Cassie’s first trip to the vet

Image above: Cassie snuggled with owner Sharon Moore

Cassie does Chiswick: Week 3

We have been following the progress of Cassie the Cavapoochon puppy as she settles into her new home in Chiswick. Inevitably owner Sharon has reached that point all pet owners dread when you can see there is something wrong but you can’t work out what it is and a trip to the vet becomes necessary.

A week of wobbles and worries

By Sharon Moore

As a new dog mom there were bound to be some moments when I just was not sure whether Cassie was ok. One night she started being sick, she did not want to eat and in the morning she just continued to sleep and not eat until 12pm.

By then I was really worried and called around trying to find a vet that was open, thankfully I found one and went there for an appointment an hour later, but I was worried that a Sunday might not be the best day to get medical attention.

Cassie was not well at all, she had no energy and no sign of wanting to eat anything. At the vet a large black Labrador passed us in the waiting room. Cassie started to breathe strangely, we had already been waiting 30 minutes beyond the time of our appointment, her breathing felt like she wanting to throw up and cough at the same time, I ran over to the receptionist saying someone needs to see her now, and she quickly took her to the nurse.

The nurse then came back and said she was just panting. I have grown up with many dogs my entire life in South Africa and had never experienced breathing like that. She wasn’t just panting but I think it may have been a slightly panicky breathing as she got a fright seeing such a large dog.

The vet wanted to check her glucose so she had to shave her ear, Cassie was so low at this point she did not even flinch, until the prick of her ear. The vet then said ‘oh no she has too much fur’, ( I won’t tell you my thoughts), she then tried to squeeze the area where she pricked to get more blood and proceeded to prick her two more times as she could not get the blood to go on the tool.

By now I was more anxious than the dog, but I am not qualified as a vet and needed all the help so waited to see what was next.

Her glucose levels were normal thank goodness. She then continued and looked at her gums and said she was dehydrated. I had taken her out the morning before for an hour and not given her water as she is still not allowed on the ground as she had not had her second vaccination, so here I go thinking this is all my fault! She never had enough water, I also let her chew on a toilet roll, maybe she ate a bunch and now she is ill because of that.

The vet said they would have to inject fluid under the skin behind her neck. I said I was sorry but I was not comfortable with this, why did she need this, please give her an anti-sickness injection first, as this would help. She explained how being dehydrated is extremely dangerous especially in puppies and she needed it. She explained she warmed the solution so it wouldn’t be uncomfortable for her and most dogs do not even feel it, she wouldn’t even flinch, like the ear prick.

I trusted this, and obviously I am trusting her. She said she would take her to do the procedure with the nurse, I said I need to be in the room. She then started to insert the needle, Cassie screamed, my heart sank, she wriggled in discomfort and screamed again, the vet then said “oh she just has so much fur, the needle has come out that’s why she was squealing”.

She then tried it again while I was holding Cassie. Cassie cried out, I then told the vet to stop.

She gave Cassie an anti-sickness injection and gave me some rehydrate liquid. I went home feeling not much better and Cassie was definitely not better after all the trauma.

I tried to get her to drink the liquid and eventually she had a few laps, however she still wanted nothing to eat. I tried everything as advised, plain chicken, white fish, goats milk, her food from previous home and I left it in her pen. In the morning, nothing was touched.

I quickly called another vet as they opened at 9 and they gave me an appointment at 10.15. I arrived already crying as she was just not herself.

The vet and staff were absolutely incredible. We spent an hour in total at the vet, she took Cassie for an another anti-sickness injection. She said her stomach would be in pain from throwing up so gave us pain meds. She mentioned she may just need more liquids, puppies in their first two weeks can miss home and it is just such an adjustment that they can just not want to eat.

She said she was not dehydrated and because her bowel movements were regular there was no way she swallowed any toilet roll. Relief! The vet took her around the practice to find something delicious to eat but Cassie just gagged at everything. I was sent home with restorative puppy food, nausea tablets, and pain syrup. On the way home Cassie started chewing her chew toy in her bag! I was delighted!

We got home and she wanted to play but still didn’t want to eat. I had to syringe feed her and she did not enjoy it. Finally the next day she started to eat some chicken. Thankfully she got her appetite back and is now gobbling down Butternut box meals so much that she has put on a healthy bit of weight, has so much energy and is just her playful little gorgeous self again.

It was definitely a trying time, and three days felt like weeks. You can feel so completely helpless!

With all the trauma passed, I needed to get a new grass piddle patch, hers had died and it actually smelled pretty bad. When I arrived at the lawn company the manager said I should rather get their artificial grass, which is not harmful to pets, is soft and washable, at this point the thought of re doing the piddle patch in my exhaustion of limited sleep, it was music to my ears. For £5 he gave me a huge roll, which filled two long outdoor trays and a little one for Cassie’s pen at night- which she uses and now does not wake me up to go out anymore!

Cassie has also mastered the perfect sit, as demonstrated on her grass patch, she also rings the bells on the door for me to open it for her to go to the toilet. She is such an intelligent little beauty!

As Cassie was ill she cried a bit more in the night needing more cuddles, it was getting very tiresome, I had spoken to her brother Oakley’s owner and she mentioned an anxiety vest which Oakley uses. That night I put Cassie to bed in her little jumper and for the first time she never cried once in seven hours! It felt like a miracle, I had had two hours sleep the night before. I didn’t sleep the full seven hours as I thought something may be wrong so kept watching her on the camera, but then when the anxiety vest arrived we again had another great evening, only one little cry and quick toilet break outside and that was it.

I did many Tellington TTouch therapy sessions with my rescue dogs growing up and always remember learning dogs like something tight on their chest especially if they don’t enjoy the car, it helps with anxiety. So I got the little vest her brother has and it worked wonders, the only thing is she does not like the sound of the velcro when I take it off.

TT.WALK Dog Anxiety Relief Coat, Comfortable Dog Calming Coat for Travel, Fireworks, Vet Visits, Separation

Thankfully for the rest of the week it has been all about play time, snuggles while I have been on video calls and lot and lots of yummy delicious food!

Cassie will be getting her vaccine this week, I delayed it as I wanted her to fully recover from feeling unwell, so I am really looking forward for her exploring the neighbourhood a bit more.

If anyone has any great puppy school to recommend where there are group sessions, please pass them on to me. Any other tips are always welcome too. Please feel free to reach out to me on her Instagram @cassie_the_cavapoochon to set up puppy play dates or send me some of your pro tips!

Read from the beginning of the series here –
Cassie is picked up from a breeder in Wales and brought to her new home in Chiswick

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