I’m whining all over the interwebz today about it. I know I’m long overdue for a post, and I’m sorry about that. But it’s just been insanity here at home. And just when I think things are calming down, Capone gets sick.
Let me just give you some background on Capone. He’s the dog that made me love dogs. He’s THAT dog, the one that some people are lucky enough to get, that no other dog can ever live up to. He understands what I say to him, even when I’m not using his commands. I’ve had him since he was 7 weeks old. He’s not just a dog. He’s like..the best damned dog in the world. He was kind of a terror in his adolescence, but neutering and training is critical with a male pit bull. I wasn’t always the genius you see before you today, ha ha ha.
I believe in soulmates, but not just like, the romantic cheesy hallmark card you complete me bullshit. Like..there’s a part of your soul that recognizes a part of mine and we’re meant to be in each other’s lives type of soulmate. I’ve been lucky enough to know a few. Capone is my doggy soulmate.
And if you wanna laugh at me, go ahead, I don’t give a shit. I love my other two dogs a LOT. A LOT. But Capone is that dog.
So when he gets sick or hurt, I FREAK THE FUCK OUT. When I am faced with his mortality, I just come unglued. I can’t handle even thinking about it. I know he’s 9 years old and that’s kind of starting to get up there. But he acts like a puppy. He’s a really happy, hyper, goofy dog. No one believes me that he’s 9 when they meet him.
So yesterday afternoon, I was out in the yard doing some fall planting. (That’s for another post.) Capone was out there with me, “helping” (it only looks like he’s laying in the sun. In reality he’s holding down the earth. You’re welcome.) I went to the box where we keep our gardening crap, and there was a rubbermaid tote next to it with some stagnant ass water on top. Capone started lapping at it, and I immediately stopped him. Gross, weirdo. We went on about our business. Me, breaking my back digging and planting and slaving, him, holding down the earth.
We come inside, and he vomits up approximately a metric fuckton. Of course, he puts it on the rug, not on the bare floor, cuz he’s awesome like that. I put him outside on his run while I clean it up so he doesn’t try to “help”. (Gross, weirdo!)
After I clean it up, I go to let him in and he’s out there in the poo position. And he kinda walks around like that. He’s definitely got the runs. Well this is not good. But I’m a seasoned vet, so I’m not freaking out just yet. But then I call him and he just stands there, head hung down and just looking at me. I call him again, this time with the promises of cheese, treats, anything. Still doesn’t move.
So..I go out there to him. He sits down and his eyes are kinda glazed over. This is not holding down the earth at all. He’s not himself at all. I check his gums and they’re totally white. This is REALLY not good.
Also..it’s noteworthy background information that right before we left for our trip to Illinois, a good friend of mine lost her dog very suddenly to a ruptured spleen. She was fine in the morning and then..she wasn’t anymore. She was a damned good dog and healthy as a horse, so not that it’s ever easy to lose a pet, but when it’s out of nowhere like that, it’s especially painful. This is still very fresh in my mind, so be damned if I’m taking any chances. We’re going to the vet, RIGHT NOW.
I throw some cleanish clothes on, grab my purse, leave Xavier with my mom and I’m outside again, waving the leash like “COME ON CAPONE WANNA GO FOR A RIDE???”
Normally this would incite some serious happy dances. He just sat there, drooling. I have to go get him, clip the leash to him and walk him slowly to the car. By the time we get to the car, I’m in tears and I’m starting to lose my shit. Something is REALLY wrong.
I call my vet, it’s closing time but I beg them to stay and they’re awesome, so they wait around. It’s approximately a 15 minute drive, I was there in about 90 seconds. He vomits again in the car.
He wanders sloowly into the vet. Doesn’t wag his tail to greet anyone. Doesn’t give her kisses when she looks into his eyes. Doesn’t even flinch when they took his temp. She palpates his belly, doesn’t think it’s bloat unless it’s really early bloat. He’s not running a temp. His gums are starting to pink back up, but he still has that glazed over thing going on, and I don’t like it one freaking bit. She tells me we can do bloodwork, but we won’t have the results until tomorrow. We can do an xray, but if he ends up in the ER tonight, they’ll do one again anyway.
So I’m like “Okay..if this was your dog, what would you do? And like..the best dog you’ve ever owned and really just can’t picture life without kinda dog?”
“Take him to the ER, now.”
So we drive down to good ol Ocean State Veterinary. I’m freaked out because I know..KNOW that this place is not cheap. And we are not rich, especially right now. That trip to Illinois pretty much drained us, to be frank.
So I take him in, and he actually wags his tail when the tech approaches him. He slowly climbs up onto the bench next to me and sits down. He whimpers at the pile of kids toys, thinking they must be for him. Okay, this is promising. He’s starting to be himself again, maybe it was a fluke. He’s peeking over the bench, saying hello to a little girl who was playing with the toys, and he starts to lick her face and…well knowing he just barfed and all, I thought this was not a good idea, so I gave him a little tug on the leash. And he slipped and fell off the bench. I swear I did not tug hard. On any other day, I could pull with all of my strength and not move that dog an inch if he didn’t wanna go. So when he fell off the bench and just LAID there..I got really scared again.
We went into the exam room and the vet checked him over, and he was really looking about 50% better than before. She said doing an xray was the most important thing to make sure we weren’t looking at bloat or a blockage, as those were immediately life threatening stuff. She asked me permission to sedate him..I said sure if you really feel like you need to. But he will do pretty much anything you ask him to. If you try to physically restrain him he pushes back just because he doesn’t understand what you want, he thinks you’re playing or something. I don’t physically manipulate my dogs much, they’re stronger than me and I don’t want them to know it. It’s all mental in this camp, bitches.
But apparently they felt they needed to sedate the ever living shit out of him. They didn’t see anything at all of concern. They would be happy to do bloodwork or keep him overnight for observation, but they felt like a little anti nausea meds, some fluids to combat the dehydration from all the explosiveness and a prilosec and bland diet would do the trick. So that’s what they did. They gave the fluids subcutaneously, so he had this big ass hump on his back. I got back a little drunk baby camel. He was so out of it when I got him back that I had to pick him up to put him in the car. He just put his head on my lap and slept the whole way home.
When I got home, he couldn’t lift himself up out of the seat, so I had to pick his big ass up again. He took a few steps and just stopped. John had to come out and help me carry him inside and up the stairs and put him on his bed, where he pretty much stayed all night.
Today, he’s weak and shaky. He turned up his nose at the burger and rice lunch I prepared for him at first (SO UNLIKE HIM!) but then he ate it after awhile. He’s pretty much been sleeping all day. I hate it. Watching him like this and realizing that he’s really getting old and can’t bounce back like he used to..it kills me.
I’ll post pics from the trip and stuff soon. It went pretty damned well, thanks to my obsessive planning and my unexplainably angelic son.