Java got a bit stiff in her back from who knows what and I gave her a 3 week pause from training while we were sorting it out with the physiotherapist. She was acting a little subdued and I thought she was in pain.
When we fixed her back it became apparent that she has another problem – she has been feeling sick in the mornings. I’m pretty sure she was feeling sick all along, I just didn’t realize it because I was focusing on her back. She only vomited once so I didn’t give it too much thought, but when the physiotherapist told me that her back was now fine and Java started to greet me on her hind legs like she used to (confirming that her back is feeling better) I started looking for other reasons.
She was refusing food in the mornings. I give my dogs most of their food by hand. They get their first bit for putting the harness on, as I have observed it makes them a bit uncomfortable (presumably because I’m leaning over them as I do it) and they do a little avoidance dance – come close and then “remember” they were thirsty or something when I prepare the harness. If I give them a piece of kibble for sticking their head through the loop that makes it a trick and these behaviors largely disappear.
Java was refusing that treat and the next few treats. If we went for a walk in the morning she didn’t look excited about it and became very slow after 20 minutes. She was wearing her “puking” face, but I was so focused on her back issues that I thought it was a sign of pain. Nope – she was feeling sick. In the evenings she was back to her happy self again, we could go for normal walks, she would be excited and eat anything.
I took her to a vet, but they couldn’t find anything. Curiously, I started feeling nauseous in the mornings around the same time as Java. Like her, I was also feeling just fine in the evening. Could we be feeling nauseous for the same reasons? Could it be tap water? Tap water is perfectly fine to drink in Ljubljana, but perhaps there were seasonal changes to it and we were a bit more sensitive than Ruby? (For years I have been getting morning nausea in spring/summer and I haven’t been able to figure out why.)
As a test we drank only bottled water for a while, but there was no change. Eventually I found a medicine that helped my stomach and cleared up nausea completely. For Java a combination of getting the last meal right before bedtime at 1 AM (yes, we are night owls 😉 ) and eating Dorwest tabs helped prevent the worst. She didn’t have the “puke face” in the mornings and was excited to go for a walk. She often didn’t take that first treat, but at least she had a good appetite when we got back.
Even though she looked fine, when training I could see that food has lost some of it’s value. It didn’t get her as excited as before, which got us in trouble with running contacts (I’ll write about that one later).
Luckily, for the past few days she seems almost back to normal. I’ve stopped giving her Dorwest tabs and today she was asking for food throughout our morning walk. I love having my hungry Java back ❤