Day Writing by Heather Hamilton Maude: The Synchronized Dachshund
I am quite a fan of Dachshunds. Unfortunately, they believe themselves to be bullet-proof, which causes a lot of excitement at times, and a much higher turnover rate than I like.
One morning in the midst of AI’ing cows in 2014, Maggie, the mini Dachshund, didn’t come out of her kennel. It was unusual, so I checked on her, to find her acting almost paralyzed. Unable to control her legs, or move much at all beyond shaking. She was a mess.
Being new to the western South Dakota area, I called Dr. George in Wyoming. He has a long history with the one-in-a-million ailments that my livestock and pets are prone to, and I needed professional help.
I explained that Maggie had done an above-average job of destroying a used CIDR, as in the type you synchronize cattle with, the day before. She had drug it out of the burn barrel by the string. Dr. George thanked me for clarifying the type of CIDR/cedar, and with his dry sense of humor noted that had she consumed a cedar tree, the issue would be obvious.
He then explained that progesterone, which is use in CIDR’s, causes temporary paralysis if given in too high a dose. Considering my nine-pound dog chewed on and/or consumed the better part of dose intended for a 1,200 cow, used or not, he was fairly confident that was her problem. But, said I should probably take her in to be checked out.
Off to the emergency room at an area vet clinic we went. Larger towns have emergency walk-in areas for pets. I found that odd, but, since this inaugural trip, we’ve helped keep their lights on.
We waited our turn, and I explained Maggie’s issue to the vet on call. He asked if she was pregnant, to which I replied no, she was just experiencing a false pregnancy; not her first. Dachshund’s have issues.
He was far from convinced, and asked question after question, like how far it was to the closest intact male dog?
Three to five miles, cross country, give or take.
He didn’t buy it.
On and on it went, until I stated that unless a raccoon had cornered her in the shed, she was definitely experiencing a false pregnancy. I even had the stuffed animals she mothered the time before all ready to go back home.
He didn’t even crack a smile, and with a decent amount of attitude said they had to do an ultrasound in order to know how to proceed.
So off they whisked Maggie, then brought her back.
Then, the doctor returned, and in a much more humble tone, informed me that my dog was in fact not pregnant. Though he still found it hard to believe.
I was shocked at the news, of course…
He asked a few questions about this quirky phenomenon, which does happen, but apparently most dogs don’t actually produce milk, believe to give birth, and then proudly mother stuffed animals.
As I said, one-in-a-million ailments.
We finally got around to the CIDR progesterone overdose issue. Maggie and I gave a brief lecture on cattle synchronization and breeding protocols. The doctor left to, come to find out upon his return, Google progesterone overdoses in dogs.
He had found nothing. Apparently, there had never been another issue of a nine-pound dog eating a CIDR, or overconsuming progesterone in any way. Or, none that had been published. So, he was somewhat stumped, but did some research on human overdose, and eventually used that to create a treatment plan.
We finally left with a bill for a pregnancy ultrasound and an under confident assurance that the progesterone should be out of her system within roughly 24 hours. He wasn’t too far off. A couple days later she was back to trying to get CIDRs out of the burn barrel.
The moral of the story, as Dr. George noted for free and without missing a beat, is to keep your CIDRs picked up if you don’t want to synchronize your falsely pregnant Dachshund.