye. Good grief, no pun, I am about to start crying :'(

Anyway, thanks again for the posts & sharing the pics. BTW, you can enter Blaze in the Orvis cover contest.

175 Posts
So pleased Blaze recovered, she looks a fine and very fit dog! The picture of her with the sunset is just fantastic, I would actually like it blown up and framed. Your dog is very very similar to mine, especially in build, and we live in Cumbria, England, however the sire of our dog is imported from America. The picture of Blaze with the labs is also fantastic and she looks so proud of herself.

175 Posts
aaawww how could the labs not be nice to her? (love that cartoon!) I'm afraid they are just jealous because she is way better looking! My Bella is a big tall girl and when we are out walking she totally dominates any Labs we see, she jumps on them and plays rough with them, she is only 20 months old so still crazy.

2 Posts
WOW!!!! your story gives me hope... My 1 3/4 year V got ahold of some rat poison a week ago. i had him to the vet within 30 min... the vet says he should have %100 in 30 days with Vit K but I'm still freaked out.. but your story helps... thx
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