Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sick as a dog

Having worked in a veterinary hospital for 5 1/2 years after I completed university, I'm all too familiar with "high-maintenance pet owners" -- and I'm also fully aware of the fact that I happen to be one myself. 

Normally I curse all the snow, but for once it served an important purpose for us: we noticed a few weeks ago that our geriatric dog had some blood in his urine, and it would have gone undetected if not for us seeing it on the snow.

Long story short, he had bladder stones and needed immediate surgery to have them removed. 
 
The surgery was this past Monday, but he then had to spend three nights at the emergency clinic because he was having some difficulty with his recovery. (The 3-hour surgery took a lot out of the little guy.) Having to walk away from him so the doctors could treat him was the hardest thing to do -- he was scared and alone and in pain, and I would have given anything to have been the one going through all that instead of him. 

Honestly, I thought he was going to die alone that night, so you can imagine that I was a bit of a wreck.

(I wish I could say that it was all these pregnancy hormones causing me to be so emotional, but no. That's just how I am.)

By some miracle, he started to improve overnight.... and when we visited him at 6am the next morning, not only was he on his feet, but he was actually walking again. Total 180-degree change from the night before when he was flat out and his heart rate was really slow.

So, yeah, Tuesday was a good day.
 
He had to stay at the emergency clinic and receive continued care, though, because he was on fluids and had a urinary catheter in place, but overall he continued to improve each day. We got to bring him home on Thursday, and it was the greatest day ever. He was so happy, yet so tuckered out that he lay down on the couch and snored for like an hour, haha.

Yes, I think it's so cute when dogs snore.... 
 
To see him now, he appears to be doing great. The only thing is that his bladder is still very fragile, and there's the risk that the incision will leak if it gets too full. That would be disastrous, so we have to take him out every 2-3 hours..... which means we have to get up through the night and carry him out, whether he likes it or not.

(He gives us that, "WTF... I was sleeping, you know" look whenever we haul him out.) 
 
Overall, though, he's doing really well. And lucky for us he doesn't hold grudges and has completely forgiven us for everything he went through this past week.

And -- in case there was any doubt -- yes, he's being totally spoiled now and is living like a king.

Below is a photo of him in hospital. Notice that he was still happy to see us, even though he was forced to wear the Cone of Shame.

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