alternative title: How not to spend Christmas.
Normally we thing we are great pet owners. I grew up in a house with dogs. My whole family has dogs. I’ve had cats my whole life. Plus we watch a whole lot of Caesar Milan. That totally has to count for something. We’re great with animals. Right?
Being the fantastic dog owners that we are we thought it might be nice to get the dog some Christmas gifts. On Christmas Eve we stopped by the local pet store. We were going to be spending a whole lot of family time together so Busy needed a new sweater*. We also thought it would be great to get her a few treats to keep her occupied while we opened gifts. In addition to the sweater we purchased a pig ear and a roasted bone.
We got to the trusty in-laws, gave the dog the pig ear and she devoured it in about 30 minutes. We gave her the bone during the gift opening. Right around 8:00 the boy and the dog gave us the signal it was time to go home. More so the dog. During the car ride home we figured the dog was just tired since she was leaning against the back seat with her face pressed up against the window. That is until she hurled up a grapefruit sized wad of food onto the backseat of my car. Awesome.
That night she threw up in her kennel a few more times. In the morning she still wasn’t looking that great and just wanted to sleep on the couch. She wasn’t eating and looked miserable. We left her at home and while we were at my parents she threw up in the kennel a few more times. We all sat on the couch Christmas night (which I’ll remind you was a Saturday) and the dog started shivering on occasion. We called the 24 hour vet’s office and they said bring her in. On Christmas night. Which was a Saturday.
Derek called me from the vet’s office and said they wanted to keep her overnight to give her IV fluids and watch her. To the tune of $600-$800. Christmas night. Where we had just spent a ton of money buying gifts for people. The alternative was to inject her with fluid, give her some anti-nausea medication and send her home. We voted for option B. Poor dog came home with a giant hump on her back and periodically leaked on the couch.
Sunday morning we woke up and she wasn’t looked better. She started going outside frequently with the poos. She still wasn’t eating, she wouldn’t drink anything and just laid on the couch. By mid morning she was shivery all the time. Derek took her back to the vet’s. On Sunday.
They diagnosed her with a mild case of pancreatitis. It commonly happens to older dogs, mostly terriers and momentarily killed my grandparent’s dog earlier this year (they brought her back to life). They gave her more anti-nausea medication and sent her home again.
This morning she is her perky self and eating well.
So what caused all of this? The pig ear. Apparently pig ears are quite high in fat and a sudden increase in fat in a dog’s diet can cause this condition. Like I said it normally happens in older dogs. Busy is still considered a puppy. Our lesson from this and the one we want to pass on to everyone is to avoid this type of treat for your dogs. This type of pancreatitis comes on quickly and is quite scary. It is totally fixable, but mostly it is completely avoidable.
Here’s to 2011 with fewer vet bills.
*not because I like to dress the dog up, which I totally do, but because sweaters make her calm