Monday, August 3, 2009
Spent most of the weekend caring for my beautiful old girl, Valkrys (on the right).
Friday when I came home from work, it was as if she had given up again, would not eat or drink. I forced her to stand up and drink, then gave her the medicine to coat her stomach. Thirty minutes later I gave her the pill for her pancreas.
After an hour she still would not eat, so I put a piece of chicken in her mouth. She still would not eat it, but I kept putting it in her mouth every time she spit it out until she ate that piece. Once she did, she wanted more. Guess I'm more stubborn than she is. I got her to eat four very small pieces but it was a start.
Saturday morning she fought me as I tried to give her medicine, and I was desperate to try something else. I hate prying her jaws open and getting my fingers bit only to have her spit out the pills after holding her mouth shut for ten minutes. So, Jim and I went to the store and picked up (among other things) a jar of peanut butter. That evening, I stuck a pill to the roof of her mouth with a swath of peanut butter. Though she tried to spit out the pill, it was coated with peanut butter and she eventually swallowed it not realizing that was the pill.
She acted a little miffed afterwards that I had deceived her, but when I gave her the other pill forty minutes later, she didn't fuss at all, but swallowed it without trying to extract the pill. She didn't eat anything else on Saturday, sleeping most of the day.
Sunday she put up a big fuss over the pills, and it took me some time to get her to open her mouth for the pill, but once she had the peanut butter in her mouth, she swallowed it and the pill. The small pill was much easier, and she only gave me a little bit of fuss. She then ate three pieces of chicken breast, but nothing else the rest of the day. Evening pills were a minor fuss, but still no eating.
This morning she only half-heartedly resisted me opening her mouth for the pill and swallowed it right away. Half hour later, she again, only partially resisted having her mouth open, didn't pull away, and swallowed the small pill in peanut butter. She then ate four pieces of chicken and was begging for more, following me around the house. I left instructions for Jim to cook up more chicken and feed it to her when he got up, and she ate a whole chicken breast!
I'm overjoyed that she looks to be finally past the danger point and on the road to recovery. She lost almost fifteen pounds, so she has a lot of weight to make up still, but it looks pretty positive for an almost eighteen year old shepherd-husky, Valkrys, our heroine.
On a funny note, last night, Samantha was being rather feisty and playful. Normally I try not to play with the dogs with my hands, but Samantha doesn't like to play with toys, and only plays with me, Jim or Yukon. So I tussled with her a little and she ended up with her head upside down beside my hip, hunched up in a ball with her front feet and hind feet next to her nose. She immediately began a dance-dig jig upside down with all four of her paws while yowl-growling. It was the funniest-weirdest thing I have ever seen a dog do! Jim and I roared with laughter for nearly fifteen minutes, much to Samantha's delight.
She loves to hear people laugh, and will poke you with her nose to tickle you and make you laugh. She is another great dog, and I feel fortunate to have had her and Valkrys in one lifetime.