Thursday, July 24, 2008

What IS It With Our Dogs???

If you're not a dog person and/or don't have a strong stomach, I'd highly recommend not reading this post. It could get a little gruesome. Dog poop and dog vomit really aren't the most pleasant topics of conversation.

I'm sitting here waiting for the vet to call me back. Between Chad and I, we've talked to 4 different vets today in two different clinics, all about problems our poor baby Fresco is having. His issues actually started on Saturday, when I came home in the afternoon and let him outside, only to see him eating grass and making himself barf. Having seen a lot of barfing dogs in our day, we didn't think too much about it. When he threw up again on Sunday and then wouldn't eat, we started to get worried. Then Monday came and he ate just fine and seemed completely normal. On Tuesday, he refused breakfast and was barfing again at lunch, so Chad took him to our vet, who thought he'd just eaten something that didn't agree with him (like something in the yard that maybe he wasn't supposed to eat). The vet gave him a shot for nausea and some special dog food (oh, and expressed his anal glands just for fun [okay that's not really fun but Fresco's have been getting clogged a lot and I'm certainly not going to stick my finger in his rear to do it]) and sent him on his merry way.

Here's where the story gets really gross (as if talking about expressing anal glands wasn't gross enough for you). After getting home from the vet Fresco went poop, and let's just say that it wasn't normal. I won't go into the details of what Chad said it looked like, but it was red and extremely disgusting looking. Chad called the vet back, who for some reason wasn't alarmed--he thought maybe it was just mucus left over from his clogged anal glands. Maybe the vet tech didn't really relay to the vet what Chad described--we aren't sure--but they told him not to bring in a stool sample (can you still call it a stool sample when they don't use the stool?).

Fresco seemed to feel fine yesterday, and even though he was still having abnormal bowel issues (which thankfully all happened outside where they were supposed to), we didn't worry because he ate fine and was his normal, happy self. Then this morning when the alarm went out at 6 a.m. he rushed outside before eating and tried to poop, but was clearly having a difficult time doing so. After several attempts (some successful) he came inside and I tried to give him the special sick tummy canned food from the vet, and he wouldn't even eat it. He sat down on the floor for a minute and then got up, and low and behold (as my mom would say) there was blood all over the carpet. I just about panicked. I grabbed the phone and reached for the vet's number as he sat down and made a second spot all over the floor. As I sent him outside while trying to call the vet he dripped all over the kitchen, then all over the patio. I tried not to freak out as I got the vet's answering service and asked them to page one of our vets. This is the response I got, "Well Dr. Coles and Dr. Bayouth aren't on call, and there is a vet on call, but she's referring patients to the emergency clinic in Overland Park." WHAT??? Can someone please explain to me what the point is of having a vet ON CALL who isn't taking any CALLS? What is with this town and their lazy veterinarians!!! How can a town of 80,000 people not have a 24-hour vet!! It is so frustrating!!

Okay, Dr. Coles just called me back, just so you know. Even though I have other things I should be doing, I guess since I'm here I will go ahead and finish the story.

Upon learning that I needed to leave town in order to take my dog to the vet, I went and woke Chad, who made the quickest exit from bed that I've ever seen in 14 years of marriage when I told him Fresco was bleeding out his rear. We gathered towels and leashes and a poop sample and I headed out the door to Topeka, because it's a tiny bit closer and we loved the Stone House Animal Hospital there, where we took Steeler the night he passed away. Anyway, Chad called them and let them know I was on the way, and while I drove a little faster than normal, I didn't go too crazy since the bleeding had really slowed and Fresco didn't really seem to be in distress.

I was so happy that we saw Dr. Carder, who is the wonderful man who tried to save our baby Steeler almost two years ago. Fresco was so funny--he loved Dr. Carder so much and was laying in his lap within seconds. After an examanation of Fresco and a an examination of the fecal sample, Dr. Carder diagnosed Fresco has having colitis and gave him a shot of some sort of crazy painkiller for his cramps and pain. He said the bloody poops we were seeing were from the infection in his colon. He gave me some more meds for his pain and infection, and I headed home.

Unfortunately, I took Fresco back to our vet here in town again just a few hours ago because he was still pooping gross stuff and was so doped up from the painkiller that I couldn't tell if he was even breathing every time I turned around to look at him. Dr. Coles gave him a injection of fluids (which they can just give subcutaneously and don't have to do through an IV) because he was dehydrated, but then sent us home, thinking that the medicines would start taking effect relatively quickly.

Of course, since there always has to be dog drama at our house, I had to call Dr. Coles back a few minutes later because Fresco proceeded to walk outside and barf up a whole bunch of water, even though he didn't drink much at all! The vet told me not to worry too much because sometimes drinking water on an empty upset stomach can do that, but I have to say I'm still pretty stressed out and worried. This poor guy is having a terribly rough time of it!

I need to run to the store and start cleaning house for the gathering we're having tonight, so I guess I just need to get brave and leave him alone for a few minutes. I'm just so worried about him. Can you say overprotective?


kelly said...

Awww, poor baby. I think I feel worse about dogs being sick than people because they just can't communicate what's happening to them. Keep us updated!

Erin said...

oh my goodness, poor thing. I'm so sorry to hear he's not feeling well. I hope he gets better soon.

EmilyG said...

That does not sound like fun at all. To make you feel better, read the most recent dog story on

Hope Fresco feels better soon!


Jen said...

Oh how horrible! I hope he is feeling better. And you do not sound overprotective.