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Sick puppy, X-rays
Okay, this is VERY long but Iím including every detail I can think of just in case.
Puppy had been acting sick on and off for about a week and a half, with occasional intermittent diarrhea but regular poop in between. Took him to the vet on Thursday after a scary incident where he seemed worse very suddenly. He had thrown up and then laid down, and my daughter cleaned it up and then when to comfort him pppp and he didnít move his head or open his eyes like he usually does. She found she had to shake him to rouse him and it really scared her. Until last night he hadnít eaten since Wednesday and before that his appetite had gradually decreased since Monday.
On Thursday they didnít have appointments left so the vet took him for drop off. While he was there he was ďvery alert and responsiveĒ which I now attribute to his anxiety, and nothing in the exam indicated any problem - good vitals, no stomach tenderness, etc. He was more like his usual self when I went to check in and pick him up, so we decided to give it a day or so and offer him other food.
When he got home he still wouldnít eat or drink and slept continually until I called the vet on Friday morning and said he seemed worse. They fit us in and decided to do X-rays. There were two small things on the X-ray. One is that he showed me that there is a pattern they look for in obstructions, but that it is very small, less than a quarter of the size of what they would look for in a complete obstruction or a surgical case. The other is something unusual in his stomach. At this time it seems like he ate a non-food item that made him sick to his stomach and a small amount is just sitting there at the bottom of his stomach. The vet actually called the other doctor in because it appeared grainy like sand but didnít look like sand normally appears on X-rays. They gave him a shot with the goal of getting to eat so it would move through his stomach.
The shot did work - when we got home he still wouldnít eat kibble but he ate 2 whole Stella and Chewy freeze dried patties. I thought we should wait a few minutes so we offered him another 15 minutes later and he ate that, too, and then scavenged around looking for anything interesting on the pantry floor (didnít find anything but itís like a game to him) and seemed much more his usual self for an hour or so.
In the night he woke me up to take him potty 3 times. The first was about the quarter of the size of a normal poop followed by watery diarrhea. The others were small amounts of watery diarrhea. He had diarrhea twice more this morning, but he wonít eat again, even when offered his favorite, whipped cream.
I have a number to call to check in today, but I wanted to check here first because our usual vet is out of town and this is a different vet in the same office. With my kids I know what questions to ask and I can trust the doctor while maintaining a healthy skepticism. I donít feel like I know how to do that with the vet at all because Iím just not an experienced dog owner.
One thing Iím concerned about that I didnít think of until later is that small pattern. Is it possible it looks so small because heís eaten so little, but that eating more could cause it to become more obstructed, or is it just a pattern that happens to look similar to an obstruction so just keep an eye on it?
Where he hasnít eaten in so long, and now is eating patties instead of his usual kibble/patty blend, should I expect him to have diarrhea for a period of time?
Iím going to check in late afternoon with the vet but I wanted to run this by the forum in case I should be asking different questions or bringing anything up.
One thing I brought up on Thursday with the vet on the phone but forgot about on Friday is this choking sound heís made on occasion over the past week and a half or so. Itís a really strange sound I canít describe, and the vet suggested it could be a reverse sneeze. I havenít heard a reverse sneeze, but to me it really sounds like heís choking something up, and now Iím wondering if heís tried to throw up whatever is in his stomach. It sounded much worse and almost sort of wheezy for a few minutes after his bath a few days ago, and he loves to drink from the hanging shower head while Iím switching between shampoo and conditioner. His stomach was probably more full, so it makes sense that could make it sound worse. DS has poor esophageal motility and the sounds remind me of the sounds he makes when food isnít moving and he needs a drink of water.
Last question, why not make him throw up whatever it is if itís just sitting in his stomach? I have all of these scary ideas about what it could be. Iíve ďinventoriedĒ everything I can think of and the scary things I can think of that could seem grainy are those moisture packets, and there were a bunch in my bedroom garbage but heíd have to be able to get them out without tipping over the garbage, open it and eat it without leaving the packet wrapper anywhere. The other is i have pearl cotton embroidery floss, which he will take any opportunity to chew and could look sort of grainy because of the texture. I have the floss well out of his reach, but it has fallen off the dresser before and the idea of him swallowing string is scary.
Any feedback is much appreciated!