The holiday season was crazy for us.
Not because of the long school break, frenzied holiday shopping or ridiculous lines at the post office, all of which had it’s own flavor of insanity.
But rather because of our frequency of visits to the vet.
First up: Large Dog, High Anxiety
We started with the acknowledgement of Martha’s anxiety, which was hitting a fevered pitch with the ingesting of baby onesies (found later in her poop), panting and staring out the window for long periods of time, and stealing food off the kitchen counter. Oh yeah, and peeing in the dining room, which is a well-established no-no given the volume of the big girl’s bladder.
Result: anti-anxiety medication and a dog as chilled out as her breed dictates.
Oliver started to shrink. As in, he was getting thin. Wafer thin. So I trucked him into the vet for every test under the sun: blood, urine, stool, xray, ultrasound. You name it, I authorized my credit card for it.
While there were some interesting (moderately alarming) results, there was nothing conclusive. The likely culprits were not happy news: Inflamatory Bowel Disease (treatable, but special diet and/or life-long medication likely), Cancer (maybe treatable, but likely just temporarily life prolonging) or F.I.P. (fatal). Not the best holiday news.
So we opted for surgery to try to get something definitive.
Though the biopsies ruled out cancer, nothing else is very clear. Ollie seems better since his surgery, despite the dreadlocks from the cone-of-shame (which, let’s be honest, I haven’t made him wear since day 2). He’s stable, even gaining a tiny bit of weight. I’ll take what I can get.
Result: 6 medications later (one which we are still administering, and might be indefinitely), I am just clinging to the fact that he “seems better”. More tests next week to confirm that he isn’t getting worse.
Lastly: The Self-Poisoning Dog
Ace ate 1/2 of a large-ish dark chocolate bar.
I called the vet, hoping she’d say, “Don’t worry about it. It wasn’t enough to make him sick.” Instead I heard, “I’d recommend for his sake you bring him in. Or watch him tonight and take him to the emergency vet clinic if he exhibits odd behaviors.” To preserve my own last shreds of sanity at 5:45pm on a Friday, I hauled him on down to our vet. It was that or risk lying awake all night listening for pacing or panting.
Upon arrival, the first goal was getting him to vomit. The drug they gave him is a morphine derivative and takes effect immediamente. He was narc’d up in a matter of seconds, dry heaving within a minute, and had emptied his stomach with chocolately kibble shortly thereafter.
Next came the charcoal, which, after the mixed it with a thimbleful of chicken baby food, he gulped down like a delicacy he might never see again in his lifetime (and hopefully he won’t!). The vet tech was impressed. So was I. But it’s not like Ace is exactly discerning.
Last came the subcutaneous fluids. From the moment the IV bag came on the scene I saw trouble. It was 7pm and he was getting enough fluid to create a hunchback that would absorb into his body that evening – and go into his bladder.
All in all, it was a positive trip for Ace. Drugs, gastronomic delicacies, lots of scratching behind the ears. Oh, and the removal of a tick from his face.
That night, the little dude had to pee approximately ever 25 minutes. He was so out of it that pee was leaking from his penis onto his leg and he didn’t even notice. I even put one of Quinn’s diapers on him at one point. He didn’t care; he was a hot mess. And kept me up most of the night to let him out to pee at regular intervals.
Result: charcoal-black poop and his own personal party on a Friday night.
Silver lining: pet insurance
Scott started a new job in September and one of the benefits offered was pet insurance. We’d never considered it for any of our pets before (though most definitely should have), but signed up anyway. THANK GOD. We might actually get a fraction of the $ back, which, on the heels of the holidays, would be welcome indeed.
In the meantime, our crew has been put on notice about maintaining their healthy lifestyle we have now monetarily invested in. It’s not a new year’s resolution, but a requirement.