Last Sunday Jasper stopped eating...
Jasper NEVER stops eating!!! He is my little chub-a-lub and eats anything and everything that he is offered and even things that aren't offered to him. He is always first to finish eating and then if we don't keep an eye on him he heads for Marley's bowl to polish it off - pushing Marley out of the way to get to his food. Cheeky puppy.
"Mum I don't feel too good!"
If only dogs could tell us how what was wrong.
So on Sunday Dad came and said "Jasper's not eating his food." I came and sat with him and tried to hand feed him but he just kept spitting out the food. Little Miss managed to feed him a few handfuls but then he started coughing as though he was choking and ran and hid under our bed. As the day progressed he wouldn't come to me when I called him, stopped licking (which is very strange behviour for our little 'Mr Licky') and wouldn't wag his tail if we said his name. So unlike our little Jasper. He started looking a bit glassy eyed and shaky. If I tried to pick him up he would just try to get away and run and hide, always in some dark corner of the house, under a desk, a bed, behind the washing basket in the laundry.
By Monday morning he was still the same, no eating, not coming to me. I took him to the vet and they took his temperature. It was over 41.8C which is very high for a dog. Normally their temperature should be around 37 just a bit higher than humans.
The vet kept him in for observation for most of the day, he stopped drinking too so was getting dehydrated. The vet kept me updated every hour or so to check on his progress. At first I thought because of the choking cough that he might have swallowed something and it was stuck in his throat, but the vet said that was unlikely as he still had eaten something. She took a blood test and administered some anti-biotics for supposed throat infection.
Meanwhile back at home...... Marley didn't leave the front door all day. He just sat like this all the day looking out for Jasper, didn't lay down, didn't go outside, just sat and sat and sat.
Finally around 3pm the vet rang me and said Jasper could come home for the evening. He was doped up on some pain killers for his throat and just slept all afternoon and night under my sewing cabinet....
....with Marley laying guard a few feet away facing Jasper as if to tell me: "Don't you take my brother away again!"
By Tuesday Jasper was acting a bit more like himself. The results for the blood test came back and the vet rang to say that he did have an infection in his throat, a bit like the dog version of a flu and it would have been irritating his throat hence the reason he still had an appetite but couldn't swallow his food and was freaking out everytime he felt like choking. It was scaring him and so he would run and hide. So the final result is:
Tail wagging + back to licking = Feeling much better!
....Jasper is on anti-biotics for the infection but the blood test also showed up something else noteworthy. He has a tendency towards Pancreatitis. His Pancreas is abnormally enlarged. Not to a dangerous degree at this stage but basically what it means is:
"Jasper You're Too Fat!"
Jasper has always scoffed down his food without proper chewing so his food isn't digesting properly. The vet has put him on a very strict diet starting tomorrow when I go to see the Doggy Dietician. He needs to lose around 2kgs to be the correct healthy weight for his size. Marley and he are the same weight but Marley is a much taller Cavalier and so doesn't look as chubby as Jasper.
It was a very stressful few days for us here but now that we know what we're dealing with we can remedy his health before it gets any worse.
So we're done with hiding in corners for now....
...and Cheeky Marley is apologising for escaping out the side gate the other night and scaring us all half silly. Dad had forgotten to shut the gate while mowing the front lawn and when Marley went outside he decided to go on a little adventure of his own. Fortunately it was later at night and there was no traffic, we live on what is a very busy street at certain times of the day with school traffic going back and forth. At night it's only the bus that passes and some local residents.
We were all sitting in the living room watching TV when one of the kids asked: "Where's Marley?" At the same time I heard something bang on the front screen door but when I got up to look there was nobody there. I sat back down and five minutes later there was an actual knock on the door and a young woman was there come over from the bus stop across the road. "Is this your little dog?" she asked. She had seen him running cross the road back and forward from our home and decided he must live here. Well, Marley didn't look too excited as you would on an adventure. He actually looked a slobbering mess dribbling profusely and panting heavily. He was stressed! I think he must have come and knocked on the front door and that was what I had heard but by the time I got there he was off again.