Ahhhhh, we have come out at the other end. Two dogs, two week incubation period of this, whatever this was. "This" has happened before but at the time I had three dogs which just prolongs the agony. Stomach virus, yes, dogs get it. Years ago it hit us and went through all three dogs one at a time. As soon as one was better it hit the next. With this last one it hit 2 weeks after the first to the day. Elsa came down with it first, she goes a lot more places than Luke so she is more prone to picking things up. It wasn't horrendous but it is never good when your dog is sick. I knew it wasn't something that Elsa ate because she doesn't eat things that she shouldn't. I watched carefully as it came on, grabbed hold and then left just as I was considering the Vet.
Knowing your dog is imperative when something like this happens. If you aren't sure, go to the Vet. I have a very clear line about going to the Vet; and Elsa sat on the edge of it and then turned around. Plus there was the fact that I'd done this before, ah experience. Elsa is young and healthy so she fought the bug off easily. For Luke it was more difficult and much more of a concern. Getting food into him was essential; you all know what I go through trying to get him to eat on a regular day. He was drinking and that in itself is great.
Not eating is a biggy for any dog; Elsa missed one meal only. But even then she picked away at it; like she wanted it but felt sick. Luke on the other hand is a nightmare to feed on a normal day so he pretty much didn't want to eat the entire time. After day one of not eating; his stomach sounded like a cement truck, churning it's contents. I knew that I had to get something into him; I also knew that he was not going to eat. It is a vicious circle; they don't eat because they feel sick which makes them not want to eat even more. So I took organic rice, organic chicken broth and organic pumpkin and threw it into the blender. Luke was eating this mush, whether he liked it or not. I first syringed the mush into him; enough to stop his stomach from making the horrible sounds that it was.
If dogs get diarrhea really bad or for a long time you have to be concerned about dehydration. Luckily the diarrhea wasn't very bad; just every two hours and of course only at night. But I still made sure that they were drinking and by adding extra water to Luke's mush I made sure that he got enough water. Not drinking is always a concern, even if they are not sick. It is worse if your dog eats kibble so always make sure that they get enough water. Kibble is hard on a dog's organs because it is so dry.
The next meal was spoon fed mush. Watching Elsa run in fear made me laugh. She didn't know what was going on but she didn't like it. Luke obviously does not liked being force fed but he had to eat, plain and simple. So I got out a towel and placed it on his chest, front legs and couch. Its a good thing that I did because it was covered and so was I. He is pretty good about it actually; he only tried to leave two times and took it in stride. You have to be very careful when you do this because you do not want food going down the wrong pipe. Just a little at a time placed into his mouth. The mush made it "nearly" impossible to spit out.
The biggest issue with this stomach bug was the getting up at night. Every two hours on the dot. Both Luke and Elsa were identical in that act. Elsa was two nights, Luke was four. That means not sleeping, which for the dogs is fine. They can catch up during the day, not me. So I have been very, very tired. On day four Luke needed a bath. As the sun warmed the day I brought him into the shower for a nice warm water massage. He dried outside in the sun and was finished up with the forced air dryer. That is just in time for some more mush food.
Once I got some mush into him he felt much better. If he would just eat himself, geesh. Once he was feeling better then he finally was looking to eat on his own. One of those little fish with the eyes was the first thing he wanted. I cannot believe how much he loves those creepy little things. :) So with the same meal he had been eating but not in mush form he ate. Best to feed little bits many times, this works great for Luke. I made some cookies for him to get the weight he'd lost back on him quickly. I have to say that the cookies are amazing and each time I open the can I think of donuts. (Not a bad smell) So he loves the cookies and chows down on them. He is eating several creepy little fish a day and the organic chicken/rice sticks that he loves so much.
It has been much harder on Luke, at 13.5 he does not bounce back like Elsa. He also has issues with his back legs being weak; so having to poop so much has been very hard on him. He is stiff and limping from just having to be in that position. On good days I often have to help him when it is poop time, poor guy. But he is now on the mend and ate like a champ yesterday. This makes me very happy. He even went for a very tiny walk yesterday; just for his mental happiness.
I was going to take Luke to the Vet yesterday; but with the turn around I opted to wait. He is due for a blood panel and I knew that this sickness would cause his results to be cloudy. We will go next week once he is back on his wobbly feet and we can make sure that all is well.
We are back to sleeping through the night. Never, ever take sleeping through the night for granted.