We were back at the ER at midnight last night after Kodi started acting TOTALLY wierd. He started trying to eat EVERYTHING, from shoe laces, to his toys, to his litter box. When we took everything away from him, he started going around licking the floor! He was all hunched up like he needed to poop, but he didn't, but was salivating, licking, smacking his lips and making sort of a retching noise. I took him outside to see if he wanted to potty out there, and he immediately started grabbing big mouthfuls of dead grass and mud. (there's no live grass here still) When I pulled him away from that, he started swallowing big mouthfuls of snow.
I still had some Pepcid left over from last week, so I gave him that, and just watched him for about half an hour. He got a LITTLE better, but still was clearly not himself. So it was off to the ER again. They x-rayed his chest and abdomen, thinking that he might have something caught in his esophagus (he didn't) or to look for an obstruction further down. (there wasn't anything) The good news (for him, not them
) was that he was enough better than he was last week that it took 3 of them to hold him down for the x-rays. Last week, he just lay where they put him.
They told me that his behavior was typical of a dog who was nauseated, so they gave him some anti-nausea meds. They sent us home around 3:30 AM with two different prescriptions, one for Pepcid, and one for Sucralfate, with directions to give him both every 12 hours for the next 5 days.
The poor thing, they didn't want him to have access to ANYTHING that he could try to eat if his tummy started feeling bad again, so I had to even take away his bedding. He had to sleep right on the plastic tray of his crate.
I guess I shouldn't feel SO bad about that, since he sleeps on the hard floor by his own choice on a regular basis during the day. But it seems so mean, considering that he wasn't feeling well. Fortunately, the anti-nausea meds made him sleepy, and he fell asleep REALLY fast. (I'm sure it also helped that it was 3:30 in the morning!!!)
This morning I called our regular vet to talk to him about the whole situation. He said that it really sounded to him like he has esophagitis. (pretty much the same thing as severe heartburn in people) He said we could scope him to see what his esophagus looks like on the inside, but that's invasive, and can irritate the esophagus more. He suggested treating him as if that is what he has, which basically means keeping him on the Sucralfate for a month. He said that if we take him off sooner, and and his esophagus hasn't healed, we can just set things up for becoming chronic, or possibly even worsening into an ulcerative situation.
At the end of the month, we're going to take him off and see how he does. If this was a one-time thing, no matter what caused it, it should have had time to heal by then. He said if it comes back at that point, it may be that he needs to be on the Sucralfate, but at a lower dose and less often, just like people who are prone to chronic heartburn. He did say that even if this is the case, it is very manageable.
He also had me bring in a stool sample, just to rule out some infection that could be causing this.
Today he slept a lot this morning, but seemed to feel fine. I had a lesson set up, and figured I'd take him over anyway, and just do what he seemed up to. He was bright, happy, and wanted to work the whole time. He's conked out again now, but I'm planning on heading to bed very shortly too!