Rocco: August 2010 Archives

This summer Rocco has been spending four days a week at my dog walkers house. They run a small doggie day care, with about 6 other dogs, who they watch from 10am to 5pm. It costs me $20, and its a pretty good deal, when you compare prices to other day care places (a 20 minute dog walk by a normal dog walker can cost about $12-15 in Hoboken). They drive to my house, pick him up from the crate, let him run around their large house in Jersey City or take him to the dog park with the other dogs, and he is nicely tired out by the time I get home from work. I have off from work Friday this summer, and so Rocco and I hang out for three day weekends. It's a pretty good life for Rocco, who is left home alone for maybe three hours in the morning & two hours in the evening.

My schedule is fairly routine, I work from 8 to 5, get back to Hoboken by 5:30, at the gym until about 6:45, and home by 7. I let Rocco out of his crate, feed him and then enjoy the rest of my night until about 11pm, then off to bed.

Rinse, wash, repeat.

I get home the other night and let Rocco out of his crate. Normally, he gets out, stretches and walks over to the food bowl and waits for me to feed him. That night, he got out of his crate and slowly exited, moving like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz - without his oil. Rocco's movements were all herky-jerky, and when I reached towards him, he recoiled from me, like I was going to hit him. He flinched back, his eyes fluttering to a half-close and he was scared of me.

He sat there and was shivering, like he was having little seizures. I put his food bowl down, and he ignored it. This was very odd for Rocco, he loves food. Loves it. Doesn't have a food "off switch" when it comes to eating. Rocco finally sank to the ground in slow motion, his little 25 pound body quivering in pain.

My mind raced with various thoughts as to what happened to him today at the doggie day care. Did another dog attack him? Did he eat something, like a rawhide or a toy, and has blockage?

I called my dog walker and told her what Rocco was like, and she said he was very playful all day with the other dogs. So playful, in fact, that he had to be separated from the other dogs twice because he was getting too rambunctious.

Maybe Rocco was just exhausted. I know that the French Bulldogs have issues with heat & can get overheated quickly if not watched properly on a hot summer day - but the day in question was a rainy 68 degree day.

I called my vet, The Animal Infirmary of Hoboken, and asked if they were open. The said they closed at 6:45 (it was 7pm by this point) and I explained his symptoms. The Vet tech gave me two phone numbers for emergency services - a hospital in Oradell and NYC. She told me that there were three things I should look for if Rocco was in severe distress: vomiting, severe diarrhea and panting. I should observe him and take him to one of those places if he seemed to be in major pain.

So far, he didn't exhibit these symptoms.

I picked him up, and carried him over to his doggie bed. He didn't like the bed, and tried in his jerky movements to get off the bed and to the floor. He then sunk to the floor and wasn't sleeping, but was half-awake.

I called my sister, who during her teenage years worked at the Richboro Animal Hospital. In college, at the University of Delaware, she studied science, with the idea of one day possibly becoming a Veterinarian after college. She went into pharmaceutical research instead, but that's another story. Anyhow, she's our family expert when it comes to animals. I told her about Rocco, and she was under the same impression as the Vet tech - watch Rocco overnight and if he's still in the same shape in the morning, take him to the local animal hospital.

My phone rang and it was the dog walkers boyfriend, who watches the dogs also. They work as a team, with him at the house, and she does individual dog walks in Hoboken. He was very upset about hearing about Rocco, offered to drive me and Rocco to Oradell and would pay for any medical costs. I assured him that it was appreciated, but didn't think it was necessary...yet. I told him I would observe Rocco, see if he gets better or worse.

After watching Rocco a bit, it dawned on me that with all of his playing it could be possible that his muscles were so sore that he had lactic acid built up and he was really tight. I have had the same issues in the past when I overexerted myself on the treadmill. So I tried to give him a little puppy massage as best as I could, hoping that he would get some relief from it. He enjoyed it, and would lean his head against my chest while I worked out his muscles.

It didn't provide immediate relief, but after a bit of coaxing with a cracker and some peanut butter, he did get up and was able to gingerly walk to me. After a few more tries, he was able to eat his food, and we went to bed.

The night was uneventful, and upon waking up and turning off my radio alarm - Rocco hops out of his dog bed with a "HEY DUDE, WHAT'S UP?" look. Of course dogs don't care about yesterday, they live in the moment.

I was ready to strangle and hug him at the same time. Looks like it was just sore muscles, after all.

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This page is a archive of entries in the Rocco category from August 2010.

Rocco: July 2010 is the previous archive.

Rocco: February 2011 is the next archive.

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