Dogs & Joy

Every now and then, situations turn out better than expected.

An old dog, that hadn’t been eating for about two days, and just hung around the farm like old dogs do. She was nearly 14 years old, and had really just been enjoying her retirement years, but hadn’t been to the vet for roughly the last ten of those.

I didn’t think that sounded super optimistic. No known toxin exposure, no understandable symptoms like gastro. I was, honestly, looking for cancer.
It’s a reasonable assumption for unexpectedly unwell older dogs, and my initial suspicion was confirmed on the physical exam… or so I thought.

All her vitals were normal, but she was a bit lethargic of course, and then I felt the mass in her abdomen…

… And then a… second… mass…

And a third.

This was most bizarre, but brought with it a spark of hope.

The owner was keen for an X-ray, and, as an optimistic new grad, I was too. I hoped, really hoped, that my tiny suspicion was correct.

The X-ray revealed, to my delight, three puppy skeletons, ready to be born any day now.

She didn’t have a cancer in her abdomen. At 14 years old, she was pregnant.

No wonder she was exhausted! That was the equivalent of a 70 year old woman getting pregnant.

Dogs don’t go through menopause. She was pregnant by accident, but that was a lot better than having cancer!

And despite concerns, with a bit of spoiling and hand feeding, she gave birth naturally three days later to her healthy puppies.

Much, much better than cancer.