09 August 2011

A pet owner's worry

I have had dogs since I was a child, with a break of about 20 years in between without.
A wife and a mother now, I am blessed with the opportunity to once again have dogs as part of our lives. I see it as an enriching experience - my children learn to respect and love animals, be loved in return by their dogs, and our family gains the benefit of our dogs' companionship and protection.

I have never had any of my dogs fall ill. That's because most of my dogs are of mixed breeds, the typical Malaysian dogs, which are extremely hardy yet wonderful. Even my 3 adult dogs who have some Labrador blood in them, are as tough as the mixed breeds.

Along comes our 9 week old Rottweiler, a bundle of fun and cuteness. Hardly 2 weeks with us, and having had her 1st vaccination, and she is ill! Quite ill at that, most probably with parvovirus, the vet says. Any responsible pet owner would be worried, as a pup with this virus could easily die as the illness causes severe vomiting and diarrhea and therefore, rapid dehydration.

Our pup has been put on the drip twice, and that has helped tremendously. We also withdrew her water intake, limiting her to 2 spoonfuls of water if she eats at least 1 spoon of food, every 2 hours. No food, no water. It seems cruel and it is hard to do, but allowing her to drink more than that contributes to more vomiting which can be fatal.

I have also been feeding her, on the vet's prescription, antibiotics and anti-vomit and anti-diarrhea pills. It is a struggle! She pushes all the pills out with her tongue. She has completely lost her appetite and now resembles a scraggly little stray with her ribs sticking out! Poor poor puppy.

But there looks to be light at the end of the tunnel. Her energy level is better today, and she won the tug of war with my daughter, refusing to give up her raw hide-treats-bone.

My first pure bred Rottweiler - it has been tiring and a steep learning curve. I certainly hope our pup makes a full recovery. Thank you to Dr Ranjit, our vet from JR Veterinary Centre.

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