Last week Arya threw up once or twice. She’s a dog who eats many stupid things, and she was acting 100% normally other than that. We registered concern but didn’t take it to heart.
Tuesday night, she threw up again, so I gave her a handful or two of rice for dinner instead. Then Wednesday morning, I woke up to her snuggled next to me with her stomach rumbling so loudly I could hear it clearly. I gave her a very little bit more rice and took a shower.
When I got out of the shower she clung to me like glue, and then put herself into her LL Bean bed – which she likes very much, but rarely uses when we are doing things. She snuggled up and looked generally pathetic, and then she started shivering, hard.
Snuggled up and miserable.
I piled a blanket on her and turned the heat way up and sat with her. She did slow down her shivering after about 15 minutes, but did not look any less miserable. I checked in with the vet before she finished shivering, and they had a 9:30 am appointment. I called work and they could cover without me, so I took the appointment.
I gave the vet her history, and the vet had already pulled her file and noticed she was an idiot dog who had already been a Dog of Concern a few times for eating random stupid things. Her vitals checked out okay, but she was clearly too quiet, miserable, and started shivering again on the exam table. The vet thought that the shivering wasn’t cold, but pain and anxiety.
Way way way calmer than usual at the vet.
The vet said, “If she were my dog, I’d get her x-rayed.” I swallowed back bile, sighed, and said, “Well, then, let’s do that.” The vet tech took her down to the exam room, and they gave her a mild sedative and took some x-rays.
When the vet called me in to talk about them, she pointed out that the colon and intestines looked fine, but there was an area of distension on her stomach that should not be there. The vet thought that there was a blockage – possibly some cloth, as it wasn’t showing up clearly on the x-ray. She confessed to not being an expert at reading the x-rays, and wanted to send it out to a specialty radiologist. We’d hear by noon.
So I left the office with a very wobbly and sad puppy as well as two cans of prescription bland diet wet food. My instructions were to give her about a tablespoon every hour, and to call back about 1:00 pm. If the radiologist agreed with the vet, or if she reacted badly in any way to the food, she would have to go back for a second set of x-rays with barium tracer, to see if her digestive system was working at all.
I had carry her up our steps and place her on the couch, she was so out of it from the sedative. She just flopped on the couch in the most uncomfortable position imaginable. I straightened her out and sat down next to her to keep an eye on her. I had to coax her off the couch for her first little bit of food. She lapped it, turned to stare sadly at me, lapped it again, sighed deeply, and finally ate it. Then back to the couch. She was not enthused about her second feeding either, but she wasn’t in any more pain.
When I called the vet, she said that the radiologist actually wasn’t concerned. He saw the distension but thought it was sort of normal/generalized GI distress. She clearly wasn’t quite right, but it didn’t look like she was going to have to have a second set of x-rays or, God forbid, surgery.
So we set a second check-in time for later in the afternoon, and I kept giving her small bits of the bland food. She started getting up from the couch on her own to take drinks of water, and asked to go out. She peed quite a bit and while she still wasn’t her usual self, she wanted to walk around the yard for a bit and sniff things, and she took a long hard stare into a neighbor’s yard.
I canceled an afternoon hair appointment, drove in to work briefly to pick up my computer, and stayed beside her on the couch. She slowly, slowly improved and by about 4:00 pm she got up of her own volition and laid in front of the heater, which is one of her preferred spots in the apartment. She also started getting excited for her little bits of food.
When my fiance got home at 5:30, she was excited enough to get up and look out the window, and jumped around a little bit with him, then snuggled back on the couch.
I’m writing this around 7:30 pm on that same night, and just a few minutes ago she jumped off the couch to chase the cat. It seems like she’ll be just fine. The fiance is staying home with her tomorrow to keep an eye, just in case, but hopefully she just had a weird bout of GI distress and will be just fine going forward.