One scary night

It happened yesterday, just before supper. Ocean, our akita girl, wasn’t acting right. I thought maybe she was feeling sad or off and I started giving her kisses and petting her. That’s when I noticed how tight and bloated her stomach was.

And she was trembling.

Now, most people wouldn’t panic but I panic at the drop of a hat. Watching Ocean shift restlessly in what I now recognized as pain, made me want to call an ambulance over. Instead, I called my hubby and two minutes later, we were in the car on the way to the nearest emergency vet.

We got there with a dog that was quickly deteriorating. Thankfully, they saw her right away. Ocean was inside the clinic for a minute before the vet called us (we weren’t allowed inside–I asked) and told us the diagnosis: A twisted stomach. Either Ocean got an immediate operation or she would die.

We had to wait hours for the results of the operation but I’ll tell you right away. Ocean survived and is recovering. She’s still at the vet hospital because until she can eat solid food again and take her medicines by mouth and not an IV, she can’t leave. We are at home, relieved and looking at River with sharp eyes. If he so much as yawns too widely, I worry.

I don’t want to jinx our situation and celebrate too early her recovery but I did speak to the vet this morning and she said Ocean was doing much better. We’ll know better by the end of the day because complications can still happen but the nightmare of yesterday is over.

I know Ocean is only a dog, and I know she’s going to die but yesterday, while we were driving to the vet and she was shaking with pain, I was beside myself. And she would try to lean against my side to try and console me. It’s things like that that make me think: humans could learn so much from our doggies.

River’s appointment

This Thursday, we’re getting River fixed.

I’m all anxious about it.

We have a wonderful vet who has known us for years and has met River and declared him ready. He’s really a very talented and caring doctor and I know he’ll do a wonderful job.

I still worry. I have a little voice inside my head who whispers doubts into my heart. He’ll be terrified. He could die…

River was originally going to be a stud dog, so he arrived at our home ‘intact’ (aka: not fixed). Since he’s going to be our pet, getting him fixed was a certainty. It’s good for him and for us.

But there’s that anxious whispering again. He’ll be all alone. He could get really hurt…

Neutering (boy-dog operations) are a lot less risky than spaying (girl-dog operations). The chances he’ll get hurt are minimal. Afterwards, he’ll be healthier and happier.

No matter what that worry-voice says, he really won’t miss them.

An interesting visit to the vet

We took Ocean to have her nails done. She’s a squirmy thing and she doesn’t like getting her nails cut (I have yet to meet a dog that likes that particular aspect of doggie life). We thought we’d be in and out in less than twenty minutes…well, we got a little surprise.

Before we go any further, I should explain that, in the past, we tried to do our dogs nails ourselves and it was a disaster. We tried everything, and I mean everything, from a nail clipper to a horse file (Lobo was 175 lbs at one point…a horse file seemed to fit). We tried sneaking and filing them while they slept, we tried holding them and clipping, we tried tempting them with cookies, we’ve tried bribery with cheese…nothing worked. The last time, Ocean squirmed as I pressed on the clipper and I cut her  nail too short. She bled…and I cried, my husband cried, I even think Groucho the tree cried. The resulting trauma almost sent both my husband and I into therapy and we decided right then and there, that it was a job for professionals. So, now, Ocean goes to get her nails done.

That’s where our very patient vet comes in. He cut her nails in seconds while she licked his ears, then examined Ocean from head to fluffy tail and pronounced her healthy until…(get ready for something horrible) he checked her bum.That’s when he discovered a little surprise. Apparently, Ocean has an anal gland issue. Anal. As in…a gland inside that area.

I innocently asked why (Oh WHY on the Good Lord’s green earth!) would an animal have a gland in that area and (get ready for more horror) I was told it was designed to contain liquid. The mere thought made me want to vomit over our very patient vet but he wasn’t done. He went on to explain why dogs want to contain liquid there and…Well, it’s better if we move right along here. The explanation is worse than even I can recount and I’ll spare you, gentle reader. Suffice it to say that dogs have an anal gland. Ocean’s problem is that her gland wasn’t working properly and (get ready for even worse horror) it needed to be emptied.

Oh. Sweet. Innocence.

Our vet proceeded to empty the thing (Mental note: never, ever become a vet)…which made the tiny examination room smell like the world’s largest sewer. My husband decided he needed to leave immediately, I felt nauseous and even the vet lost his patient smile. The only one unaffected, was Ocean. In fact, she was curiously sniffing her behind wondering what all the fuss was about.

Don’t dogs have a sense of smell that’s like a thousand times more sensitive than ours?