Sometimes it seems as if biohazards are the meaning of my life: Orion and his food allergies; Oakley and his acid reflux and intolerances. Running the County Home for Canines with Sensitive Tummies must be my dharma. Did you know that licking can be a self-soothing method when a dog has intestinal cramping? Now you do.
It didn’t cross my mind. Oakley’s acid reflux issues have been under control, or so I thought. Just before Christmas, Oakley started licking himself in the middle of the night. Not just a gentlemanly lap or two in order to ensure cleanliness, but long, loud, repetitive schlurrrrrp, schlurrrp between two and five a.m.
He also started licking the sofa and the bed in his crate. Was he bored? I started giving him puzzles, walking him more. An article about canine acid reflux came up in my newsfeed. That’s how I learned about the licking as a form of self soothing. Changed up his acid reflux medication.
Schlurrrrrrrrrrp…….What the…blood work that included digestive function came back normal. But now (don’t read if you’re squeamish) he was passing a lot of mucus with his poops. (I told you not to read that, didn’t I?)
Before subjecting Oakley to any further testing, I set up a quick session with a nearby friend who’s a communication facilitator for a check-in. Not the acid reflux, but cramping. The herb used to balance it out had outlived its purpose, and now was causing cramping. I took him off it immediately.
Slurp, slurp, slurp…better, but you do not want to know what he was still passing. Poop test came back clean. What next?
Mentioned it to the owner of our healthy pet food store. She suggested taking him off the goat yogurt, cutting out the cheese, and no added fats or oil, even coconut or omega-3s.
The only sound between two and five the next morning was the low rumble of the train running about a mile from the house and the snoring of a peaceful pooch.