Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Yeah, My Dog’s Name Is Pig.

For the last few days Pig, our 11 year old English Bulldog was not feeling well. We were coming home to piles of poop by the back door. We were waking up during the night to let him out and still waking up to poop by the door.

Saturday night he was throwing up.

Monday we decided he should go to the doctor.

Tuesday he had an appointment at 10.

Just before his appointment I was following him around the yard trying to get a poop sample, and in true Pig fashion, he went in a pile of leaves and then buried it, making me dig it out. ICK!

Shawn mentioned that Pig was looking skinny so when he weighed in at the doctor’s office I asked what he weight was against his weight the last time he was in back in August. He was down seven pounds. For Pig, that is alarming because he does nothing but eat and lay around. Not really the best way to lose weight…

The Doctor was concerned as well and wanted to take an x-ray of his abdomen. She took him to the back room and returned a few minutes later to ask if he could have a mild sedative. I asked if she thought this would negatively affect him in any way. Strange thing is I have never worried about that before. I really don’t know why I asked but she said that it would be fine and gave him a very low dose.

Within minutes she returned to the room and said “You need to come back here, he is not doing well.”

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“He’s not well, you need to come with me.”

I typically concerned about where I leave my purse, my kindle, my cell phone. In this case I just dumped it all on the floor of the room and ran out.

Pig was laying on the table hooked up to many monitors and every nurse and doctor were gathered around him trying to get his heart to start beating again. They were doing chest compressions and I am sure other things but I was just standing there at a total loss of what to do or think. I rubbed his head and hands and kept repeating his name.

I finally got my act together and realized I needed to call Shawn. He answered the phone and I said “You need to come here right now.” That was about all I could say. He was in the room in under 10 minutes.

They were able to get Pig breathing again and he started to vomit. Out came the vegie’s he ate that morning and a lot of other nasty stuff.

When Shawn got there he was still on the table but he was breathing on his own.

They still had not gotten the x-ray so Shawn suggested that they try to do it now that he is calm since we would not be giving him a sedative again. They did what they could and were able to get two decent films but they were not perfect.

We reviewed the films and didn’t see anything.

They sent Shawn and me home and kept Pig to run blood work and keep him on oxygen for a few more hours.

They called around 2:30 with the news that the blood panels all came back perfect. At this point the next step was to bring him back on Wednesday for an ultrasound of his abdomen.

Then at 4 they called to say they were not happy with his breathing and we needed to take him somewhere he could be observed overnight.

The only place I will take my dogs, besides their clinic, is to the University of Minnesota Small Animal Hospital so Shawn picked him up and drove him out there. He was not at all comfortable in the car and the ride was very hard on him.

They admitted him and put him right into an Oxygen Chamber.  Shawn talked to the doctors about what the chart said and what he knew. They got Pig settled and then sent Shawn home.

At 8:30 last night the doctor called to give us an update. She was taking about how he was doing okay and explaining what the next steps were. Then she put Shawn on hold and came back a minute later to tell us that he was not well, he was coughing up blood, and maybe we should come out there right now. At that point she was thinking there was a 20% chance he was going to make it through the night.

We dropped Heidi off at my parents and headed up to the U. By the time we got there Pig was stabilized again and resting in the Oxygen Chamber.

The Doctor sat us down and explained that at this point she wasn’t interested in talking about end of live plans. She wanted to talk about the fact that he was stable and that in the morning we would do the ultrasound. She also explained that what happened to Pig today was not something normal. And she also said that whatever this underlying issue is, the issue that had us bring him to the Doctor in the first place, was not what caused his heart to stop and most likely is not something as simple as the flu.

We were able to spend about 20 minutes petting him through the little arm holes in the Oxygen Chamber. We talked to him and told him how much we love him and that we were doing everything we could to make him better. Then we had to leave so he could get some rest.

I told the doctor that I would feel better leaving if he would just lie down. She was saying that he wasn’t going to do that as long as we were there just as Pig laid his head down on his water dish.

We were sent home and told they would call if he had any trouble overnight.

The phone didn’t ring until 8 am so that was a huge sign.

The 8 am call was positive. He was showing significant improvement from when he was admitted last night. He was on fluid and a water pill which made him pee in the Oxygen Chamber most of the night. They could not walk him because his oxygen levels were so low. But this morning he was able to go out to the yard and they were able to clean him up.

The ultrasound is scheduled for 10:30 today. Right now, it’s 10:23 so I am sure they are prepping him.

Daisy is very sad and worried. Every time I come into the house she has to sniff me. Even when I came home from dropping the carpool at the school. She has been there. She has a right to be worried.

But for right now, I am cautiously optimistic. I know he is in good hands, the best for that matter. If anyone can fix my Pig, these Doctors can.

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