Auntie M has been in a tizzy.
These last few days, in the countdown to our vacation (supposed to be) starting Saturday, we have both been whittling down our To-Do lists. Mine has been complicated by a computer snafu which is not liking a few scanned pages the Screw Iowa book manuscript, which should have been on its way to our agent by now.
In the midst of solving the above, and the usual leaving-the-house-for-a-week stuff, Radar took ill Monday. This usually jolly and lively pup became lethargic in the afternoon and seemed to want to just lie around, not sleeping, but just…sulking, if a dog can sulk. At first I thought it was due to me cleaning out his ears that morning, which he hates. Can a dog get dizzy?
That night he wouldn’t eat his dinner. Now we were seriously worried. This is the dog who can snarf ANYTHING at ANYTIME without taking a breath. No raw meaty bones tempted him. Veggie biscuits were turned down. His nightly pig ear was ignored.
We racked our brains for another cause. Wait! Doc remembered he’s sprayed an herbicide that day. Maybe he’d eaten some, although the label specifically says it is safe for humans and animals. I called their hotline anyway: if he’d walked through it when it was wet, –and on 12 acres, who could answer this–he could be lethargic from it soaking into his paws. RELAX, the very nice hot line man told me. Just wash his paws and in the morning he’ll be good as new.
All night we took turns checking on Radar. He slept. Should we call Middle Son and his Wife and tell them we can’t make it up to the Catskills to visit? No, we decide to wait it out.
The next morning he was still punky. Wouldn’t drink water, either. I got down on the floor next to him to see if I could get a teaspoon of Pepto down him, my panacea. No way. However I did pick up…a moan? Was that a doggie MOAN?? I stroked his poor head, and he moaned again. I commiserated with him and he moaned again. Either this dog was up for an acting Oscar, or something was seriously wrong.
I attempted a few ice chips. He greedily ate these. And three minutes later promptly vomited them up…all over the vintage Art Deco rug in the dining room, the only carpet we own…and it smelled REALLY bad. It smelled like what comes out his other end!!! Red Alert! A nurse and a doctor know this means he was obstructed–not a good thing.
Emergency vet visit (an hour away). Radar softly moaning and lying his head in my lap all the way there. I’m holding back tears. And picturing our vacation being cancelled, I admit. But mostly upset of Radar in pain.
We get to the vet’s office and Radar jumps out of the car; my, he seems peppier all of a sudden.
A very pricey Xray shows us the culprit. This dog, who eats a raw food diet and chomps RAW chicken, beef and pork bones, had received a gift from the people we buy our piggy ears from: a smoked lamb bone. I know, I know, don’t gag. He loved it. He’d also managed to bite off the knuckle end and swallow it WHOLE
without crunching it, so there it was, totally recognizable, blocking his intestine.
The vet pointed out that the pain was from him moving it from his stomach to his intestine, the narrowest part, and it was past that. The verdict: take him home and feed him white bread to bulk him up and push it out. At his size (101 lbs) the vet felt he would pass it or would digest it. But we were to be on poop patrol…and to return the next day.
A night of worry and white bread.
Second day to vet an hour away (this IS the closest vet, I hear you asking). Dog reacting, dare I say, normal. Vet exam: no stomach tightness, bone moving along, take him home and keep feeding him and return to poop patrol.
The next 24 hours it rained like the dickens here. Radar is now happy and jolly and eating white bread (smeared with Cheez whiz to get it down) up the wazoo. Every time he had to go out, so did we. In our boots and macs, and check for poop. Peed up a storm the that day. Slept well again.
Next day, more rain and more poop patrol.
Finally ten minutes after it stopped raining, success! Resolution! No more white bread. Back to regular diet. Rest of lamb bones in the garbage. Radar happy and goofy as usual. Manages to fall off bulk-heading into river and swims around in delight before getting out. Having a ball as only a dog lucky enough to live on the river can be. Back to normal. Sheesh.
Now we are only 2 1/2 days behind in our list of things to do. And we leave Sat at 7AM…and believe me, we’re going!