Week 33 of the 52 Week Pet Photography Blog.
This summer is definitely not like the others. For the most part, I'm a homebody, but I do like to do outdoorsy things and those happen to be the 'things' that everyone else is doing this summer. The photo above, of my little Flea, is from the one and only trip we made to Lake Mead this summer. I got there by 7:00, let my dogs swim for a bit, left a couple of hours later, and the line to get into the lake was about 1/4 of a mile long. So that was my lake trip for the summer. Honestly, I'll probably go back once or twice more before fall. But hopefully, things are back to normal next summer and I can spend a few weekends there.
This summer is more of a pool summer.
Last weekend, I brought my dogs to my friend's house to swim, while we hung out. It was great to get out of the house and for my dogs to get some exercise. Boy, we are all out of shape! The dogs had a blast and I enjoyed my time visiting. I should have taken more photos, but I didn't even think about this week's blog topic. Planning ahead is clearly something I need to work on. Here are some of the photos I took.
The photo below was unplanned, but I kind of like it. Vibe was standing where the sun was hitting his face and the area behind him was in the shade. I darkened the background in photoshop a little bit more.
Summer Fun and Water Safety
I'm not sure how I got through so many years without major vet emergencies. Not saying I didn't have issues that required attention but they were spread out a little. It was like one emergency or medical condition in a lifetime. But the last few years all fun seems to end at my vet's office. Last weekend was no different.
After a while of swimming, I kenneled my dogs to give them a bit of a swim break. I checked on them a couple of times, all was good. Then about 30 - 40 minutes after putting them up I went to let them all potty real quick and View, the handsome boy in the snapshot below, was drooling gobs, looked miserable and it looks like he vomited in his crate. Of course, it was 15 minutes after all the regular veterinary centers closed for the night. So I started calling around in a panic, with no luck. I posted on Facebook asking for recommendations for emergency vets and my friend started googling to see what was close.
Luckily, there was an emergency vet close by, so I called to let them know I was coming, and rushed over, then waited in the new COVID waiting room (my car). Once the tech came out I explained that I suspected he had water intoxication and was told that they would need to do x-rays. I was sort of confused. I'm not a vet and don't claim to have any medical understanding of how anything works. But my understanding is that the intake of excessive water causes a deficiency of sodium and it needs to be treated by giving fluids (which contain electrolytes) as soon as possible. Untreated it can be fatal. So, knowing my dog is in danger, I wanted him treated with fluids ASAP and I was concerned the x-rays would just hold up the actual treatment process. I ended up asking if he could just be put on fluids right away.
Shortly after the technician took View back, the doctor called and told me based upon his evaluation he thought he just had an upset stomach and suggested an injection of something (that I don't remember) to calm his stomach and I take him home to monitor him. I was a little relieved thinking, phew, he must be much better now. But, I asked the doctor to run a blood panel to confirm that his electrolytes were okay. I just thought I wanted confirmation that everything was okay, for that moment and also for the future, I want to know if he is prone to water intoxication.
Unfortunately, (or fortunately) the blood panel showed he did have water intoxication. I wasn't thrilled with the results, but then I was thankful that I had the panel done and didn't just take him home. I honestly don't know enough to know if maybe his levels were just mildly off and he would have been okay, or if he would have gone downhill. But he stayed and was put on fluids for 6 hours and then was 100% back to normal.
With all the years of my dogs' swimming, this has never happened to me before. It's something that I've worried a little about, but not too much because my history of not having any issues was pretty solid. In the future, with him, I will definitely give him breaks in the future and maybe bring some Pedialyte with me. Not sure if that is useful, but I'll feel better if he gets a break with some electrolytes.
I was super lucky that everything turned out well for my dog. I don't want to scare anyone because this isn't too common, but when playing in the water, just be aware of the symptoms and also know what veterinary centers are open and near you when you are away from your regular location. I know it sounds ridiculous, but in the moment it's stressful knowing you can only call one place at a time and it seems like forever when that phone is ringing. If you have an emergency, knowing where to go immediately can save your dog's life.
Okay, so this was supposed to be about summer fun, not summer emergencies. I just wanted to share as a reminder to be aware of the symptoms and your options for veterinary centers. To see more summer fun blogs and continue with the blog circle please go to Kylee Doyle Photography, serving pet parents in the greater Sacramento area.
For some ideas on keeping your dog entertained (safely) this summer while being stuck at home, check out my previous blog on surviving COVID boredom.