I have stressed out my family.

Pax spent most of Saturday afternoon outside. I noticed he wasn’t around, but didn’t think anything of it until he came in around dinner time. All I had to do was look at him to see that he didn’t feel good. He lay down and didn’t even lift his head when I called him for dinner. This is NOT normal. My dogs don’t miss meals. So I called the emergency vet, and they said to bring him in.

He was vomiting and had diarrhea, and he was dehydrated. They elected to keep him overnight to give him IV fluids. They did a fecal test, and he had a bacterial infection. They also did blood work, and it was normal except for one muscle something-or-other that the vet said could be elevated due to trauma — like getting jumped by Aslan.

While the vet and I were talking about trauma, the conversation somehow got around to stress, and he asked if Pax had been stressed lately. Are you kidding? Let’s see…

  • Massive dog fight with injuries about five weeks ago
  • Two weeks of constant management because Aslan wanted to eat him
  • A week being boarded while I was at my screenwriting class
  • A puppy brought into the house for 24 hours

On top of all that, I told the vet, I have been more stressed in the last six weeks than I’ve been in ages and ages…

  • Finishing up my job
  • Managing fighting dogs
  • Getting ready for class
  • Having to move downtown for the class, even though I really didn’t want to
  • Having to board Pax, even though I really didn’t want to
  • Long class hours
  • Bronchitis
  • Dropping class
  • Problems at work that are keeping me from getting back to work in a timely manner

The vet laughed and said that dogs don’t have issues that their owners don’t give them. I won’t go *quite* that far, but in this case, it could very well be true that all of the problems with Pax and Aslan have, ultimately, originated with me.

Of course, Pax being in the hospital didn’t help my stress level, especially when he wasn’t better on Sunday. They did x-rays… and then didn’t call me with the results. I was totally freaking out. A blockage can be life-threatening, and I really, really, really needed to know the results of those x-rays. I finally got Jay to drive over to the hospital with me.

It was good decision. Pax was fine — nothing on the x-rays — but it gave us a chance to take him for a walk and be with him for a while. Not only was that good for me, but it was good for him. He hadn’t eaten since he went to the vet, but he was willing to eat a little for me, which made the vets very happy.

They considered letting him go home with us last night, but he was still having some diarrhea, and they didn’t want us to have to manage it. So they kept him overnight one more night. He was doing well — the diarrhea tapered off, and he ate a little meal in the middle of the night… but then about two hours later he threw it up. So they were worried about sending him home again.

In the end though, we decided to go ahead and bring him home. They weren’t worried about his health — they think he’s fine, just a bug that needs to get cleaned out of his system — they were just worried that we wouldn’t be able to handle vomiting and diarrhea. Well, no worries. He has thus far been fine since he came home. He was a little subdued in the car, but when we stopped for breakfast, he was all over that idea! We gave him some bread, and then brought him home and gave him a little kibble. And a rawhide flip (which may not have been especially god for him, but he was begging for it). It’s about 1:20 now, and he has been sleeping soundly — no diarrhea or vomiting or even subdued behavior.

I’m sooo glad to have him home. Having Pax here makes me a lot less stressed!

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