Monday, April 16, 2007

Saturday Night at The Vets'.


This isn't a foodie post or even an upbeat and humorous post I'll warn everyone up front. It's long and rambling, and it does end well, but somewhere in between, I had a hellish weekend with our poor little dog and I just needed to write about it somewhere...


As the title suggests, I spent Saturday Night at the 24-Hour Emergency Vet hospital with my (well, my daughter's!) little Boston Terrier - "Chelsie".
So this is the story: my two older daughters, "J." and "O." (the dogs "owner" and "mommy") are out of town this weekend, and I was home with my 7-yr. old. About 10pm we were done watching Spiderman (SUCH an exciting Saturday Night, I know!) and headed for bed.
Now, I let my youngest Sprout sleep with me when big sisters are gone (I know, like I said, my life is SO exciting!) so we headed into bed, and as usual, our little Boston ran ahead of us, but then she suddenly started wobbling and staggering drunkenly and then keeled over right in front of us, all stiff with her eyes glazed over.... I wasn't sure if she was having a seizure or heart attack or even breathing or what, and of course I was FREAKED out by this, (though trying to stay calm!) and doubly freaked that my 7-year-old had to see it all.

Well, she (the dog) was breathing, but stayed there all stiff and lost control of her bladder and bowels and so I just sat and patted her for a good five (eternally long) minutes... then she wobbled to her feet and went and laid down in the corner.
So I called the 24-hour Emergency Vet and they of course said BRING HER IN immediately (but the wait was 2 - 3 hours as they were very backed up. :frown: ) !

So I got her leash, and told my very tired little daughter to put clothes on over her jammies... when Chelsie heard her leash jingle (she LOVES walks!) she jumped up and went tearing around the room like a wild thing. (She's normally VERY VERY hyper!) Miraculous recovery or what?
So now I'm wondering WHAT is going on. We head to the vet though, which is way the heck 30 miles away in downtown big city scary land - I'm praying the whole way that I can find the place, that the dog will be OK, that I can even AFFORD treatment... and I'm still so shook up I have to have my 7-year-old read street signs...
So we get there, an aide took her vital signs when we arrived - everything was OK at the moment, but they needed to evaluate her further of course, and wanted us to wait for an open exam room...
Fast forward two-and-a-half hours (because you don't want to hear a detailed account of us sitting in the waiting room with an extremely large bald man who kept um...passing gas... and an elderly lady who must have been very hard of hearing because she SHOUTED everything. She had a cat in a carrier that was screeeeeeching like it was dying...- and maybe it was, I don't know - ugh).
So, the whole two hours Chelsie is her normal, hyper, bouncy self; pulling on the leash and jumping around and barking and trying to go make friends with the screaming cat and the fat bald guy and the Zombie-bride receptionist and the buzzing Coke machine and.... to say my nerves are SHOT is an understatement at this point...
I tried talking to my friend Froggy some on my cell but couldn't hear much with the animal noises... HE was worried too, he adores Chelsie and they always have SO much fun when he's here... he did help me feel better - A LOT, which I really needed at that point...
Well, after reading a two-year-old copy of Newsweek to my little Sprout and hours of noise, we finally got to an exam room and (after much MORE waiting) a vet examined her, did some chest x-rays and so forth... (and after much, much, M-U-C-H MORE waiting) he determined my poor little Chelsie-dog has heart failure - a hart murmur and fluid in her lungs... OK, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised? I know she IS an old dog, (well, 11 - and the life span for Boston's is 11 - 13 years...) and actually healthy otherwise, the vet said this breed tends to get heart problems easily... but she runs around like a puppy all the time, I wouldn't have had a clue...
Well, they wanted to monitor her heart over night and do more blood tests, an EKG and a bunch of stuff - for 1175$. I really had to work hard at not becoming completely hysterical at that point, cause even though I wanted to do anything to help her, I don't even come close to having that kind of money...

Anyway, so the vet broke it down for me and showed how with the tests, they would be able to tell me how much longer she'd live and if she would have further fainting episodes. they could determine an exact dosage of medication that might help control the fainting, reduce the fluid in her lungs, and a lot of other things.

On the other hand, he assured me she wasn't in any pain or anything, just short of breath (I thought, "she's been jumping all over the waiting room for two hours, of COURSE she's out of breath"...) anyway... so I opted to take her home then and there. We got a prescription (Lasix, like they give human heart patients) that will last to the end of the week and we have to go to our regular vet to get a refill...
So................................ around 4 AM we finally arrived home, all of us exhausted and shaky and insanely tired... I have to say my littlest Sprout was a real trouper and never complained or whined once.

Well, two days later - Chelsie's feeling better I do think. She takes her medicine just fine and is as chipper as ever; the vet said to keep her calm and not let her get excited (HELLO? She's a terrier!) while she adjusts to it. He said he really couldn't give an exact estimate on how long she'd live without more tests, but with medication, probably another year or more, as long as she doesn't do something to cause herself to have cardiac arrest (oh great!). Her heart condition will continue to get worse though - no medicine can stop that unfortunately, but it doesn't cause her any pain, just slows her down.
I'm just crossing my fingers (praying mostly, cause I do that sort of thing) she'll be OK until "O." (her, "mommy") gets back from her trip (She's with Grandparents in Ecuador - long story for another time) fortunately she comes home in just a few hours! I am excited and relieved.
"O", my Middle Sprout, is my over-the-top-full-of-energy-emotional-basket-case-drama-queen child (hmm, like me much? ah, never mind)... If something had happened to her precious dog while she was gone, I do not KNOW if she would have ever left the house again - I seriously don't.

We head to our regular vet on Wednesday. I'll post an update if there's anything new. Sorry for the downer post, I just needed to straighten out all my rambling thoughts - I'll be back with better stuff I promise!

14 comments:

bazu said...

Oh, poor Chelsie! And poor you and your daughter! I'm glad everything is better now, but I understand how alarming these kinds of emergencies can be. (And everything is automatically worse when it happens in the middle of the night.) It's so hard to see animals in pain. When my cat got diabetes, she started losing control of her hind legs and that was the most heart-wrenching thing to watch. (She's much better now, thankfully.)

My thoughts are with you, your family, and Chelsie, and I hope everything goes smoothly for you guys. {{{hugs}}}

aTxVegn said...

What a dreadful night for everyone. I'm so sorry about Chelsie. It's good to know she's not in pain and certainly doesn't seem to act like it.

chula said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. One of my dogs is 11 and I spend a lot of time worrying about him. {{{hugs}}}

Dori said...

Sorry to hear about your poor chelsie. We lost our dog last this past fall. She was 11 and had cancer. We did try the treatment (an expensive surgery), but the cancer came back two months later with a vengeance. It was so hard for all of us. I feel for your sprout sand you.

Michelle said...

That's terrible, I'll keep Chelsie in my thoughts, she sounds like a great dog.

Veg-a-Nut said...

Oh, I am so sorry your baby is sick. I grew up with a Boston Terrior and "Bootsie" finally passes when she was almost 13. She had seisures and took meds. Our carin terrior lived to be 17 with the same type of heart disease. We changed his good to "Solid Gold" and he had a complete turn around for about 3 years. He finally passed in hubbies arms. So sad, but we had a good life with him. I pray you and the girls can enjoy the good times left with your fur baby. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your sprouts.

Tracy said...

Oh, your poor puppy! I feel so bad for all of you. But I also do know what you mean about the money. I love dogs to death, and hubby and I talk a lot about what kind of dog we'll get someday, but right now, it's exactly stories like yours that keeps us from getting one. We just wouldn't be able to afford it if something bad happened. Hope it all works out for you and Chelsie.

Barbara said...

I'm glad your Chelsie is doing better!

I'm like tracy. My partner and I would love a dog but we can't afford one right now. :(

I just realized that you are Tofu-N-Sprouts on veggieboard. Neat!!

Barbara

Twisted Cinderella said...

((Hugs)) I am sorry. Here's hoping Chelsie lives for years to come in her own excitable way.

Johanna3 said...

Poor Chelsie, hope everything get better.

scottishvegan said...

Oh, I am so sorry you had such a dreadful night. I hope you, Chelsie and your kids are all doing okay. It’s tough when a family member (doggy or human) is sick.

KleoPatra said...

Oh my gosh, what a nightmare! I hope that Chelsie will recover and be back to normal SOON. I have been in Vet ERs way too many times, for my pups and for others' animals. It is a difficult place to be...

It is heart wrenching to see your own animals suffer, your babies in pain and whatever else, and not know what is wrong or what to do. VERY scary as well! I am so thankful for late-night/weekend clinics that are there 24-7 for whatever... glad Chelsie was able to see someone quickly.

Please keep us updated. We <3 her - and you!

theONLYtania said...

That is a crazy story, I hope puppy turns out alright!
Now.. I have a recipe question! I made your cashew alfredo sauce and it was not NEARLY as thick and delicious as yours.. it was very soupy. Do you think maybe there is a typo in your measurements?
http://tofu-n-sproutz.blogspot.com/2007/03/kale-flowers-and-cashew-cream-alfredo.html

disa said...
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