Welcoming Matilda - our first big disaster!

From the day we brought Matilda home, I was paranoid about her safety and well-being. But I never thought we'd end up seeing the out-of-hours vet just 12 weeks in.

Welcoming Matilda - our first big disaster!

We were soon settled into a routine, Matilda and I.

At 3.45 each afternoon, I'd put her lead on and strap her into her special car seatbelt harness and go to school to pick up William.

Waiting at the school gate, Matilda gets lots and lots of attention, and is so excited to see everyone.  But her main squeaks and howls and little barks of pleasure are saved for when she sets eyes on William.

But one day a few weeks ago, she was a bit subdued even when she saw him; she was still leaping about, panting, front paws going ten-to-the dozen in a strange pawing-clawing thing she does when she's excited, but it was a slightly calmer version than usual.  Then, as we were walking back to the car, she did something she had never done before - pooed on the pavement. 

A dogastrophe!

When we got home, she had her dinner and plenty of water, and seemed ok... until I could see she was bleeding.

After a couple of hours of worrying and following her around with a mop and disinfectant, I Googled every permeation of 'puppy' 'blood' and 'poo' I could think of. The search threw up one thing and one thing only: certain puppy death.   Frantic, I phoned the vet and stuttered and stammered about my dog's bottom. They asked lots of questions and said I could bring her in straight away.

The timing of this catastrophe (dogastrophe?) was terrible:  I had no child-care, William's bath was running and his bedtime imminent, and he was in the midst of eating his dinner. But poor Matilda was leaking all over the house, and I was really, really worried, so we jumped into the car – William in his pyjamas - and made our way to the vet's practice.

Poor William was so upset by it all – before our cat died, she had experienced similar problems and I could see by William's wet eyes and wobbly chin that he was thinking the poor puppy was going to meet the same fate.  Trying to reassure a little one when you're terrified yourself is hard – especially when you have no idea just how serious something is or isn't going to turn out to be.

I played on the positives – Matilda was still wagging her tail, leaping around, and eating and drinking – so it couldn't be that bad.  I hoped I sounded convincing, but I could tell by the red face in my rear-view mirror trying so hard not to crumple up into tears that my words were not having effect. Once at the surgery, Matilda jumped all over the receptionist, licked the vet's face and generally did not act like a dog at death's door.  Much to my relief. But in the consulting room, she whimpered and cried.

Despite this, the vet concluded that she did not seem like a puppy with anything seriously wrong.  She said the most likely cause was as infection caused by worms or a stomach bug.  Matilda had been wormed regularly since leaving the breeder, but the vet gave us a different tablet and a course of antibiotics.  She said her problem wasn't  uncommon in puppies at all, but it should ALWAYS be investigated promptly because it could, occasionally, be the sign of something very serious.  She added she was certain Matilda would be fine in a few days..

And, phew, she was.  She actually enjoyed taking her antibiotics (hidden in a ball of butter)  and was soon back to normal in every department.   But it made me realise a) just how much we love her b) how I MUST get my insurance sorted out – I cancelled the policy I initially signed up with because I'd read some awful reviews on the company.  But Matilda's emergency consultation and medication cost me the best part of £60 – if it HAD been something serious which had needed tests, follow up appointments and more drugs, I could have been looking at hundreds...

Not that she cares of course - check out the pic of her flattening my herb garden and sporting her 'smug' face!


1 Comment

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    Ready for Ten admin

    04 May, 2011

    How worrying for all of you Kelly!! I know our dogs are such a part of our family and I worry for them like I do for my children. If and when they are ill, it's a terribly concerning time. I agree that you should consider renewing your pet insurance just in case you need it in the future, as vets bill can run into thousands.

    Ready for Ten Team

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