10 Mar 2013, Comments (8)

Friday dogblogging: The Ollie Mystery

Author: Helen

This isn’t false advertising. I scheduled it for Friday, honest. I don’t know what happened.

Maggie was responding really well to her treatment. Supervet has been really pleased with her. Therefore, we were ripe for Murphy’s Law to take effect. Something else had to go wrong.

Maggie and Ollie on the back deck. Maggie is a black Kelpie cross and Ollie is a brown pugalier

Just after Christmas I noticed a change in Ollie. That dog loved to run… and run and run. And he was fast. His favourite thing was to play chasing games with bigger, athletic dogs like weimaraners or boxers. It was lovely to watch him run and it totally cracked up the bigger dogs’ owners to see this little dog chase theirs all over the landscape.

He didn’t run any more. He lost interest completely in playing games with the other dogs and he was having trouble even keeping up on our walks. I’d look back and see him on the path a long way behind, toddling sedately like an elderly gentleman taking his daily constitutional.

Had he just suddenly clicked into middle-aged mode? He’s eight. It suddenly occurred to me the change in behaviour could be a sign of heart failure. We were still in the limbo period between Christmas and new year, so I took him to the Lort Smith, our year-round emergency animal hospital. His coat was as bright and soft as usual, his tongue was pink and healthy, his eyes were bright and clear, and hanging out on a leash in the Lort Smith clinic there was nothing visible to justify his presence there at all. With other dogs coming in with hernias like basketballs and bites and poisoning, he never made it through triage, and after a few hours I had to take him away. But there was a triage nurse who listened to his heart and took his temperature. Ollie had no heart murmur and no temperature. I wished he had shown a temperature so I could know that this thing, whatever it was, had a beginning and an end. I was casting around for explanations. Had he eaten some chocolate santas on Christmas day? Why was he so flat?

Off to the regular vet in the new year: Ollie had a comprehensive blood test which showed that all his organs were in superb working order. But this wasn’t the Ollie we used to know.

After a few more weeks and close observation, we know what’s wrong with Ollie now. Have you guessed it already?

Ollie sleeping on the couch

(Cuteness factor still off the charts)

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