Alright, so it’s time for a huge recap. First, I apologize for such an extended hiatus. I intended to write once weekly, but that goal is nowhere near in sight. Sigh…
In any case, on Wednesday Bolt woke up and promptly threw up. He refused his breakfast (an absolute rare event that may actually have never happened before), and then when we went for the morning walk, he had diarrhea. I was a little concerned, but having raised Dash for some 9 years, I wasn’t too concerned. Dogs, like humans, get gastro disturbances. Oh, and the night before, we had a 10-hour power outage during one of the coldest times we’ve had in Arkansas in some time. Our loft isn’t very well insulated, and the temp inside dropped and dropped. Dash & I climbed under two blankets. Bolt did not, since he hates blankets. (Weird, right? 🤷♂️)
I went to work, and to make a much longer story a bit shorter, Bolt’s diarrhea continued, and continued, and continued. By Friday, I knew that this needed a vet visit, and so we called our wonderful vet’s office and got an appointment for Saturday morning. We got in, our vet (not our usual vet, but nevertheless a wonderful doctor) prodded and poked. The diagnosis: we don’t quite know. Bolt had a bit of a high temp (103.5) and there were a lot of bacteria in his guts. Other than that, we don’t know. So the vet did the best she could. She prescribed him Flagyl (to deal with bacteria and certain intestinal parasites), gave him some Pro-Pectalin (to firm up his stool), and prescribed him some food that’s supposed to also help firm up the stool. And away we went home.
I’ve started Bolt on treatment, and coincidence or not, it does seem like he’s better. He still has runny stool, but it has gotten much better. And I haven’t had to clean poop in the loft! During all this time, we shared our story on Instagram, and our friends were/are so supportive. So, that’s the first goal of this post. To update everyone. We don’t quite know what’s going on just yet. It looks like an infection, and we all feel better now that he’s been seen and cared for. (Fingers crossed.
This brings me to my next point. Don’t try to diagnose what’s wrong at home. I certainly tried, and between Dr. Google and me, we came up with about ten different possibilities, some much more dire than others. Bolt’s main sources of animal protein are pork, venison, and rabbit, but recently I added beef and turkey. So I thought may be he developed some allergy. We order (cooked) food from a great company, but I started to think may be they sent me bad food (most likely not…food came frozen and on time, as usual).
Or may be it’s that bland diet I tried with white rice and boiled chicken. But there’s a problem…Bolt’s never had rice OR chicken in his whole life. So may be he’s reacting to that! Or may be the food I fed him a couple nights before smelled off, but I fed him anyway. Or may be he ate something bad on his own, or he picked up something from the lovely dog park across the street that we share with about 30 other dogs. Wait, may be it’s the probiotic that they get with their food, or the fish oil (refrigerated) has gone bad….
You get my point. The list goes on and on and on. And nothing I do can bring about any closure, except to bring him to a vet. I am glad I did, and that’s my recommendation to you: if your dog has diarrhea, take him or her to the vet. I think waiting for 24-48 hours before going is an OK choice, but you should not let it go longer than that. There are issues with hydration, and if it’s something serious, you may miss the window of time for ideal treatment. For example, the bacterium Campylobacter can cause diarrhea in dogs. Treatment works very well in most cases, but if you wait past four days after symptoms show up, the meds don’t really speed up the healing.
Here are some other takeaways from this experience for me:
- Pet insurance is an amazing thing. This trip to the vet pretty much paid for the deductible, so if (knock on wood, no) Bolt has to go to the vet again for the rest of the year, he’s (hopefully) covered.
- This may be TMI for some of you. The diarrhea can get on the fur around the bum. I made the mistake of using wet wipes. I think this is OK for once or twice, but over several times a day for two days, this caused irritation in the area. The better thing to do is to hose him down.
- We are going back to pork, venison, and rabbit. I may try the beef and turkey at a later time, but there’s no hurry. Bolt has plenty to choose from, and he’s happy with his food.
Thank you for reading. Hopefully Bolt will be back to his normal gastro self in a day or two. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas & Holiday Season, and Happy New Year. I hope to get a better handle on the blog, and post with some regularity.