As we entered the garden and I closed the gate, he sat down and wouldn't move. It took me a few minutes to cajole him to come indoors. Then he started to pant, salivate and walk in circles. This continued all night. I didn't know what to do for the poor boy. Next morning, I put his bowl of food in front of him. He sat down. Period. Didn't touch the food.
This was a great worry as Skabby never refuses any food; ever. I spoke to Ron (my neighbors) who was going into Estcourt and they suggested I get into their pick up truck with Skabby and we take him to the vet.
The vet x-rayed him. There were specks of bone-like material at the end of his colon. All I could think was that while Skabby was exploring the paddock on his own on Thursday evening, he picked up a [piece of] hoof or horn and swallowed it whole when I called him. He knows that I take this type of "treat" from him if I see it.
The vet gave him an injection to calm him down- he had been panting and salivating for hours. He also gave me a laxative syrup and antibiotics which were almost impossible to administer once I got home. I mixed the medication with sour milk and a few pellets and because the injection had made him feel better, he ate this.
On Saturday morning he ate his normal breakfast - albeit with much less enthusiasm than normal. Feeling a lot happier that my boy was improving, I went off to Parkrun, where I was volunteering. (I've been a volunteer since six weeks after my surgery in September and not been on the track since then; but this is another story!)
A few hours after lunch, Skabby started to pant and salivate again. By 4.30 I was frantic and phoned the emergency number at the vet. I spoke to a lady who said I should bring the dog in immediately and she would tend to him. She thought (as did I) that the bone or something was causing an obstruction.
By 5.15pm Skabby and I were being admitted into the gate by the young man, Adrian, who lives on the premises at the surgery. The vet, a lovely young woman, arrived shortly afterwards. After examining Skabby, she said she would sedate him and between her and Adrian, they would flush his bowels out with warm soapy water.
I took my boy out onto a concrete slab with drains at the end and here the vet injected Skabby. Within a count of five, the dog fell over. The vet and Adrian made him comfortable and between them they sorted Skabby's problem out. It took about forty minutes after which she administered the drug to bring him out of his slumber. Adrian had two huge towels and cleaned and dried Skabby.
The vet helped me load Skabby onto my back seat and by 7pm I drove into the farmyard. Skabby managed to get out of the car and walk into the house, where he immediately lay down and slept again.
This morning he asked to go out at 5. Later when I offered him a bowl of sour milk again, he merely pecked at it. He seems a lot more comfortable.