For the love of a Dog

For anyone who is a pet owner/lover, there are many things that you would do for your pet. But what happens when something needs tobe done but you don’t know what it is? There are many people; I can be counted as one of them that says many times, “Wow, wouldn’t it be nice to live a dog‘s life.” That is kind of like saying something about the grass being greener on the other side of the fence.

What we fail to think about sometimes are the downfalls to the dog’s life. We don’t realize the hard work, maybe chemicals that have gone into that greener lawn.

I have wondered about those things this week as I sit and watch my eldest dog suffering. Is he suffering? I don’t really know because he cannot tell me. Does he hurt, is he sad, does he know we love him? All of these questions run through my head as I watch him. If I were a guessing woman I would say, no he does not hurt, but it is irritating; he is sad and he knows we love him.

The frustrating thing is the vet says he has never seen anything like it before. Last Sunday, my daughter says to me, “Mom, I think Copper is bleeding.” I looked at his face and there was a brown spot on the side of his mouth. I took an old towel and gently wiped the area and saw the towel turn red. Yep, he had been bleeding. As I was cleaning, the area seemed hard so i wasn’t quite sure what to do so I did not look inside his mouth. I just thought that he got snagged on something which caused the bleeding.

A little background: Copper is 9 1/2 years old. He is a Lakeland Terrier, a smaller version of an Airedale Terrier. He is from Virginia and not a well-known breed in this area. He is an indoor/outdoor dog and is spoiled rotten. He does not run around loose and is very protective of his home.

He did nip a boy’s finger once when this boy was teasing Copper and the boy stuck his finger through our chain link fence. I don’t know if Copper really bit the boy intentionally or if Copper was barking at him and happened to close his mouth in a bark with the boy’s finger close. May it be noted that this boy constantly poked at Copper with sticks through the fence and would yell at him. Like I wrote, Copper was very protective of his home. Copper seems to know when the “bad boys” are walking near our fence because he will bark; he does not bark at good kids!

I haven’t heard Copper bark for days. He just does not have the energy. By Monday, he seemed ok and we decided to lay low on calling the vet. If he had injured himself, it would heal. That all changed on Tuesday.

Tuesday morning, I noticed blood coming out of Coppers right nostril, the same side where there was the blood spot near his mouth. It was time to go to the vet. The vet looked at Copper and had this concerned look. He looked up his nose and then looked into his mouth. The concern on his face grew. He said that he had never seen anything like this in a dog and asked if there was a chance that Copper chewed on electrical cord. I told him, “Absolutely not!”

Apparently, I should have looked inside his mouth; I should have been more diligent in my looking him over. The vet said that his mouth looked all cut up and bleeding. He asked if he could have gotten into rat poison; another answer of NO. A swab of his mouth and nose were taken; we received and antibiotic to treat for a viral infection, just in case and were sent on our way. I asked if I should be feeding him soft dog food and was told yes. Oh and I was told to isolate him from our 3-year-old Lakeland, Tinkerbelle.

Got home to a phone call from the vet telling is that he had contacted the lab 60 miles away and was told they needed blood work from Copper. The nurse first told us to come in at 2:00, Wednesday and then corrected herself and told us to come by at 5:30. I guess they realized they did not to expose any of their other patients if Copper was contagious.

I woke up Wednesday morning to see that his other nostril had started bleeding and I immediately called the vet. I was beside myself. I had no idea what was wrong with him and there was nothing I could do to help. He went back to the vet and tests sent out.

As of Friday here is what we know: he is not in renal failure, a couple of tests done in Nebraska are leaning towards possible rat poison based on certain levels in his blood. Because of that, he was given a Vitamin K shot and Vitamin K pills. Plus it seemed that his bleeding was lessening.

By Saturday and continuing into today, the bleeding is back, he is lethargic and to get him to eat, I have to hold his bowl in such a way that he does not have to bend his head. While Friday his tail was wagging, that all stopped on Saturday.

I know that you do not need these details. I know that Copper means nothing to you. But he means the world to me and I know that there are many out there that have an ill pet or a pet that they have lost. It means something to you to remember that loved pet.

I hope by Monday that we have more answers and that we can work on a cure. Or if there is no cure, at least we will have some answers.

I think of Tinkerbelle who has no idea what is going on. She just knows that her buddy is not around to pester her, or she him.She might be worried if she is going to disappear. She wants much more loving than usual.

No matter how much we want to believe that a dog is just a dog or a cat is just a cat, when it comes down to it, I would do anything for my dog; I have bathed his bloody front legs that he uses to wipe his nose. I make burger and rice for him because he quit eating the soft dog food that we bought for him to ease the irritation in his mouth. I cleaned his bottom because his intestines didn’t like switching from hard to soft food (another reason for adding rice to his diet). I have cried more tears than I thought possible. And through all this, Copper still looks at me with love, even through those sad eyes, I can see the love.

I pray that there is a cure and I pray that he can get back to the same old Copper that we all know and love. But more than anything, I want him to not be in pain. Maybe the answer will come soon, for that I pray.


One thought on “For the love of a Dog

  1. jvhorn says:

    An update on Copper: he was diagnosed with a staph infection. The nose and mouth swab both came back with the same, treatable, form of staphylococus. This does not explain the bleeding though. Tests are still being done but the vet thinks that Copper may have Septicaemia, which is a bacteria in the blood. The vet thinks this is better than cancer, although both could be terminal. Copper was ‘hospitalized’ last night and our younger Lakie went in today to give a blood transfusion to Copper. Copper just needs a boost to his blood. Hopefully this will help Copper get on the road to recovery.


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