I nearly died on October 24th. It wasn’t the Mamas’ fault, and I’m not blaming them. But it was a harrowing experience, and I have never been so scared in my life!
Sunday started out nice enough. For our good behavior of having spent the last two weeks in prison, Mama L. decided to give us each a bone. I love bones! All dogs love a good bone, and this one was particularly good and flavorful. Mama L. used them to make stock for our homemade dog food!
Later in the afternoon Mama M. walked us all over the cemetary. It was our usual Sunday walk – uphill, downhill, trot, trot, trot. These exercises are supposed to be good for us. As everybody knows, I really don’t care for that much physical activity. Except for Laser Light. Now that’s a worthwhile pursuit. I don’t think I have impressed that on the Mamas enough.
By the time we came home, Mama L. was cooking up a storm. She usually does that on Sundays, making enough food for lunches for the week. Mama M. grilled her chicken outside, and that’s right about when I started getting sick.
Not only was I throwing up everything I had in me, I couldn’t stop pooping either. It was nonstop and it was awful. This went on for hours and I really wanted it to stop. I couldn’t even eat when it was dinnertime, and I have never turned dinner down. The Mamas were a little worried, but I put myself to bed because I was too tired to do much more.
At 3:00 a.m. Mama L. woke up because I was shivering so much at the end of the bed. She placed her hand on me and petted me, but she got really worried because I was breathing really fast and shallow. She took me outside to do my business, but I had already gotten everything out. We came back inside and I drank some water, but I immediately threw that up too.
That’s when the Mamas took me to Pet Emergency. Later they told me that I wasn’t myself anymore. I didn’t want to be touched; I didn’t want to be loved and adored like I usually do. Actually, at this point, I was so out of it, I don’t recall a thing. It was like an out of body experience. And it was because I was so dehydrated that my organs were no longer functioning like they were supposed to. The doctor later said that it was a good thing the Mamas took me in when they did. Small dogs like me get in trouble real fast.
The Pet Emergency care center took really good care of me. They stuck something called an IV in my arm and filled me with saline solution to hydrate me. When they brought me out at 6:00 a.m., I had a hump on my neck the size of a grapefruit. I didn’t feel it though, but the Mamas laughed and called me a camel. They also took an Xray of me and saw a little bit of blockage in my lower intestines. They gave me some pain meds (wow, that stuff’s powerful!) and some anti-nausea medication so I would feel better. But I was supposed to go home! The vet tech brought me out to the waiting area and the Mamas fawned over me. By then the medicine had kicked in and all I could do was slump down on the ground. That was when the rest of the stuff in my bowels came out in liquid form. The vet tech decided that they’d better keep me in ER so they could watch over me, since there was a little bit of blood in it.
That was some foul smelling stuff, Mama L. said later. I smelled like rotting chicken carcass.
Pet Emergency discharged me at 7:30 a.m. so that Mama L. could take me to my regular day vet, Montclair Pet Hospital. What? I don’t get to go home? So for the next few hours, I got probed and checked again. They did an ultrasound on me, while Mama L. was trying to get ready for work. By the time she was dressed and ready to go, Montclair Vet called and said that Mama L. should take me BACK to Pet Emergency so that I could be operated on immediately. I was so doped up by now that I no longer care where I was going. To tell you the truth, I didn’t know who Mama L. was, or where I was, or who I was. I just wanted to close my eyes and sleep. Mama L. kept her hand on me the whole time and told me everything was going to be ok. Her voice was soothing, and it was nice to feel her hand on me. I felt comforted, but that was about it.
The main reason I had to be operated on was that the doctor at Montclair said that the ultrasound showed the blockage at the thinnest section of the small intestines — and maybe the intestine have been perforated, which would be a life-threatening situation. In other words, when the operate, they would have had to cut out the perforated part of the intestine and sew the ends together.
Dr. Harbajuk found a large, round, compacted bone mass that couldn’t quite make its way out. It was the size of a big lollipop and he said that it looked like a fossilized bone. His theory was that it’s probably been in my system for a while, and now it’s just starting to back up. And because I was so dehydrated, everything upstream of the blockage just turned into a sponge and made it worse. He said that even though I was given the IV fluids, by the time he operated on me, I was only about 25% normal. You should see all the stitches I got! It’s probably some sort of a record.
The Mamas came and visited me that night, after I got out of surgery, but I didn’t know it. I didn’t really come out of it until the next morning. Then a vet tech called Mama L. to give her a status update and said that I could come home on Tuesday, if only I would eat a little. She said she had tried to give me some chicken baby food but I wouldn’t eat any. Mama L. told the vet that she should try real chicken (coz I’m crazy for them).
About 30 minutes later, the tech called Mama L. back and said that was a good tip! Not only did I scarf down my chicken, I “looked disappointed” that there wasn’t more. I was recovering nicely, and I could go home the same day! When Mama L. came to pick me up at 5:00, I was so ready! I miss being at home, and it’s really cold in the hospital.
Mama M. went and got me a soft cone for my neck — they didn’t want me to bother my stitches — and I really appreciate that a lot. The regular cone is really awful to work with. At least I can sleep with the soft cone on. And you know what I’ll be dreaming? Bones, of course! Because I just know that that was the last bone I will ever have.
Here’s a picture of Gingersnap! trying on the hard cone. Boy is she glad she doesn’t have to wear one like I do. The Mamas said they can’t wait for this month to be over. October has been just awful, and they have a new found respect for Susan Miller, who is somebody I have never met but who is apparently amazingly accurate. I hope she predicts only good things from now on. We’ve had a pretty rough time. But I am glad it’s all over with and that I’m still alive and that the Mamas love me!!!