Wednesday, 26 December 2007

December 26, 2007 'Bad' Dog Snacks!

Dogs have no respect for our silly little people holidays.

Yesterday morning started nicely. We had actually celebrated Christmas - opening presents and feasting on turkey the day before as Mark was working 6 am - 6pm Christmas Day, so I was planning on a nice long run with the dog yesterday.

That plan lasted until about 7 am when Kathryn and I discovered that Jelly Bean aka Mr. Bean aka Beanie Baby was sick - and pretty seriously sick. He had a bad case of bloody-ish diarrhea and was obviously feeling poorly. We messed around with him a bit and then when I took his temperature and it registered at 103.5, the messing was over. I called the vet and, of course, got their emergency answering service. I told them who I was and explained the problem. The normal procedure is that there will be a slight delay while they get a vet on another line and then they will patch me through. But not so this morning, there was a LONG delay and then the operator came on saying she was trying a different number. A minute or so later she came back and said she couldn't find a vet, but would get one to get back to me right away. I felt so bad calling early on Christmas morning - this was not making it any better.

About 15 minutes later one of the horse vets from the Clinic, who wasn't the vet that was supposed to be on call called. He didn't sound pleased. I profusely apologized for bothering him on Christmas morning and then there was an awkward pause where he was supposed to say something reassuring like "That's alright", but didn't. Ouch. I quickly launched into explaining my problem with Beanie. The vet very quickly warmed up to the call when he realized I wasn't bothering him for some 'silly' reason. Luckily I had on hand the antibiotics he wanted Beanie on and some stuff to sooth his tummy. As we were catching whatever he had early, we were able to use this course of treatment rather then us all spending Christmas Day at the vet. Phew!!

Kathryn and I spent the morning coaxing syringes of water down Beanie's throat and keeping a close eye on him. By 1pm he was starting to act much more like the 'real' Mr. Bean, by 2 pm I felt comfortable enough to take the team out for a run.

The run was spectacular. The temperatures were sitting around -9 C and with my 4 wheeler sporting the new HEATED seat cover that Mark got me for Christmas (no kidding, it is so neat!!! I make no apologies for these kinds of luxuries on my quad - it just rolled 8150km in 3 winters worth of use!) I was downright toasty. I sang along with my iPod as my team just booked it down the trail.

A few neighbors stopped to wish me a Merry Christmas as they drove by but mostly we had the road to ourselves. As it got dark Christmas lights began twinkling on the farm houses. I remember many Christmas's with my family driving around the city looking at Christmas lights. Who would have ever thought I'd be looking at them from behind my dog team one day?

As we rounded the last corner to point back towards home, I caught a glow of light from an area that I didn't know there was a house. There was also a glow in the night sky above the light -  my mind turned a bit before I realized it was Mother Nature outdoing all my neighbors with a stunning display of her own. It was the moon - low, large and a beautiful warm orange color, glowing on the horizon. It was so beautiful; it was hard to look away.

The team rolled into the yard around 6:30. Mark arrived home as Kathryn and I were feeding the main string. He pitched in and we got the whole yard fed. I was picking up harnesses when I found one of the extra harnesses that I hadn't used on that run lying next to the trail in ruins. Unfortunately, it was missing most of the neoprene lined neck piece. I was really puzzled over who would have done this; until I consulted the dog board to see who might have been close enough to reach it when the team was parked in the yard waiting for their dinner. Tess's name instantly jumped out.

I've been having big problems this fall and winter with her grabbing and inhaling junk she finds on the trail - and a week or so ago she destroyed, but didn't eat, a harness I left lying too close to her as I was unharnessing and putting away dogs. I looked at Tess and I looked at the size of the chunk of missing harness. Not good.

Now to tell the next part of this story, I need to do a flashback to Saturday night.

On Saturday night, good friends Marty and Colleen Hovind showed up to pick up a couple of dogs they were getting from us - Lingo and one of Olena's candies, Twizzler. Of course, Twizzy quickly worked her way to the house to meet her new folks (Colleen hadn't seen they were about a day old!). Within minutes of being inside, Twizzy somehow swallowed one of the cat toys that was floating around the house. Ironically, it was a toy Colleen had brought out for the cats on a previous visit.

We decided that we needed to try and get the darn thing out. I was familiar with the theory of using hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting in a dog, but in 18 years of breeding dogs I've never actually had to do this. I consulted the internet and Colleen consulted a vet tech friend and within minutes we had Twizzy doing the 'hoaker, hoaker' routine. Unfortunately, although she puked up some kibble, a bit of straw, and some gross flemmy looking stuff - no 'double whammy' cat toy.

(As a footnote - Twizzy is home in Saskatchewan now and doing fine. Colleen and Marty have been in touch with their vets and are in a 'wait and see' mode now).

So, now back to last night..

Since I was now experienced in the act of inducing vomiting in a dog (how ironic is that - 18 years of working with dogs and never needing to do that - then twice in under a week) I hauled out the peroxide and headed out to make Tess sick. I syringed the solution down her throat and sat back waiting for harness bits to appear. Tess gagged once and then sat and stared at me. After about 10 minutes, I repeated the procedure. Tess blinked at me a few more times, sniffed the ground and flopped into her dog house for a nap. I scurried to the house and consulted the internet about what to do if the treatment for inducing vomiting is unsuccessful. Apparently, it is always successful. Obviously, the internet doesn't know Tess. I debated calling the vet, but figured I would really being pushing my luck there unless I had a dying dog on my hands.

I went out and dosed Tess once more. This HAD to work. Tess was now convinced I had lost my mind and retreated to her dog house, curling up with her back facing me.

Now I started to fret about what all that peroxide in her stomach was going to do to her.

Mark had no brilliant ideas, so I decided to pester Colleen to pester her vet tech friend, but of course, it was Christmas night, Colleen was out.

I fretted for about 45 minutes before Colleen called back. Right away she offered to phone her friend and in 15 minutes I had been advised that the peroxide would not hurt Tess and that it was now too late to get her to puke up the harness anyway (ove4r 2 hours had now passed since she had eaten it).

We now, like Colleen and Twizzy, are on a 'wait and see' protocol. My fingers are crossed that my evil little brat ripped the harness into smaller pieces before swallowing it.

So, that is how we passed our Christmas. How exciting, eh??

This morning Tess appears fine and Beanie is still improving. Of course, we will be watching them closely and I will probably run them into the vet tomorrow, just to be cautious. And beside, if I don't run them into the vet now, they will probably hold off till New Year's Eve and have crisis's then!


No comments: