Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

Daisy’s “Garbagitis” – A Scary Weekend Story

WARNING: Don’t read this if you gross out easily!

We had a fun-packed weekend planned. Friday night was a a great start to the weekend UNTIL…

“Mom, Daisy has diarrhea!”

DD discovered Daisy’s “Hershey squirts” that evening, but we figured it was just one of those “Havachon things”. Soft stools occasionally come with our pup’s sensitive tummy.

But then it happened again.

And again.

And again.

And it became much worse than just “soft stools”.

To the internet I flew for information. “Diarrhea in dogs” is what I googled. All the medical sites were the same: “every dog gets it, stop feeding the dog for 24 hours, it usually passes in two days’ time. Call the vet immediately if you see blood.”

Whew, we collectively sighed. No blood. Nothing major to worry about.

Until 11:30 that night, that is, when Daisy began whining urgently and I discovered bloody diarrhea in her crate.

I picked her up; she was trembling. Which made me start trembling. “Blood!” I called out, sounding the medical emergency alarm.

This was not our happy little girl.

I brought Daisy into the family room and covered the entire floor with multiple layers of old sheets we save for painting. We had wee-wee pads out too, but I wasn’t taking any chances. I wanted all the bases covered, so to speak.

Thank goodness for foresight. Poor little Daisy tried to limit herself to the wee-wee pads, but she just couldn’t make it there every time. I stayed up all night with her, cleaning up her explosions and cleaning blood off her little pink bottom after every bout she had.

By 2:oo AM splatters of wet blood had replaced diarrhea, for the most part. Why do these things ALWAYS have to happen in the middle of the night???

It was happening about every 1-1/2 hours. In between bouts, Daisy napped on and off, but I couldn’t. I kept the “Mother’s Vigil” going, making sure she was breathing and not showing any other signs of distress. I really wanted her to be treated by our own vet because after that terrible experience with Bad Vet who almost killed her when she was only 2 months old, I didn’t want to take her to the 24-hour emergency hospital unless it was absolutely necessary. I decided the tipping point would be if blood ran from her backside or if she started going more frequently.

Fortunately, neither of those happened. All night I tried to think of what she could have ingested that could be tearing up her intestines.

I called the vet the minute they opened at 9:00 Saturday morning. They squeezed us in at 10:45, which felt like an eternity, but I certainly appreciated getting the appointment on his busiest day of the week. After a thorough examination and loads of questions, our wonderful vet diagnosed her with “Garbagitis”, a term vets apparently use when a dog has ingested bacteria that causes diarrhea. He said it could come from anything she may have licked, inside or outside. And apparently some small dogs’  insides bleed easily, and that’s all it was – nothing was tearing her up, it was just a reaction to the bacterial irritant.

He gave her a shot to calm her intestines, which also had a calming effect on her. Two prescriptions later, and we were headed home with hope in our hearts.

Daisy slept all of Saturday and all of Saturday night, except for a few more bouts of bloody diarrhea, which the vet said to expect. They came much, much farther apart, though.

On Sunday, Daisy started taking an interest in her toys again and wanted to play like her old self! It was like someone flipped a switch and brought our Daisy back to us. We were thrilled!

I’m happy to report that as of this morning (Monday), Daisy has been “garbagitis-free” for an entire day (or, as DD says, she’s a “poopless puppy” LOL). No problems Sunday and none as of this morning. She couldn’t be given any food until Sunday night (48 hours without a bite, but she didn’t care), only a little water. Now she’s on a diet of 1/2 jar of beef baby food and 1/2 jar of rice. We slowly start adding a tablespoon of her dog food to that mixture tomorrow and keep giving her the pills. By the end of this week, she should be back to her normal diet and finished with the pills.

I'm all better now! Let's play!!

Needless to say, our fun-filled weekend didn’t quite go the way we had expected. But that doesn’t matter as long as our little one is back to her normal, silly little self! 😀

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Dog Toy Bacteria Danger – Wash or Waste?

Daisy has one toy that has survived her sharp teeth for several months – it’s the only “veteran” in her toy collection. Clearly the best made toy we’ve invested in!

This is the toughest toy I've ever had!

It’s a small stuffed ring with little squares of material protruding from it like stumpy spokes. Every other “spoke” is filled with a crinkly material that makes a crunchy sound when Daisy bites it. Daisy LOVES anything with sound to it.

Lately I noticed that when she plays with this toy, the stuffed ring gets saturated. Not just wet – saturated. It’s pretty gross. Thinking about this, I became concerned about the bacteria that could be growing inside this toy and could possibly make Daisy sick.

Yup, it sure can.

Apparently, stuffed dog toys are notorious bacteria breeders. Your dog can get any number of symptoms from diarrhea to gum issues because of the bacteria growing in toys, and even if your vet gives Puppy an antibiotic to clear up the problem, poor Puppy will just keep getting re-infected if he/she keeps playing with that dirty toy.

It’s been suggested by companies like Hartz that chewing ropes and stuffed toys can “harbor all sorts of microbes”. (::shudder:: ) A US government study found that bacteria can be killed by microwaving bacteria-producers like sponges, and some dog toys can be microwaved safely too.

To keep your dog from ingesting potentially hazardous bacteria, Hartz recommends cleaning these types of toys:

  • Chewing ropes – these can be microwaved for one minute, but it’s recommended that you keep an eye on the rope just in case, and use protective covering on your hand when removing the hot rope from the microwave. An alternative is to run the rope through the hot cycle of your dishwasher without adding detergent. The water is much hotter than running hot sink water over the toy, which won’t kill bacteria.
  • Stuffed toys – wash in your washing machine on the hot water setting; flimsy toys may not be sturdy enough to withstand a wash cycle, but a better made toy will. They should also be able to go through the dryer.
  • Any toys that are breaking or that your dog can bite chunks off should be thrown away. We had a Nylabone that Daisy was able to destroy within a few days at only 4 months of age. However, we found a hard plastic Nylabone specifically made for tough chewers, and she’s been working on that for 2 months. She’s only just now starting to take small shreds off it and make good-sized dents in it. She’ll be getting a new one in the near future!

I put Daisy’s ring toy through the hot water wash with her bath towels and blankets; I use one of the “free and clear” detergents with no perfumes, dyes, etc. to make sure nothing irritating gets left behind. That magical ring went through the washer and dryer and still looks like its ol’ self! And it was only a $4 toy!

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