Even Doggies Get the Runs Blues

Just a warning that this is one of those pet-owner posts that are liberally smeared with nasty poop talk.

When you've got a domesticated animal on your hands who will attempt to eat the most repulsive things he snuffles up to while on a walk, you do what you must: you reach into his little mouth and you find yourself handling and pulling out slimed substances best hurled away without examination. Unfortunately, with small dogs, a hastily gulped "snack" can easily slip your notice. And then what goes in must come out. One way or another. This week it was another.

Smack dab in the middle of The Project from Hell, whose looming deadline had me losing precious weekend, my Edward welcomed me home one night with the runs, literally covered in it. For anyone considering getting themselves a cuddly little puppy, perhaps you should first glimpse the darker side of having a dog.

One thing a dog owner is forced to grow immune to is poop. It's something you deal with on a daily basis and encounters are often up close and personal. But doggy diarrhea (let's call it DD from now on) can be a totally different story, depending on what you're dealing with. In my view, there are only two categories of DD that matter: containable DD (CDD) and uncontainable DD (UDD). I'm hoping you don't require further elaboration. Considering the condition I found Edward in despite racing home from work as soon as possible (I'd been prepared for the worst, since DD had already left one calling card early in the morning), I knew what we were dealing with (UDD), and inwardly--and outwardly--I groaned.

The Project from Hell was put on hold that night, as my time was pretty much monopolized by numerous dog baths and frequent, er, house cleaning. Eventually, reaching the end of my tether, I spread out a lot of newspaper and gave Edward's butt a severe buzz cut (with some blunt scissors, poor boy) to avoid any more trips to the shower.

Now, here's where I actually have something useful to share with other dog owners or dog owner wannabees. No, I haven't been going on and on about DD just cause I thought you would enjoy a post on excrement. Sheesh. Anyway, when Edward gets DD, I usually stop feeding him his usual kibble because his poor stomach's in turmoil and needs a break. However, his appetite seems to remain as healthy as ever, and so I feed him something often eaten by sick humans in Japan: okayu. This stuff is perfect for a DD-ing dog because it's very plain (nothing but rice and water) and easy to digest. Edward loves it. But the crowning touch that I recently came up with was to add a spoonful of katsuo bushi shavings, which is unsalted smoked fish that kind of looks like sawdust but smells really good. Since there's nothing to it but fish (no seasonings, additives, etc.) and it comes in handy single-serving packets, it's safe for dogs and rounds out the meal with a little protein oomph. I bet it wouldn't be too hard to find katsuo outside of Japan, either.

Fortunately, the UDD ended in a mere couple of days--thanks in part to the power of my katsuo okayu?--or we would have gone to the vet. DD, though nasty, usually isn't serious, but it can be.

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Yet ANOTHER doggie-baby parallel. A neighbour told us how she found her grand-daughter one morning, diaper undone, poo all over her and the crib, grinning away. I can imagine your pain.

Doggie diapers, anyone? 

from Hsin

3/18/2005 09:49:00 PM  

Poor Edward. Oh, and you too! I'm lucky that in 8 years, we've never had any UDD. The worst case Kurn ever had was on his first Thanksgiving when we, as first time dog parents, didn't realize how much damage some turkey would do. Later that night he woke up apparently REALLY having to go, but not wanting to soil his little crated space. He backed up as far as he could against the bars, then proceeded to squirt his DD outside onto the carpet. Amazingly, he didn't dirty his crate at all. I think we watched all this happen too. Too mesmerized to move.

BTW, Edward is adorable. 

from dexygus

3/19/2005 01:39:00 AM  

Sorry to hear about Edward , hope hes over it now. We had one bad episode once when a stubborn guest insist on smuggling pizza to " o hes sooo cuuute" Imagine DD's from an OLd English in the house. Lucky he was smart enuff to use the morning Globe and Mail.( lots of it) Whew! 

from keona

3/19/2005 05:57:00 AM  

Nice try, Hsin-Li, but I think the reason why diapers work with babies and not dogs is that babies don't have furry butts (although there *are* doggie diapers for older dogs that just can't hold it).

Hi dexygus! Wow, Kurn sounds like a smart puppy. Poor Edward seemed quite mystified by his own DD, and I guess didn't realize he had the power to aim it in a certain direction.

Hi Keona--oh dear god, Old English DD (OEDD)! Scary!

from Rachel

3/21/2005 02:55:00 PM  

Another tip to contain UDD, buy one of those gigantic plastic tarp people use for picnics here. The last time Libby got the runs we bought two, and paved our bedroom and study. Of course, after we did that, she didn't have any accidents at home. I just hope I never have to use them again. 

from Lynn

3/22/2005 03:43:00 PM  

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