Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Worried about Opal

Our dog, Opal, is in serious distress at this hour. We are not sure what the problem is -- she is lethargic, staggering, unresponsive, and has no appetite. Also, she seems to be extremely sensitive, and she has snapped at us a few times when we have touched her skin.

A couple of days ago, she started itching, and developed a "hot spot" on her back, so we fitted her with a cone. The infected hot spot area and her inability to groom has caused her to get quite stinky, and yesterday we bathed her with medicated shampoo, in the hopes it would give her some itch relief, as well as make our lives a bit more tolerable. So far, nothing particularly unusual.

This morning, she had another episode of barfing and diarrhea before we could let her out, and we chalked this up to colitis, with which she has been previously diagnosed. After cleaning up, we made sure she was well hydrated and had finished all her business, then put her in her kennel as we normally do for driving.

After that, she essentially refused to come out of her kennel at any stops, whereas she is usually quite eager to go for a walk. Again, we chalked it up to her feeling crummy from this morning, and we left her alone.

Now that we are in the middle of nowhere, and locked down for the night, we have discovered the more serious nature of her symptoms. We're kicking ourselves, because we were in Nashville earlier today and stopped at Petco to get her a fresh cone, and there was a vet right in the building to whom we could have taken her.

Ironically, the last time she got seriously ill was the day we left Carlsbad Caverns (this morning we left Mammoth Cave).

At this point, we are monitoring her closely and feeding any symptoms into search engines to see if we can figure things out. If things deteriorate, we can try to bring her somewhere, but that means backing out of here in the dark, and navigating Odyssey down backroads for, likely, quite some distance, assuming we can even find an on-call vet at this hour within 50 miles.

Speaking of which, I should tell you that we are on the Natchez Trace Parkway, at the northernmost of the three Park Service campgrounds thereon, Meriwether Lewis (map). With all the fretting about Opal when we arrived, we have not yet walked over to see the Lewis grave site and whatever else is here.

That being said, I can tell you that the parkway is quite beautiful. We stopped at a couple of the historic and scenic points on this first 65 miles. The roadway itself is also a very relaxing drive -- curvy, but posted at a leisurely 50mph.

Access to the parkway is free (though restricted to non-commercial use), as is camping in the three campgrounds along the route. At last report, the other two were still closed due to storm damage, so we will have to depart the parkway for alternative arrangements if they are not open by tomorrow night. Of course, if Opal does not improve, we will likely be leaving the parkway first thing anyway, to find a vet.

I mentioned that we passed through Nashville. While there, we stopped in at Music City RV to look at another coach that had been converted by Pegasus (see our main site for the long story). The coach is billed as a Neoplan, but consensus on the Neoplan group is that it is probably a Drögmöller. In any case, it was interesting to look at it, and I now have a report to make back to the group.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoying your blog, Keep it up!

    Do you think you will find time to report back on the "Music City" coach sometime soon?




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