So Sunday, the Mr. Puppy was not doing so well.
I was gone almost all day, but when Ansen got home from church about noon, the little guy went to sleep on the air mattress in the office. He didn’t move from there. He didn’t greet me when I came home at 4:30. By about 6:30, I started worrying. “Where is Seifer? What’s he into?” I found him, still laying on the bed in the same position as hours before. When we tried to move him, he whimpered and whined. We tried to pinpoint what the problem was… but all we could figure out was that he was limping and his front legs hurt, particularly the knees. Something was definitely wrong.
After all evening laying on the couch, not even readjusting his position, we started to go to bed… but Seifer was pretty much unresponsive. Now we’re starting to worry. The vet opens at 8:30am, so I thought I’d take him as soon as possible, but he couldn’t even really stand. He looked so pathetic and I couldn’t take his whimpering. He was obviously in a lot of pain, so much that it’s altering his demeanor entirely. We finally decided to call the 24 hour vet line. The Dr. met us at the office and decided to keep him over night.
He decided that since we couldn’t pinpoint a specific injury it is probably a version of ehrlichia (though his blood test came back negative for ehrlichia canis), a tick-borne illness that can remain dormant or asymptomatic for a while and then present itself in sore joints. If not treated, it can become significantly worse, but with antibiotics, they usually recover 100%.
After several days on antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, he seems to be back to his usual ornery self, tearing up kleenexes, barking at the neighbor dogs & playing tug of war.
The whole ordeal was surprisingly heart wrenching. I cried several times watching him try to walk or get up in the midst of the intense pain. I couldn’t bear to see him hurt so much. Yeah, I may be extra hormonal right now, but still, I love this puppy! Then I kept thinking, “man, if I love him this much, and feel this strongly about a dog, I can’t image how difficult it’s going to be when baby girl gets sick for the first time.” How do parents deal with that? I once heard a mom say that children are, “like your heart out there walking around.” I think I just got a glimpse of that.
Also, why do things like this always happen after hours? It’s way more expensive! If something serious is going to happen, why can’t it happen during normal business hours?