Puppy Chow

It’s still winter in Minnesota. The temperatures have not been consistently above 30 degrees until a few days ago. There is still a healthy accumulation of snow on the ground. This means vacuuming and cleaning out the kid stew of toys, books, fruit snacks, papers and crumbs in my van is something that gets postponed until I can withstand the cold, and until I can run an electric cord for the Dirt Devil out to the driveway without fear of being electrocuted because it’s sitting in a pool of melted snow.

So it’s a little less than pristine in there. I had to make a quick trip to someone’s house Friday afternoon. It was nice out so I thought I’d take Penny along for a quick ride. Cameron had her on the leash, and she quietly sat on the floor after roaming around and sniffing for a bit.

Later after we returned home, she threw up. She threw up off and on over the weekend, each time I thought she was getting better. Sunday the poor thing didn’t want to play at all. Monday she perked up. Then yesterday she started having some more housetraining accidents, and even peed once in her sleep. So finally I broke down and took her to the vet today. I think in the back of my mind I knew all along she’d probably swallowed something, but had hoped it would resolve itself naturally.

After over $250 worth of exams, urinalysis and x-rays this morning we still have no definitive answer. Her x-rays showed nothing obvious, but it’s difficult to diagnose an intestinal blockage from an x-ray. There were some flecks (crayon would be my guess) in her bowel, which the vet said was fine, but she was concerned with the fact that her stomach looked slightly large and instead of places where she’d expect to see some gas pockets, there was one area that showed none.

So next they took her back for a barium swallow. They’ll do another film tomorrow. Hopefully the barium will highlight anything abnormal inside of her stomach. If it’s nothing and just a gastrointestinal tract infection, it will resolve itself, and I could have saved a $300+ vet bill by buying an $8 package of Pepcid AC at the drug store. If it is indeed a blockage, it’s obviously not passing through her digestive system, and surgical removal will be the course of action.

The barium has therapeutic properties, so that, along with the Pepcid and some special dog food, has seemed to settle her stomach for the time being. Unfortunately I still don’t think she’s herself and my guess is there is something going on. But I’m keeping my fingers across until I take her back in the morning.

Lord knows what she ate. Puppies and dogs are just idiots. It’s not as if we don’t feed her. I used to laugh at my friends who had stories about their dogs eating socks (socks seem to be a favorite non-edible item of our canine friends), Legos, Hot Wheels, you name it. I’m not laughing so much now.

Will keep you posted.

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011

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