The last 24 hours have not been good for Team Mable: Yesterday about 5pm Fable woke up after a 4 hour sleep panting and salivating lots, she was also really unsettled and kept hiding under the bed. I have never seen her like this before and was really concerned. So concerned that I phoned the Guide Dogs out of hours emergency number. I explained the situation and was called within 5 minutes by the on call Dog Care and Welfare lady who was really lovely and said that if I was concerned I should take Fable to the out of hours vet. I did this and they said to bring her in. My family are all on holiday at the moment and I was so worried about her that I just wanted to get there so I called a taxi. This was the first time I had taken a taxi with Fable and it wasn’t the most pleasant of circumstances, the driver was lovely though.
When I arrived at the out of hours vets after a 20 minute journey (not my usual vet surgery unfortunately) they weren’t aware of the situation with Guide Dogs and filling in heath reports and I couldn’t find the right bell to ring to get into the building as I had never been there before. By this point I was so stressed I was pretty much in tears and I got the distinct impression the nurse thought I was a crazy over-anxious nutter! She took Fable away from me and sat me the waiting room. It was at this point that I rang a friend who said she would come and get us or wait for us if needed. I am so grateful to this lovely lady for coming to recue us, especially as she had just had to take her own dog to the vets; I’m really seeing the truly amazing qualities in some of my friends during this process – I hope little Max is getting better 🙂
After about 15 minutes the vet called me in and said she thought Fable was panting because she was excited and hot and she couldn’t find anything wrong with her. I explained that yes I would agree; panting in the vets is not unusual , however, she was doing this at rest in my living room which was why I was concerned. I also told her that earlier that day we had been on our usual free run and that I had given Fable her usual flea treatment. I also pointed out the fact that Fable seemed to be trembling with the panting. Anyway the vet advised me to take her home, relax and call them if I was concerned.
When I got home the on call Dog Care and Welfare lady from GDs called to see how Fable was, she has been really supportive and said that I wasn’t over-reacting, its always best to get things checked. She said I could call her at any time if I was concerned. Fable was still panting, salivating and shaking but in a attempt to try and be normal and calm I fed her. She had no interest in sitting and waiting for the whistle like usual but I went though the process and she wasn’t interested at all. She them wen andt sat on our cuddle cushion which I had put in my bedroom thinking I could be with her over night if needed and I had put the fan on to cool her down. My GDMI has also been in touch and suggested I should just Fable have free access to the flat so that I could hear if she needed me. I brought Fable’s food and water closer to her and she did eat some of the food so I guess that made me feel a bit better. She wouldn’t settle down and kept coming to me so I ended up lying with her, holding her tight which seemed to keep her a bit calmer, until about 2am when the panting and shaking seemed to subside a bit. The rest of the night was better but still disturbed for us both. I heard her get up for a big drink about 3.30am and she paced around for a while so I put her bed closer to my bed and stroked until we both dropped off again.
When we got up this morning she seemed tired and a little quiet but ate her breakfast, did her busies and has been fine if a little sleepy. I still don’t really know what caused it; she might have eaten something on her free run, might have had a bit of heat stroke, could have reacted to the flea treatment (this for me is the most likely as the side effects described do seem to match her symptoms) or she might have been scared of the thunder, although I didn’t actually hear anything I understand dogs can pick this up from a long way off. I do wish she could talk and tell me what was wrong! Whatever it was I think she is better today so hopefully we can get back to normal tomorrow. I didn’t to ask her to work today so we have had a quiet day at home with DVDs and she has enjoyed a kong stuffed with her food and frozen, as you’ll see from the photos. We had a visit some family friends who brought me some food shopping so I didn’t have to go out and it, I didn’t want to leave Fable today, and mended some of Fable’s toys (normally my mum’s job but she’s on holiday) and so Fable had some fuss and a bit of play with her toys.
So yet another very important learning process for Team Mable; I have no idea if I did the right thing last night but I guess in situations like that you do what you feel it right at the time. I have come to realise that the Guide Dogs community is a big loving, supportive family – thank you to everyone who offered advice and support last night. I’m going to chat to my local Dog Care and Welfare officer tomorrow about the out of hours vet arrangements as I didn’t really feel happy with it but am really happy with the vets we use. I’m not sure if other vets offer their own out of hours service but I will find out. I also need to ask if I should change her flea treatment.
I’m so grateful for the out of hours emergency service I received from Guide Dogs; both the Duty Manager and the Dog care and Welfare lady on call have been brilliant; reassuring me and letting me know its ok to call them at any time – us Guide Dog owners are really lucky to have this, it was a real help to me last night that’s for certain.
We had a really good week at work; the new office is so much better for Fable and hence for me. Her work on our walks to and from work is getting so much smoother, faster and enjoyable as out confidence grows. I’m still struggling a bit with free runs and really don’t feel able to do this on my own without a fully sighted person but I don’t think this is uncommon at this stage, From all the advice I have received its just about Fable and I finding our feet, getting to know each other and to trust each other. Free runs are Fable’s chance to let her hair down and have fun, I need to relax a bit and accept help from other people so that we can both enjoy this time; I’ve said this before but free runs really the best and worst thing for me. I feel our trust improves every day and I think one of the positives from the horrible experience last night is that we will have leant more about each other and I hope that she’ll see that I’ve got her back in the same way as she has mine when we are out and about.