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Dog Worms

One of the best things about living in the same town as my family is that we don’t have to travel very far for the holidays. We also don’t have to worry about the dogs—either taking them or boarding them. They get to hang out at home.

Every so often, I get this idea in my head that the Corgis don’t want to be in the box of shame (aka their kennels) and they should have a chance to stretch their stubby legs. I’ll put up a gate at the end of the hall, close all the doors to our bedrooms and the bathroom, and let them roam. I don’t know why I feel like they need to do this. I mean, Floki is an escape artist, so more often than not, he’ll either climb over the gate or plow his way through it.

Well, Thanksgiving was one of those times I decided they could be in the hallway. For the morning, they were fine. They stayed behind the gate and seemed to have a great time. When I checked on them that afternoon and let them out to go potty, all was well. That wasn’t true when we got home.

By that time, Floki had decided he was done being in the hallway and wanted to see how much mayhem and destruction he could cause in the rest of the house. He plowed through the gate and got into what he could. In the scheme of his destruction, he didn’t make an overly huge mess, but it was big enough.

As I was feeding them that night, I noticed that Floki wasn’t falling face first into his food like he normally does. I pointed at him and asked, “Did you eat something that upset your tummy?”

He just looked at me with his adorableness and went for his food.

I didn’t think more of it until later that night when he threw up. It was a huge mess! Seriously, it didn’t seem physically possible that he could have that much stuff in him. The pile was twice his size. On the plus side, though, he puked in the kitchen, so that made cleaning it up easier.

While I was taking care of the mess, I happened to notice pretzel bits in it. Pretzels, I thought. Where did he get pretzels?

And then it hit me: we had a bag of white chocolate covered pretzels that was now missing.

Yeah, I freaked. Chocolate is poison for dogs, and it was obvious he wasn’t exactly being his normal self. I grabbed my phone and typed “dogs and white chocolate” into Google.

Did you know there’s a poison control hotline for dogs? Well, there is. I didn’t wind up calling it because from everything I’d read, it didn’t appear that white chocolate would hurt him. I needed to keep my eye on him, which I planned on doing anyway, but it seemed he would make a full recovery.

Over the weekend, he would throw up sporadically, but he wasn’t acting like he was sick. He would still run around and play, and he was back to scarfing down his food at mealtimes. Still, I was a bit concerned, and I decided if he wasn’t better by Monday, I would take him to the vet.

Monday came and went, and he didn’t get sick again. I was beginning to think we were in the clear. Then, Tuesday morning, at about 3:45 a.m., I heard him in the living room. He had thrown up again. That was it. He was going to the vet. I knew that they would probably want a sample, so I grabbed a baggie and a plastic spoon and set to work to collect it.

And that’s when I saw it: a round, pink worm.

At first, I wasn’t sure I had seen it correctly. It was extremely early in the morning and I didn’t have my glasses on, so maybe it was something else. And dear god! Did it just move?

I put the sample on the counter so I wouldn’t forget it, then went to let the dogs outside. Then, I climbed back into bed and resolved to call the vet at 7:30 when they opened.

Right before I was ready to call them, the boys found another pile of vomit, and this one had an even bigger worm in it. There’s was no way to deny Floki was infected. It was freaking disgusting! I made an appointment for all three dogs to go in that afternoon. If one had worms, more than likely the rest did too.

If you’ve never had the experience of taking three dogs (one of which is a 93.5-pound black lab who is terrible on a leash), a 6 year old, and an 8 year old to the vet, you’re not missing anything. Seriously, I’m convinced it’s a level of Hell. The boys did their best, and I’m really glad they were there to help, but it’s chaos no matter how you slice or dice it.

It started before we even left the house. Floki and Ryder both had collars and leashes, but months earlier, Floki had chewed up Siggy’s harness, and I never got a new one, so she didn’t have one. I figured my youngest could just hold her in the Jeep, then I would grab a leash once we got to the vet.

Well, he couldn’t open the door to the vehicle to climb inside, so he set Siggy on the ground. She, of course, ran off, and she doesn’t come when called. I had to run inside to get her kennel, and once we finally caught her, we had to shove her inside. She’s right on the verge of not fitting into that travel kennel anymore.

Once we got to the vet, the dogs were hyper and bounding around because Weeee! Someplace with lots of smells! Then, when they brought out a dog another customer was picking up from boarding, they lost their minds. The vet’s waiting room has tile floors, so it echoes—loudly. With three dogs barking and an 8 year old yelling at them to be quiet, it was shocking that my ears weren’t bleeding by the time we left.

The dogs were administered their dewormers, which the Corgis ate heartily—pretty sure they didn’t chew the bone-shaped medicine—and then we headed home. Which was much less eventful—thank goodness!

Long story short, Floki picked up roundworms from something in the environment. While it’s fairly common for dogs to get them, it’s still an incredibly disgusting and worrisome endeavor. They can also be transmitted to humans. From the research I did, it sounds like we actually have to ingest them to be infected by them, but I’m keeping a close eye on everyone.

At least now I know why my fur baby was so sick. I worry about them so much, and want to do all I can to keep them safe and to keep them around for a long time—which means Floki and Siggy will be kept in the boxes of shame. No more hall for them.