You Put Da Lyme In Da Coconut…
Hey, you know how last week I was all “no good, very bad” about my handling class? Well, that class turned out to be the HIGHLIGHT of my week.
Around 3:00 in the morning last Thursday, I was tossing and turning a little when I heard some whining. Whiskey still sleeps in a crate at night, and it’s not uncommon for her to whine a little when I get restless, thinking it’s time to get up, so I said, “Hush” and rolled back over. I was trying to drift back off again, when…
…I smelled something. Something awful. So I did a face-palm there in the dark, and berated myself for not taking the puppy out when she asked, and mentally steeled myself to get out of bed and go clean poop out of a dog crate. One more scrub of the hands over the face, and I turned on the light.
Thank DOG I turned on the light before stepping out of bed. Because there was a HUGE pile of runny poo on my bedroom floor, and a TRAIL of little brown pools of goo all over the room. The carpeted room. The deep-pile, carpeted room.
And there was Ian, standing by the corner of the bed and looking guilty.
So, stepping very carefully, I got up, got some slippers on, and put the dogs outside. I got the worst of everything up with many, many paper towels and some triple-bagged plastic bags, but there was absolutely no help for it: the carpet HAD to be shampooed Right Then. So at 3:30 in the morning, me and my tendonitis-plagued elbow hauled the carpet shampooer up from the basement and set to work. After about 30 to 40 minutes, the stench no longer hit you full force when you turned down the hall-way; it only hit you when you walked into my bedroom.
I brought everyone in and fed them their Orijen for breakfast, with the exception of Ian, who got a miniscule amount of rice mixed with a dab of yogurt. And I sent an email in to work saying I’d be in late as I was going to try and get some more sleep.
I went back to bed for a little bit, but didn’t really sleep much. When I got up I took the dogs out again and watched them. Ian didn’t seem to be having any issues. Magnum, on the other hand, had a huge diarrhea blow-out.
I had blamed the diarrhea on the wrong dog. And I had fed the wrong dog.
The next morning, again at around 3:00 a.m., I heard someone vomiting. I was mostly expecting that, because I had withheld food from Magnum the night before, he hadn’t eaten for almost 24 hours, and he will generally spit up some bile if he gets too hungry.
I wasn’t expecting was him to not bear any weight on his left front foot.
Lyme disease was the first thing that came to mind. We have woods more or less surrounding the back yard, and we have a lot of deer ticks. Even with the Frontline, we have had to pull some ticks off of the dogs. I didn’t think diarrhea was normally a symptom of Lyme, but I Googled it and learned that some dogs can go into renal failure from it and present with vomiting and diarrhea, and so I did the logical thing and freaked the fuck out.
I got Magnum in to see the vet first thing in the morning. Sure enough, he had a strong positive for Lyme, but his CBC and chem analysis were all normal. The vet’s opinion was that he had eaten something he shouldn’t (if that’s the case, he must have found something outside, because none of the others have been ill), and that the lameness and joint swelling was an unconnected symptom of the Lyme. She prescribed Metronidazole and Doxycycline.
Mag stopped having the explosive diarrhea by the end of the day on Friday, but his stools have continued to be loose, despite a diet of strictly cooked chicken and rice. Doxycycline can cause stomach upset, though, so I’m not panicking. Twenty-four hours after the first dose of doxycycline, the lameness completely disappeared, and Magnum started running laps around the backyard as fast as he could go, apparently making up for lost time and crate rest. And he’s acting like his normal, ridiculous self, so I think he’s well on his way to recovery.
The carpet may take a little bit longer. In fact, I think it may have a case of terminal stinkiness, despite the 3,215 washings.
Why was it, exactly, that I wanted dogs?