First: Maggie is alive.
Second: She virtually wasn’t.
All due to a cork. Which she ate. Which nearly killed her.
I’m telling the story in hopes it’ll educate, inform, and encourage. And don’t all of us love a great canine story, as lengthy the the canine doesn’t die? This one didn’t, but it surely was fairly rattling shut.
It began on Monday, June thirteenth, when Maggie started vomiting. At first I wasn’t notably distressed; everyone knows proudly owning a canine means cleansing up the occasional vomit on the rug. However the vomiting continued, and have become so violent that her physique really was pushed backward by the power of her abdomen expelling its contents. “Rocket vomit,” I’m going to name it. A lot of yellow fluid, with a little bit of partially digested meals. She was additionally thirsty–very, very thirsty, however she couldn’t hold it down earlier than it flew out of her mouth. Evidently, by now I’d known as the vet, and received her in inside just a few hours. I suspected that she had an obstruction, particularly because the canines had found a nest of child turkeys and Maggie had disappeared within the woods after working sheep, licking her lips. Very atypical of her.
However the radiograph confirmed no signal of a overseas object or a mass (whew), the pancreatitis check was unfavorable, and the blood work was fantastic, so Dr. Dally (Spring Inexperienced Animal Hospital) suspected she simply had a nasty case of gastroenteritis. We got here dwelling, I withheld meals that evening and fed her rice with defatted rooster broth the subsequent day. (You all the time hold a inventory of it within the freezer proper?) She ate somewhat, however barely moved all the subsequent day. I figured she’d was exhausted from a lot bodily trauma, remembering how I felt the day after the Norovirus did its quantity on me. Lastly, on Wednesday she perked up and appeared again to her typical self. We had firm, and she or he was candy and vigorous and hungry. She did vomit a tiny quantity just a few occasions within the subsequent 5 days, however appeared glad and wholesome in any other case.
After which. Tuesday the twenty first, I took Skip to the clinic to have a rhinoscopy accomplished by internist, Dr. Julie Bates. He’d began occasional sniffing or snorting about two weeks earlier than, and it was getting worse. Grass seed in his nasal passage? (I used to be effectively conscious that grass awns can generally migrate via a canines flesh and do horrible issues, so yeah, I used to be getting nervous.) The outcomes had been irritating: No object, no placque associated to aspergillus, however a small space of irritation. Whereas attempting to type out what to do subsequent, I got here dwelling to find that Maggie had been vomiting, so much, whereas I used to be gone. Again to the vet.
Xrays once more confirmed no obstruction, however her Amylase was up which prompt pancreatitis. She didn’t appear in sufficient misery for care within the clinic, she even ate some treats that Dr. John supplied, so I took her dwelling with some industrial low-fat meals that I may complement meals I made for her. However because the afternoon wore on, she grew to become quieter, and had little interest in her dinner in any respect. Hmmm. I assumed we’d must take her again to the vet the subsequent day. Little did I do know.
After I wakened Wednesday morning, Maggie appeared like she had swallowed a watermelon. Large enough for a household picnic. I may see it even from throughout the room. I bolted away from bed and ran to her; her stomach was like a drum–“tympannic,” vets name it. Bloat. She appeared like she had aged ten years–her eyes had been glazed, her face pinched, and she or he stood hunched like an offended cat, a transparent signal of belly ache.
We rushed her downstairs. I known as my native vet whereas getting her into the automotive. We agreed she wanted emergency care, so we rushed to the Veterinary Emergency Service in Middleton after he known as them to allow them to know I used to be on the best way. At this level, my panic had advanced right into a form of targeted, dedicated depth. Get Maggie to vet as quick as you’ll be able to. Don’t trigger an accident on the best way–for Maggie’s sake. Get Maggie to the vet. Now.
After I lifted Maggie out of her crate on the clinic, I may see that her bloat had barely dissipated. Nonetheless swollen, nonetheless bloated, however not as badly. I needed to wait a couple of minutes on the clinic, the melodrama of emergency clinics by no means ends, however somebody got here out for Maggie fairly rapidly. I went over the historical past; then they took Maggie into the again for prognosis, fluids (she was badly dehydrated), and ache medication. After ready what felt like without end to listen to that she was stabilized, I went dwelling, ready to listen to about my pricey, candy, spoiled, Princess Maggie.
It took 13 days to get a prognosis. No, wait, really, it was solely 13 hours. Two radiographs had discovered nothing. An ultrasound discovered nothing. However Dr. Alicia Sibley did a distinction research that confirmed an oblong object caught on the distal finish of her duodenum. (Please somebody inform me if that’s “doo-oh-dee-num” or “doo-odd-o-num.) It confirmed that her GI tract was completely, and fully blocked, which had precipitated her abdomen to replenish with fluid. They took over a liter –A LITER — of fluid out of her abdomen. Dr. Sibley thinks that’s the reason she started gastric dilation, (or torsion, or bloat, you choose the time period). We each suspected that the automotive journey (who knew dangerous roads could be so good) helped her abdomen to realign itself. However she nonetheless had this unidentified factor blocking her intestine.
Maggie had the surgical procedure the subsequent day, after agreeing that she was steady, and nighttime surgical procedure wasn’t crucial or suggested. After it was over, mid afternoon the subsequent day, (or a month later, you choose), Dr. Sibley tortured me by making me guess what the article was. “It’s not likely rectangular, besides on its facet. It’s one thing you’d discover in your kitchen on the counter.” My curiosity in guessing was minimal, and I hereby settle for a medal for not shrieking WHAT THE HELL WAS IT into the cellphone. Okay, it wasn’t too arduous to stifle myself: It is a veterinarian who I completely adore, who gave Willie one other 12 months of life by discovering his liver most cancers when three different vets couldn’t work out what was flawed with him past the truth that he appeared like he was dying. She is strictly the vet I need any time I’ve a veterinary emergency and I hereby demand that these by no means occur except she is on responsibility. Wait, by no means, ever is best.
She lastly instructed me what was in Maggie’s stomach. It was a cork. A wine cork. An object principally designed to cease the circulation of liquid. Or something. However, a cork?We don’t drink wine, except firm brings it. It will need to have fallen off the deck within the backyard once we had some of us over for dinner. Maggie has by no means eaten a non-food merchandise in her life. At the least, not that I do know of. Granted, she defines “meals” a bit in a different way than I do, however a cork? (Observe: I’ve already talked about this on my Fb web page, and a number of other individuals commented that their canines had eaten corks too. You may wish to make an observation.)
Okay, whew, we’ve got a prognosis and know what to do. The surgical procedure went effectively. The subsequent day, Maggie was doing effectively, ate some rooster, and the vet clinic mentioned she was able to go dwelling. House she went, wobbly on Gabapentin and the sedative Trazadon, (solely given as a result of I used to be afraid she’d go bonkers once we got here to get her).
I took her out to pee, on leash after all. She peed and settled down in the lounge now repurposed right into a restoration room. I lay down beside her, overwhelmed with gratitude to have the ability to pet her candy head.
After which. She slept all afternoon. Okay, she should be exhausted and I knew that she’d been sedated. Lastly, within the late afternoon, I inspired her to rise up. She didn’t wish to. Her eyes had been getting glassy once more. She refused meals. She was hunched up once more. Unhealthy phrases had been spoken inside my mind. I known as the clinic, efficiently squelching OMG MAGGIE IS CRASHING AND I HAVE TO BRING HER IN RIGHT AWAY into: “I’m involved about Maggie and thought I ought to run what’s occurring by you.” They agreed I ought to convey her in, so we did, Jim choosing her as much as put her into her crate.
I’ll simply casually point out that, by this time, I’ve slept, uh, just a few hours an evening at greatest for means too many nights, I’m nonetheless attempting to determine what to do about Skip, and I’m now, privately, unofficially, verging on PANIC NUMBER TWO.
Maggie was seen by yet one more great vet, Dr. Emily Evenson, who I’ve additionally met earlier than and belief fully. She agreed that Maggie was in intense ache, and wanted fluids and ache killers, and will keep in a single day. We drove away, once more. The clinic mentioned “no information is nice information, we’ll name you to verify in someday tomorrow morning between 4 and 10 AM.” You may guess how a lot I slept that evening. I received a name within the morning to say that Maggie was “resting comfortably.” I’ve to confess meaning nothing to a behaviorist. My interpretation of that phrase is “she is just not barking, screaming or writhing.” However couldn’t a canine be flat-out depressing, as Maggie was in the lounge that earlier afternoon. However she’d gotten ache meds, and fluids for her dehydration, and was being monitored typically. Okay. Good. Take a breath.
Lastly, Saturday afternoon, about 24 hours from taking Maggie again, they known as to say that she was doing nice. GREAT! She was pushing her meals bowl round to get the final molecules of meals in it. Completely satisfied to go exterior to pee. Pooped. We introduced her dwelling.
And he or she is okay. Actually okay. I didn’t really feel like she was out of the woods on Sunday, however then, her surgical procedure had been Thursday afternoon, so I didn’t count on her to be frolicking. We stored her quiet, one us lay beside her on a regular basis. Skip did too. I do know this picture can also be on the prime of this submit, however right here it’s once more, however, effectively, I can put it in twice if I wish to. It makes me glad.
Jim took this as I used to be mendacity on the LR flooring beside Maggie. Skip, who has been quiet and worried-looking throughout this complete episode, came to visit and lay down beside her. Maggie had put her head on his neck–the adorsable issue was off the charts–and I requested Jim to get the digital camera and take a photograph. By the point he did, she moved her head. However nonetheless. So candy.
Maggie is far, significantly better immediately. Now it’s all about administration. We’re very steadily starting brief leash walks. We hold her from licking or scratching. (She will attain the incision, however fairly than use a cone we simply hold somebody beside her always.) No play with Skip, we don’t even take them exterior collectively. We don’t let Maggie leap or bounce up on something. Nonetheless, Maggie appears to adore, really crave, mendacity up on issues. She has quite a few, comfortable beds on the ground, however she has begged repeatedly to be allowed up on the sofa or her favourite chair. We picked her up final evening so she may cuddle beside me whereas we watched TV, however then picked her as much as get her down. Jim lined the sofa this morning to maintain her off of it.
Whereas I used to be writing the paragraphs above, actually, Maggie did this whereas I used to be in one other room:
A lot for all my obsessive administration. Evidently, Maggie is now shut into the room the place I’m scripting this, having been gently escorted off the sofa. After I broke out laughing. After I took the picture. By the weekend we’ll begin for much longer walks, most likely off the farm the place she received’t be tempted to play with Skip or work sheep. We’re instructed that she will be able to work sheep and play with Skip a month from now. She and I’ll negotiate in regards to the sofa–I’m considering by the center of subsequent week or so.
MEANWHILE, again on the farm: There’s actually nothing to say however we’re attempting to catch up from the week from hell (by which my beloved sister went again into the hospital–glad to say she’s out now, and our AC died when it was 96 exterior, it’s nonetheless out.), handle Maggie and hold Skip in situation to compete in trials. We needed to miss a contest I’ve been over-the-moon enthusiastic about (Rush Creek, Ohio), and will make the subsequent one in Illinois. It’s all as much as Maggie
Earlier than I’m going, I’ll let you know a shaggy dog story that I considered after I was driving Maggie to the vet when she was bloating. I had that very same decided, targeted emotion after I received a name from Jim final 12 months, when he was doing his weekly mowing in a close-by county park. The park is extraordinarily hilly, and I fearful about him utilizing the county’s big, industrial-sized mower on the steep slopes. He promised to all the time take his cellphone, and inform me the place within the park he’d be mowing. Someday the cellphone rang, it was Jim calling. I heard “Arghaur, gwahh, arg…”. After which it hung up. Whaaaa? My cellphone rang once more simply seconds later. “Arguargh, gharahgh, ugggghhhhh.” Hung up. Once more. Okay, my husband is gravely injured, and mendacity beneath a chunk of kit the dimensions of Connecticut.
The park was solely about 12-Quarter-hour away. I can’t let you know how briskly I used to be going, however I’ll let you know that I felt as alive as I’ve ever been, like a race automotive driver on the prime of her recreation. I felt like my husband’s life may rely upon me, and I wasn’t as scared as I used to be dedicated. I received there in eight minutes. I knew which facet of the park he was on, and I started operating, operating, operating, up a viciously steep hill. If you recognize me, you recognize I’ve brief, stumpy legs which can be nice at strolling and climbing, and have the lung capability of an asthmatic sloth. As I struggled up the hill, panting and sweating, I heard the sound of the mower! Sure! However wait, what if he had been thrown and the mower was simply operating in circles? Why else would he name me in such misery? I went again to operating. And located my husband fortunately perched on prime of the mower, saying “What are you doing right here?” I couldn’t reply him for awhile, due to that need-for-oxygen factor, after which defined the cellphone calls. He mentioned he hadn’t known as. However apparently, his shirt pocket had.
Folks ask me if I used to be mad, however I by no means felt the slightest pang of anger. Simply aid. Similar to I really feel now, waves of it, when my pricey, candy, cuddle-bunny Maggie–the canine who has taught and given me a lot–goes to be okay. I do know completely effectively that she may have died within the evening. However she didn’t, and I’m so very, very grateful.
I depart you with a photograph of some flowers, as a result of, you recognize, flowers make us glad. I hope you have got some moments of happiness too, in a time that feels darkish and harmful is so some ways.