Saturday, May 27, 2006

Dog Problems

I returned from my afternoon hike today to find Veronica, our 13-year-old cocker spaniel, dazed on the floor. Her head kept shaking back and forth rapidly and she could not walk at first. After a minute she managed to move forward, sort of. As she walked, she also moved to the right, almost as if drunk. After some phone calls with my parents (who were shuttling my brother and his wife here from Philly), we met near the turnpike before going en masse to the emergency vet hospital. By this time Veronica's head was not moving so much as her eyes were doing a constant back and forth dance. It was quite sad. Thank god the doctor had good news and said chances were excellent that, um, she had something called verticulitis (or some other "v" word). This is a condition stimulated by an ear problem which wreaks havoc on the dog's balance. That would also explain the several vomitings earlier in between the stumbling. I just returned with Veronica and she's resting. I feared the worst so am happy everything should be back to normal within a few days tops.

Here's the funny story. While waiting at the vet, a woman with a larger dog was sitting not too far away. The nurse emerged from the back to ask her a most unusual question--"Do you know what type of underwear he ate?" Turns out the nurse mentioned the underwear a few minutes before but this was the question that got my attention. "I wonder if it was edible underwear," my brother chuckled. The woman's dog was a maybe for an MRI but, after learning the underwear had no metal studs, the doctor instead induced vomiting. Bad for the dog. Funny for the rest of us.

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