Sick Puppy

lucy feeling illSo much to talk about here from Andy and Gordon Ramsay making Beef Wellington to the building of our very own Suez Canal. But those posts will have to wait. Everything in Left Coast Cowboy Land has been derailed by an unexpected dog emergency. Usually the words “dog emergency” around here are followed by some story of something Oscar got himself into or stung by. But this time it’s timid little Lucy.

She’s been acting a bit funny lately, specifically walking as if her hips hurt and just generally seeming “off”. For a terrier, that means acting calm and sleeping quietly like a Labrador. Terrier owners know that if the dog isn’t bouncing off the walls and barking at the top of his lungs, something is wrong. Then, in the middle of the night I woke up with Lucy cuddled beside me and shaking. Her skin seemed very hot and she began panting and acting as if she were hurting. It’s so hard to tell with dogs. They cover up their pain. When I got up, she tried to follow me and even gamely wagged her tail just a little bit. But her back legs really seemed too painful to move easily.

Lucy not feeling well

Dog's are good at hiding their pain, but you can always see it in the eyes.

Luckily, the local vet (the excellent Dr. Howard Rosner at Sonoma Veterinary Clinic) has Saturday hours and made a last minute appointment for us. X-rays, blood work, antibiotics, rehydration and a double dose of painkillers later, the diagnosis is a possible and severe urinary tract infection. Now I’m supposed to monitor her and, if she still seems in distress tomorrow, take her up to the emergency 24 hour animal clinic in Santa Rosa.

doggie antibiotics

We're armed with loads of meds. Let's hope they kick in fast.

So all plans are on hold today as I try to keep her quiet and resting. Which means I have to stay quiet and resting, because she’s still trying to follow me around and do what Oscar’s doing. That led to short dip in the pond until she had to be carried back to the barn. If I were in as much pain as the vet thinks she is, I’d be screaming my head off and demanding that somebody “DO SOMETHING!” But poor Lucy is just trying not to be a bother and to stay with the program.

Just another case where dogs are better than most people.

Meanwhile, a few stray thoughts and factoids:

  • Who knew dogs can get urinary tract infections? Apparently, it’s pretty common. Check here for more info.
  • Cousin John, who stopped by to bottle his wine, says Lucy’s probably engaging in indiscriminate sex and not drinking enough cranberry juice. Thanks, CJ, but Lady Lucy Davinia Doglington-Smyth has been brought up properly!
  • But apparently, you should be giving your dog cranberry juice regularly. Or so says this site.
  • Codeine — even in dog doses — is a controlled substance in California. You should have seen the paperwork I had to fill out before they let me out the door with it.
codeine dispenser

Don't get caught misusing Dog Codeine in California. It's a felony!

  • I’ve got to take her temperature — ahem — at the other end periodically over the weekend.
rectal thermometer

We'll see how that goes.

In the meantime, Lucy will be sleeping on the Faux Wolfskin Blanket.

Lucy on a faux wolfskin blanket

Can you download espisodes of Lassie from Netflix?

THIS JUST IN: If your dog is running a fever DON’T put her on a faux wolf skin rug. It can elevate her temp. One emergency ice bath later and her temp is down from 104.3 to 103.2. Emergency pet clinic on speed dial.

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Author: Lisa

Although I'd like to think of myself as a rootin', tootin', wine-makin' cowgirl, I currently only live in Sonoma part-time. Mostly I'm on freeways between San Jose, San Francisco and Sonoma. With two yapping terriers in crates behind me. We try to enjoy all three places and points in between. Which will explain why my post subjects are all over the map.

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  1. Yes. This situation would be very alarming. Hope everything turns out well!

  2. Poor baby. Hope she gets better real quick. I’m sure you’ll keep us posted.

  3. Yugi and Jigzy send hugs from Michigan…we’ll be keeping Lucy in our thoughts – get well soon sweetie!

  4. Hydrate her as much as she’ll tolerate … dilute chicken broth … ice cubes … poor baby … smooths have an almost unhealthy tolerance for pain …

  5. Best wishes for a speedy recovery Lucy!
    Hugs and doggie kisses from Cheryl (the humanoid)& Phoebe (the dog)in Sacramento.

  6. I hope she’s improving! My father-in-law’s beloved dachshund was laid low with an UTI and it’s been two weeks and she is finally feeling better. No one told him about cranberry, though.

  7. Oh dear Lucy.
    Do you have any idea just how upsetting this can be to your human? Play it for all its worth and then some. -Ajax

    Honestly. All the best to Lucy. I know she is well cared for. Take care of yourself. – Maybelline

  8. Okay, after several hours at the emergency pet clinic, Lucy’s had more fluids pumped in and more tests. All the really bad stuff ruled out and everyone seems to agree it’s a UTI.

    And FYI, the InterWeb’s will tell you your dog’s organs will fail at a 104F temperature. ‘Causing you to panic and make that emergency drive to the 24 hour clinic.

    But the vet said that danger doesn’t even begin until about 107F.

    Lucy’s stabilized at below 104F now.

  9. My 6 month old Jack Russell Terrier puppy got a UTI. Luckily I caught it really because she had an accident in the house and I realized that it was mostly blood =/ I’ve never been so scared (and it was 3 am so I couldn’t call our vet which made it worse). But she’s back to her normal, troublemaking self and I’m sure Lucy will be too!

  10. Very relieved to hear that Lucy is through, hopefully, the worst of the infective episode. Now you go and take two terriers and blog us in the morning.

  11. Thinking good thoughts for all of you LCC folks. Two and four legged. Miss Lucy is in good hands. Fevers are scary but they also have work to do.

  12. So sorry for little Lucy. I hope she recovers quickly and is back to her bouncy self before you know it.

  13. Good Lord! Look at the avatar I got this time!

  14. Poor Lucy. I just bought rehydration pellets for my Quarter Horse because I noticed not much lowering of water levels in his water tubs. Animals can get sick at the drop of a hat, and I wonder how we ever brought up you kids and the animals before modern tech meds. Sorry you have to stay flat, to keep Lucy company, but from the sound of your activities, you could use a break. However, a sick doggie is not a good thing and of course there is the worry and not the way you would wish to take a break.

    Love, Mom

    Love, Mom


  1. How Much Would You Spend to Save Your Dog? | Training Your Dog - [...] healed quick after a meds kicked in. BTW we got this credentials info from Lisa’s appealing blog, Left Coast…

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