Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dog Lover

>Lets switch things up a bit and talk about something other than my sweet Logan for once (update on him below).

Being that it is Labor Day weekend, here comes a post about how to take care of a sick pup. You will may be having several people over, BBQing and there is bound to be a time your dog is going to sneek something off the table. Take heed, my friends.

We are HUGE dog lovers. We have two, Butte and Tulo. Before Logan, they were totally spoiled. Now, the attention has changed and they have each had their turn in taking the attention away from Logan, whether it was intentional or not. I'm talking about what to do when your dog is sick. We've all been there, laying in bed sound asleep at 2am (it's ALWAYS in the middle of the night) when you begin to hear your dog start making the gagging sound and within seconds, it's over. They have puked all over the floor and you have no idea why.

In the last 5 weeks, both our dogs have had some bout with a tummy bug and it is not easy people. Tulo got a bacterial infection in July that landed us in the vet hospital and out nearly $700. A few weeks ago, Butte ate TWO POUNDS of raw ground beef and it only took 12 hours for that to catch up to her...for 5 days! Both dogs were vomiting and had diahrea and our carpets are ruined, to say the least. So how do you cure this lovely combination of sickness?

First of all, whenever our dogs come down with something, we give it a day to see how they are. Usually, they ate something weird outside and just need 24 hours to let it pass through their system and then it's all good. We did that with Tulo and by day 4, he could not even hold down a sip of water. That is when it's time to go to the vet. Dehydration sets in and you have one sick puppy.

Once you have waited out (and strubbed your floors) for 24 hours and your pup is still sick, you need to take their food away. Fill their bowl with just a half inch of water. Dogs have a tendency to want to drink a ton of water when their bellies are achy but this will back fire and cause them to vomit even more. If your dog can hold down that much water every few hours, then after 12 hours, you can try a few things to help settle the belly.
  • Pumpkin: I have a hard time finding this canned veggie outside of Thanksgiving season, but it does wonders on the tummy. Give him a scoop (1 tablespoon) and see how he holds that down. If he has stopped vomiting but is still having diahrea, continue with this tasty treat (trust me, they love it!) once every 4 hours combined with any of the other items listed below.
  • Chicken broth: It works for people and it works for dogs. The salt content helps with the dehydration.
  • Plain cooked rice: 1/2 cup in their bowl. This is filling and really easy on the tummy.
  • Plain cooked chicken: 1/2 cup in bowl, with or without rice. Also easy on the tummy and provides some protien.
  • Plain yogurt: 1 scoop (1 tablespoon) in dish. This works just like the pumpkin does.

Now don't go trying all these things at once. Pick one or two and if the vomiting slows down, slowly ween them back into the food. Just a little bit at a time. You want to do any of the above every 4 hours UNTIL they begin to have a solid BM again. This seems like common sense, but there are so many people who have no clue what to do with their pup when they are sick and just rush them off to the vet. This will save you a ton of money. The only reason why we took Tulo in was because he was vomiting water and on day 4 of explosive diahrea. Turned out he had a bacterial infection. Poor guy. It took Butte about 5 days to have a regular BM after eating all that raw meat. Any time your pet eats something like that, you must watch them carefully as raw meat carries so much bacteria. We are still keeping an eye on her that she does not develop any weird infections from the meat. So far so good.

If your dog eats something like chocolate, a deadly poison to them, call your vet. If you have the package the chocolate came it, tell them how much your dog weighs and how much the content of cocoa powder is in the chocolate. Depending on the ratio, you may or may not want to seek a vet. We have a great 24 hour vet hospital that is honest with us. Signs to watch for intoxication are fever, heavy panting, twitching and seizures.

When in doubt, call your vet. You may have no idea what your pet ingested and it is never a bad idea to just call for reassurance. You may have heard that if they eat something funky (like vitamines) to give your dog a sip of hydrogin poroxid to make them vomit. Trust me when I say, DON'T DO THIS! I have done it before to dogs I was sitting for who ate a ton of vitamins and it was miserable. The vet told me that if it is toxic to their body, they will get rid of it.

All in all, I hope this helps. I know it's a gross thing to deal with, but if you love your pets as much as we do, then you know how much it sucks when they are sick.

Happy Labor Day!

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