Poor Captain Shadow (11 month old Weimaraner) has been showing signs of being sick over the last few days. It all started Thursday night when my family (Mom, Dad, Sister and her dog) arrived for 4th of July weekend.
Captain Shadow stopped eating.
At first this didn’t concern us because he is know for limiting his food when he is in a different location or if his routine is off. Even after he threw up his undigested food, we weren’t too worried. Again, we had company and we thought he was just too excited about all the changes.
Friday he refused to eat again.
He was still drinking water but his bowel movements were beginning to become loose. At this time we still thought it was due to having company over. Captain Shadow was still walking around and playing with his cousin, Riggins…so the only signs were lack of food and loose poop.
Saturday Captain Shadow was still not eating.
We tried everything — hand feeding him, mixing his food with chicken broth, giving him some of his cousins food…but nothing worked. Now Captain Shadow was spending most of his time laying on the couch.
By Saturday night he was lethargic.
Sunday morning my family left. We hoped that Captain Shadow would eat, drink and feel better…but after 3 days of refusing to eat and 2 days of not drinking (I was hand feeding him ice cubes…and that stopped working too)… we started to get very concerned.
We knew we needed to get him to the vet ASAP. Of course, it was Sunday and our vet wasn’t open, so I had to make the trek down the mountain to Fresno (1 hour drive).
Dr. Judge, the emergency vet, was very kind to Captain Shadow, but he was in such a foul mood he actually nipped at her! Totally out of character! I spent 4.5 hours at the emergency veterinary hospital. They did a few blood panels and took some X-rays. All of the blood work came back normal, though it did show that Captain Shadow was slightly dehydrated. The X-rays, though not 100% conclusive, showed a possible cloth obstruction in his intestines. (Not very surprising. Captain Shadow loves to chew and rip cloth and eat the occasional sock. Ever since we first notice him eating socks we have been diligent about keeping them out of his area…but this is a hunting dog, so he must of found something worth swallowing.)
They wanted to keep Captain Shadow over night and redo X-rays in the morning. However, I thought it would be better to hydrate him, take him home and do a follow up with our vet in Oakhurst. The vet agreed with my decision (since an hour drive is not easy on anyone).
Today I took Captain Shadow to my vet. He gave me a second opinion on the X-rays and decided that they didn’t show anything abnormal. Our course to treating Captain Shadow is the bland diet — white rice and boiled chicken…with a spoonful of pumpkin (extra fiber to help him pooped regularly).
So far Captain Shadow has eaten 1 cup of bland food… and the best part is he has not thrown it up! He is also drinking his water on his own. I think we made it through the worst part of whatever this sickness was.
When should you take your dog to the vet?
It’s a tough call, but really I would rather be safe than sorry. 3 days with out food, 2 days with little to no water, throwing up and diarrhea…it was time to take action. Honestly I feel that getting fluids into his system was the game changer. He has been improving gradually since the injection.
When was the last time you had to take your pet to the emergency vet? Tell me your story.