I’m definitely a dog person. This became evident in the wee hours of Friday Night/Saturday morning. At 11:45 on Friday night, Kelly came and got me from my dungeon office. I noticed it was a bit early, she normally doesn’t need out until after midnight. When I got upstairs, I realized she’d come and got me for Lola.
Lola was sick. Very sick. There were three large puddles of bile on the floor and Lola was hunkered down at the backdoor. I let the girls out and I grabbed the paper towels. As I cleaned it up, I noticed it was pink. Well, that’s not the normal color. And Lola is usually really good at waking someone up if she is going to be sick. She has a sensitive stomach. So, at midnight, I’m not worried. I’ve cleaned it up. She’s curled up on the futon. Kelly has returned to bed with J. And I’ve gone back to my office.
At 1:22 am, I turned off my laptop and packed my book bag. The high for Saturday is only 80 degrees. I’ll head out when I get up and work outside all day. This was my plan and it’s a good thing it was, because it stopped me from having to do this at 3:30 am. I get upstairs, put my bag on the kitchen table and notice Lola is again hunkered down at the backdoor. I flip on the dining room light and there are four more puddles of bile. I let her outside. I grab the paper towels again.
Here’s the thing, normally after she vomits, she’s fie. It isn’t an endless cycle. It happens once or twice and she’s done. Seven times is a lot for her. And again, it must be hitting her fast, because she’s still not waking anyone up to let her outside. I put paper towels over the first puddle and the paper towel turns pink again. WTF? Bile, even in dogs, is yellow, not pink. There’s no food in any of it, she hadn’t eaten all day by choice. Now, I need a second opinion. How bad is this? Because yes, my thought is, it’s probably tinged pink because of blood. Do I need to wake my entire household and rush her to the emergency 24-hour vet clinic?
I wake up my mom. We agree, it’s just pink and sometimes if I’m vomiting a lot, it irritates my throat and will look pinkish. I go outside with the girls and sit for a while, after getting it cleaned up. Mom goes back to bed.
At 2:20 am, the girls and I head inside. Lola wants in bed with J and I, which is fine. She curls up at my head, which is unusual and she wants to be petted and snuggled. Normally, when Lola goes to bed, she does not want to be touched at all.
Come 3 am, I’m back outside with Lola and she’s getting sick again. I’ve also noticed her stomach is gurgling really loudly and she has some extreme gas going on. It would gag a maggot and I’m kind of glad to be out of the bedroom with her and in some fresh air. J comes out to check on us. I’m cold. I leave him with Lola, go grab a blanket. By 4 am, I realized, Lola doesn’t want to go back inside for whatever reason. She alternates between lying in the dew soaked grass and on the concrete paving stones of the patio. My blanket isn’t going to be enough. Mom comes out to check on us. I go get my back pack, because obviously, I’m going to be out here a while and if I’m just sitting in a chair, I’ll fall asleep and I’ll regret it a lot when I wake up.
Between 3 am and 7 am, Lola throws up five more times. But at least it’s yellow now and she’s still drinking water. However, she still doesn’t want to go inside. And I’m a sucker for what she wants and won’t leave her alone in the backyard in the dark. She’s an outside dog, during the day, but she’s never been outside at night by herself and I’m not going to make her start when she’s not feeling well.
At 7 am, mom gets up and “relieves” me. I head in at 7:30 after we discuss when and if we should call the vet. By then, I’ve been up 22 1/2 straight hours. I’m exhausted, physically, mentally, and emotionally. And everyone that’s driven by, must think I’m insane, because I’m sitting on my covered patio playing video games on my laptop in the wee hours of the morning. It’s close to 8 am when I look at my phone for the last time.
Come 10:30, mom wakes me up. Lola is still throwing up and she’s not drinking water anymore. Mom’s called the vet. They want her brought in and will keep her overnight, plus run tests. Mom and Lola leave. Kelly freaks out. She’s whining loudly and continuously. At 11 am, I give up on going back to sleep. Kelly won’t come away from the front window and she won’t stop whining. I climb from bed, get my backpack and stuff and we head back out into the backyard. I’m so glad the weather was nice, because now Kelly doesn’t want to be inside. She keeps running around the yard, looking everywhere for Lola.
Mom gets back about noon and Kelly is even more freaked out, because mom comes back, but Kelly still can’t find Lola. Mom goes in to lay down for a little while. I grab a very light lunch. I try to get Kelly to go inside to take a nap (she hasn’t slept either) and she refuses to go inside, even when I threaten to put her on a leash and drag her in.
Mom gets back up at 1:30 or so. She manages to get Kelly inside and I head to bed. I sleep for maybe an hour. Now, I feel absolutely awful. I’ve had maybe 4 hours of sleep. It’s 4 pm. My stomach is upset, no doubt from lack of sleep and worry.
The vet calls at 5:30 pm. They can find nothing wrong with Lola and she hasn’t thrown up since she arrived at the vet. No bacterial or viral infection. No blockages. No longer vomiting. And then I hear the weirdest diagnosis ever…. The vet tells my mom he suspects she ate a cicada. They can cause dogs to get sick like this and it can take a few days. Seriously?! I mean, that’s great! But a cicada? Are they toxic to dogs or something? Nope. They just have extremely hard exoskeletons. The exoskeletons can cause dogs to create excess bile, vomit excessively, become gassy, cause mild abdominal discomfort, and make loud stomach gurgling noises and can cause minor scratches to the esophagus and digestive system, creating pink bile, if the bug isn’t a recent addition to their diet. Because cicadas have enough blood in them (and it’s red) that a freshly eaten cicada can also cause bile to turn pink from the bug blood. All of which Lola had… at one point when she was in bed with J and I, her stomach gurgled so loudly it woke J up and he asked if it was my stomach.
If she has a good night, we can pick her up on Sunday morning. Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic that there’s nothing seriously wrong with her, but I realized I was more willing to stay up and comfort Lola than I would have if it’d been a person.