Protect Me, Cone: Grif Update
Grif is now just over 3 months old, and we’ve had him for about 3 weeks. What an eventful 3 weeks it has been…
Housebreaking is actually going fantastically. We still have accidents of course, but for a 3 month old who’s not actually supposed to have bladder and bowel control yet he’s doing ridiculously well. He was so used to going on paper at the breeder’s house that for the first couple days we had him he’d run to any paper he could find to do his business. As soon as we took away paper, he started whining when he needed to go. Granted, we’re not always so good at figuring out what is a “I need to go potty” whine and what’s a “I really want attention” whine, but we’re getting better!
We’ve had some trouble getting him to eat, which I at first chalked up to him being in new surroundings and adjusting to a slightly different feeding schedule. Then I chalked it up to him just being a puppy and reminding myself that puppies, just like people, sometimes just aren’t hungry. So, we started leaving his bowl out all the time, so he could eat whenever he felt like it. That seemed to help, but he still wasn’t eating or drinking as much as I thought he should be.
We took him to the vet for his next round of shots, which came at a great time because he started having some, um, obvious intestinal discomfort (you know where I’m going with this) the day or so before, which is never good. They took a stool sample, but because it was the day before the Christmas break they told us we probably wouldn’t get the results until the day after Christmas. After hearing us talk about his unwillingness to eat though, they apparently rushed the test for us and called us Saturday morning to say the poor pup had Giardia.
Now, Giardia is one of those weird illnesses that both dogs and people get. If you’ve been lucky enough to have never had it, it is not fun to say the least. I had it when I was 8 or so, and the only way I can describe it is that it feels like someone is constantly stabbing your intestinal tract in various places with a variety of sharp objects. Until the meds kick in, you spend your time trying to walk the fine line between eating enough your stomach doesn’t hurt but not eating so much it makes everything else hurt (hint: the line doesn’t actually exist).
No wonder the poor guy didn’t want to eat.
Because of the time it takes for symptoms to show up, the vet is pretty sure he actually already had it when we picked him up. So, the bright side is I don’t have to feel like an awful person for doing something wrong that led to him getting it. But I still feel bad because I know it’s not fun. The bonus of course is that it is transmittable to humans, so we’ve been on a strict “no face kisses” rule as well as having to wipe his feet and back side every time he goes outside. He’s not exactly a fan of that part. It also doesn’t help that we finally had our first real snow, so he doesn’t want to go outside to begin with. Not to say I blame him, I’m certainly not running out there to bury my naked butt in snow every couple of hours.
He’s been on two different medications, so he gets force fed a pill at morning and night and has to drink a nasty looking liquid in the middle of the day. To say he doesn’t like it doesn’t begin to cover it, so my fingers have become very aware of exactly how sharp puppy teeth are.
Now that he’s starting to feel better, he’s going absolutely nuts. This is a level of energy that we had not seen from him, and it just doesn’t shut off. He runs laps around the house at a dead sprint.. When you play fetch and he brings it back to you, he can’t just bring it to your feet. He leaps into your lap. I’ll admit, it’s frigging adorable, but with that extra energy comes the extra urge to bite everything, and we have the band aids and vampire marks to prove it (so does our couch, unfortunately).
He likes to hang out in laps, which is cute when I’m playing video games or trying to write a post, but less cute when you’re trying to make dinner or do anything else that requires standing. He’s still not really eating, and when he does eat he inhales it so quickly he doesn’t chew it. Inevitably he drinks a ton of water right after, so then he throws up because all the solid pieces of food expand too much for his tubby to handle. We’re still trying to figure out how to deal with that particular problem…I know of ways to make him slow down as far as number of pieces of food per second, but I can’t force him to chew it, sooooo I’m stumped.
All in all, it’s been a little crazy but he’s doing pretty well. Definitely a little bit more of an adventure than we anticipated, but once you get past the teeth marks it’s not so bad.