Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sick Boo

I've said before that there are inconveniences to living in this part of the north and that you simply had best get used to them if you want to not go insane. However, there are some that you simply can't get around. And in Iqaluit, the single thing that drives us insane is that vet services are...irregular.

There is no full-time vet clinic in town. There is a part-time vet and she makes house calls, but she can't do surgeries or handle serious illness or injuries to your pet. Plus, she's the only one in town doing it. So when you have an occasion, as we do now, when the vet is away on vacation until January 19 it can be highly stressful when your dog is sick. As Boo is right now.

We're not entirely sure what's the matter with him. He still has energy, but he's been throwing up a lot this weekend, both food and bile. Earlier today he threw up after drinking some water, which freaked out Cathy. Actually, deeply freaked out is nice way to sum up Cathy right now. She spent the afternoon while I was out reading websites on what to do when your dog is behaving like this. They all say to take him to a vet. Not that helpful when your nearest vet right now is a three hour plane flight away.

Now, before people start panicking, I don't think Boo's life is in jeopardy. In all likelihood, he got into something he wasn't supposed to and he has an upset belly. But if he's still not feeling better tomorrow and his energy starts to lag, well, we'll have some decisions to start to make, including the possibility of sending him to Ottawa. I hope it doesn't come to that. I'm pretty sure it won't, but if we have to we will. This is one of these things where money really isn't an object.

If anyone has any alternative suggestions on what to do with a sick dog in Iqaluit with no vet in sight, I'm open to hearing them.

Update: Well, we got a bit concerned when he threw up again and there was a pink tinge to it. So we took a chance and brought him to the hospital. Sometimes they will look at pets. If it was busy, there was no chance they were going to look at him.

But we caught a break and it was dead quiet. So they let us bring him into the garage area and gave him a saline drip. Which was fun, but the nurses were fantastic. This is not a cure all. He's still not well and has thrown up a few more times since we got home. So we're making arrangements to send him to Ottawa tomorrow and get a professional vet to look at him.

Still, a high level of stress, but we're hoping the saline drip will tide him over until we get him down south.

Last Five
1. It's my fault for being famous - The White Stripes*
2. The hands that built America - U2
3. Cool on your island (live) - Tori Amos
4. Hospital food - David Gray
5. Oh, my love - Yellowcard


Matt, Kara and Hunter said...

There is a vet in Yellowknife that will do phone consults. I don't have that phone book anymore, but in the yellowpages I think their add states it that you can call for the consult. We had to call a few times for the cats and they were great over the phone.

Tracey said...

I don't think the statement ("I don't think Boo's life is not in jeopardy.") is what you intended to say. Right?
The feeling of not being able to help someone you love is frustrating. I hope he's feeling better soon, poor fella. I'm wondering what the process would be in sending him to the vet on a plane?

In Iqaluit said...

Kara's suggestion sounds good... I hope that works out for you.

Anonymous said...

You can give a dog a cap full of Pepto Bismol. Not anymore, just a cap full. Check this out on the net if you want to, but I have done it (on the advise of a vet) for a dog that was throwing up as well and it settled his stomach done. Good luck! I live in Goose Bay, Labrador, and it is only in the last six months that we have a full time vet here so I truly understand. Especially considering we have 4 dogs!

Aida said...

awww, that sure sucks, i heard too the pepto bismol stuff works. and kara's suggestion sounds fantastic!

Ron said...

Is Boo alert/in pain/depressed? Signs include ears in the submissive position, panting, tail down. Try taking him off solid food for a day or two and give him chicken broth instead. If there are no other symptoms than the throwing up I wouldn't worry too much. Has he been chewing on anything different lately? Any changes in behaviour other than the throwing up? Emmie usually woofs her cookies once per week... happily Harley is always there to clean up being a helpful dog.

Good luck!

towniebastard said...

Boo is still alert, but with not a lot of energy. And now we have blood. When we were talking to the doctor last night he said the pink tinge to when he was throwing up could just be attributed to a small tear in his throat from throwing up so much. Which made sense and calmed Cathy a bit.

But this morning he had bowel movement and there were a few drops of blood in that as well. So we're taking absolutely no chances and sending him to see the vet in Ottawa.

I lost my cat, Max, when we first moved up here and watched helplessly as he got weaker and weaker because there was no vet, we didn't know what to do and no one knew how to help us. We're not taking that chance with Boo.

We think we've got him out on a 1:30 flight, so hopefully he'll be at the vet before 6 pm this evening. Will update more later.

John Andrews said...

when our joey's feeling pukey, the vet usually recommends a few days on nothing but chicken and rice (no spices, butter, oils or anything). he usually feels a lot better after that.

Matt, Kara and Hunter said...

Sorry that she has taken a turn for the worse! Glad you guys are able to get Boo south. Hope everything goes okay!

Ron said...

A simple physical examination is also helpful. Run your hands along his body pressing gently. If he is healthy this will just be another form of petting/attention and he will enjoy it. If he has any sensetive spots he'll let you know. Hpow is his coat looking? Is he still grooming? Other than throwing up afterwards is he still interested in food? Dogs replace the lining od their stomaches about once every three to four days. As the doc said a bit of blood could just be normal wear and tear from the 'ick.

Blood in the stool is a separate issue from the throwing up. How is his stool? Runny? Softserve? Firm and Moist? Has he been eating anything unusual lately? Has he been getting table scraps? Any new cleaners being used around the house? You know about Frebreeze? Right?

Kirsten said...

Ack - I hope it turns out to be nothing major and Boo's feeling better and back to his normal happy self in no time. I'll be thinking of you guys... I know it's scary enough when this sort of thing happens even when you CAN get to a vet quickly.