For those of you who don’t know what it is, – because Mike and I sure didn’t – Campyblobacteriosis is an “intestinal disease of people and animals spread via contaminated food and water.” (This definition came from a info-sheet given to me by Cassidy’s vet, Dr. Frank.)
Among its symptoms are vomiting and bloody stool.
What happened to Cassidy
The vomiting started Saturday afternoon. Woolite Power Shot at the ready, Mike and I thought little of this. Dogs throw up. It happens. That’s why we keep the Power Shot around. But Cassidy continued to throw up, even after she had stopped eating.
By Saturday night lethargy set in. Cassidy took to laying on the floor by the sofa. Then she’d go and lay by the front door, and after that she’d curl up on one of the dog beds. That was her rotation, and aside from going out to do her business and getting drinks of water (which we watched for, because we were worried about dehydration,) she did very little else. She didn’t come when food was offered to the other animals. She didn’t try to steal the ball away from Ripple when she and I played (something Ripple and I had not been able to do since bringing Cassidy home.) She didn’t even come upstairs with us at bedtime.
We knew that a trip to the vet was in order. We also knew, from past experience, that we should bring a stool sample when we go. So, when I noticed through the window that Cassidy was outside doing her business, I grabbed a ziplock baggy, put Cassidy’s name on it, and went out. What I saw was alarming. Against the white snow it probably looked ten times worse, but seemingly all that had come out of the dog was bright red blood.
I phoned the on-call vet, as it was after regular office hours. She informed me that, as far as bloody stools go, bright red was bad, but dark red was far worse. I suppose that was of some comfort. She said that if Cassidy showed signs of being in pain we should take her to Cornell Animal Hospital. We were ready.
We tried feeding Cassidy the BRAC diet (boiled rice and chicken.) She wouldn’t eat it. I spent the night on the downstairs sofa, so I could watch her. Cassidy seemed uncomfortable, but not in pain.
When we brought Cassidy in to see Dr. Frank the next morning, I feared that we were dealing with some kind of obstruction – a squeaker from a squeaky toy, a chewed stick too large for her to pass. I even pointed out where I had felt something suspicious. This turned out to be one of the bones in her body. To my relief there was no obstruction, which would have likely required surgery. Instead, what Cassidy had was a bacterial infection, treatable with antibiotics.
A Quick Recovery
Cassidy perked up shortly after the doctor injected her with an antinausea medication. When I brought her home she immediately went outside to play with Ripple. We continued with the BRAC diet, which she did not consume heartily or keep down until the second day on antibiotics. After checking to see that her stool was normal, on the third day we began mixing a handful of her dry food in with the BRAC. As of now, five days after the trip to the vet, Cassidy is back to eating her regular food, but is still on the antibiotic.
What Caused the Problem
Dr. Frank suggested that Cassidy’s bout with the bacteria was due to something she had eaten. He asked about whether she had infiltrated the kitchen garbage recently. She hadn’t. In fact, she and Ripple have pretty much the same diets, and Ripple wasn’t at all affected. We do give our dogs lots of treats, because it motivates them for training. In order to figure out if any of these might have caused the episode, we’ll have to reintroduce the foods one at a time, and wait a week or so (the symptoms can crop up from 1-14 days after ingestion) to see if there is a reaction before reintroducing something else. For sure, cleaning out the treat bag in case some of their goodies in there had gone stale and washing out the pet water bowl with soap and water more than once a week are in order. But Dr. Frank didn’t think that the disease had been caused by treats, -not even the Milos chicken meatballs or Wagon Tails that our dogs love so much. (To read an article about the recall of these products click here:http://news.yahoo.com/purina-milos-kitchen-pulling-dog-treats-213126042–finance.html He also didn’t see the frozen mouse that Mike had stopped Cassidy from chewing on just hours before the symptoms began as being the culprit.
In short, we don’t know what caused the problem. We just plan to be more aware of what we are feeding her in the future.
It should also be noted
Aside from throwing up, Cassidy did not once have an accident in the house during this ordeal. I find this impressive, because the young dog was not at all house trained six weeks ago. It just confirms what Mike and I already know.
Cassidy is amazing.
To read an interview with Dr. Frank click here http://wp.me/p2Z3nU-yM