Drooling Alice


Hmm, I seem to have moved from ex-blogger to dog-blogger. This will be my second dogelated post in a row, but events have conspired to make it so. Alice has had a bit of an adventure today, and knowing there are many people who follow her on Jamie’s page and will want to know lots of details, I’m going to provide some information here and Jamie can link to it. It’s been a long few hours, and I don’t feel creative enough to figure out how to explain all the details in “Jamie’s voice” over on his page.

I took the dogs to Kubota Garden late this afternoon for a romp. It worked out just as I was hoping it would: the place was deserted (probably due to the forecast of snow), but it was still sunny with blue skies. So the dogs got to run around off-leash, and they had a great time.

There was one spot where the two of them ran down to the edge of a pond, and I turned and ran the opposite direction for 50 feet or so. I do this sort of thing all the time when they’re off-leash, and then call them and they come racing to find me. That’s how I get so many photos of them at a full run coming toward the camera.

This time, though, they must have found something very interesting because they didn’t come running. I called several times, and finally Jamie came to me, but no Alice. I walked back to where they had been, but she wasn’t there. Soon it became clear that Jamie didn’t know where she was, either – he raced around looking for her, barking occasionally. I called her name loudly a few times, and she never barked back, which is unusual for her.

Finally I heard her, but it was a yelp of pain and not a bark, coming from perhaps a hundred yards away. Jamie and I ran toward her, and she came running down the trail toward us, but with a very subdued gait compared to her usual devil-may-care style, and with her ears pasted back, looking timid and frightened (unthinkable for Alice!). She also yelped in pain again when she got to us. She didn’t greet either one of us, but then stayed close to my feet while we walked out of the garden, never straying more than a few feet from me (also quite unusual for her).

I thought she might simply be frightened to have been lost, but the yelps seemed odd. At home, I methodically squeezed her all over to look for a sore spot, but found nothing. She seemed to want to lay down, so I let her take a nap while I handled some work online. Jamie lay nearby, but seemed distracted and never feel asleep. She wasn’t in obvious pain and wasn’t showing any particular symptoms, so I just kept an eye on her while she rested.

Then I went to let them out, and when Alice stood up I noticed that she was drooling a lot, just from the right side of her mouth. She seemed really down now, droopy eyes and sort of sedated, but after she was sitting up I couldn’t get her to lay back down. I called Megan and told her we’d be going to the emergency vet clinic as soon as she got home. I also explored every detail of her gums and mouth with my fingers, and she never showed any pain but continued to drool.

At the vet, they took her vital signs (all fine) and tried to check out her throat, but she was getting uncomfortable and wouldn’t let the vet see much. So they gave her a mild pain medication and waited a while, and were able to see enough to see that her throat has some sort of irritation and swelling, but no foreign object was visible.

We discussed Xays, and the vet thought we should take them of her throat only, but we asked them to take Xays of her stomach too, just to be sure. Those didn’t show anything at all, which is good. So then they wanted to see what she’d be willing to eat. They didn’t have any chicken necks unfortunately, but she ate some chicken and gravy baby food and eventually crunched up a dog biscuit after much coaxing. They decided it’s most likely something she ate that irritated her throat, or a stick she got stuck in her throat, perhaps while running through the brush. She has a particular way she seems to want to hold her neck to feel OK – you can see it in the photo below of me holding her in the waiting room.

So they let her go home with us, and with some medication for swelling and pain. If she doesn’t recover quickly, or any other symptoms appear, we’ll go back.

She has eaten her usual dinner, which perked her up for a few minutes, and she’s crashed now, asleep in the foyer. Jamie has been paying close attention to her and seems to know what’s going on. Time to throw Alice on a pillow on the bed and try to get some sleep.



  1. SeattleFebruary 23, 2011 at 11:44 PM


    This is very concerning. I’m sure you and Megan are emotionally exhausted and scared. I’m sending the pack much love and will pray for Alice’s full return to health by morning. Please keep us posted. Hope you all can get some rest. Hugs, love and prayers.

  2. Hi Doug,

    This is very scary 🙁 It is so awful to see them not feeling and not know what is going on. Have you posted on the yahoo Samoyed list? They may have some ideas/advice. I know there are certain antibiotics that Sams are not supposed to have.

    As for the throat area – last month I got a Wheat Thin stuck in my throat (I am human LOL) and choked and gagged on it for a good ten minutes, almost to the point of blacking out. After that, my throat and neck were so sore I could bare talk or move my neck. It took weeks to feel better. So if Alice has irritated her throat, it definitely can cause a lot of pain.

    Is there anything they could have eaten? Gotten bit by?

    We will keep Alice and you all in our thoughts and prayers.

    Feel better, sweet little Alice!!

    Carrie & Diogee

  3. I am thinking of your family and I think you should post this to Jamies FB. All of your fans prayers will certainly help bring Alice to a speedy recovery. Until then I am praying for her.

  4. Oh Doug and Megan, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I hope for a speedy recovery! :\ She look so pathetic at the vet in the top right picture. Poor baby! Hopefully it will go away on its own.

  5. Doug just a thought: are there toads in the Gardens? Sounds to me as if Alice may have found one and ran off after it. They’re pretty nasty!

  6. Hey Diane … there are toads at that garden, but it’s been freezing weather lately so I assume they’re not out and about. FYI, she seems a bit better in the last hour, so hopefully it’s running its course, whatever it was.

  7. Okay, I am aware that cats and dogs are different, BUT … my mom’s cat ate a pine beetle once and drooled for a day. She was also really lethargic and not her normal self. Hopefully she just ate something that tasted horrible and caused an allergic reaction. Like me eating spicy food. : )

    PS – This is Michell

  8. Hey Michell … yeah, it does seem like she ate something that irritated her throat. We’re hoping she improves steadily, as she seems to be doing. Frustrating to not know for sure what’s going on, though.

Reply To Diane Cancel Reply