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.