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The Dog Days of Summer

Palma, talked about the Dog Days of summer in her blog, Palmabella's Passion a few weeks ago. But lately, the dogs in my life have given this term new and crappy meaning.

First it started with poor Bandit last week. He's Fala's boyfriend.

bandit_and_fala.jpg
Bandit and Fala Enjoy a Bath Togehter

Bandit is a rescue my friend Steph got last summer. If you're going to be a rescued dog, Steph's who you want to end up with. Oh, let's face it, if you're any animal, Steph is who you want to end up with. When the rescue people called to get references on Steph, all anyone had to say to them was, "She spent over a thousand dollars to save a guinea pig's life." That was enough for the rescue people.

Anyway, Bandit is Steph's second rescue (her first, Harley, the great one-eyed, deaf, toothless wonder - yes she got him that way - passed away two years ago, so Bandit got picked last summer). Bandit is young and healthy - a new experience for Steph but it was love at first sight and Steph's husband and child quickly became used to being third and second (respectively) in the pecking order for Steph's attention again.

Unfortunately, last week Bandit became ill. Literally, in the span of 10 minutes, he went from a bouncing, thriving puppy-like guy (we put him about age two to three), to a collapsed, sickly, barely able to move old dog. Steph called our Vet (everyone in the office there is on a first name basis with her) and they didn't even ask what's wrong. Steph says, something is the matter and they say, "Bring him in."

They're waiting for her in the reception area and immediately carry him into the back. It's not long before they realize it's something serious and it's late, and they don't have the lab facilities to do the blood work they need to help him, so they send her to the 24 hour emergency vet (we have two within about 60 minutes of us). Once there, they get him settled and begin to run tests, checking red cell levels, looking for toxins.

Eventually they send Steph home (which is surprising to us because anyone who knows Steph would have thought she would have slept on the floor right next to her boy) but she acquiesced and went home.

The next day, we found out that Bandit was bleeding internally, so they did exploratory surgery and ended up removing a lobe of his liver (did you know dogs have seven lobes?). It should regenerate, and the good news is within hours of the surgery, Bandit perked up, ate ravenously, and licked anyone he could get his tongue on. We went to visit him Saturday night, and other than the silly collar and the scar that extends down his abdomen, he seemed pretty darn good, a miracle. Not to mention, when he saw Fala yesterday, he "perked right up" if you know what I mean ;D. We still don't know though what caused the trauma.

bandit_and_cone.jpg
Bandit and His Silly Cone

Anyway, if that weren't enough Dog Days excitement for us, Fala decided to get in the act. On Saturday, she tripped going up the steps at my parents' house. She hobbled a little and then seemed fine. Sunday, hobbled a little again, and then seemed fine. Yesterday morning, after jumping off our bed, she hobbled a lot.

We brought her to our vet yesterday afternoon (same as Steph's), and it seems her knee isn't tracking properly. Sometimes, rarely, it self-corrects, so for now she's on anti-inflammatory and strict rest (yeah, how does that work? How do you get a dog to rest?). In two weeks though, the Doc will check her again and if she's still wobbling, she'll need surgery almost like rebuilding her knee. :( She's sleeping now on her bed, and I'm carrying her up and down the steps, but she really looks so pathetic and uncomfortable, it just breaks my heart.

Update: Okay - I wrote this on Tuesday, Wednesday morning, she seems a bit better. She's putting pressure on it and didn't squeal when I picked her up, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

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Other Thinks (7)

Lisa:

Give Fala a big hug for me.

Wow, I'm so glad that he's okay. I wonder if he got into some poison or something? And I hope that Fala continues to feel better too.

I had a cocker spaniel who had cataract surgery and had to wear one of those cones for several weeks...poor thing kept running into door jambs and furniture with it.

sandrac:

Wow, talk about the dog days....I hope both Bandit and Fala are feeling better now. And I love that photo of them bathing together!

Those cones or Elizabethan ruffs or whatever they're called look so cute, but they must be enormous hassle for the poor dog. Still, they do the job!

Stephanie:

You certainly captured all of the details! I don't think I could have told the story better myself. I hope it won't long before our "kids" are both back to their old tricks! Give Fala a kiss for us! - Steph

Kim [TypeKey Profile Page]:

Steph, you did tell the story yourself. Where do you think I got all those details :D?

Second Update: I saw Bandit last night and he's back to his bouncy, happy ways. He's hopefully getting his stitches out today. Fala too, seems to continually improve. She no longer looks sad and pathetic - but she's getting cocky with the running around, so we're watchful that she doesn't re-injure.

I don't know how I missed this one. How strange and scary that a dog can get that sick so fast. So glad the vet figured it all out.

I am also happy to hear Fala is geting back to her old self. Hopefully she will take it easy a while longer so she won't re-injure herself. Maybe borrowing Bandit's cone would slow her down a bit?

Kim [TypeKey Profile Page]:

Girasoli, I know - totally freaky about Bandit. Unforutnately, while his stitches came out yesterday, the Vet asked that he keep the cone on for a few more days as he immediately went to work licking his incision when they removed the cone. Fala keeps sneaking upstairs now; we're going to have to figure out a way to block that off.

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