If your dog is sick and you're trying to find out ways to help him, don't google "sick puppy." Trust me on this.
Early Thursday morning we woke up to the sound of our adorable cuddly puppy puking his guts out. I managed about three hours sleep between rounds and we brought him to the vet as soon as they opened. He determined that Owen has a bacterial infection and that it's common in dogs here when we have heavy rains. All the crud rushing down the hill collects at the bottom -- where we are -- and finds its way into dogs' bellies.
The vet gave us some pills for Owen and sent us on our way. He was lethargic and didn't eat, but he didn't seem too bad. Friday we took him to the beach, and again, he was tired, but still his normal puppy self. Well, late Friday he started getting sick again and wouldn't stop throwing up. We were getting progressively worried and didn't know what to do (enter more googling), so back we went Saturday morning. The vet gave him a shot, said no food or water for 24 hours, and said to bring him back that evening.
During the second visit the vet weighed Owen and he'd lost half a kilo -- one whole pound -- since Thursday! He started at 6.6 kilos and was down to almost 6. That's a lot when you're so itty bitty! The vet told us to come back in the morning and approved Owen to eat ice cubes. Woohoo!
Then we had a minor incident while driving back from the vet. Ibis was teaching an English class so I was alone with Owen, who insisted on riding in my lap. Fortunately we've got a 5-10 second window between when he starts gagging and actually gets sick, so I was able to pull the car as far to the left curb as possible, hit the hazards, and fling open the driver's side door. I held Owen over the sidewalk with one hand while cars squeezed by on the right. I think people must have been able to see what was going on because even though traffic was heavy, no one honked at me.
Once I got him home he was still sick -- and very weak -- but eventually seemed a little better. He slept all night and drank a bit of water before his appointment, and the vet didn't give him any more shots. In addition to allowing him water, he also gave us this Nutri-Gel stuff that's made for animals and is loaded with nutrients. I've been calling it Nutri-goo because Ibis used to eat this energy goo when he ran marathons and that's a lot more fun to say.
As of mid-day Sunday Owen's been sleeping a lot, but he seems more and more like his normal self. He's run up to the roof on his own and even went to the door when Ibis left -- something he wasn't doing for a couple days. Even the water guy was weirded out when Owen didn't greet him Saturday night, so he asked to come in and pet him. Everybody loves Owen.
I'd like to thank all my friends who held my hand over the weekend and gave me endless support, advice, and encouragement. This is the first animal I've been solely responsible for and it helps to hear what others have been through (and some of them are still going through).
UPDATE: As of Monday morning he's finally acting like his old self. He's running around, jumping on the furniture, and even barked!