Who’s Calling Who Geriatric?

My poor baby pup had to make a trip to the emergency veterinary clinic this past weekend. Thursday, if you will recall, she terrorized her regular vet’s office but they couldn’t find what was wrong with her. On Friday, she still wasn’t keeping anything down but the vet suggested just keeping an eye on her over the weekend to see if things calmed down. By Saturday, she hadn’t been able to keep food in her stomach since Thursday, was lethargic, and would frequently bite at her side.


One of my friends suggested various possible diagnoses but they just didn’t seem to fit. I’d checked her ears….no mites. Checked her body for evidence of fleas….none, zip, nada! Had never seen any evidence of worms in her stools….thank you very much. She just seemed to be in pain and was upchucking in the most inconvenient places. It was time for some drastic action.

We made an appointment with the local emergency vet clinic and headed over there that evening. I covered the back seat in case she got sick again but thank goodness, she didn’t. I did keep smelling something and was wondering if she’d had an accident (horrors!). Turns out the poor baby had a bad case of canine gas as part of this malaise. It shouldn’t have surprised me. I mean, she IS a member of our family.

The vet quickly got her into an examining room and after some poking and prodding decided to keep her overnight and hook her up to an IV. She was dehydrated for starters. They also wanted to run some tests to check for possible Addison’s disease, pancreatitis, blockage, and liver and kidney problems. Thankfully, around 1 a.m., the vet called us to report that her tests had come back ruling out Addison’s and the xrays showed no sign of blockage or masses. Liver and kidneys were fine as was the bloodwork. It looked like she had gastro-intestinal flu.

They released her Sunday around suppertime. She came out much more energetically then she had entered. They had to shave her legs to get the IV hooked up. She would NOT let them keep it in one leg so they had to shave the other and she did let them keep it in the other leg. So now she has a semi-poodle clip. It’s really amazing to me that a dog that is so fluffy with all that hair has such tiny little legs under all that fur.

What was more amazing (perhaps “shocking” is the better word) was the bill. Man, perhaps we should have looked into pet medical insurance. I wonder if Obama is going to include pets in his universal health care plan? What was even MORE distressing, though, was when I looked at her discharge papers and noticed that they had labeled her at the top of every sheet as a “geriatric canine.” WHAT? She’s only 8 years old. She has more pep and spunk than many 8 month old dogs I see. My husband pointed to the papers and I hissed, “Don’t you DARE read that out loud.” Bad enough that she felt like horse hockey. No need to make her feel any worse.

The good news is that today she is much better. She’s getting a diet of boiled chicken and rice and she is keeping it all down. Her energy level is rising and she is grinning again. I had to take her back to her regular vet this afternoon for a follow-up and she seems to be on the road to recovery. She was back to terrorizing the waiting room occupants again. Thank goodness she has no clue that the animal professionals consider her to be “geriatric.” As for me, I’m a firm believer in the old adage that “you’re as young as you feel.” Come on, pup! Let’s go watch Cloris Leachman kick up her heels on “Dancing with the Stars.”



One Response

  1. Fresca is so pretty. I’m sorry she has been under the weather. Hopefully, by now she is on the mend.

    We’ve had pets with health issues (our Bunny has seizures) and pet health care is Expensive. Imagine our old dog Bitsy had 4 knee surgeries! But you manage to pay for whatever they need. And they pay you back with Love.

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