Something to chew on

Friday, January 29, 2010

Lessons From a Dog

We almost lost Bugsy between Christmas and the new year. I don't mean that he wanted to run away and live with a nicer, more hip family down the street. I mean that his health gave us a terrible scare.

This scare kept him in and out of the hospital for two weeks and a day. It also included two ultrasounds, a plasma transfusion, IV fluids, about five different medicines and his own internist. We think it was something he ate -- too fatty for a dog -- and it turned into severe pancreatitis, liver disease and a gall bladder that tried to shut down on him. I'm happy to say that at this very moment he is curled up beside me on the couch, snoring and dreaming of chasing rabbits, no doubt.

He's on just two medicines right now, and he may be on both of those for the rest of his life, and we've totally revamped his diet. And I think there are lessons in there for all of us:
  • Small, frequent meals. When he was in the hospital, they fed him tiny meals several times a day to keep him going. That is when he could eat. His fat intake is minimal, and will be forever.
  • Snack smart. All the dogs are having low-fat and low-calorie treats when they get them now. The internist even suggested letting them snack on carrots and apples. Fresh fruits and vegetables, not "cookies."
  • Stay hydrated. The fluids were important to flush his system. It's easy to forget to drink enough water when there is so much Diet Dr Pepper around. But we need to. I need to.
  • Have fun. When Bugsy wasn't feeling well, which started on Christmas Eve, he didn't want to walk the neighborhood or chase cats or play tug-o-war. When we feel good and healthy, we should have fun. Dance in the living room. Walk the neighborhood looking for flowers. Take up a new sport.
I had started preparing myself for the worst. But I'm happy to say, with a few small changes, he's as happy and healthy as he was 10 years ago.

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2 Comments:

  • I'm so happy he's better now and you have totally made me rethink the crap that I give to my puppies as treats.

    By OpenID diz2, at January 30, 2010 8:58 PM  

  • He got into the trash about a week before he got sick, so we think it may have been something he got out of the trash. We'll never know for sure...

    By Blogger Summer, at January 31, 2010 11:19 AM  

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