Friday, November 12, 2010

The Close Call - Near Death to SuperDog

When Phoenix threw up Friday i didn't think much of it. Like my previous male Cairo, he has earned the name of vomit occurance we have gotten use to dealing with every few weeks. We are pretty careful as to making sure both him and Kenya don't get into things they shouldn't but 1) they are dogs 2) they are Basenjis.

Without getting into play by play detail Phoenix started throwing up early Sunday morning (3 am). Between 3:00 am and 7:00 am he threw up 8-9 times. Then he seemed fine...back to his old self. When i went to feed him he drank a good deal of water but refused to eat. We weren't overly concerned. First he is a slow eater and not overly food motivated. We figured something had obviously upset his stomach. We had a "fun match" from Basenji Companions and since he seemed OK, decided to still go. At the match he was his usual self. He gladly ate the treats we gave him, and was pretty well behaved in the competitions we entered him in. He even won best heel! We crated him and Kenya when it was time for lunch and that's when things got scary. Out of no where he lets out with the most horrifying scream. It wasn't a get me out of the crate complaint scream. It was an "i am in pain scream" He did this 4 more time in a row than projectile vomited. We were worried and before leaving spoke to Barbara Narewood and Priscella Weeks. They said the screaming could be because he had thrown up multiple times and his stomach muscles may be sore. They checked his gums and skin and he didn't appear to be dehydrated. They said watch him and if the screaming and vomitting continued to take him to the vet Monday morning. We drove the 20 minutes back to Manchester and he was fine. We took him out for a walk and again the horrible screaming started, than he vomitted twice. We scooped him up and brought him down to the emerency vet. During our 3 1/2 hour wait he screamed and vomitted 3 more times. By the time the vet checked him out he was at a 65% dehydration level. To make a very long vet ordeal short the bottom line was he had a blockage and without surgery wouldn't be able survive. We were sick to our stomachs with the $2500 surgery sticker shock but even sicker to our stomachs over the thought of loosing our wonderful boy we had adopted 1 1/2 years ago. There was no it would be.

The surgery went well. They removed a 2 1/2" x 1 " x 1/2 " wad of fabric he had ripped off a stuffed animal and obviously swallowed. I don't even know how he was able to get something that large down his throat. Dr's orders were to keep him from going up and down stairs, jumping on and off furniture or running. A challenging task as they have total freedom in our house. We brought him home Wednesday and you could tell how much discomfort he was in. He wimpered and moaned most of the day but was happy to be home. Wednesday was a day of rest and snuggling for him.

Thursday, his first full day home we crated him when we went to work to keep him out of trouble. Lloyd came home after 2 hours to check on him and the crate door was open and Phoenix was lying on his favorite part of the sofa.

The little bugger figured out how to open the door and let himself out. Oh, well...there goes the don't let him jump on furniture order from the vet down the drain. Lloyd tied the 2 crates together with bungie cords so the weight would make it harder for Phoenix to move the crate and secured the door so he couldn' t manuevere it open. When he came home later he was still in the crate but had started to bend the wires.

We were concerned that he would do more damage to himself stuggling to get out of the crate so we decided to put the gate back up and lock him in the living room so he can lie on the sofa.

That worked well for the rest of Thursday until Mommy came home. I went upstairs to do some work on the computer. Being a Mommy's boy, he follows me around like white on rice. I hear Lloyd yelling at him. It turns out the little bugger had started pulling himself over the gate. Lloyd stopped him and i came downstairs.

The next morning they were locked behind the gate in the living room while i was upstairs in my office. I hear a big thump and the next thing i know he had come up the stairs and is happily trotting into my office. Oh well, it looks like no matter what we did to obey Dr's orders Phoenix had another idea. We took the gate back down so he wouldn't hurt himself.

He was pretty happy to have his freedom and we are happy our beautiful boy is back to his normal goofy self.


  1. Just like BRAT Tyco did and almost died! I can't believe chewed and slobbered on fabric could be so tasty??

  2. And this is just another reason that we have to watch them like hawks for their entire lives! Only basenji's act like puppies all the time no matter what their age. I caught my senior b-boy trying to swallow a sock???
    Good to hear Phoenix is doing well after his surgery.

  3. ecf2xtreme@yahoo.comNovember 12, 2010 at 7:29 PM

    Poor guy!! Sounds like a B...

  4. I wonder how many near death experiences each basenji OWNER has over the basenji's life?! I swear my heart stopped a dozen times at things Ruby did. Luckily, she only ever ate one wad of fabric, and she threw it up before it could do damage. (Incidentally, that was when I used a suggestion from a highly regarded author. She suggested tying treats in a strip of fabric to keep the dog occupied. Well, maybe other dogs work at untying knots, but basenjis just eat the treat knot and all!)

    Linda, I am so glad Phoenix is back to his happy, healthy self!

  5. Our BRAT ate the straps off my daughter's sandal a few weeks ago. Fortunately, she threw the pieces up over the next 48 hours. I was shocked at home much she actually ate - there was an intact pink leather flower! I was so paranoid there might still be a blockage, but she was fine. Our other B shredded a hole in the carpet, all the way down to the subfloor...twice.

    So glad Phoenix is all better now!

  6. Pharoah seems intent on eating pennies! So far I've prevented him from swallowing any as far as I know. Very frustrating but it does encourage good housekeeping.