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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Worried

(Gross word warning! ...if you don't have children or pets you might not want to read this.)

I'm a little worried about my German Shepherd. She's been vomiting almost every day. I know from experience that dogs "get sick" on occasion, and it's nothing to worry about most of the time. In fact, in the wild, that's how dogs feed their pups....second hand. (This is common in a lot of animals.) So even though that terrible wretching sound they make makes we as vomit-hating humans cringe and think how painful it must be, for the dogs, it's actually the way they were designed.

In the past I had a dog that went through a "phase" where she seemed to be getting sick a lot. Some of it was caused by eating grass, and the vet thought that maybe they eat grass in order to clean out impurities. There are lots of theories out there so I first hold to the idea that by itself, this process is not as terrible for them as it is for humans.

That said, I do think it's worrisome that my girl is getting sick more than usual. Just this week I cleaned up three messes, last weekend helped her outside quickly, the week before...two other messes. I also just found another mysterious mess, have no idea when it got there but it's getting hit with enzyme cleaner. Which I'm running out of quickly! (I had three types...all are nearing the bottom!)

With dog sicknesses, I know to look at other things; how is their appetite, their eyes (bright?), their coat, their general attitude. For my girl, all is well in those departments. She is happy and energetic as she's always been. And everything is also coming out the other end just fine.

Maybe I'm worried because the last time we went to the vet she (the vet, not the dog) mentioned that German Shepherds are prone to pancreatitis and to be alert for it. I looked up those symptoms...nothing matching what I'm seeing. Although certainly, I'll remain alert for any real illness.

At this point, as my dog sicked up her breakfast this morning, I decided not to feed her for the rest of the day. Maybe she's got something that has to be "eliminated", and of course, fasting for 24 hours won't do her harm. And then I'm going to start her on some bland food...very lean hamburger and rice, recommended by another vet in the past. It was for a different problem, but maybe if it works for problems at the other end, it'll help her tummy, too?

Or maybe I'm being a mother goose? Dog people? At what point do you worry your dog is actually exibiting symptoms that aren't normal?

I really really really can't afford an unnecessary trip to the vet, and I won't go as long as her attitude is normal and she looks at me with big sad eyes when I don't feed her. (Seriously...they can ONLY cultivate that expression when they think they're being deprived of something they think they need.....)

11 comments:

Maureen said...

Multiple retching ain't right, but if she seems to be healthy overall....

Is it possible that her food got dirty, or that she's getting into something in your house that she likes, but which doesn't like her? Do you have any houseplants that are like grass, or is she sneaking grass on you or something?

Rice by itself works also, or plain yogurt.

Adoro said...

Nope, no issues with plants or grass. All the grass around here is dead so she's not interested in it, and thankfully, she's also not interested in the "treats" left by Canadian geese! I'm washing her food and water bowls in the dishwasher and drying them in there, hopefully that's not the problem but that will kill any possible bacteria.

Maybe it's just a bug? I just know I don't like to clean up all these messes! I may start her on the bland stuff tonight as she isn't really "sick", (you know, like when the other end acts up...lol.)

But in any case, removing her from her regular food would be a good idea, I think. I feed her Nutro Natural Choice, (Lamb and rice), which really agrees with her. It's kept in a large plastic container and kept dry. I HOPE there's nothing wrong with the food, but I haven't seen any recalls. If she were to suddenly get terribly sick, I would definitely think "food" first!

Melody K said...

Well, if she was a cat I'd say hairballs, but I don't think dogs get those. Sounds like you're on the right track with giving her stomach a rest, then starting her back on bland food.
I'm familiar with "hound-dog eyes". Kids can even do them.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

I'd start the bland diet. No matter the type of animal, their parents know when something is not right and this sounds not right. If the bland diet doesn't work within a couple of days, I think I'd go to the vet. With the holiday coming up, I know that can be a challenge too.

Poor Fuzzy Buddy! Give her a hug for me.

I hope you are doing ok too, sweetie!

Adoro te Devote said...

I gave her a small about of hamburger and rice tonight...and then she gave me the hound dog eyes again...lol.

She also got a bath today...I'm never doing that again! It is SO worth the $30.00 to take her to a groomer's to let them handle the mess and the cleanup! (Besides...trying to get her into the tub, keep her in the tub...etc.....!)

I'm sure if it's just a bug it'll be gone. If it's more serious it'll escalate. I'm watching it.

Adrienne said...

Both of my "guys" have been spewing on and off for a week. As long as they eat rice and boiled chicken everything is fine.

Sooooo tomorrow we'll go buy new dry food. I think even the dry food can get rancid after awhile. The other issue is dyes and other additives. We'll be getting a small bag of something without food coloring in it and start adding it back in little by little.

Adoro te Devote said...

I've actually had a few different bags of food lately...had a few 5 lb bags as the store was out of larger ones, and I just bought a 20 lb bag. I really don't think it's the food in this case.

But it has to be SOMETHING that's making her ill. Maybe the bland diet for a few days will work. She sure does love this stuff!

Maureen said...

Heh, heh. Yeah, I bet she's not crying about getting to eat hamburger. :)

Adoro said...

Yeah...she's a pretty happy camper. It's mostly just hamburger flavored rice....

she loves it!

It's so easy to make a dog happy.

:-)

And no messes today. That makes ME happy!

Cathy_of_Alex said...

What's the latest? Ok now?

Adoro said...

Dunno. She wasn't puking every day, just more than usual. It hasn't been long enough to determine if it's ongoing. Besides...she's still on hamburger and rice. I did add in some of her dry food this morning, though.