We had an insanely scary weekend with a sick pup.
The OG big dog, Ogilvy T. Rex Von Hambone, started puking everything early Saturday morning. Now, it’s not entirely uncommon for him to eat something random – like some grass or too much dog food from the other bowls – and puke a time or two to clear it out of his system. This, though, was different.
Sparing the nasty details – we cleaned up roughly 13 pukes over the course of 24 hours. He puked every color. He puked everywhere. In the basement, by the basement door, in Isai’s room, in the closet, by the changing table, on Isai’s bed – it was disgusting and it was everywhere. Not only did we enter the realm of replacing furniture and mattresses, but our dude wasn’t getting any better.
At 1:30 am on Sunday, we let him outside. He was begging at the basement door, pacing like he needed to potty and – for fear of another puke or worse – we let him out. Despite the cold weather, he didn’t come back in after a few minutes of wandering. We shouted and called for him, but couldn’t make out his shape in the dark. Aaron eventually spotted him laying in a pile of leaves by the basement door. He was refusing to get up or come back inside.
That sad little moment triggered every “my dog is wandering away to die” feeling I could possibly recall from growing up with animals on a farm. At a young age, you learn a lot about the natural course of life. Honestly, I don’t think that makes it any easier. Certainly not when your pet is truly part of your family.
We made the decision to take our 150lb monster into the emergency vet at 2 in the morning. Aaron lifted Ogi into the back of the truck with his dog bed. I quickly threw on a coat and shoes. We tip-toed around the sleeping kids, said ‘goodbye’ and I was off.
Ogi and I cruised for about an hour to Blue Pearl in Overland Park, Kansas. He didn’t make a peep. When we got there, he wouldn’t get out of the truck.
I went inside and asked for help. They brought him a stretcher. My massive scaredy-cat dog was heaved out of the truck and onto an animal stretcher by 3 women…and he didn’t even fight it. Dude was just along for the ride at that point. It was totally out of his usual character.
They immediately rolled him back to be cared for while I filled out paperwork in the lobby. When I finally met with the vet, Ogi was still nowhere to be seen. She said his heart beat and pulse were inconsistent throughout his body. He was very dehydrated and very depressed. I explained his previous conditions – particularly dilated cardiomyopathy which is typically a precursor to heart failure in Great Danes.
She warned me that all of his symptoms fit the bill for end-stage complications. We needed more tests – but that didn’t make it any easier to hear.
I texted with Aaron while holding back tears. We agreed to spending a small fortune in exchange for finding out what was going on with our pup. Ogi immediately went in for xrays and an EKG.
His heart had inconsistent beats, but nothing as severe as they’d expected. Thank goodness. The xrays, for all intents and purposes, were also clear – except for a small collection of bones gathered at the top of his gut.
“Did he eat a carcass?” she asked.
We live on a farm. I honestly couldn’t say that he didn’t despite the fact that I hadn’t seen it happen.
She went on to explain that his gut was extremely full, bloated, gassy and an apocalyptic shit was impending.
“What does he eat?” she asked.
“Well, we feed him just under four cups of grainfree food a day. But sometimes he will also get into the puppy’s food outside, or the chicken feed, or whatever else he can find.”
“Yea, I think he just has a very upset stomach,” she concluded.
Ogi stayed in the ICU through the day on Sunday with little to no change. That evening, I decided to drive down to see him, especially given that he’d been so depressed.
They brought him into the room to me and he immediately perked up. Then then vet gave me the rundown on the last 12 hours. He ate. He took a huge dump. He was feeling better.
He came home at 8pm on Sunday with a goody bag of antibiotics, human heart burn meds and bland food. All of which he was super jazzed to flaunt in front of the other pups.
On the ride home, we rolled down the window and let the cheeks flap in the wind – just like we used to do on all of our city dog rides. He thoroughly enjoyed every minute of his “special treatment” – and I couldn’t be more relived that he’s back to his usual antics.