We all know that Larry has a....delicate gut. Our experience with last years' 4th of July fireworks aftermath (Sure Fire Paint Remover...) was just one example: It took two weeks to get his tummy settled. He can't eat people food, and we have to be careful not to switch up his dog food either. And he's REALLY not the guy you want on a long road trip. So when he stopped eating for a day early last week, we didn't really think too much of it.
The second day, he ate some. And then he didn't. And then a little, and then...not. And then came the poops. We came home to a house that smelled like a cross between dog doodoo and death. We spent some time trying to imagine WHAT he could have gotten into and came up with nothing. He's either in the house or on a leash all the time. The second day of this horror, he hit a bathmat. I rinsed this out in the toilet and realized that I was seeing a LOT of blood.
Needless to say this was on a Friday evening. Our vet has no weekend hours. Over Friday night to Saturday he began throwing up as well, and by Saturday morning it was clear that he wouldn't make it to Monday without some professional help.
What is it with kids and dogs? Do they all absolutely know for SURE when the doc's/vet's office closes??
There's a lovely animal walk-in not far from here. When Simon had a tummy bug a couple of years ago they fixed him up, but they made it clear then that he was at the outer edges of what they could do on site there. Larry was clearly a few steps over that line, so I called the Vet Hospital emergency line and they invited us on over, after informing us that there was a minimum $150 fee for weekend emergencies.
(I checked the place out online before going. Our other option would have been Cornell Vet center, an hour away, and they also ask for you to pay up front. The reviews were either "They did a great job," or "They were great but expensive," or "What kind of bastards won't even care for your dog if you can't pay??" Personally, I understand your pain if your pet is suffering and you can't afford a vet, but dissing someone because you expect them to work for free seems unreasonable to me.)
The initial evaluation was reassuring, but the differential diagnosis somewhat alarming, as I expected. The tests to rule out the ugly stuff was what set us back the most. IV fluids, antiemetics, antibiotics were given and he looked like a new man when we walked out the door. He's a bit tired today still but eating and walking, and no more of the runs. We have a couple weeks of special diet, medications and probiotics for him. We will see our (much more affordable) regular vet in a couple of weeks for follow up.
It usually hits little dogs, and tends to be related more to stress than infection. Untreated, it can be fatal in a matter of days. They asked about stressors, and I really couldn't think of anything in particular.
But as I was walking this morning I pictured Easter from HIS point of view: Five extremely excited children ramming through the house at high speed screaming about baskets and eggs and CANDY and baskets and EGGS and eight or ten extra adults crammed into his space talking and laughing and eating and maybe some goodies being dropped on the floor for doggie cleanup and.....
Who knows. He's a good boy. He's had Thanksgiving and Christmas under his belt already, with the same people and chaos, more or less. This might have just been one too many. We might have to make sure he's upstairs and quiet for the next family gathering.
At our house we joke about the $1000-disaster-of-the-month. This will do for April.