May 28, 2013




I put my cousin and her husband on the train today.  I’m not at my best, I’m too frantic about my hellcritters.  This would be a funny story under other circumstances:  The courtyard at the mews slopes slightly, down toward Peter’s end.   When the neighbours have parked too near our end I have trouble turning around to get out.*  When this happens and I’m clawing for every half inch manoeuvring room, I let Wolfgang roll back toward Peter’s front door step and bump into it.**  There is a thud involved.  I didn’t think about this till I saw my cousin’s face and decided it was worth saying something.  I ended with ‘I don’t usually run into things’.  Thirty seconds later I rolled (gently) into the wall at the parking garage.  Thud.

I am not at my best.

I had decided that I wasn’t going to phone the vets today.  It’s the first working day after a holiday weekend, everyone is going to be stacked up with three days of near-emergencies.  I did eye the turn-off to the clinic on my way home from the train station.

But then Pooka produced a phone message from the vet.  I rang back so fast I bruised my fingers punching buttons.

The last results are in:  negative for campylobacter.

So much for the easy answer.  Well, I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy answer—as I’ve said here more than once as a way of reminding myself, we went through this five or six years ago with the hellhounds.  I’m still profoundly depressed, but I’m not surprised.

But, you know, now what?  Where do you frelling start?  It’s a big world out there, full of stomach-upsetting, bowel-loosening nasties.

But the conversation with the vet quickly turned surreal.  I’m not going to remember it accurately, especially because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  I don’t think well on my feet even when I’m not frantic and have had enough sleep at least once or twice in the last several months, and this was not an occasion that was going to bring out my hitherto unsuspected cool rapier logic.  I nonetheless remember the gist well enough.

So, he said, that’s that.

Huh?  What?  You’ve done one lot of basic lab tests and that’s the end?

I think it must be stress, he said.

WHAT?  I said.  When it was just the two litter-brother lurchers I was willing to go along with the idea that it was something about them.  I now have a non-related puppy of a different breed with pretty nearly exactly the same symptoms?  IT’S SOMETHING IN THE ENVIRONMENT.**

I was looking through the notes, he said.  You eased it with homeopathy the last time.  I think you should do that again.

I DON’T FRELLING WANT TO FRELLING EASE IT.  I WANT TO FIND OUT WHAT IT IS SO WE HAVE A SHOT AT FIXING IT.  —I never thought I would want to bite someone’s head off for suggesting using homeopathy.  But this sounds like ‘go away and leave us alone’ to me.

I think the puppy has got old enough that there’s some kind of negative-feedback stress loop with her and the big dogs, he said.

I declined to say that she’s in full streaming, speaking of streaming, season and that right at the minute there is a negative-feedback stress loop BECAUSE I DON’T THINK THAT’S WHAT’S CAUSED THE LAST SEVERAL MONTHS OF DIGESTIVE WEIRDNESS WITH THE HELLHOUNDS FOLLOWED MORE RECENTLY WITH PAV GOING THE EXACT SAME LOWER INTESTINAL ROUTE.

Words pretty much failed me.  Which is just as well.  As far as he’s concerned the case is closed.  Basic faecal lab tests come up negative and so it . . . isn’t anything.  I guess I’m just neurotic.  I guess I’m so neurotic I’m causing my hellhounds to stop eating† and all three of my hellcritters to have diarrhoea.  That’s pretty frelling neurotic.

He has agreed to recommend me to a small animal internal medicine specialist who fortunately happens to be within my driving range.  It’s a place to start.  I was so freaked out this afternoon that I forgot to ask for a copy of the lab tests—I want to know what has been eliminated (no puns intended) before I start cranking up to pursue anything else google—or southdowner or Diane in MN or any of you other dog people—care to suggest.   I’ve been researching my few remaining brains out for homeopathic possibilities, but this is hampered by the fact that only licensed vets are allowed to treat animals†† so the info isn’t out there to anything like the same extent that you can research homeopathy for humans.  Then there’s the whole taking-the-case problem with something that doesn’t speak a human language.  A homeopath’s case-taking is waaaaaaay more thorough than the average medical dude’s.  And of course the first rule of all healers of any stripe is:  Don’t treat your own family.

After this unsatisfactory and upsetting conversation with this blinkered idiot who calls himself a veterinarian, I took the hellhounds out for their afternoon hurtle.

And Chaos—who is generally the more internally stable of the two—promptly geysered.

This is a nightmare.

* * *

* If they’ve parked too near, I can’t turn around at all.  I HATE backing out.  HATE.  The way Wolfgang-era VW Golfs are designed, you’ve got a whacking great blind spot between the passenger seat windows and the rear window.  I could back in in the first place but that’s still backing.  And I always hope the blocking car will have MOVED by the time I have to get out.  Which it usually has.  Just not always.

** See:  the pleasures of driving a seventeen-year-old car.

*** Note that I’ve got the hellhounds on bottled water.  I was planning on giving it a week and if there was ANY indication of change I’d put the hellterror—and me—on as well.  That was about five days ago.  I’m still going to get my water at the cottage tested because it’s something to do, but I’m not expecting useful results from that either.

† They are presently eating about half a small meal in three.  Maybe.

†† Don’t get me started.  A licensed vet can take a weekend course in homeopathy and then claim to know how to use it on his clientele.


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