On his 14 weeks birthday my new puppy is still ill - no surprise, after eating so many stones! You remember, yesterday he vomited the stones that his stomach refused to keep, now today he's pooping the stones that made it all the way to his bowel:
- The first poop the puppy relieves under MUCH strain and pain, and it's about 30% small stones.
- The second poop (again relieved in pain) is about 80 - 90% small stones!
Anticipating that the vet won't believe me, I am not only taking the usual poop shots this time but also the poop itself: Using one of my stylish poop bags, I am safely picking up the entire stony stool and I deposit it in the car as proof - and hopefully to show off.
I am feeling very sorry for my pup, I can well imagine how much pain he must be in. Should I have muzzled him during every walk? Maybe I should do it now.
By the next morning, the pup's health looks much improved. No vomiting, he's eating well (he's getting a bit more food today, to make up for what he lost through being ill), poop is looking comparatively "good", and his behavior too suggests that my puppy is reasonably well again. So now I am taking the measurements:
Age 14 weeks measurements
- weight: 14 kg / 30.9 lb before meal (12.5 kg / 27.5 lb)
- height: 47 cm / 18.5 in (47 cm / 18.5 in)
- front leg length: 30 cm / 11.8 in (26 cm / 10.2 in)
- hock to toe: 19 cm / 7.5 in (19 cm / 7.5 in)
- chest circumference: 57.5 cm / 22.6 in (57.5 cm / 22.6 in)
- neck circumference: 36 cm / 14.2 in (36 cm / 14.2 in)
- tail length: 33 cm / 13 in (33 cm / 13 in)
- breath rate rest: 46 (62)
- heart rate rest: 164 (148)
After we come back from a walk, we are playing a bit in the house: My puppy is chasing the tug rope (for this game I quickly convert the tug rope into a DIY tail teaser). This is his and my favorite indoor exercise for him (but even with this game I am far sooner exhausted than he is). Here's the video - note that I try to avoid that the puppy has to jump up, as jumping up is bad for a puppy's ligaments and joint development (all the more on hard tiles):
As you see from the video, since age 14 weeks this pup's ears have both come up naturally, ie without the vet's help (remember, the vet pointed out that "one ear looks funny", and he asked me "do you want to do something about it?"). Many vets tempt dog owners into messing with their GSD's ears, and dog owners should not fall for this money-maker, as that will prematurely ruin the dog's ears! Now both my dog's ears look the same, and they look as great as Prince Charles' ears.
Speaking of ears: The need for ear cleaning has increased steadily, and now with both ears up my pup's ears seem to be the most effective dirt catcher: Every second day his outer ear is filthy and needs cleaning! Given the ears' size and their many nooks (and my pup's permanent wiggling!), cleaning his ears is more effort - and costs more nerves - than cooking his meals.
I don't have the Zymox Ear Cleanser here (orders to the Algarve take forever! - Added: now I have it), thus for now I've been using Vetericyn's Wound and Skin Care to clean all of the inside of the pinna. It's perfect for this (after all the pinna is skin), but note that you must not spray this into the ear canal - hence ear-canal cleansing (and eardrum check) I included in the last vet visit, and I made sure the vet would not use anything with hydrocortisone or other corticosteroids, and not an antibiotic!
With this wiggly puppy the difficulty is: When I've sprayed twice on a piece of kitchen paper towel ("Kleenex") - and for the nooks of the pinna on a Q-tip/cotton swab - by the time I get my pup to hold his ear still, the spray has dried off. So then I spray a bit again, and again my puppy wastes my time and nerves with his wiggling around.
Back to today's happenings:
After the indoor play time, I am giving the puppy a bit cheddar cheese - water he has always available anyway. Then the pup is lying on the couch next to me, and I notice that he continues to pant heavily, long after the exercise. This is the moment when it becomes clear that this puppy's critical development continues, suddenly all is turning for the worse.
His heavy panting keeps going already for well over an hour, and I am getting worried for his health (again): Heavy panting without exercise or heat means sickness (while prolonged normal panting means stress, ie future sickness). Also, the pup's behavior on the couch is restless, always moving around, without purpose. This is a clear sign of pain.
I get up and bring him a bowl of room-temperature water to the couch - where he's drinking all 400 ml / 13.5 oz without much of a break! I am sure something is wrong with him: I check his eyes and ears, tongue and gums, but all looks normal. I auscultate his chest (using a stethoscope), and although breath rate and heart rate both are very fast (but no faster than the range of measurements you've seen on earlier pages), I can't hear unusual sounds.
This video shows how to auscultate respiration (and measure breath rate):
And this video shows how to auscultate heartbeat (and measure heart rate):
To measure breath rate and heart rate I simply use a counter on my phone for 30 seconds, and then multiply my count by two.
Then suddenly he's getting very restless, and I decide I better take him out into fresh air. I carry the puppy to the door, but before we even reach the door the pup pees and some of the pee hits my foot and wets my sock. This time though - because I know he is ill - I don't care about the pee in the house, my worries are with the pup's health. Thus we leave the apartment with the pee behind (I take a mental note that upon our return I will first have to clean up the mess - remember, the butler got fired). We go down, and before we even reach the main door, Miguel goes nuts. It is now that I realize: After drinking so much, his bladder must be brimfull! And so it is: When we reach the outside, this puppy has his longest pee ever!
Added: Only now, reading through this much later, I realize that this situation documents that at age 14 weeks the peeing stimulus still is subconscious for this puppy: He can't hold on anymore, pees a bit, now realizes that he learned that peeing in the house is not allowed, stops peeing, and then once outside he willfully lets out all the urine.