Bailey has stopped eating. In my heart, I’m certain it’s the food. But remember where I work (Consumer Relation, Iams). My head knows it’s NOT the food.
Our usual routine has been topsy-turvey because of the holidays–I’ve taken some massive vacation time and our usual day of get up/dressed, walk the pooch, feed the pooch, sit at my desk and work with pooch in bed under desk, has been totally disrupted. And Bailey has been annoyed because of this disruption. Nearly every morning of my vacation, as we finish up the dress/walk/feed chores that never change, she stands in the hall outside my office, looks at me and says, “Time for work, aren’t you coming to your desk?” And when I go in a different direction she gets this confused and then annoyed look because I’m deviating from the routine. So when she started to skip a meal here-and-there I put it down to the upheaval in our routine.
Looks like I was probably wrong.
I’ve mentioned before that I feed Bailey 4 times a day. Tuesday night, she refused to eat at her last feeding of the day. Wednesday, she would only eat lunch and supper. Thursday, she refused to eat all 4 meals.
Now the thing that has made me crazy is that she’ll eat her biscuits, or a handful of MiniChunks (which I happened to have on hand) or scraps from the table (yes, I know, bad mom) no problem. So I thought “There’s nothing wrong–she’ll eat other stuff, just not her regular meal. There must be something wrong with the food.”
My head knows it’s not the food.
Remember, Bailey is diabetic. She was due for a check on her blood sugar, so I took her to our favorite clinic on Wednesday and a wonderful vet tech pulled some blood. Her blood sugar was at 213–which is good.
Then Thursday she totally would not eat her regular meals. And each time I offered it she looked at me like I was missing some kind of crucial ceremony that would allow her to eat. Her eyes said if only I would say the magic words or do the magic hand wave she would be able to eat the food I was placing before her. But obviously I was too head-stupid to figure out what the magic charm was that would allow her to eat, so she sadly ducked her head and walked away from the bowl.
I still thought this was part of the routine-disruption. Eventually she would be hungry enough to eat.
I didn’t give her her shot on Thursday evening–I didn’t want her blood sugar to bottom out because that can be life-threatening. For the short-term it would be far less harmful if her blood sugar was slightly elevated.
During the night on Thursday she woke me 4 times so that I could lift her off the bed so she could drink water. And twice insisted that she needed to go out to the patio to pee (she seems to be on strike against the pee pad). I kinda expected this–after all when her blood sugar level is high she gets thirsty. I did not get much sleep.
One of the advantages of working where I do is I have access to a team of veterinarians who are never too busy to discuss Bailey’s health. Friday morning I talked the situation over with two of my best buds–Dr. Dicke and Jen-the-vet-tech. They both agreed it was time to call my vet.
My vet was in emergency surgery, so I left a long voice mail for her. Before noon she called me–she had a family commitment and was about to leave for the day, but she felt I should bring Bailey in today rather than wait till she was next in on Monday so she had made arrangements for us to see her colleague, Dr. C. at 2. I was very comfortable with this because we’ve seen Dr. C. in the past (though it was several years ago), and he’s very nice and very smart.
After I told him our story, he did a full exam on Bailey. And found that she has an infected tooth. (I am a bad mom).
The tooth didn’t seem to be painful (yet). He didn’t want to rule it out, but he also didn’t want to jump to the conclusion that the tooth was the problem. So blood tests were needed. It could be a bladder infection (she has a history), or her liver or her thyroid or her pancreas. Or it could be that the cancer is back. Blood tests will give us better indications.
In the meanwhile he prescribed clavamox (an antibiotic) which will help with the tooth and also the possible bladder infection. And he will phone me before noon tomorrow (today? I think it’s after midnight) to let me know the lab results on her blood.
And so, we wait.