Dusty’s First Visit to Emergency

Dusty looking handsome

Last night, Dusty had his first visit to the Animal Emergency Clinic.

Dusty is the sort of dog who picks up everything along our walks—and he’s crazy-fast, so we don’t always catch him in time to get the latest sidewalk delicacy out of his mouth. When I noticed that Dusty or Cora had been sick in their crate while we were out for an early community dinner, I figured Dusty had once again eaten something we hadn’t caught him eating. Either Dusty or Cora or both had cleaned up the mess (ick!), so I couldn’t examine it; however, I didn’t worry too much about it because both dogs were excited and active and seemingly feeling fine. I fed them their supper as usual. Not long after, I noticed that Dusty was gulping incessantly—deep gulps, one right after the other, and not stopping. All the while, he was licking—the carpet, the floor, the furniture. Lick, lick, lick.

Around 8:30, I decided to take him to the emergency clinic about 20 minutes from home. We’d thought maybe he had something caught in his throat. Trips to the Animal Emergency Clinic are never quick and, of course, never pleasant. We waited and waited and waited despite being the only ones in the waiting room. Two vets were on duty, but apparently both were busy with the dogs behind the door at the back of the clinic. It is an emergency clinic, and I do want all pets to be well cared for, but it’s still hard not to get irritated when no one else is waiting and I have to sit there for more than an hour on a Sunday night with a dog who won’t stop licking the not-so-spotless floor. Finally, however, Dusty was seen.

The vet technician on duty asked all kinds of necessary questions and made her judgments clear. She wasn’t happy that Dusty was fed brewer’s yeast and garlic tablets (made for dogs and highly recommended by holistic vets) and that he’d had an N-Bone (which she wrote down as “end bone” and thought was a real bone, which she proclaimed are bad for dogs). I respect the opinions of professionals, but I think her judgments were a little harsh, especially considering she clearly didn’t know the benefits of the former and even what the latter was.

Anyway, about 15 minutes after the vet tech’s exam, the vet came in. She was really nice and seemed to like Dusty a lot. She took her time examining him. His stomach was fluidy and gassy, she’d said. She didn’t think x-rays would be helpful unless he’d eaten something metal or dense since so many things won’t show up on an x-ray. We have never seen Dusty chew anything in the house other than his toys, and he hadn’t played much with his toys on Sunday. I couldn’t figure out what he could’ve eaten to cause him such upset. The vet thought it best to put him on a bland diet, give him an anti-nausea injection and an anti-vomiting injection and to send him home with some sulcrate.

All night, Dusty licked the carpet. I felt terrible that he was so uncomfortable, and it was heartbreaking not being able to do anything to help him. (It was also frustrating not getting any sleep, but that’s beside the point.)

The culprit

On this afternoon’s walk, the upset-tummy culprit appeared. It looked like yarn. Thick yarn. I couldn’t figure out what it could be from, but it was a relief to see it pass…until I got home and realized what it was and saw just how much of it he had ingested. It seems that the blanket covering his crate became a little too much of a temptation on Sunday. I called our vet clinic, Thickson Road Pet Hospital, as soon as I realized what he’d eaten. And it seems we’re not out of the woods yet. The anti-vomiting drug will be in his system for another few hours, but if he vomits after that, I may be back at the vet tonight or tomorrow. He’s playful and happy and fine right now, and apparently it’s a good sign that he’s passed some of the blanket. We just have to hope the rest goes through that long body just as easily. Poor Dusty!

7 Responses to Dusty’s First Visit to Emergency

  • Vicky Brown says:

    Get well soon Dusty!

  • Sherry says:

    Oh, poor Dusty! Animals are such a worry. And of course you can’t be upset with them since they don’t know any better. Let’s just hope that his system can handle the rest of what he swallowed and he’ll be back to his lovely self soon (except for the “picking up sidewalk delicacy” habit!). Thinking of all of you — I hope you can get some sleep!

  • Cathy says:

    Thanks, Vicky and Sherry. Good news: I think he’s on the mend! There was no vomit through the night, and vomit was the big “worry sign.” He hardly ate any grass (or other sidewalk delicacies) on our walk this morning. And there was no blood in his poop. Whew!

  • Ah, Cath, you must have been worried sick. Poor Dusty. If only they could talk and tell you what’s wrong.

    Hopefully he’s on the mend. And you’ll get a proper night’s sleep.

    Why was he licking the carpet?

    • Cathy says:

      He’s doing a whole lot better now, Deb! Still pooping out the blanket, though.
      Apparently dogs lick compulsively when they feel nauseated. Roxie never did, though, so I didn’t know that before our Sunday night vet visit.

  • Louise says:

    Poor boy! My current foster does the licking thing when her tummy is upset. He really is quick when he want’s something – I’ve seen him hoover something before I even realize there is something to be hoovered 🙂

    I’m so glad he is with you 🙂 I can’t imagine a more loving family! Thank you also for sharing this with us all – It’s nice for me to see how he is doing!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks, Louise! We adore Dusty and feel so fortunate that no one scooped him up before we met him! Wes thinks we should rename him “Dyson” because of how good he is at ingesting everything in sight—and a whole lot that isn’t in sight!

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