Monday, June 4, 2007

Clyde's Tummy Ache

Saturday Clyde was not feeling well. He didn't eat all of his breakfast, and after a short while he threw up what he did eat. Off and on during the day his demeanor would be just that: off and on. He went from the silly ball chasing, fly hunter to depressed acting and not interested in any of the usual goings on.

By Saturday evening we were trying to figure out why Clyde had the stomach ache. One possible reason was the change of dog food when he and the other two went to the kennel last weekend. It had obviously affected Gus and Chester because they were both terribly gassy. But that certainly hadn't stopped them from losing their appetites.

Another possibility could be the Friday night before we had watched from the back patio as all the dogs took turns plucking figs from the lower branches of the fig tree. Then Clyde would run over to the pergola, where the wisteria is climbing. Some tendrils are dangling wildly into open space and Clyde leaped up to snatch at them. He played tug with the bush, managing to strip a few leaves off in the process.

Goof ball Clyde

I was starting to get really concerned when Clyde refused his "Breath Buster" treats, something he normally gobbles up without hardly chewing. I decided to give him a dose of Pepto Bismal. That seemed to do the trick. A few minutes later he was a happy dog again, even managing to eat most of his dinner. But a few minutes later he threw it up. So much for the happy dog. He had an even more hang dog expression than usual.

Pepto Bismal lips

We kept a close eye on him and noted he wasn't drinking much water. When he went potty, it was a very small amount of diarrhea. I was hoping he would feel better the next day after a night of sleep.

When he woke up he seemed normal. He even tucked into his breakfast. But then, as before, he threw it all up within a few minutes. I gave him a dose of Pepto, since it had seemed to help the day before. He did perk up a bit, but he was definitely not back to normal.

One other reason for the stomach ache was the possibility that he ate one of his many tennis balls. One had been popped a few days earlier, but where was it now? Hopefully not in his stomach, causing a blockage. A serious search ensued and the suspect tennis ball was found.

I checked the internet which informed me that the seeds and pods of wisteria are poisonous to dogs and can cause gastroenteritis, or severe stomach ache. That sounded to me like the most plausible cause.

By Sunday evening Clyde was really down in the dumps. I gave him another dose of Pepto Bismal, but it didn't really seem to help this time. He refused cooked bacon and baked chicken. He really wasn't feeling well. Fortunately the next day was Monday and I would make sure to get him in to the vet as soon as possible.

This morning he didn't look a whole lot better. I managed to coax him into eating a small handful of dry kibble, but he refused any more than that. He got a few laps of water down. That was a good sign. I still wanted to take him to the vet though.

The veterinarian's office opens at 7:30 am. I called promptly at 7:33 to make sure they took it off the answering machine. They asked if I could be there at 8:00. Absolutely!

Dr. Sheahan examined Clyde and didn't really find anything. She did note that his abdomen was quite empty, obviously from not eating or drinking. The good news was that he wasn't "ouchy" while she was manipulating the area. She agreed the cause could have been what we had theorized; that being a change in diet, the green figs, or the wisteria. It also could have been something he ate that we didn't see.

Regardless, Clyde had something going on. We agreed to put him on intravenous fluids for 24 hours and see if his appetite increased. If not, then on to more serious solutions, like an x-ray to make sure there was no blockage. Meanwhile they would also check the poop sample I brought in from his meager effort from this morning and run a few blood tests.

The bad news is Clyde is going to miss his obedience graduation tonight. The good news is he's in good hands now, and I'm confident he'll be fine.

Clyde in better times


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McRand said...

Hello Friend:
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William McRand