Friday, July 23, 2010


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?


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Donna, I am at a loss for words-
I ache for the Ziva before you brought her home.
I am horrified that anyone would shoot a dog.
Horrified isn't the right word- it really makes me feel ill.

I'm glad you found a new vet and that your Ziva tummy issues will be on the mend. Your love will mend her soul.

Dog_geek said...

Goodness... well, I'm glad that Ziva is doing better today and that you found a good vet. I'm sorry to hear that she had such hardship and suffering in her past, but all that is over now that she has a wonderful new forever home.

(BTW - helpful hint from dog-geek: if you stand in the vet's waiting room with your dog dripping bloody diarrhea on their clean floor, they tend to get you in pretty quick.)

Molly said...

Oh my goodness --- I simply cannot fathom the astonishment you must have felt - nor can I imagine what poor Ziva has experienced in her lifetime. Thank goodness she has found such a loving and caring home.

Catbird said...

And I sat for a moment with MY mouth open. Shot. Perhaps it accounts, in part, for Ziva's submissive nature. Poor baby -- but that's her past. Lucky baby, to be yours.

Peruby said...

First of all, that's MY dog and MY couch. (I swear!) LOL! AND MY living room is painted blue!

I first thought parvo.

Yes, there is nothing like an emergency to bring things into sharp focus.

Good luck and I hope you have no more emergencies at the vet's office, just your normal visits.

Jayne said...

Glad it was just GI upset Donna. How sad that anyone would think it's OK to shoot a sweet dog like Ziva. I am glad that her life will be measurably improved now that she has you all to love her.

Denise said...

Wow! I am SO glad Ziva is in your home, being loved by you and Carlin! How fortunate for her. It makes one wonder if she was shot for sport, was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, or was mistaken for deer, etc. Who knows? This makes me so sad to know that there are countless dogs, and other animals, abused daily by uncaring, awful people!

A couple of weeks ago, an Amish woman and three small children were on a wagon that was pulled by a very small pony. The pony kept slipping and falling. It may not have had shoes on its hooves, which would cause it to slip on the asphalt, or it was just too small for all of their weight on the wagon. Either way, I was so upset that they allowed it to keep falling while doing nothing to help it. Everything in me wanted to tell the woman to get off the wagon and lead the pony to help it. I still wonder why I kept silent. Not so sure I will next time. Unfortunately, from what I have witnessed here there will be a next time.

Animals are innocent and need to be cared for lovingly! I am glad Ziva is in your home now!

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

It is still unclear to my what Ziva's problems was.

Heidi threw up when I first got here. It took me a while to be trained. I was giving her table scraps as a treat. They often contained bones. She couldn't keep this kind of food down so I refrain from feeding her things other than her regular food.

I am not surprised at all of dogs being shot in the country. Lots of people see dogs as vermin and think nothing if shooting at them.

As you know I had a dog killed by a neighbour who is notorious for shooting dogs. Once I complained to the police of another neighbour threatening to kill one of my dogs.
His response was, "We shoot dogs too if we think they might any wildlife."

Climenheise said...

I'm glad Ziva is on the mend. So not all American businesses understand the importance of customer service? Until they start to struggle to find clients, I suppose they don't need to emphasize such service. I feel some sympathy for caregivers of various kinds -- there is a lot of pressure. But I suspect that too many don't look for ways to deal with the logistical logjam and help make sure that clients always have ready access to care. Still gald that Ziva is doing better. May she never be shot again!

Anonymous said...

That's exactly how we came to switch vets!

That poor baby...! Sounds like she's doing really well, especially since more of her history has been revealed and you know what she's been through. She is so pretty! That shiny coat is lovely. She's a poster child for ending the black dog syndrome. Love that doleful expression in the first one.

NCmountainwoman said...

Emergencies do indeed reveal things. I'm certain you will send a note to your "old" veterinarian so he or she will know exactly what sort of reponse you expected and what sort of response you received from the office.

Hope Ziva's incident doesn't recur.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful that Ziva has such caring owners now. Having lived with Labs previously I'm well aware of that "oh my" moment while looking at x-rays. With Labs however it usually involved seeing gravel and rocks in their intestines. They love to eat rocks. I wish I were kidding.

The thing to remember is that for Ziva each day is a new day. They don't dwell in the past unless we let them do so. She will be a happy, healthy dog because you are giving her a happy, healthy life.

Hang in there and give her a good ear rub for me!

Ginnie said...

Ziva is a lucky dog to have found such a loving home. I'm glad it wasn't anything worse.

possumlady said...

Awww, poor Ziva. She has the same soulful look as my old dog Jiminy, who was also very submissive.

She sure lucked out when you took her home. Her days will be happy ones from now on.

Anvilcloud said...

No wonder she's an Omega.

JeanMac said...

Poor dog but thank goodness she has you folks to care for her.