View Full Version : Fletcher's unexpected/urgent trip to the vet today

6th June 2012, 01:41 AM
Hi all, I hope you had are having will have a great day today mine was_______________________ (let's just leave that blank)

I posted about Fletcher pooping something weird on Sunday (********gross warning******* if you want to read it) anyway I called the vet yesterday and we agreed that whatever it was he passed it and just watch him etc. Well, he was fine until about 1:45 this afternoon. He threw up what appeared to be another piece of this same fabric which by the way the first piece he pooped out I thought was from a throw rug at my parents house, Fletcher has not been to her house since Saturday......

Needless to say I was on the phone with my vet's office telling them I was on my way at 2:00 with a treat baggie for the staff (hahaaa ok you have to laugh) he did eat and poop/pee fine this morning and was his normal self at work with me all morning. Ok, so we go in and they actually have the gall to ask me if its alright they do xrays and possible labs. My actually words to this poor tech was "there is not budget on the healthcare of my puppy, just take care of him". Two vets and I examined the treat bag together and it is not a brown piece of fabric like Sunday its a dark blue piece of fabric like from a cotton t-shirt and its a pretty big piece. I honestly have NO IDEA where it came from. Since the "issue" on Sunday my husband and I re-puppy proofed the whole living area and double/triple checked his area, honestly knowing he "likes" fabric, I am completely confused where this dark blue fabric came from.

Anyway, they do x-rays nothing big showing up so they want to do a Barix (ok so that make be spelled wrong and the wrong name too but someone help me out here) and keep him for a few hours and do more x-rays but its a good report he should be fine let's just be SURE. I did not cry when I left him at the vet's but it sucked still. I was told to come back at 6 to talk to the vet again and hopefully take Fletcher home.

Those were a few long hours, plus I have my youngest kid with me because as luck would have it my husband is out of town for business tonight (yeah so lucky) but the report was good. The vet thinks that the dark blue piece of fabric was the only really big piece and the test showed things were flowing. However, she wants to do one more x-ray tomorrow morning and gave me a long list of things to watch for overnight. I'm going to be like a new mother with a new baby waking up to make sure the baby is breathing all night lol. Now as an added bonus he had white poop hahahaaa. I can joke because he's fine and what else can I do? I did say owning a puppy was an adventure didn't I.

I will update you after we see the vet tomorrow. Any suggestions on what I'm not doing right that has allowed this to happen 2 different times within 3 days. I promise, I do keep him pinned up when I am not supervising him 100%.....(he has not had a potty accident in the house in over a week so I must be doing that right) The vets both of them said he would out grow this stage and recommended maybe thinking about a cage type muzzle which???? I don't know (besides he'll really look like Lady for Lady And the Tramp) The mystery of the dark blue fabric is going to haunt me.........

Anyway he's sleeping happily beside me now, so I'm thankful for that.


6th June 2012, 02:10 AM
Any suggestions on what I'm not doing right that has allowed this to happen 2 different times within 3 days. I promise, I do keep him pinned up when I am not supervising him 100%.....

For starters, don't expect him to grow out of it 100%. I STILL catch Lucky and Sparky chewing on stuff they shouldn't. They are 4 and almost 6 and only in the last year or so did I start relaxing a little when I didn't see them around. Before that silence always meant trouble!!

But that said, you are in a unique puppy kind of chewing. Lucky chewed on electrical cords when he was a puppy. Thankfully not plugged into anything, but seriously if they were he could have electrocuted himself. Bitter apple did nothing. It was a scary time!

You shouldn't feel like you need to defend that you're being a responsible puppy parent, really, we believe you! We've probably all been there.

Just do the best you can but given Fletcher's history here with Fabrics I'd be 100% sure all fabrics are off the floor, area rugs included. I'd steer clear of soft (fabric) squeaky toys and rope toys. Maybe the hard kong for the heavy duty chewers would be okay. ;-) I learned with my two that anything on the floor is fair game. Since you have kids and also need to be mindful of them, I'm sure it is hard to give 100% attention to Fletcher. Have you tried tethering him so he has a limited space to roam when he's out of his kennel or ex-pen and you cannot be following him to see what he's up to? That might help you until you get past this point. Also, consider some obedience training where you'll learn important commands like "Leave it" and "drop it" which you can use if you see him getting into something he shouldn't.

Anyway, just some thoughts. I hope they help. I feel for you. Puppyhood is a hard time to get through. :)

(on a side note, I know some really irresponsible people who have dogs and I seriously wonder how their dogs didn't get poisoned or burn their houses down given my experience with my two Cavaliers ... maybe Cavaliers are just a lot more precocious! )

My Henry Boy
6th June 2012, 03:31 AM
Oh no Melissa ((((hugs))))
I can only imagine how you must have felt today. I'll keep Fletcher in my thoughts.

6th June 2012, 04:57 AM
Puppy-proofing is just a way of challenging your new puppy to think of new and different ways to scare the **** out of you.

One of my armchairs is at an awkward angle because it once served as a launch pad to jump onto the table, so I "feng shui"-d it to prevent the opportunity. Baby gates were ladders...

But then they calm down, mostly.

They're really just like toddlers.
I was watching my friend's child today (18 months old). She wanted to play on the trampoline, so we did. I spent the entire time in a state of terror. Those things are death traps! Babies are top heavy, and love to run near the edges, just terrifying. We escaped without incident, thankfully.

6th June 2012, 05:19 AM
Now as an added bonus he had white poop hahahaaa.


Well at least he pooped the barium out..that is a good sign.
Wow..you just have a very curious little pup. Don't be so hard on yourself though...things happen.
Even if we are watching them constantly...you just never know what itty bitty thing they can pick up and have in their mouth. All dogs do it !!

It's just me..but I wouldn't put a muzzle on him. My suggestion is to get him enough toys that he is not fascinated with finding a piece of string or clothing to go chew on. Keep handing his toys to him when you see him acting bored at all.
If that doesn't work...then maybe keeping him gated more often is your answer till he sort of out grows this stage.

Believe me..you are not alone when it comes to having their dog eat something they shouldn't.
I could tell you numerous stories!! When my husband & I first got married ( 32 yrs. ago) we had a Weimaraner that devoured an entire 5 lb. bag of wild bird seed I had sitting on the basement stairs. And she wasn't a pup!! When I went to get it..I couldn't find it anywhere. I thought...what in the world??? I just thought my husband put it somewhere.
Next morning I woke up to....get this > probably 20 MOUNDS of ..well... "poopy bird seed"!!! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry ! It was quite a sight !!! ( I can laugh now..but at the time I wasn't too happy!!)
That was only one incident....oh there were "many" other onry things it did !
After that dog is when we began obedience training w/ every dog we got from then on....lol..

I DO pray that your little Fletcher will be alright !! Digesting anything foreign is scary.

6th June 2012, 06:15 AM
Fletcher is in my prayers, what a terrible day full of worry!

Love my Cavaliers
6th June 2012, 08:03 AM
DZee's right. These dogs will eat anything. Oliver was two and aways on a leash at walk time and somehow still managed to find and eat a cat toy (we don't own a cat). He paid dearly for that little snack and lost two feet of his intestines. But now at 11.5 years of age, can eat anything and is still a chowhound, but doing great. Hopefully Fletcher is on the mend. Just don't count on him learning his lesson!

6th June 2012, 09:45 AM
So sorry this is still a worry. A terrible day for you! :(

The easiest approach is management to prevent access. Puppies really do need 100% supervision especially under age 6 months. Believe me, they will still have accidents on and off so definitely should not be given free rein after only a week of reliability (think of whether you'd have trusted a toddler to use the potty chair after just a week of remembering to use it! :) ). Once not watched, they generally start to do fast pees that you don;t notice until you've got to the point of it being a major housetraining regression. Believe me, we have all done this -- trusted too much, too early.

But because this is also involving dangerous objects, he really cannot ever be left without supervision until he perhaps grows out of it. He may not -- and it is a bit worrying the vets would recommend a muzzle all the time. :( Really a muzzle is used for a purpose in specific small time periods, not as a 100% all the time tool. Also a dog should never ever be left unsupervised in a muzzle anyway, so supervision will do the same job. For a dog that eats all the time on walks, or is snappish, then a muzzle for walks may be appropriate for example. Most vets are just woeful on matters that relate to training and management. If he doesn't grow out of it, then you will have the fresh challenge of adult supervision as well, but you'll know better what the situation is as he grows up.

Another step is he needs you to start working on the drop it and leave it commands. Do you have Ian Dunbar's free download book? This will go through all the things that should be done for training etc at this age and will also give you a recommended xpen and crate setup, which is far safer for a puppy than running around the house. You will see that he says never to leave puppies to roam unsupervised, both for safety and housetraining reasons. Fletcher needs to be at arm's length all the time, or else in his pen, in a safe area behind a baby gate, or in his crate. A couple of baby gates to manage rooms are very useful. Kids really need close supervision with a pup that is getting into things as well -- their attention wanders easily and can give a puppy the time to eat what it shouldn't.

You will need to temporarily and perhaps permanently remove loop style rugs, or anything on the floor he can pull apart or shred; be scrupulous about kid's toys and clothes on the floor etc. Maybe have a rule that kids do not get to play with him unless their rooms and general areas have nothing on the floor that he can get hold of and then only in a supervised area. Check bedding that it cannot be torn -- eg no towels and daily, check dog beds etc for any sign that he's chewing them. Oh and do get an xpen for your parents as well -- that may be the place where he is getting access to things if he is running around with other dogs without close watching. He'd be better in a pen and his life may depend on it.

A puppy can begin gentle, positive method training immediately -- by 8 weeks -- and it sounds like he is going to need a very good understanding of drop it and leave it so I would start doing little sessions with him, following Ian Dunbar's suggestions (I am sure I have given you the link in the past for his free download book and recommended it, which I truly believe would solve 99% of people's dog problems and produce trouble free adult dogs if people all used it from puppyhood on! :) ).

Hope he is 100% OK on his next check!

6th June 2012, 03:05 PM
I'm sorry you had such a terrible day. It is so scary when we think something is wrong with our little ones. I'm glad Fletcher is okay! Hope that everything goes well at the check up!

6th June 2012, 04:18 PM
:updte: Thanks everyone for your well wishes. I once again am so glad I have CT the advice support and laughs are helpful.

Fletcher went back to the vet's this morning the x-rays are good and both vet's (mine and the older one at the office) both said he is fine. So.....thankfully!!!!! And to top it off the vet bill wasn't too too bad (gonna double check but I'm pretty sure my insurance policy doesn't cover puppies eating dumb things)

Karlin, I completely agree with you on the muzzle thing, since the muzzle would require supervision what's the point. IF he doesn't outgrow or I can't train him to stop this then maybe I would see some point but as of now I'm not going that way. And yes, I have read and re-read the Dunbar download. I agree it is helpful to the point training guide. I am training Fletcher to sit, come when called, walking in a leash and leave it HOWEVER this is with my limited dog training education (its the same as small kids tho, be consistant, calm and firm about commands) We are enrolled to start with a puppy class that starts in July. I know I think I'm superwoman and can do it all but I just can't fit the training class into my schedule until my kids get out of school for the summer, which is mid-June here. So in the meantime I am doing what I can again with my limited education.

Also, I thought I was doing all the right things. He is supervised or pinned or crated always. But proven by the dark blue fabric I am wrong. After Sundays "issue" we checked the living area again. He's space has the smaller crate water, toys(and I have re-checked them again) that has access to the doggie door he has been using. But, because this space is not in a high traffic area of my house his bigger crate is in the living room. I have NO carpeting even throw rugs other than those outdoor welcome mat types at the front door and leading to his area which leads to the back door. Honestly I gave up on carpet in high traffic areas of my house years ago because I was tired of dirty carpet. I think its way easier to run a broom over the whole floor daily then anything else. We keep the bethroom door closed and I've been pretty strict with the kids about leaving anything "down" (my daughter left a school textbook on the floor last week) and Fletcher is not allowed upstairs we have a walk thur baby gate on the stairs anyway from when my youngest was too little for stairs.

I even moved furniture and checked for the "dark blue fabric" nothing. The only thing I can think of is Fletcher is kept in a baby pack and play at work, in my office. However, I am out of the building 2 times every morning once for 10 mins another for like 30. My office is in an area the children cannot access unless their parent is dropping off or picking up. I do have parents with their kids stop in the office and say hello when I'm here so maybe they do it when I'm not. Maybe a kid could have given Fletcher the dark blue fabric....like as there parents were leaving the office??????? This morning I closed the door to my office when I left.

Ahhhhhh sorry this post is so long but honestly I feel like the worst puppy parent in the world. I know these things happen, I'm trying to use this as a learning experence, postive spin.

Funny story tho....when my daughter was 15 months she needed surgery to remove a penny that she wasn't able to completely swallow. Yes I still have the penny!

Anyway, thank you again so much it really means a lot to have cavalier lovers support.

Any more ideas/tip please pass them along.


6th June 2012, 04:59 PM
I am so sorry you are going through this. I know all too well what it's like to have a cavalier that loves fabric. This thread has brought back memories because I had a cavalier that was not as fortunate. I am telling you this to keep it in mind and not to upset you. My girl Ella was at my parent's beach house one weekend and long story short she had an obstruction. It took some time to find out what it was because it did not show up on an x-ray. I re-read the thread today to remember but they had to do surgery and found a string wrapped around her intestines. Don't know where the string came from. They had to remove 70% of her intestine. I put her to sleep because of several reasons including she had very severe SM but it would have been hard for a healthy dog. Ella was 5 years old and never grew out of the fabric eating. Unfortunately, we had been to the vet before because of an obstruction.

I found some articles and don't know how good they are but wanted to share. I know you are watching and doing everything you can but obstructions can get serious and you may want to know warning signs if you have a habitual chewer of fabric. I would talk to your vet and see if he/she has any ideas mainly.



Please know that I have been thinking of you.

6th June 2012, 05:18 PM
So glad he is OK. You are doing all the right things. :D The class in July will be a lot of fun for you both! The instructor can I am sure give you some helpful tips too. :)

Thanks Anne for sharing your personal story. I know how hard the memories are, but personal stories really do help people and bring a lot of insight. Sometimes when we have sad stories or experiences I think it helps to know that they can at least help others. :flwr:

murphy's mum
6th June 2012, 06:11 PM
Good to hear he's okay. They do like to panic us but getting into things they shouldn't :)

7th June 2012, 12:17 AM
My worst was Leo getting up on a table and eating the top inch or so off a large brack (Irish bread with lots and lots of... raisins :yikes). I normally never leave anything like that in reach of the dogs but my neighbour 'pays' me for walking his dog in things like bracks (which I give way; I cannot eat all the stuff he gives me!) and I had it on the table to take to someone.

Next thing I find Leo on the table, stuffed full of brack. I had to rush him to my vets, who stayed open for him to arrive on a Sunday, and then he had to have an injection to make him bring it all back up as I just was not going to take the risk of all those raisins. It took him ages to have it come up -- had to sit with him in an exam room and my vet kept popping in to see if anything was happening. Leo just sat there! Funny in retrospect but scary at the time. In the end I was so glad I took him in as there were lots and lots of raisins when eventually the bread made a reappearance. :rolleyes: I wasn't certain how many he might have eaten at the time but when I saw how many he had hoovered up, I was relieved I'd gone to the vet.

A friend ended up with four dogs in the emergency vets at Christmas when a visiting dog she was minding figured out how to open the door from the kitchen and the dogs got into Christmas chocolate including a huge bar of dark Cadbury's. :yikes She was very lucky -- the one who had eaten the most was in for several days and his heart rate was up at a phenomenal level for a while but he and the others survived.

Even the most careful supervision can sometimes not be enough to prevent a scary incident.

7th June 2012, 01:27 AM
When I was a kid my parents had a small dog actually figure out a way to the top of the fridge to eat our Halloween candy!!! We still talk about it us kids were mad stupid dog. My Mother spend the night with him at the ER vet's, thankfully the dog lived mostly so us kids could tell him we were mad about losing our candy. After that my parents starting crating the dog/dogs when we weren't home. And us kids turned the crates into playhouses a lot we always wondered why the dogs won't stay out...