One of my favorite books about animals is Tell Me Where It Hurts, by Dr. Nick Trout. Compressing a great many cases into one day of veterinary ER drama, Dr. Trout’s book is not only passionate, well written, and poignant but it explores our central frustration when dealing with illness in animals: They can’t express themselves.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that book today because Frankie is in a veterinary hospital, being prodded and poked and hooked up to IVs. He got himself there by vomiting voraciously (on my rugs and in my bed, where else?) and pooping prodigiously (happily, in my backyard).
This is worrying under the best of circumstances, but when diabetes is involved it becomes even more complicated: You have to balance the need for insulin with the need not to cause hypoglycemia by giving shots on an empty stomach.
Then there are the pancreatitis, liver problems, urinary tract infections… all conditions associated with diabetes, all rather worrying.
But until I get medical answers — which won’t be until tomorrow morning at the earliest — I’ve decided I like the suggestions that several of my friends on Facebook made about the causes of Frankie’s disease:
- That he is nervous about the imminent publication of my book. My nervousness tends to manifest in overeating rather than in vomiting and diarrhea but sympathy symptoms do not have to be identical.
- That he is suffering from air sickness as a result of all that hot air balloon travel. Given his latest venture, into the oxygen-deprived atmosphere of outer space, I don’t think that’s an unreasonable hypothesis.
The entries that people have been sending in to my Win A Copy of Am I Boring My Dog contest have also been restorative — to me, if not to Frankie. So keep ’em coming.