Monday, November 9, 2009

Trust Your Instincts

When it comes to your pets, trust your instincts. If something just doesn't seem right, check further.

One day several years ago, Morgan kept running over to the car and trying to get in. We thought she wanted to go for a ride. Sometimes they get a nice treat when they go out for a ride with us. She kept this behavior up every time she got a chance to get near the car. We didn't go for a ride that day.

The next morning when I was feeding the dogs their breakfast, something seemed wrong with Morgan. She pushed her food around but didn't seem interested in eating it, but there was something else that I couldn't pinpoint. I told Rob that we needed to take her to the vet.

I have a good relationship with my vets and they trust my instincts, so when I told Dr B there was something wrong, he did a good exam, but he found nothing. Still he went one step further and drew blood. The blood test results came back the next morning and we learned that Morgan's liver was failing. She was desperately sick. She spent a week in the hospital on IV fluids and eventually recovered. I was very glad I trusted my feelings.

Yesterday morning when I gave Samba her glucosamine pill, she put it on the floor. She always chomps it up, then begs for her other meds. This was the first time she ever refused it. Several times during the day she put her head in my lap and I thought something looked wrong with her eyes. Finally last night I took her aside and examined her eyes. They seemed to be OK, no tearing or redness, but they didn't look right to me.

Last evening Rob had a snack for the dogs. He cut a piece of apple and a piece of cheese for each of them. When he gave Samba hers, she set it on the floor. She did eat it, but it took her a long time.

This morning Samba, who usually inhales her food, was the last to finish breakfast. She was stretching her neck out and again her eyes bothered me. I took her to the bedroom where it was quiet, put her on the bed and felt her head and throat. They felt OK. I lifted her lips and her front teeth appeared to be OK. When I tried to open her mouth, she screamed in pain.

We took her to see Dr Nicki immediately. She was in too much pain for them to examine her and they took her to be sedated. I went home and waited. All sorts of things went thru my mind, from broken teeth to broken jaw and of course, the picture of Monty stretching his neck out to breath was there, too.

When the call came it was relatively good news. There were no cuts in the mouth, the teeth looked good and the jaw had complete range of motion. My girl has tonsillitis.

We came home with antibiotics, probiotics, pain pills and something to soothe her sore throat, plus one groggy sad dog. She's getting soft food and yogurt and lots of cuddling. I'm sure she'll feel much better in a few days.

You know your pet better than anyone. If you feel there's something wrong, even if it's only a look in the eye, pay attention to your feelings. They may be trying to tell you that they're in trouble and need your help.


LizzieJane said...

How very true Sue. Your first instinct is usually the right one. I learned a long time ago that even if it seems silly go with your instinct anyway because it usually turns out to be the right one. And if it isn't then that's ok too.
I am so happy to hear that Morgan and Samba are doing so much better.

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

You DO know your dogs. Never heard of a dog having tonsilitis, but it seems like we have a lot of sick dogs out there now. Hope the meds work quickly and you have a happy pup back soon.

Woos, the OP Pack

SissySees said...

I'm so glad she's going to be okay. I have a really good idea of how worried you were!

Anonymous said...

Poor Samba! I hope she feels better real soon. It's so hard to know what your pets want and need because they don't communicate like we do. You know your little family well. I only hope and pray that I will know when something is wrong with my charli

Hero said...

I'm glad to hear that Samba is on the road to recovery. Your pack is blessed to have such observant and responsible hoomans.

gMarie said...

I am so glad that she's okay - and that you thought to reach out to me for comfort. I can't say it often enough - I'm glad to call you friend and I know you saved my life when Beau was in crisis!

I didn't know the backstory about Morgan - what a smart, smart girl you have there. g

Sam said...

Poor Samba!

You have good instincts to make such quick catches. I know that for Marge to not inhale her food would mean something is very wrong, too.

Molly the Airedale said...

We never knew that doggies could get tonsillitis! Get well soon, Samba. We're sending you lots of AireZen!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

momsue84 said...

Excellent post. You are so right about trusting instincts. And it does require a vet who understands that. Hope the tonsilitis goes away soon.

Lapdog Creations said...

So glad they are both OK and they both are lucky enough to have you as their Mom.

Yes... trust your instincts!!!

Marjie said...

Pets and one knows them better than you. I'm so glad your vet listens to you.

Martha said...

We have never heard of a dog having tosillitis!
Poor Samba, we hope she is better soon.
We immediately thought of ice cream and jelly!
That was such a true post Sue with good examples - when you know your dog you do just know when something is wrong.
It is always best to have it checked out - sounds like you have a great vet too.

Dianne said...

I've never heard of a dog having tonsillitis, but of course they have tonsils! Poor Samba. I hope she's feeling better very soon. Your babes are lucky to have such an observant mommy!

Nicki said...

It's helpful when owners can give you good info. Lots of people don't notice when something is wrong, or have no idea how to answer any questions. Thanks for being a good dog mom and great client!