Observation, pt. 2

September 14, 2008 at 9:21 am Leave a comment

So observation is valuable, but you have to learn to trust what you see, or you might not respond to the cues.

Wednesday I left my dog, Zip, at home for the day. I rode my bike into work, via the farmer’s market…it’s a little more efficient (a lot more actually) solo. At times I’ve felt like he and I are like two halves of nunchucks, me driving toward the crates of heirloom tomatoes along the perimeter and Zip homing in on dropped muffin crumbs as he zigzags his way to the treat can that he knows Chris (Fishbowl Farm) has at checkout. Between us, baby strollers, tent poles, legs and tables. I felt guilty later that I actually enjoyed the market without my 27 lb orbiting moon.

When I got home from work, I noticed that he didn’t greet me at the door, which he usually does unless he’s in that sort-of pappasan chair in my bedroom. Wednesdays mean Pug Night, so I unloaded my backpack of produce from the market and started to hustle him out the door. Individual pugs have their own personalities, that’s for sure, but by and large they do tend to respond quickly to words that mean food, or fun. He was mildly responsive, but he’s a negotiator, so I figured for the moment that his nose was a little out of joint at being left home for the day.

Pug Night, same thing. The only time he broke into a run was to see our friend Jay and his dog Tucker. That was a welcome sign of normalcy, but immediately after he had a slightly hunched-over look, and his gait returned to a very slow walk. Other than that, he seemed fine…tail up and curled, eyes bright, ears high, appetite normal, no vomiting or diarrhea…nothing else was obvious for the rest of the evening.

The next morning I had an early appointment. I noticed he didn’t sleep in my big bed that night (you know, the low bed that I bought so that he could get on and off easily), and that morning he was resting under the dining room table…cold night, no blanket, early morning on cool hardwood instead of something fluffy…not good signs. Tried to coax him to pick up the pace on our short walk to the coffeehouse, even offering up bits of bagel, to very little response. That’s what finally did it for me. Pugs do not refuse food unless something is really wrong. I canceled the appointment and brought him to the vet. Blood work showed slightly elevated amylase and lipase, enzymes secreted by the pancreas. A mild case of pancreatitis….

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Entry filed under: animal health. Tags: , , .

On the Value of Observation Pancreatitis

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