It's All Very Funny Until It Bites You in the Face

Yesterday we shared Bettina's safari adventures thinking (hoping) that was the extent of it.  This is amusing given that was mostly only the beginning of it.

After Bettina had declined her dinner and Mumma posted her essay, we all hoped for a better day tomorrow.  Bettina retired to the now vacated office and remained there for the evening.  I occasionally checked up on her in there and noted that each time, the swelling seemed even worse than it had been at dinner time.  By 9:00p Bettina was burning up and her face was truly alarming.  I took her temperature and found it to be at 104.6.  We called the emergency vet who advised we should come in which we promptly did.
Bettina greyhound after the emergency vets
Bettina just after our trip the emergency vet

The vet checked her over and said, "yep, looks like she got bitten."  He took her temperature as well (a fact that she made clear she was not happy about) and found it had risen to 105.5.  He gave her a shot of Metacam and a shot of antibiotic.  He sent us home with oral Metacam and Clavamox.  Mumma expected that we were on the road to recovery.  Indeed when we reached home Bettina seemed a little more lively than before.  She retired immediately to the office and the rest of us went to bed.

In the morning, Bettina came into my bedroom to greet me.  That seemed like a very good sign.  Her swelling looked to have gone down a tiny little bit, but she had developed an odd egg filled with liquid under her jaw.  Mumma began rounds to make sure everything had gone ok.  When we got to the office, poor Bettina had thrown up a number of times all over everything, beds and carpet alike.

When she came in from her potty break she seemed interested in breakfast so I gave her a little bit of yogurt and a tablespoon of kibble mixed in.  She ate it all.  Small victories.  So then I gave her a Clavamox with a little peanut butter.  That went down to.  Except it all came right back up a mere 45 minutes later.

And from there it went downhill with every last drop of bile in her tiny little body finding it's way out the front end.  Now she consecrated the beds, the carpet and the couch cover in the living room.  The last couple times, there was blood in the vomit.  The situation was looking a bit worse and our Spot Bot worked double overtime today.

At this point Mumma was no longer feeling very confident about the emergency vets prognosis of the night before.  Also at this point Mumma realized that our regular vet Dr. Amy doesn't have any office hours on Wednesday.  And the emergency vet wouldn't be open again for another 7 hours.  Panic set in and rational thought left the building.  I'm not to proud to admit I placed a tearful call to Dr. Amy's answering machine in the vain hopes that someone might check it on their day off.  I did finally pull it back together and called the only other local vet whom I would trust any of my babies with.
Bettina greyhound post emergency vet
The only thing missing is the big liquid egg that formed
under her jaw during the night.  

The Androscoggin Animal Hospital in Topsham (bless them) agreed to see Bettina at 11:15a.  We presented ourselves promptly.  Dr. Molly saw us and felt that the NSAID Bettina had been given probably caused "gastric distress" (love that term, Bettina just gastric distressed herself all over the carpet again...).  So Bettina laid in Mumma's lap while they administered subcutaneous fluids to combat dehydration as well as Pepcid to cut down the stomach acid and Cerenia to help with the nausea.  They advised that I give her oral Pepcid for the next few days and gave us Tramadol to use in place of the Metacam.

Bettina again seemed somewhat revived by the time we got home.  She joined us in the newly Spot Botted office and spent much of the afternoon sleeping.  When she got up and came to see me, I noted that her swelling had most definitely gone down.  Her eyes seemed a little brighter as well.  I tried giving her a biscuit which she ate as best she could with one lip that had gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.  She also agreed to a little bit of chicken broth though kindly left half of it for Blue to finish (who is this dog?).

We're back at dinner time, the same place we were when Mumma posted yesterday.  I'm hoping she eats at least part of a meal and that it stays down along with the Clavamox, Pepcid and Tramadol I will try and give her.  Cross your fingers for us!  If I ever find that damned civet cat (or opossum or barn cat or fisher) I'm going to make a muff out of it's mangy hide after I get the pin number for it's bank account so I can recoup her medical costs.


On Safari (Or What I Did on My Summer Vacation)

Her Highness, the Crown Regent of Fussy Pants, decided to go on safari after dinner yesterday.

Bettina requested an unscheduled potty break around 7:30p.  This wasn’t at all unusual since she is infamous for going out right after dinner, pretending to do her business and then rushing back to be the first one inside.  She then beelines to Blue’s dinner bowl and cleans up anything Blue may have left, missed or dropped.  The tiniest potential that she may score a pea or a piece of dropped kibble will have her gladly neglecting unimportant things like bodily functions.

Bettina greyhound with bites
Bettina with bite or scratch marks just after her bath.
This is especially true when she can demand that Mumma stop what she is doing and let her out again later on.  Since Mumma isn’t always able to tell when the demand for a potty break is legitimate and Mumma doesn’t like to play Russian roulette with loaded bladders, I let her out and went on with my business.

She seemed to be outside for a very long time.  This in and of itself is not unprecedented but it’s more likely to happen at mid-day when she is in the mood for a sun bath in the sand pit.  After a little while longer, I got up to check on her.  Being a worry wart I begin to picture terrible catastrophes like a random trespasser stopping to open the gate to our yard for fun or maybe a tree falling over and knocking my fence down without making a sound.  True, this could only happen if both the tree and the fence were in the forest and no one was around, but we ARE forest adjacent.  What if that is close enough?

I spotted Bettina heading towards the far corner of our yard with a definite purpose.  At the time, it crossed my mind that she appeared to be tracking or hunting as she zigged and zagged with her head low to the ground, sniffing the air occasionally.  Seeing as how there are no real hiding places in our back yard, and I could see the full expanse, there were no visible targets anywhere within the confines of the fence.  So I shut the door and decided I’d let her tell me when she was ready to come back in.

Eventually she turned up at the back door waiting for the door-Mumma to let her in.  Almost immediately I
Bettina greyhound cheek swelling
Bettina's face this morning.
realized that something wasn’t quite right.  Bettina had a distinct odor about her.  I know you’re all thinking skunk, but it wasn’t.  That is an unmistakable smell.  This smell was very pungent, and not at all pleasant, but at least it didn’t make my eyes water.  I have never smelled a civet cat before but I’ve read that they really stink and that they spray everything.  Bettina smelled exactly like what I imagined someone who had been sprayed by a civet cat would smell like.  Of course, civet cats are not native to the backwoods of Maine.  I believe they’re typically found in Africa or the jungles of South America. 

It is not unheard of for Bettina to find a particularly smelly spot and plonk herself down on it straight away and roll with abandon.  This has been the cause of at least two unscheduled baths in the past.  I figured she must have found the mack daddy of smelly spots in our back yard (still being concerned with the possibility of a wild, extremely lost, civet cat). 

At first I thought I could live with the smell until it wore off.  But with each breath the smell wormed it’s way into my brain until it was all I could smell.  I realized that living with it was not going to be an option.  Then picturing Bettina jumping up onto my bed to sleep with me that night spurred me to immediate action.  Not being one to be too rash, I broke out the grooming wipes and wiped her down several times.  She soon stank of civet cat AND Mango Tango.  Worse still, she began trying to rub and roll on the carpet trying to get rid of that horrible mango scent. 

Bettina's swollen face at lunch time
Poor Miss Bean's face at lunch time.
I had no choice but to wrestle her into the bathtub.  There were multiple sessions of soaping and rinsing.  I would have soaped her a few more times but she began to collapse against the side of the tub in a faint.  Now this would be completely like Bettina as dramatic as she can be, but I had actually read about greyhounds who faint in warm water baths.  I had never seen one.  I certainly didn’t know I was living with one.  But then again, I also didn’t know I had a civet cat in my back yard.  One that was very good at hiding.

As I was drying her off, I noticed she had a series of scratches or bite marks on her cheek.  The warm water had caused them to bleed.  And to top it off, I could still catch faint whiffs of Eau de Civet Chaton.  The only thing that fully washed off was the Mango Tango.

After wetting the entire house down after her bath, she lay on the other end of the sofa and gave me the hairy eyeball while wafting the occasional puff of weak civet cat in my direction.  Somewhere in my backyard is a sneaky civet cat desperately trying to rub off the smell of domestic greyhound.  Bettina got to have the adventure and Mumma had to write the essay.

Post Script:  As a result of her wild game hunt, Bettina’s cheek and eye swelled up quite shockingly the following day.  Mumma is treating it with ice packs, anti-inflammatories and Stella and Chewy’s treats.  Bettina is bravely holding her own.  When she declined dinner tonight, Mumma started to really curse civet
Bettina's swollen face at dinner time.
Bettina's face at dinner time.  (We apologize for the quality of these
cell phone photos and Mumma's increasingly shaky, worried

Post Post Script:  We have subsequently discussed this incident with Grammy.  In her youth, Mumma was always told by Grammy that there were fishers in the woods behind our house and that they ate little kids.  We always laughed at her and made fun of her because fishers are not common and they rarely show themselves.  For a long time we didn’t even believe that a fisher was a real animal.  Grammy has conducted a little research and she feels she has now been vindicated and that this unprecedented attack on Bettina was conducted by a fisher.  We’re still laughing at her.  Kind of.


Greyhounds in Sheeps Clothing

Blue the sheep and Bettina greyhound
Blue:  Mumma got our new Halloween costumes today.
Bettina:  Ah ha ha ha ha, ha hahah ah ha ha!  What a dork!

Blue the sheep and Bettina greyhound
Blue:  You think you're so smart, I said she got OUR costumes today.
Bettina:  Wait, whaaa?
Bettina the sheep
Bettina:  BLOODY HELL!!!
Bettina and Blue sheep
Blue:  Look at it this way, you may have discovered your true self.
Bettina:  As a stooge for Mumma's whims?
Blue:  No as the black sheep of the family.
Bettina:  I'm going to go and pee on her bed... and then yours.
Blue:  Baaaah Baaaah Bettina.  See ewe later!