Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dog Drama

My stepfather used to always say, "If it isn't one thing, it's another". That held true yesterday. Alex and I decided to go out and see how the garden was doing and we took the Wrigley with us. We watched him for a couple of minutes because looked so cute, leaping into the air, trying to catch some birds that were flying from branch to branch in the woods. As we walked away, towards the garden, Wrigley came running out of the woods, freaking out. We couldn't really tell what was wrong and he wasn't yelping or making any noise, but it looked like he was either trying to get something off his leg, his leg was hurting and he was trying to bite away the pain or he was trying to get something out of his mouth. My first thoughts were he had a whole bird in his mouth (he has a history of swallowing frogs whole!) and he was trying to get it out or that he had injured his leg while jumping or he got stung by an insect.

After about 45 seconds of freaking out, he calmed down and I went over the the garden. He came and sat just outside the garden enclosure. When I went in the house a few minutes later, I took him with me. As we were crossing the deck to the kitchen door, he started to look weird. He was moving slowly and I could tell something just wasn't right. He got about two feet into the house and just sat down. Still sitting up, but not moving at all. His eyes looked funny and when I tried to call him over to his water dish, he was like a statue. I called Alex over to help me look at him to see if we could figure out what was wrong. Alex sat down next to him and was petting him and noticed that Wrigley was pooping, still just sitting there, not moving. Then suddenly he started to fall over into Alex's arms. It was awful, he seemed to by dying in front of our eyes. All I kept thinking was that it looked exactly like when I was a teenager and my cat got hit by a car and died from internal injuries.

While Alex held the dog, I started calling vets to see if we could bring him in. The first one was closed on Tuesdays, the second and third said their vets had just left the office (it was noon). The four was busy, but I kept trying and finally got through. Then they put me on hold! Ugh, I waited for a few minutes and then called back on my cell phone and told them I couldn't be on hold. They checked if a doctor would be available and told me I could bring him in as long as I agreed to pay for an emergency visit. Hello, I can't afford a vet visit, let alone an extra emergency fee right now, but what am I going to do, let my puppy die on the kitchen floor???

By this time, Alex and Shauna and I were all pretty much hysterical. Jack was helping and the only one not hysterical, so that was nice. Alex had let Shauna take over hugging and holding Wrigley because he said he couldn't stand to have him die in his arms. I don't blame him, the poor kid. Alex and Shauna were devastated, they love that dog. In the midst of all this, I realized that Hannah wasn't in the house (I had thought she was upstairs in her room). Apparently she had left the house, without permission, even though she is grounded. More on that in the next post.

So now we wrapped the dog in a blanket (mainly so Jack and Alex could carry him out without getting poop or vomit on them). He seemed to perk up very slightly a little while after the blanket was around him and he was in the warm van. He moved around a little in the van, but still couldn't walk when we got to the vet's office. The boys carried him in, while I went to park the van. The doctor came into the room a few minutes later (seemed like forever) and about the same time she walked in, Wrigley started to scoot himself around the floor, rubbing his face and head against the floor and baseboard, like it was itchy. He was doing much better than earlier, though. The vet checked him out and couldn't figure out what was wrong. She got a vile out to draw some blood and was starting to do that when she noticed hives started to pop out all over his snout. As soon as his snout started swelling, we could see where he had been stung by something. Before the hives started, it wasn't even noticeable. Now that she knew for sure it was an allergic reaction, she took him to the back for benadryl and steroid injections. When she brought him back, he was doing a lot better.

I still can't figure out why he went into shock first and had the hive reaction later. The vet couldn't either. I asked if they have epi-pens for dogs, but she said no. At least if it happens again, we will know to give him Benadryl right away. He stayed the rest of the day at the hospital and I picked him up just before I went to work. We have to give him the Benadryl for 7 days. He seemed fine this morning, but had peed in his cage, which hasn't happened in a long time. Other than that, he was happily playing with one of the cats.

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