Last night, I stood in my kitchen at 1:00 AM, Lola the Dog curled at my feet. She’d been retching for hours. At first, we ran to let her out the back door so she wouldn’t vomit on the carpet, but after awhile, it became apparent that the retching was just . . . horrible sound effects.
I wondered if I should take her to the emergency vet hospital. Was this a symptom of bloat, that deadly disease that afflicts dogs of her breed? I just didn’t know. She seemed to be better than she’d been earlier. Her gums still looked pink and healthy. But she had some symptoms, clearly.
And so I stood, immobilized. Lola just closed her eyes and started snoring.
I decided if she could snore, she must not be dying, so we went upstairs and went to sleep.
Three hours later, she woke up and resumed retching. I took her downstairs so she could go outside. I wondered again if she were dying because I am an expert at jumping to conclusions and borrowing trouble and assuming that the worst will happen. She came back inside and we headed back upstairs. She refused to come into the bedroom, so I left her curled on the stair landing.
I tried to sleep but worried that I’d made the wrong decision. Maybe I should have been sitting at the emergency vet hospital, watching an episode of “Chopped” on their big screen t.v. while Lola was in an exam room racking up a gigantic bill. I slept fitfully until 5:50 AM when my phone received a text message.
A co-worker’s electricity went out (in Michigan) and so I needed to get on the computer to cover her shift.
I walked downstairs and noticed a light on in the family room. My daughter was on the couch with the dog, snuggled up. She informed me Lola was making a weird noise and that her stomach was rumbling. I know, I said. She’s sick.
Then I worked for an hour . . . but felt somewhat assured because Lola was retching less and seemed calmer, sleepy even.
I finished working an hour later, left my dog and daughter snuggled up on the couch watching television. I went back to bed just as my husband and son were getting up and preparing to leave for work and school. I fell into a sound sleep.
When I woke up an hour or so later, I wandered downstairs to check on Lola the Dog. She was walking around outside. I called her in and she seemed happy, tail wagging. I checked her gums to reassure myself that she really wasn’t dying from bloat and that’s when I discovered her gums were white and gray. Even her tongue had lost its pink color.
I knew that was a bad sign.
Within half an hour, I had her at the vet’s office where she was declared to not have bloat. In fact, her rumbling tummy was silent by then and her gums were pink and she was happy, happy, happy.
The vet theorized that maybe she did have bloat (but her stomach did not twist) and the gas eventually resolved on its own. We don’t think she ate anything unusual. There’s no reason why she should have been sick in the first place.
She was just dehydrated, so they gave her some fluids and some medicine to settle her stomach and sent me on my way.
Then we all lived happily ever after.