Long time, no post. But it’s been a particularly hectic holiday season. One after the other, both dogs came down with serious vomiting and diarrhea. To the point that I was spending my days running from room to room cleaning carpets, only to have another dog sneak back in an deposit a pool of something in the middle of the just cleaned area. With houseguests coming, it was a fast and furious battle. And one I lost until the point where I had to take first one, then the other dog to the emergency vet clinic.

After every battery of tests available for dogs — and a scary initial verdict for Oscar that it was a blockage that would require abdominal surgery — the vet determined that it was gastroenteritis. I think the tip off was that both dogs had it. (After all, what are the odds that two dogs in the same family will get blockages at exactly the same time?)

The culprit? An over-used dog park. Seems all the bacteria and giardia and ickiness seeps down into the soil during our long, long dry season. Then with the first rains, it all boils up to make a completely noxious bacteria soup. Bring your dogs to play in it, and the worst is inevitable.

Moral of the story: the more dogs per square foot that use a park, the less you want to expose your dogs to it. And once it starts raining, definitely keep them out of dog parks until well into the season, when most of the crud has washed off.

At least Andy and I were able to give each other last minute special gifts: hundreds of dollars worth of emergency vet bills!

NOTE: The picture above is little Oscar at the clinic minutes before they inserted an IV and a catheter. He looks like he knows what’s coming.

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