Thursday, January 13, 2011

Upper and lower GI prep

I dropped Jamie off at the clinic in Iowa City this morning and came to work early. He's on the schedule for an endoscopy (upper and lower GI) after a couple of routine spays, so I hope to hear from the clinic by late morning regarding his procedure. I can call any time and ask about his status. They really are great people there.

Giving the prep liquid yesterday did not go well. Jamie hated it, I hated doing it to him and I would seriously question ever doing it to any dog I own in the future. If the tests today find a definitive problem, yes, it will have been worth it but if they are inconclusive, I feel like I spent 5 hours torturing my poor dog.

We started with the first dose at noon yesterday: 500 ml of the same stuff people drink before having a colonoscopy. Obviously, Jamie was not going to drink it voluntarily. Using a big plastic syringe, I squeezed a little bit at a time into his mouth. At first, he swallowed it. It took two hours to get that first 500 ml into him and I'm guessing only about 400 ml actually went down his throat.

Then he got a break until 6 p.m. when we did round two. This went faster - 1 1/4 hours - but was slightly worse than round one. Again, I got through 500 ml but am pretty sure they did not all go into the dog.

Jamie was so patient about it. He pinned his ears back and had this awful "Why are you doing this to me?" look in his eyes but he never fought or tried to run or get away. By the time we finished, he was clenching his teeth and refusing to swallow. A lot of it just ran out of his mouth.

By then I was anticipating him needing to go outside frequently and frantically, because the vet told me the solution would "kick in" after about 4 hours.


I took Jamie out nearly every hour (did I mention it was -2 last night?). Between 5:30 p.m. and 5 a.m., he pooped twice. It was awful diarrhea but I think that was to be expected and besides, that's what he's had for the last week so maybe there wasn't that much stuff inside him to start with, especially since he hadn't eaten much in the last 24 hours.

The final dose came at midnight. I was sleeping on an air mattress on the kitchen floor, which both dogs thought was very fun and exciting. Camping! Yay! Of course, Phoenix was right in the middle of everything because, well, that's Phoenix. He was really very sweet, giving Jamie kisses and wanting to sit next to him when I gave him the medicine.

We got through about 250 ml and Jamie had clearly had enough. He clenched his jaws shut and refused to swallow. He gagged and coughed. The towel he was sitting on was soaked from the stuff running out of his mouth. The final straw was when I reloaded the syringe, took hold of his muzzle and he growled at me.

Sweet, gentle, kind, patient, diplomatic, silly Jamie. Growled at me. For the first time in his entire life.

I put the syringe down. I gave him a hug and said, "Okay buddy, I agree. We're done."

I cleaned up the mess and we all curled up in a pile on the kitchen floor and sort of slept until 5 a.m. when I got up to get ready for work.

Will post more when I know something.


  1. Oh no, how horrible for you both. Poor guy.

  2. :( That's awful. I hope the results make the ordeal worth it and you can get to the bottom of this.

  3. There's nothing like the guilt that we can feel over our dogs. I'm not sure whether to hope that they find something or nothing. Either way, I hope that Jamie starts feeling better really soon and can kick whatever it is.

  4. Oh Melinda my heart breaks just reading about that. I am so sorry for you both. All fingers, toes and paws crossed here for some answers and a easy recovery for sweet Jamie. {{{{{{{{{}}}}}}}

  5. Poor Jamie :( I hope you find something out today from the vet and Jamie starts to feel better. What a trooper to let you give him the meds. I know my dog wouldn't be as calm as Jamie.

  6. Nearly cried reading this. Such a bond you two have. Hope you get a positive resolution. Funny about Phoenix.