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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Barley the Dog-Faced Boy

I heard a bunch of thumping and thought it was Barley playing. He does that. He's nine years old or near it, but still a puppy. So when I went upstairs and found him on the landing convulsing, well...

I freaked out a bit. Called my ex wife, because I honestly didn't know what to do and he was her dog too until three years ago.

At first glance, I thought I saw a finger of a latex glove sticking out of his mouth, and my thought was he'd found one and eaten it, choking himself. But when I reached for it, it turned out to be foamy drool.

And Barley is not a drooly dog.

No, it was a seizure. Regrettably, I know from my youngest daughter what those look like, though mercifully, I haven't had to ride out a grand mal with her (my ex wife has seen some dramatic ones).

This was a fully involved, grand mal doggy seizure. He got up when it was over, unsteady, and wanted out. He'd pissed on himself, and seemed afraid he'd done something to get into trouble, but otherwise rebounded pretty well. He ate, wanted out, in, out again, and then in immediately. Back to his old pain-in-the-ass self.

I awoke at 3:15 in the morning to the sound of his head hitting the carpet frequently and hard. Hard enough to wake even me. More foamy drool, and honestly I thought he was in death throes. He was breathing but unresponsive and completely taken over. He'd pissed himself again, but in a few minutes he wanted out and then instantly back in again.

So I took him to the vet. I don't take him very often, I'm a bad pet owner that way. He was way, way overdue for things like a rabies shot.

He used to be hard to get into the car, back when I'd taken him to a vet who used to be married to my then employer. Her bedside manner with the dog left a lot to be desired and I never went back there. But now that Barley has been to Oakbrook a few times, apparently that's all forgotten and now the car ride is just an adventure.

They're doing blood tests to rule out stuff like his liver and pancreas that can apparently go wrong enough to inspire seizures. If that all comes back clean, it's up to me to decided when I've seen enough seizures to reach for the Doggie Dylantin.

He has parasites in his stool, too, and with my luck the heart worm test will also come back positive. And by the time we were done with tests and shots, I was out $175. Plus, I gather, seven bucks a month for the next forever to treat those intestinal parasites. And whatever else comes up.

He's an awful good dog, but he sure is expensive.

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