Am I a bad dog mom? Maggie’s Miserable Weekend.

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Maggie Saturday night after her day at the vet.

Maggie Saturday night after her day at the vet.

This weekend was supposed to be a mini-vacation for us. We had our dog sitter lined up to stay with Jack & Maggie and we were going down to San Diego to spend the weekend with my family. All that changed when Maggie threw-up three times within an hour on Friday morning and we spent our weekend at the vets instead.

All of our dogs have eaten grass when they have an upset stomach, they eat a bunch of grass, it irritates their stomach and they throw-up. Typically, that’s the end of it and they are fine after that initial bout and back to being Labs with voracious appetites. Not so with Maggie. Yes, she ate the grass and threw up the grass, but then ate some more grass and threw-up more grass and ate more grass and and then she started crying. Off to the vet.

Our regular vet did a full blood panel & special test to rule out pancreatitis (negative, thanks goodness) but it showed nothing else. We went home after getting a subcutaneous injection of fluids and some anti-nausea and anti-diarrhea medicine. She turned her nose up at anything to eat Friday night, and Saturday morning we were woken up at 3am to more of the same, vomiting> grass> more grass>distress>crying. We took her to the emergency vet.

An x-ray and ultrasound showed a mass of unidentifiable ‘stuff’ in her stomach – most likely the grass that she hadn’t yet vomited. They put her on IV fluids and we left her there for the day. She got through the day with no vomiting and the ‘mass’ appeared to be moving down into her small intestines – on it’s way out the back door. We brought her home Saturday evening and she seemed on the road to recovery. Sunday she really seemed back to herself – she pooped out a LOT of grass, but that allayed our other fear, that she had some type of blockage. She ate a bit of breakfast and even more dinner. She wouldn’t eat the nice boiled chicken I made her, and wanted her kibble, so that’s what we fed her.

Unfortunately, this morning it seems we’re on the same path again. She didn’t have much interest in breakfast and then threw up the minimal amount she got down. We’re debating now whether to give her some time – she’s sleeping soundly in my office as I write this – before we call the vet and poke and prod her some more. Obviously, whatever started this on Friday is still around, but the point of this post was to provide a lesson learned regarding my own behavior and not thinking through the consequences. I feel like a bad dog mom…

As I mentioned, dogs eat grass and usually throw -up, so I’ve never stopped them from eating it – they just throw it up – UNLESS they have been given anti-nausea medicine. That was a big mistake on my part on Saturday morning, to allow her to eat the grass after she had been given that medicine. The medicine inhibited her ability to vomit, and the grass she ingested morphed into this tight mass that irritated her stomach even more and caused a great deal of distress for her. Grass is hard to digest – that’s why it usually comes right back up – but poor Maggie had to digest it and poop out grass for 2 days now.

Maggie at the vet Friday.

Maggie at the vet Friday.

I feel terrible that she is still sick and that I contributed to it in some way by not thinking through the consequences of her grass-eating behavior.

A word of warning or a word of caution whenever your dog is given any medication, think through all of the potential repercussions and implications.

Any of you have a similar story to share with our readers?  Something you unwittingly did that made things worse for your sick dog?

PS. To top off Maggie’s miserable weekend, she got stung by a bee last night right over her left eye…


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  1. Thanks for the insight ….. And dont be too hard on yourself – you did what you thought was best, although you have to wonder why the vet didnt know this and guide you better. I guess like the healthcare system for us, dogs need health care advocates too. Hope maggie is up and around feeling better soon !

  2. On a side note …. I hope you get a weekend away with your family soon – i hear san diego is beautiful !

    • She’s feeling a little worse this am – dad is off to get some ‘calming’ meds for her tummy. I hope I do to (re: weekend)!

  3. Woof! Woof! Oh My I do eat grass too (mom always say NO you are not a horse). I still have a little bit of tummy ache (as my poop is not so good) due to bunny poops and yah some were grass. But no throwing up. Maggie must have eaten a lot or some chemical on the grass. I am actually ban to go on my backyard as the gardener applied something on the ground. Mom is making more yogurt treats for me. Sending Lots of Golden Healing Thoughts. Golden LOVE. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar
    SUGAR: Golden Woofs recently posted…Buying A Couch When You Have A DogMy Profile

    • Thanks Sugar, she did eat a LOT and some of it was like bushes that look like grass, so they are even harder on the intestines. No more grass eating in the house! Thanks for the Golden Healing thoughts…Maggie is sleeping now.

  4. I don’t think what you did makes you any different that 99% of dog owners. Probably only the minority who’s had a similar experience would think about it. If she’s still feeling nauseous and trying to eat grass, you might want to fast her and then start with some boiled rice to see how her stomach handles it. Some dogs are just more sensitive to certain things, too!
    houndstooth recently posted…A Hiking AlternativeMy Profile

    • Thanks for the advice. The grass eating has stopped and she has had a few pieces of boiled chicken – gonna see if she can keep that down before we do anything else. Fingers are crossed.

  5. We do the best we can as parents….learning from our mistakes, hoping miss maggie may has turned a corner…

  6. I sure hope Maggie is doing better now. Who would have known? Sage eats grass often, especially in the spring.
    Sage recently posted…I’m a Little CrabbyMy Profile

    • Thanks. She is finally doing a bit better. Chicken and rice only.

  7. We hope you feel better soon Maggie!!

  8. Poor Maggie (and poor you!) Don’t beat yourself up too bad, most of us probably wouldn’t have thought about it either!

    As they say, hindsight is 20/20. I do hope she is feeling better now though!
    Jodi recently posted…Tuesday’s Tails – April 30, 2013My Profile

  9. Aw, poor Maggie! I hope she’s feeling better now… I read this whole post, looking at all the things you did for her, and was thinking “I wish there more dogmoms like her around”. I would never have known that antinausea meds and grass are not a good combination. Kisses to Maggie and will keep my fingers crossed for her.
    Human Rescues Dog recently posted…Wordless Wednesday 1 May 2013My Profile

  10. Thank you so much for sharing this story. I wouldn’t have immediately put two and two together. Thank you!
    Kimberly, The Fur Mom recently posted…Fur Mom Confessions | A Birthday Only a Dog Mom Can AppreciateMy Profile

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