Dogs: About diarrhoea and fireworks

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Dogs are afraid of fireworks

my dog BoomerThe last time we got in touch through the Crete Gazette, I told you about my Greek friend Anna and the dog she had found, which she called Argiro. Yesterday she mailed me… Argiro had diarrhoea and Anna had heard about the most awful diseases that could cause this.

As I remembered there was an item on this subject in the textbook that I received from dog training course, I looked it up:

‘In case, unexpectedly, your dog should have diarrhoea don’t take any risks and go to a vet! There are a lot of diseases and disorders that lead to diarrhoea, but your pup could be infected with the parvo virus, a viral disease of dogs – unless the dog had his yearly cocktail injection in time.’

Anna was alarmed enough, because her little dog had played with a former stray dog, which just had been adopted by her neighbours, but which had not been vaccinated yet.

Anna: ‘From the vet I learned that the parvo virus affects puppies much more frequently than it affects adult dogs and that the diarrhoea often is bloody. He also told me that the virus can infect the heart muscle of very young puppy’s, which can lead to sudden death.

But then he asked me: “Why are you so worried? Argiro had her vaccination in time… You had better send your neighbours with their stray pup; it is better to be safe than to be sorry!”

Finally, my son, who was with me at that moment, brought the solution of the diarrhoea; he had given both dogs a small amount of chocolate, just to show them he loved them! And I remember you told me that a small amount of chocolate could make a dog sick and that a large amount even could cause death! I had Yannis promise me, with the vet as my witness, never to give dogs chocolate again! I’m glad it wasn’t parvo!

More advice from the vet

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No matter how much you love your dog, do not give him too much food he is not used to. And in case food will be left over from Christmas dinner and you should want to give the dog the remains of turkey or pork, see to it that there are no bones in it! Bone splinters can perforate the digestions channel and grind bones cause serious constipation.

And in case you should celebrate new year in a place where fireworks are used, most dogs are afraid for cracks or flashlights (showing this by trembling and running through the house with his tail between his legs), do not comfort him; ignore the cracks and the flashlights, close the curtains and turn your tv or radio on loudly. Do not pay attention to his fear; he would see that as a confirmation of it. Especially at ‘fireworktime’, it is important your dog cannot slip away through the front door: in his panic he could run far away.

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The vet’s advices were very useful.  To help Boomer, I play the fireworks sounds cd, a few times a week, since November, because in Holland there are as many fireworks at New Year’s Eve, as in Greece at Easter. I was relieved it all just had been a storm in a tea-cup.

“How will you and your family spend Christmas time, Anna,” I asked by returning mail.

‘We eat a lot of turkey and pork,” she answered. “And on the last day of the year it is a custom to go to my husband’s family in Heraklion. We eat bougatsa, a creamy kind of pastry, and hit each other with plastic clubs! And no, I will nobody allow to give my dog Bougatsa!”

Early this morning she mailed again and told me that already late in the evening the shit of both Argiro and the neighbours’ dog had been normal again.


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