Domino hasn't been himself lately. One day we noticed he was suddenly unbelievably thick around the middle. Even visitors commented on how fat he had gotten. Then in the past month he has gotten so tired and lethargic. At the dog park he barked at all the other dogs then begged to be picked up. He doesn't want to go outside or for walks; he wants to sleep in front of the fire. He is getting grouchier and less happy by the day.
I booked a visit from Vets to Go, a local house visiting vet. The night before the appointment I woke up around 2 am with his body pressed against me, seeking body heat I presume. I pressed my hand to his ribs and could barely pick up a heartbeat or breathing. At first I actually thought he had died. So I got out of bed and held him in the big chair. I rubbed his tummy, his ears, his feet, and kept him close to warm up.
After half an hour or so, he perked up quite a bit and his pulse was stronger. His tail began to go 'fwap fwap fwap' against me. I let him out to pee outside and when he came back in he lapped up almost a full bowl of water. I cuddled him for longer, then he needed to go back outside. By the time he was finally snoring at the foot of the bed again, I couldn't go back to sleep.
The vet came and he got his checkup. He was not happy about this stranger coming into our house and sticking a needle in his leg, let me tell you! When he came to us he was 10 pounds. Today he was 19.31 pounds. We knew he had gained weight but... No wonder he had trouble jumping over the radiator to go outside! Bloodwork has been sent off to the lab, but the vet is almost certain he has an under-active thyroid. All the symptoms fit. We should know by Wednesday.
Here he is just after the vet left. Not quite happy with me, the person who held him tight while some person poked him with a needle and stuck a thermometer up his butt! But I know he loves me just the same.
If it is a thyroid disorder, there is inexpensive medication we can give him that will get him feeling better in a week or two. Obviously he has lots of weight to lose, but it can't be too fast or his liver will get too toxic. (Vet said his liver would be supported by Milk Thistle and Sam-E.) I'm looking forward to a month from now when hopefully he will be doing giant figure-8 loops around us at the dog park again, back to his joyous, feisty self.
Poor little dog has been so miserable and I feel badly we didn't get a vet check sooner. Speaking of health, today was supposed to be my second day without coffee. By noon I had decided that a good day to go off coffee was not the same day I'd been up since 2 am. Priorities, right?