Sunday, after returning from walking the dogs, we set both dogs on the floor of the truck camper and went up over to the restrooms. When we came back, Picasso had jumped up on the bed. Benji was still on the floor.
That evening, when in the middle of our walk, Benji sat down and refused to walk anymore. I picked him up and carried him the rest of the way back.
We speculated about what might be wrong with Benji. Could he have tried to jump up on the bed? He has tried that before and failed, falling backwards, bouncing on the step then landing on the floor.
We woke the next morning at 5:00 AM. Benji was in obvious pain. He wouldn’t hardly move. He wouldn’t eat. I gave him two baby aspirins. In an hour he showed some improvement. I tried to get him to walk but he wouldn’t. At 7:00, we called the veterinarian. They could take him but we would need to drop him off and pick him up later.
After talking to the vet’s assistant, we left Benji at the vet’s office. The vet called around noon. She wanted to be clear on if and how much aspirin we had given Benji before giving him a steroid. Apparently, aspirin together with oral steroids cause dogs sever stomach problems including bleeding.
Key Learnings – If the dog’s rear legs are dragging (Benji’s legs weren’t), then that is very serious and the dog needs to be taken to the vet immediately. If there is any chance that aspirin won’t be enough to manage the inflammation, don’t use it. Go to the vet. Steroids and aspirin don’t mix. Steroids work way better than aspirin.
To manage the stomach problems, the vet gave Benji a drug to coat and protect the stomach. Then she gave him prednisone, a common oral steroid, with a muscle relaxer and pain killer.
With an active dog, keeping the dog from jumping or running around like a crazy person is always the challenge. Some normal doggy behaviors can lead to re injury and slow down recovery. I’ve been working hard to make sure Benji doesn’t jump. He wiggles when picked up or set down. I’ve been learning how to keep him from wiggling in flight.
In the afternoon, we picked Benji up. He was a bit dopey but no longer in pain. We did the pain killer, muscle relaxer, stomach protecting and steroid Monday night. Each of the medicines were on different schedules so I got up multiple times Monday night to administer different pills.
Tuesday, Benji was doing much better and seemed brighter. We stopped giving him the pain killer and continued the other drugs. Wednesday, we stopped the muscle relaxer. On Wednesday, we moved from the KOA to a State Park. Thursday, the stomach protecting drug was no longer needed.
Today, Saturday, Benji is only on the steroid. He still isn’t 100% but in a week we expect him to be back to his normal self.
Hope to see you on the road ahead!