When I first wrote about our new dog, someone commented requesting regular Ziva updates. Well, I can't promise "regular" ones, but here is at least "one."
We have had our first crisis with Ziva. It did not involve sleeping--that would be the first two nights with her in our house, sleeping in her crate, only crying and yipping until I got up and slept in the same room with her. It did not involve obedience school--we have enrolled her in training classes taught by a no-nonsense, but caring, German woman named Gina. It did not involve meeting other dogs--Ziva is the opposite of the alpha dog that Tipper was. Ziva seems ready to submit to any dog or person. She is an omega dog if anything.
So, what did it involve? Well, delicate reader, it involved a gastrointestinal upset, and the consequences thereof. Whether she had a reaction to a chew bone (one of those commercially made ones--not a real bone), or picked up something while walking that we did not see, whatever the cause, the effects are those most all dog owners know too well.
For a day, we kept making trips to get her outside to empty her intestines. Then suddenly, yesterday afternoon, Ziva also threw up. My immediate reaction--uh oh. Make that UH OH. I know enough to be very cautious about that.
So, we called our vet. My husband relayed the symptoms and the duration, indicating we thought this was an emergency and Ziva should be seen by a vet immediately. PAUSE. In fact, a long pause, while the vet's office put him on hold. For what seemed like 10 minutes. When they came back on the line, they agreed--this is an emergency. But we have no openings, so take her to the emergency vet hospital.
Mind, this all happened around 1 p.m. yesterday. The emergency hospital did not open until 7 p.m. But, the vet office suggested we could drive her to another one not quite an hour away.
We scrambled, and began calling local vets. After about 4 turn-downs, one office agreed to see her in a couple hours. Thus began our revelatory adventure.
The new vet office is as close to where we live, if not closer than our current vet office. It seems very well-organized, with friendly helpful staff. We waited in the outer area about 5 minutes before we were called in (our usual wait is NEVER less than 15 minutes). The vet was young, and wonderfully friendly.
First revelation--there is a better vet office nearby.
She did the usual initial diagnostic things--taking Ziva's temperature, listening to her heart and lungs, checking her mouth, eyes, and giving her a general once-over. She laid out the possibilities of what might be a problem. Of course, she listed the one thing we were most concerned about--some kind of blockage. She suggested doing an X-ray, and we agreed.
Here comes the second revelation.
When the vet and Ziva came back in the room, the vet said--well, we found no blockage but we found something else really unusual. She went to the office computer, and pulled up the two X-ray images she had taken. She showed us the side view of Ziva's innards--her small intestine, her stomach, her colon (full of gas), and then she showed us two bright spots above the small intestine. She repeated this viewing with the top view. Same bright spots.
Then she said--did you know that Ziva has been shot at some point in her life. Those are two BBs or pellets or maybe even bird shot.
Oh my. I think I stood there for a moment with my mouth open. Then, I told the vet the brief history of Ziva, including her provenance from Kentucky. (I think I detected a slight knowing look in the vet's eyes--as if all dogs in Kentucky are shot at one time or another.)
So, there you have it. We have a shot dog. The pellets are likely lodged somewhere in tissue and could not be found easily if at all with surgery. They are seemingly not the cause at all of the digestive distress. For that, the vet gave us two prescriptions and some sensitive stomach food for a couple of days.
Ziva is doing fine, a day after her emergency vet visit. And we are convinced that it's time to switch which vet practice we take our pets to.
Nothing like an emergency to reveal things to you, is there?