What Part of Woof Don’t You Understand? By Robin Trimingham
Catchy title this week don’t you think? I first saw the phrase above on a bumper sticker on the rear of a car ahead of me in traffic last week. At the time, I thought it was hilarious – at 4:30 this morning, however, not so much.
As I struggled to surface from a deep sleep I have the distinct impression that I heard an odd “thud” sort of a sound as my Yorkie Sunny fell off a chair in my bedroom. At first I thought I imagined it, but as I started to roll over to settle back to sleep I heard a pitiful little bark emanating from the center of the carpet.
It was a bit earlier than usual, and he never barks to be taken out, but for some reason I assumed that Sunny was in need of a trip to the front lawn, and so I organized my bathrobe and slippers without really thinking much about it. I was halfway down the stairs to the front hall before I realized that Sunny was coming down behind me very slowly, pausing on each step before tentatively attempting the next one.
He’s pulled a muscle or something I thought as I opened the front door to let him out. I’ll let him do his “business” and then I’ll check for injuries. A few moments later, back in the front hall, I switched on a light and knelt next to him on the carpet. He was standing next to me, eyes tightly shut.
The light is too bright I thought, feeling his shoulders, abdomen, and legs for any sign of a fall. Finding nothing I was going to hustle him back to bed when something made me decide to look in his eyes.
The completely milky white coating that I discovered covering both of his eyes obscuring his vision was both shocking and terrifying – he had been completely fine just six hours before at bedtime. How did he get so sick this quickly?
After calling the emergency after hours’ hotline for the vet and securing an 8:00 am appointment, I am relieved to report that Sunny is expected to make a full recovery. The diagnosis was quite rare and complex to comprehend, but essentially it appears that an imbalance in his diet is what most likely caused this unusual (and temporary) phenomenon and he is being treated with steroid drops.
I am sharing this story for the benefit of anyone who as a “fur family member” that they treasure for a couple of reasons including:
- Do not ignore unusual symptoms, behavior, or barking – your fur friend is trying to tell you something!
- If in doubt, seek immediate medical advice online or on the phone even if it is the middle of the night
- Inquire whether there is a veterinary specialist if the diagnosis is not straightforward (Sunny was fortunate to be seen by a visiting veterinary ophthalmologist)
- Remember to allow for veterinary emergencies when calculating how much money to keep in your emergency financial fund
Lastly, give your fur friend a hug every day and thank them for all the joy that they bring to your life. There little mishaps may be costly, but the love that they give is priceless.
By Robin Trimingham