Beethoven Hospitalised

Filed in Dogs of our Lives, GeneralTags:

One of our 'kids' is in hospital.

Beethoven follows me everywhere when I'm at home. At night before I go to bed, if I get up from my computer desk and move toward the bathroom, he notices and gets up to follow me within seconds. Except for last night.

Last night, I moved toward the bathroom and Beethoven didn't move. It wasn't until I came out of the bathroom that I noticed he hadn't followed me. I snapped by fingers which is usually enough to indicate to him that I'm going to bed, and he still didn't budge, so I examined him closer.

His body was colder than normal. His eyes were a little dull and drooping. His body posture was unusual, and his breathing was rapid. His tail wagged very slowly. If I asked more demandingly that he get up and come over to me, he would but it was a difficult and slow walk. Everything indicated a severe decrease in energy. One of the kids had thrown up their dinner moments before, but I couldn't be sure if it was Beethoven or someone else.

Our kids are normally very resilient. They get bodily injuries and they recover. They get the occasional sneeze but it never lasts long. They eat something that doesn't agree with them and they'll either throw it up, or eat some of the vegetation around the yard to force themselves to throw up. But I've almost never seen them in the state that I now saw Beethoven, and it worried me.

So at 1am this morning, Beethoven and I were in the car heading to the Pets Central 24-hr clinic in Mong Kok. The vet examined him and agreed that he didn't look well. They took xrays to see if something had lodged in his digestive tract but it was clear. They then took blood samples and found that his red blood cell count was way above the normal range; i.e., his blood volume was low. He was subsequently put on a drip and placed in a cage to rest. His condition worried me considerably. If any of our eleven kids were to leave us, it would hurt me greatly. I am not looking forward to the coming years.

My wife and I visited him this morning just before lunch. Fortunately, Beethoven looked much better and I was very relieved.

I suspect that they won't find a cause for the problem, but that doesn't worry me much because I have actually seen this condition once before. Before we adopted our first kid Dallas, he was a free ranging pup in our village who would come up to the car park to greet us every evening when we returned from work. We became great friends. And then one night, he disappeared. We scoured around looking for him and eventually found him in a store room lying on the floor, wagging his tail but unable to get up or move. We took him to the RSPCA (there was an 'R' in the name at the time), and he was placed on a drip for 3 days with a condition very similar to Beethoven's. Dallas recovered and never suffered from the same condition again. I hope the same is true for Beethoven.

In some ways, the condition is actually the reason we have pets today. If not for the condition, we would not have taken Dallas to the RSPCA. If we hadn't have taken him there, the young people in the village who casually looked after him wouldn't have given him to us, and we wouldn't have started to adopt.

Beethoven is still in the hospital. Hopefully, I'll be able to bring him home tomorrow.