Thursday, November 7th, 2002


Filed under: random — alison @ 21:55

I got back from my little jaunt across the pond Saturday night and was reunited with my precious doggies Sunday morning.

Poor little Pepe had lost weight – his ribs were not just palpable, but sharp. I put this down to the babysitter feeding them meals instead of leaving food out for them to nibble on all the time, which is understandable as she had several other dogs in the house as well. Anyway, I wasn’t worried.

Then Tuesday he started vomiting. Dogs vomit; I didn’t particularly worry about that either, even when he vomited in my bed. Wednesday I came back from work to find vomit everywhere. In and around the bed and all through the kitchen. Now I was worried. There was no food in the vomit, just gastric juices. Was he eating? Maybe he had an abcessed tooth and couldn’t eat… though when I got home from work he did his usual happy circle dance and then ate from excitement. Maybe he had an intestinal obstruction.

I decided to feed him soft food as a test: if it was a tooth, all would be fine. If his appetite was gone, he wouldn’t eat. If his intestines were blocked he’d just bring it right up again. Each dog got half a can of tuna; both were very enthusiastic; both kept it down.

This morning I woke up with tuna-vomit all through the bed. (The washing machine is running as I write this.) I called the vet from work and made an appointment. I just got back.

Diagnosis, after weighing him, taking his temperature, examining his teeth and gums and other mucous membanes, looking in his ears, listening to his lungs and heart and gut and palpating his belly: heartache. He’s very attached to me and the stress of separation caused increased stomach acidity which resulted in vomiting. Apparently waiting until he got home to have an anxiety crisis is typical. I tend to believe her, because she knew as soon as I brought in a sick dog after a two-week vacation that the problem was vomiting gastric juices.

Why couldn’t heartache take a more picturesque form than tuna-vomit in my bed?

[originally transmitted by e-mail November 7 2002]

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