Under construction, hug me, spoil me

Under Construction, that is what the cone on poor Cali’s head said when we picked her up from the vet yesterday. We are hugely relieved to have her home and know that she is on the mend.

On Monday I awoke to Scott informing me that Cali had been puking all morning. At first I dismissed it, because she had her shots on Thursday but also because she eats everything, as puppies tent to do, and that has meant she sometimes pukes. But then she puked again – after eating soft foods.

Scott suggested I call the vet, so I did. I’m kicking myself that this was his instinct and not my instinct. He seems to have better puppy care instincts than I. Anyways, I called and the vet wanted to see her, concerned that she might have something blocking her intestines. I packed her up and brought her to the vet in Petite Riviere (about a 25 minute drive). She puked again just after the first corner, before we even got out of town 🙁 This was not normal.

It is frustrating that during covid times we are not permitted to go into the clinic with our pets. The vet assistant comes out and fetches her in order to do some exams. An agonizing 40 minutes later, the vet comes out and tells me she is concerned. She sees something that looks like an obstruction, and wants to do a barium swallow, which may actually resolve the issue and if it doesn’t it will identify where in the intestines things are blocked up. I sign the consent paperwork and am sent home waiting for a phone call. On the drive home, I hit myself for not leaving the stuffy that was in the car with her. She has nothing with her that smells like us 🙁

At 5pm, I call the vet, knowing that they try to close at 6pm. I’m informed that she can go home and that we should come get her. This time both Scott and I get in the car and drive to the vet. The vet tells us that Cali is looking better, that she is hopeful that the barium did its job, but there is still concern. Please call in the morning to give the vet an update. If Cali is still puking there is reason for concern.

We get her home and take her out for a short walk, which usually leads to her pooping, which is what we are waiting for. Sure enough. I notice, not only the white of barium, but a full cluster/bud of pine needles about an inch and a half long. Not sure how she managed to swallow that.

Throughout the night, she starts puking again. She won’t eat or drink. Every 1-2 hours, she wakes up, pukes, and then goes back to sleep. Poor thing. We call the vet to leave a message and get in the car so we are there when they open in the morning. They are dealing with another emergency (a C-section), but will get to Cali as soon as they can. After an hour, the vet comes out with some not good news. They aren’t sure but it looks like an obstruction and they need to do exploratory surgery :-(. If they find something in her intestine, they will need to open it up and remove it. Doing this sooner rather than later avoids the possibility of intestine death and maybe even puppy death 🙁

We head home scared and hopeful that they figure out what is wrong. The night was so terrible, it is horrible seeing her in so much pain and not knowing what to do about it.

Just after my first meeting, at about 1pm, the vet calls to tell us that they did not find any obstructions but she has what they call “acute appendicitis”. They treat this with medicine rather than surgery. They want to know if we want to get her spayed while she is already under and already has an abdominal incision. I’m glad they thought about that, as I had the same thought when I was driving home from the vet earlier that day. She was due for her spay surgery in a month, so it would mean another bout of anesthesia and incisions and two more weeks of a cone and wound healing. It was an easy decision.

While waiting for the call about her surgery, I look up appendicitis in dogs. I’m confused as I learn that dogs don’t actually have an appendix. I make a mental note to ask the vet about this.

Having not hear from them by 5:15, knowing they try to close at 6pm and that it is 30 minute drive for us (well, 25 minutes but we need a few minutes to get organized). They inform us that she is doing well and can come home tonight. We pack up and head out to get her.

She is now home, and not impressed with the cone, but otherwise mostly sleeping. She slept most of last night and mostly through the night. This morning I gave her head a sponge bath (she stank from the barium and puking). She also has a special diet, some food that is easy to digest, and several medications which are mostly the same as she would have been given for the spaying anyways. We are grateful for the vet and all the care that Cali received there. We are also happy to have her home.

  • Becky

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