Don't Panic, Don't Panic: Know What Your Job Is

At no point is panicking part of our job description as dog parents. That doesn't mean that we don't volunteer ourselves for it. I know I do.

On Sunday morning Cookie got up looking quite sick.

She looked quite lethargic and weak, had no interest in food. She did come out with us but even from the way she carried herself we could see she's not well.

When a vibrant, active, young dog looks like this, you KNOW something isn't right.

My heart sank.

Something was quite wrong.

Our job, then, was to figure out whether we should make an emergency visit to the vet, whether this was going to go away on its own, or whether it could wait till Monday.

That is the big part of the dog parent's job. Figuring out whether, and how fast, your dog needs to see a vet.

Other than lethargy, weakness and disinterest in food, there were no other symptoms to go on. No diarrhea, no vomiting (at least not yet). Breathing and heart rate seemed normal. Temperature seemed normal. There was no detectable pain. Gums looked pink, even though a little sticky.

My main concern was another bout of pancreatitis. The initial signs were extreme tiredness and not wanting to eat. Vomiting and diarrhea didn't come until later.

After some discussion we decided to give it a little bit of time to see whether it improves.

Don't get me wrong, I was worried sick. But as worrisome as it looked, it didn't look like a gotta-see-a-vet-right-now type of emergency. At least not yet.

We let Cookie rest to see whether her body can deal with the problem on its own.

The slightest sign of things getting worse, we'd be on our way.

However, by noon Cookie seemed to look slightly better. She even accepted a few pieces of slow-cooked beef. That was a good sign.

We let her rested some more and little later she ate some boiled chicken breast.

By evening she was greatly improved and by next morning she was her normal self.

It was a major relief.

Believe me, I'm not a proponent of wait and see approach, ever. Ironically, though, I also believe in giving the body a chance to heal itself, when it can. Cookie being young and healthy dog, her body did a great job resolving whatever the problem was.

Perhaps she felt really badly and it passed, perhaps she's a bit of a drama queen?

Jasmine had high pain threshold and it took a lot for her to show something wasn't right. Perhaps Cookie isn't like that and shows things readily.

I'd much rather have a dog overplay how they feel then downplaying it.

Or maybe she even wasn't, maybe it's the way I'm trained to see things.

The main thing is that she's been perfectly fine since then (at least to the time of writing this post). We're still being watchful, though.

Related articles:
Incontinence? Cookie's Mysterious Leaks
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
And So It Begins Again(?) Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie 
I Didn't Know I Could Fly: Why Cookie Wears A Harness Instead Of A Collar
C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews For Dogs CAN Be A Choking Hazzard 
Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie: The Knee Or The Foot?
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Too Young For Pot: Cookie's Snack With A Side Of Hydrogen Peroxide  
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization  
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed  
Putting The Easy Back Into Walking
Cookie's Ears Are Still Not Happy 
The Threat Of The Bulge Is Always Lurking 
Today Is Cookie's Three-Months Adoptoversary  
Cookie Meets The Electric Horse Fence And Her First Chiropractic Adjustment  
Why Examine Your Dog's Vomit? 
Why Is That Leg Still Not Happy? Cookie's Leg Keeps Getting Sore 
Cookie Too Is Insured With Trupanion
Does Being Insured Mean Being Covered? Our First Claim With Trupanion
Is Cookie's Leg Finally Getting Better?
Is Cookie Going To Be Another Medical Challenge Or Are We Looking To Closely? 
The Project That Is Cookie: Pancreatitis Up Close And Personal  
Pancreatitis: Cookie’s Blood Work   
Another Belly Upset: Pancreatitis Again Or Not?  
Happy Birthday, Cookie 
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat 
Don't Just Stand There, Do Something? Cookie's Mysterious Bumps 
Cookie's Mysterious Bumps Update
One Vomit, No Vomit 
Happy One-Year Adoptoversary, Cookie!
Cookie's Leaks Are Back: Garden Variety Incontinence Or Not?
Cookie's Leaks Update

Do you have a story to share?

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What were the first signs you noticed? How did you dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?

Email me and I'll be happy to publish your story.

Do you know what your dog is telling you about their health?

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An award-winning guide to better understanding what your dog is telling you about their health, Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, is available in paperback and Kindle. Each chapter includes notes on when it is an emergency.


  1. So glad Cookie is feeling better :) I hate that feeling of wondering how serious an issue is and whether you should see a vet or wait and see what happens.

    Once when Haley had a slight limp, I was glad we took her to the vet. She had a stretched ACL on her back leg and needed two weeks of total rest, then an easing back into normal activity. If we had not gone to the vet, she probably would have torn the ACL because she's such an active and crazy dog. It was hard to keep her from playing hard and running around for those two weeks, but really worth getting it checked out to avoid further damage and possible surgery.

    1. Thank you, I'm very glad too. If she continued looking off the next day, we would have taken her in. It's always better to err on side of caution. But by next day she was perfectly fine.

  2. I can so relate. Right now, Rodrigo is going through something. He's doing better, but he's still not out of the woods. A diet of beef really screwed up his digestive system :(

    I count on this blog to help me understand what to do so thank you.

    1. Sorry about Rodrigo. Is he improving? With a young pup I'd be double cautious.


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