I woke up this morning at six am to give Solo his morning feeding, and found him in a state of distress. He was listless, wheezing, and had milk coming out of his nose. A quick inspection indicated his chest sounded congested, and his energy level was depressed. This was a 180° change from his demeanor of last night, and I knew pretty much right away what the problem was – aspiration pneumonia.
Aspiration pneumonia occurs when fluids have gotten into the lungs. In this case, I likely allowed Solo to overeat during his last feeding of the night. He vomited, and some of the fluid got into his lungs. He now faces a chance of developing a bacterial infection from the fluid in his lungs.
I had him into the car, and on his way to our vet office as soon as they were opened. Since I don’t function my best with just five hours sleep, I managed to leave the house without my wallet, which wouldn’t have been an issue if I hadn’t stopped for gas on the way. This was one of those times I was grateful to live in a small town, as they allowed me to leave to go back home and grab my wallet, instead of just calling the cops.
Finally arriving at the Vet’s office, Dr. Gomez did a thorough check on Solo, and confirmed he has ‘wet’ sounding lungs – and that we’d caught it right away, thankfully. Solo was dehydrated, so he received 30 mls of fluid subcutaneously (which he didn’t enjoy in the least). He’s now on Clavamox, to stave off possible infection.
He’s also back on every two hour feeding, with the goal of getting smaller amounts of food into him, more frequently, instead of allowing him to gorge every four hours.
Goodbye, sleep, hello alarm clock.
If he regurgitates again, I’m going to have to take the plunge and start tube feeding him, and tube feeding scares the beejesus out of me. I’ll do it, however, if it will save his life.
I find it ironic that on the same morning I was racing around trying to save my single surviving puppy’s life, someone was sending me the following email:
Can you give me some advice on how I become a French Bull Dog breeder? I want to make some part time money and I really like dogs. I had a litter from my cocker spaniel two years ago and it seems pretty easy.
I haven’t bothered to answer them yet. Some days, answering questions like this can’t be done without copious amounts of swearing and tears.
Here’s a video demonstration of tube feeding, for those who’ve never seen it done.