Friday, August 19, 2011

Thank Goodness for Instincts and Knowledge of Dog Behavior!

Thursday we almost lost my darling Princess! I couldn't imagine her not being at my side. We still have doubts as to just what had poisoned her, but she had acute zinc toximia. The only thing we have verified is that one of the dogs (presumably Princess) got a hold of a tube of diaper rash cream, but this has left more questions than answers. Normally zinc oxide in the diaper cream is not enough to put her levels into the toxic range. Our vet is also puzzled.

When I awoke Thursday morning, I had a feeling that something was terribly wrong and it immediately hit me that Princess was nowhere to be found. Normally she is either on my bed or in the crate next to my bed. With mounting anxiety I called to her with no answer. Finally I threw open the back door in my robe and went out into the yard looking for her, and she came to me from out of the gloom. (it was 05:30) She seemed less active than normal, refused her morning biscuit (quite unusual) and went to lay on my bed. Puzzled and a concerned, I had Yukon and Bandit's morning meds to deal with, so went about taking care of my boys. Princess was sound asleep on my bed, and though this still seemed out of place, I took my shower while Bandit ate his breakfast in the bathroom undisturbed. I dressed for work, put first aid spray on Yukon's surgery wound, and saw Princess walking stiffly around the den. She suddenly heaved up a pinkish foam with red spots in it!!

I snatched a cleaning towel and wiped it up and tested the texture to confirm my fears. It was blood! Bandit had an appointment with the vet for bloodwork to check his seizure meds, so I told Jim to take Princess with him as well. He was reluctant, but I insisted and told him that he had to take her, as something was definitely not right! She was very ill and in pain, I could tell from her dilated eyes and odd way she laid on the couch trying to be comfortable. It was an insistance that saved her life.

The vet gave her meds to help clear the pancreatitis caused by the toxic levels of zinc, and anti nausea shot and pills. They told us if we had waited too much longer she wouldn't have made it. The frantic search has been on to find another reason for the high zinc level, but so far nothing has turned up. None of the other dogs seem effected, so it is unlikely to be the food, but I still have my doubts.

The good news is that I've found my old pickaxe so I can start digging fence pole holes, and my old manual weed whacker (trying to convince my son to help out clearing the fenceline so the electric fence continues to work). Saturday while clearing the fenceline, I ended up overheating myself. Unfortunately while living in the desert I ended up with heat exhaustion and have been susceptible to overheating. I pushed myself too hard Saturday and ended up being heat sick for most of the day.

Still feeling out of it Sunday, so I stayed indoors and cleaned up the living room. It badly needed it. I was sorting through stuff to put in the shed, rearranging the furniture, dusting, vaccuming, then steam vac. I was really ready for sleep Sunday night.

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