Friday, March 12, 2010
Squirrels + Dogs = Not a Good Idea
Yipes! I rushed into the house for a hunk of leftover rotisserie chicken and performed a bait-and-switch. I got Taco inside, picked up the dead squirrel, and realized that we were missing the head and forequarters. Not to mention the guts. The carcass was cleanly cut and fairly fresh, with red flesh and a white spot of bone. No shreds or tears. I think this squirrel got caught in the community association mowers’ blades or perhaps was a dropped by the big black vultures that take care of the roadkill around here in the Piney Woods.
I scoured the yard, letting Taco out twice. Each time, he led me to more squirrel bits—two piles of guts. It wasn’t a fun job. A little later, the barfing and pooping began. Because it’s Friday and because we’re traveling to my folks this weekend, I decided to take Taco to my Vet. I use VCA (it’s a complicated story for another post), which is a chain vet. My dog’s regular Vet had called in sick, so I had a different doctor.
You know the rest of the story—nothing you can’t throw money at. The first estimate was about $450, including a premium blood panel. The examining doctor was concerned about pancreatitis, but I vetoed that call. Taco has eaten all manner of things in the 10 years I’ve had him and has never had anything worse than a regular gastrointestinal upset. I brought him in to see if we needed to purge his gut, and to find out what prophylactic measures to take against Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection carried by squirrels and threatening to dogs. We settled on a less expensive blood-fecal-urine panel, along with a pain injection (my normally stoic dog was hunched and groaning and certainly not his bossy, nippy self) and then added an anti-nausea injection after he hurked up in the car before we could get out of the parking lot. I have the pain meds from a different visit, and so went home with antiobiotic (Metronidazole) and another drug to slow the loose stools. The bill was about $275 by the time we were done.
Squirrels are fine for chasing, but not good at all for dogs to snack on.
Top Photo: "Dug" from the Pixar Movie, "Up"
Bottom: Taco on the prowl for squirrels.