This is my dog last Thursday. The first snowstorm had hit and she seemed to be enjoying it like she was from Tibet.
She spent a lot of time outside that day, and I just assumed she was loving the snow. Later that evening though, just after dinner, she started shivering and panting. As the night went on she got worse and before long she couldn't seem to settle herself anywhere for more than a couple minutes.
I was reminded of about a month ago when the same sort of thing happened. She had thrown up and then was in obvious distress in the middle of the night. By the time the vet was in her office, Daisy was better and we all figured she must have eaten something bad and had gotten better. But that night I thought maybe not. Maybe it was the same thing that was bothering her that Thursday night.
I kept her downstairs with me. Eventually around 2am we both fell asleep. In the middle of the night she wet the bed (and me) but seemed a lot happier when we woke up Friday morning. I called the vet anyway. The roads were halfway decent and the office asked if I could bring her in right away. Danny took off work and we headed to their office.
I told the vet I thought she was consitpated - I knew she kept wanting outside and kept trying to go to the bathroom but nothing was happening. But the vet felt around and thought it was something else. She took an xray and called us in to take a look. There were several "stones" in Daisy's bladder, and one small one that was maybe in her urethra but it was hard to tell.
The choices? We could have given her some special food and hoped they'd dissolve, but if D had troubles again it would have to be emergency surgery right away (which could mean a long drive in to KC in the middle of the night). We chose to go for emergency surgery right then. It made me cry but I knew it was the right choice. The doctor said she'd call when surgery was over and we could come back that night to visit. If all went well we'd take her home Saturday morning.
The surgery didn't go as well as the vet had hoped. She tried to flush the stone in her urethra out, but didn't have the tools to operate on something so tiny. She was pretty sure it was small enough that it would just pass in time, but warned us to be on the look out. If Daisy seemed distressed or couldn't pee, we were to go straight to the KC hospital.
When Danny got home from work we all headed back to visit our poor pooch. It took her a minute to wake up and recognize us, and she did not seem very happy. She did perk up a bit when they let me feed her of course. She loves food and hadn't eaten any the night before.
Saturday morning we were up and ready to go get our dog. It was after 9 and the phones were still going to the answering service for some reason, so we just headed out. She was ready to come home when we got there. I was so relived she had made it through the long night alone in the vet's office ok and was happy to get her home to rest in my bed.
Look at her cute little tractor bandage where her IV had been.
She was a pretty sad dog that day. She was still having a horrible time going to the bathroom, and to make matters worse, she was refusing to drink any water which was the number one instruction from the doctor.
Later that night when I heard the weather man say we were expecting another foot of snow on Monday, I was seriously worried (and depressed). What if she didn't get better and we had to go to Kansas City in the middle of a crazy blizzard? Why wasn't she peeing? Was it ok to have so much blood? How was I going to keep the two dogs apart on Monday when Danny and Hannah were at work and school? I was kind of a mess.
Sunday morning I called my mom and asked her to come help - help with Daisy and help keep me sane. She is an awesome mom so she started packing and said she'd be here soon (and yes, I do realize how seriously lucky I am to have a mom like that whom I can count on to be there for me when I need her). I tried to call the vet on call but every single vet in my town was at a conference in Kansas City, so I called the hospital/clinic in KC where we'd have to take her in case of an emergency. They made me feel a lot better, and promised they'd be open no matter how bad the weather got. I also called my shrink who reminded me to stay in the moment. She told me to just think on "For right now..." and not to make myself suffer over stuff that hadn't even happened yet. I made a sign that said "For right now..." and hung it on the wall in my bedroom. It helped.
I decided I'd have to trick Daisy into drinking water, and since I knew she'd do anything for food, I covered her food with water. She'd have to drink it to get to the food bites. I think I was inspired a little by the 7th Harry Potter book when Dumbledore had to drink all that bad water to get to the horcrux. Whatever the inspiration, it worked. She started peeing evey time I took her out. In little tiny bits in a dozen places - and still tinged with blood - but she was peeing and that was very good.
She was super happy to see my mom. She's crazy for my mom. We both felt much better with my mom here. Daisy certainly looks better in the photo below.
By Monday we were all doing much better. The storm was moving in, but I was pretty sure we were all going to be ok. And I can't even tell you how much of that was because my mom was here. I'm sure the whole world would have fallen apart if she hadn't come up to take care of us.
By Tuesday I knew Daisy was feeling better. Almost normal, really, and possibly better than she had for a long time. There's no way to know how long the stones had been in her bladder or how long they had been bothering her. She was frustrated that I wouldn't let her jump up anywhere or run loose to play outside (doctor's orders). I don't think she minded me carrying her up and down the stairs though. I more think she might be frustrated when her stitches are headed and I make her do that part on her own.
Last night was pretty much back to normal.
Today she seems to be in a great mood. She's managed to jump up on the couch a couple times even though I was certain I had blocked it off to make it impossible. She's tried to play with Spike and she's drug out a couple toys to toss around. I know she's getting tired of water over her food and having to stay on a leash when we go outside, but Saturday morning she can go back to running and jumping and going out back like a normal dog.
It'll be another week after that until we get the results about what her stones were made of. Right now she's on a very plain Science Diet RX food which might have to stay her food forever, or we might get to change it. She hasn't had a treat since the surgery and when I know what not to feed her, I'll know what treats she can have. I know she'll be happy about that. At some point I'll stop covering her food with water and see if she'll drink enough on her own, but for right now I think I'll keep it up.
So that's the story of my poor dog and her health scare. It's amazing how much you love your dogs. She is so incredibly precious to me. She has truly become my best friend. I am wildly grateful to god and my vet and my mom and all the friends who have sent support to me and prayers for us both during this crazy time. Thank you all so much. Daisy and I are eternally grateful.