Friday, July 11, 2014

When the Service Dog is Sick

This afternoon, Isaac threw up.

He never throws up.  Well, he eats grass a lot in the summer and sometimes throws a little of that back up.  But he usually throws it up right after he eats it.  I've never had to clean up dog vomit in my house.  Cat vomit, oh yes, that's a regular thing.  But not dog vomit.

This was not grass, though.  I don't know what it was.  It was a huge puddle of something.  It had been a long time since he'd eaten anything, at least, anything that I was aware of.  Maybe he found and ate something that I didn't know about.  I can't imagine what, though.  My house is pretty well Isaac-proofed. 

It's possible that Cayenne pooped and he ate that before I saw the poop, but well, he has eat cat poop plenty of times.  It's something I try hard to prevent but... well, he's eaten it many times and it has never made him throw up before.

Now that I think about it, it's kind of surprising that he never throws up, because he does eat cat poop, he eats old food he finds lying on the side of the road (if I don't stop him first, which I try to do), he eats bugs, he guzzles lake water, I'm pretty sure I've seen him eat dirt, he's been known to lick the floor (who knows what exactly he was licking off of it), and he rolls in dead things when he gets the chance.  Just thinking about it makes me want to throw up.  Apparently he has a pretty strong stomach.

But he threw up this afternoon.  It was kind of sad, because afterward, he came creeping over to me, like he wanted me to fix it.  It was like the way he crept over to me for help when Mike's cat swatted him on the nose.

So I invited him up onto the couch with me, much to Cayenne's dismay, and he lay on my lap and I rubbed his belly for a while.

Then it was time to feed Cayenne dinner and Isaac was disappointed to learn his dinner would be delayed.  Because after I clean up a giant puddle of puke, I do not serve the puker a meal for a while.

Later, I did give him a quarter cup of kibble, which is much less than his usual meal, to see if that would stay down.  It did.  An hour after that, I gave him another half cup.  I gave it to him in his slow feeder bowl, so he wouldn't gulp it down, and that stayed down, too.

He seems like he isn't feeling too well, though.  He went to bed right after he ate his first quarter cup of food, and he usually does not go to bed right after dinner.  He got up to eat the half cup of food I gave him an hour later, and he asked to go out then, and I took him out and he peed, and then he went back to bed. 

I just took him out for our last pee of the night, and he seemed happy to go out and happy to be petted, but he did not jump right out of bed like he usually does.  He was a bit slower than usual.  His tail was wagging and he seemed affectionate, like usual.  As soon as we got back in the house, he looked at me like he was wondering if I needed anything, then looked at the bedroom, then looked back at me.  I told him it was night time and he could go to bed.  So he did.  I went in and petted him for a minute and he rolled over so I could rub his belly.

So he's not acting terribly sick but he's not quite himself, either.

And I realize that I have very different feelings about Isaac being sick than I do when Cayenne is sick.

I worry about Cayenne a lot.  I worry that I'll wake up one morning and find her dead.  I worry that she's going to need to go to the vet and it will cost a fortune and I won't know how to pay for it.  I worry about whether I'm making the right decisions for her, like if surgery was the right thing to do.  I worry about whether I'll know when it's time to euthanize her.  I worry about whether she's in too much pain or if she has a good enough quality of life.

But with Isaac, I worry that he feels bad and I can't make him feel better.  I worry that I won't know if he's really sick and needs to go to the vet or not.  The cost of the vet bills was one of the last things to cross my mind tonight, though.  I worry about how I'll do things if he is unable to work and I worry about how I'll know when he's feeling better and is ready to get back to his usual activities.

I had planned to take him swimming this weekend but now I'm thinking that guzzling a bunch of lake water and racing around at top speed in the heat is probably not the best thing to do when you have an upset stomach.  So we definitely won't be doing that tomorrow.  I'll see about Sunday.

Maybe I'm just used to Cayenne being ill.  I feel bad for her, but most of the time I don't feel guilty that I can't make her feel better.   Tonight I felt really bad that I couldn't make Isaac's tummy feel better.

No comments:

Post a Comment