Monday, November 29, 2010

The incident at the vet....

I can't remember exactly the timeline of when this occurred, but I believe it was shortly after we figured out Bruno had pancreatitis....  I went in just before closing one night to check on Bruno and get an update from Dr. Lynne.  Dr. Lynne seemed a little off, a little upset.  I asked her what what wrong.  The conversation went something like this....

Lynne "As of tonight, I am off Bruno's case".
Me "Excuse me"?
Lynne "I was told I am no longer allowed to treat Bruno"
Me "The hell you are.  Where is she"?

"She" was the owner of the clinic.  "She" had never impressed me.  "She" had always rubbed me the wrong way...  The ONLY reason I took my dogs to her clinic was because of Dr. Dawn!  and now, Dr. Lynne as well.

The office called "her" so I could speak to her.  I was pissed!  My baby, Bruno, had been saved by Dr. Lynne.  She and Dr. Dawn were the only people who were allowed to treat my animals.  Period.  I explained this to the owner.  "She" told me that she was the owner and asked is she got any credit???  Ummmmm, no.  "She" did nothing for any of my dogs.  I met her once and immediately did not like her.  I explained to her that my dog's treatment was MY decision, not hers; and that my decision was that Dr. Lynne and Dr. Dawn would be the only vets touching Bruno.  I explained to her that she rubbed me the wrong way the first time I had met her and that I did not like her.  I told her that because of me, MANY people came to her clinic to see Dr. Dawn.  I explained those people could easily leave as well.  I WAS FURIOUS!!!!!!!  Bruno was my dog, my family.  The conversation did not go well for the high and mighty owner....  I hung up and walked out to the waiting room, where the entire staff was waiting.  I simply said, "Lynne, you and Dr. Dawn will be continuing to treat Bruno".  Enough said.
I spent some more time with Bruno and went home that night, feeling a little more hopeful, as I had just won a big fight for my buddy!

Bruno is sick, the saga continued....

I went back to visit Bruno the next day.  There was no improvement.  Actually, it was getting worse.  He was refusing to eat.  He was starting to refuse water.  Again, I laid with him and talked to him.  No wags, no licks, nothing but sad, sad eyes....  I gave him my finger with water on it and he licked a tiny bit.
Everyday that week, I went back with multiple jars of baby food and canned dog foods.  I would try everything until he ate..  FINALLY, he took some after I wiped it on his nose!!!  Dr. Lynne, Dr. Dawn and I were all so excited!!!  I usually came at lunch and Dr. Lynne would sit with us.  She was amazing!  She was so patient, kind and meticulous.  I am so grateful that we had her and Dr. Dawn taking care of our little guy!
He continued the high dose antibiotics.  He started eating for me, a little bit everyday.  I was beginning to see a little bit of hope!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bruno is sick Part III

Bruno was in the hospital for a week.  He wouldn't eat.  He stopped drinking.  I visited everyday.  I would lay on the floor with him and pet him and cry.  Occasionally he would lick my nose.  I would bring him a different flavor of canned food or baby food everyday.  Nothing worked.  They decided to do an ultra sound to see why he wasn't eating and why he was so depressed.  The news wasn't good...
He had several "pus pockets" in his intestines.  He had an infection.  On top of that, he had pancreatitis.  As if the surgery wasn't enough, the poor guy was now super, super sick.  Massive, high dose antibiotics began.  Could this get any worse?
I remembered the first day I met him and what an awesome dog and companion he had been.  I began to face the painful reality that Bruno may not make it through this awful ordeal.  I sobbed the whole way home that night.  I got home and sat on the floor with my other dogs and cried and cried.  I explained to my little girl that Bruno was very sick and I was not sure if he would ever come home from the hospital.  She sat down and cried with me...  I would go back tomorrow and talk to Bruno about his possible fate....

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bruno is sick part II

The next day, I went to the vet's office to check on my beagle bear....  He looked awful!  He looked sad.  He perked up a tiny bit when he saw me....  I even got a tail wag and nose kiss!  I got to sit on the floor of the room and visit with him for a while.  He cuddled up on a blanket next to me and slept.  We layed there for an hour.  It was so heartbreaking!
I talked to Dr. Lynne, and she said that Bruno had a long road ahead of him.  He had just undergone major surgery, and recovery would be tough.  He wasn't eating or drinking yet.  That would be the first of many hurdles for Bruno....

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mommy's sick

Forgive me for not blogging....  I have had an awful migraine for the lasy 2 days...  I will say that the essence of unconditional love is found in a dog...  When I came home in tears, all 4 of my brood were waiting with hugs and tail wags.  They have spent the last 2 days in bed with me.  Occassionally licking me to make sure I was ok!  I'm lucky to have them.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Oh my God, Bruno is sick.... part 1

Bruno is my baby.  I got him when I was single.  I have grown up with him.  He has been through happiness, sorrow and life with me.  I adore him.....  He has always had belly issues...  He had been vomitting for a couple of hours and it was Friday, so I thought I would take him to get checked before the weekend....  My whole weekend was about to change drastically.
Our normal vet, Dr. Dawn, who is AMAZING, was not in.  So they asked if I would mind seeing Dr. Lynne, Who I had not yet met.  I said sure, I was sure it wasn't anything major, he always pukes.  So we got there.  Dr. Lynne did an exam and said just to be safe, she would like to do an xray.  I thought sure, he's my baby, just to be safe.  I had an instant connection with Lynne.  They took my buddy back for the xray...
Bruno came back and we sat and waited.  I figured they would say "pepcid and bland diet".  Dr Lynne came back.  The conversation went something like this....

Lynne "Bruno has a blockage.  He needs surgery immediately".
Me, "Ummmm, what?"
Lynne, "He has a complete bowel obstruction.  I need to take him into surgery, now."
Me, "Ummmm, uh ok, go"

She took my little buddy.  I was in shock.  I was in tears.  I got up and walked out numb.  They said they would call.  She said it would take about an hour.  I had to go home, without Bruno and tell my husband and little girl.  This was turning out to be a very horrible start to the weekend!
I waited an hour.  Nothing.  An hour and half....  two hours....  I was on facebook and saw that one of the vet tech's was online.  I begged her to call and find out what was going on.  She did.  They were still working on him!!!  OM MY GOD.....  Finally, the phone rang.  I think it was about 3 1/2 hours later...  Lynne told me he was out of surgery, but he had a long way to go.  His entire intestine was blocked, everywhere....  by gobs and gobs of hair!!!  Bruno had always been a licker, so it was probably 10 years of hair.  Dr. Lynne said she had removed all of the hair, and his intestine, and rinsed it 7 times!!  Tonight would be a long night for him.  My first love, had a very long road ahead of him....  I didn't sleep at all that night, or many more to come.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Butter Braid Incident....

This is the incident that finally caused me to blog about the dogs.  We bought some butter braids for a school fundraiser.  You know, the frozen, yeast filled, dough breakfast pastries??  They need to rise for at least 8 hours before cooking.  So, I put one out on Friday evening to enjoy on Saturday morning.  My husband was playing poker that night.  Christa and I went upstairs to get ready for bed.
I went downstairs to get a snack for Christa.  I walked into the kitchen and there was a very empty cookie sheet.  No butter braid to be found....  Oh My God....  It was still frozen!!!!!  I looked around to make sure I hadn't "misplaced" it.  Then I saw Diva....  She looked very guilty.  I said "What did you do"?  She ran outside.
I began to think about yeast rising, in her stomach.  I got worried.  So, I called the emergency vet and the animal poison control.  Both said watch her, but it could be VERY serious.  Butter braids can apparently expand 10 times in a dogs stomach!  Who knew!?!?!  In addition, the yeast ferments and they can get alcohol poisoning!!  I was told to watch her carefully, give her ice cubes and gas x.  So, off we go to the store.  Godiva, Christa in feet pajamas and me, to buy gas x!!!
By the time we got home from the store, Diva looked really sick, and she was expanding!!!  Off we went to the emergency vet!  We got there and Diva still looked pretty crummy.  She was also VERY nervous.  Diva does NOT like the vet!!!
Into a room we go.  The vet comes in and I begin telling her the story.  She explains about the expansion and alcohol poisoning.  All this time, Diva is freaking out!  Trying to hide from the vet, under me and under the bench.  The vet then tells me that she will need to induce vomitting immediately.  At the same time, Godiva stands up, and pukes THE ENTIRE BUTTER BRAID, onto the floor!!!  It smelled like beer and had already started to expand.
I stood up, shook the vet's hand and said "thank you, it was very nice to meet you".  Really???  Only my dog!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Louie and the cardiologist

Louie, my daughter and I arrived at the cardiologist.  He wiggled and rolled for everyone he met.  He stole everyone's heart at the hospital.
He had an exam, which he was extremely wiggly for!  The doctor agreed that he had spontaneous, pulmonary hypertension, which caused him to stopped breathing and for his heart to stop.  She explained that bulldogs occassionally had issues with this, as they have a short snout and small nasal passages.  She said if nothing was done, he could get worse and eventually die from it.  She suggested that he have surgery to help him breathe better and open his airway to alleviate the problem.  I agreed, and asked if they could neuter him while he was under, too!
A few days later, we headed back to the hospital.  Louie was still his wiggly self and everyone adored him!  They took him back....  I watched with tears in my eyes.  I was so nervous.  A few minutes later, the tech came back and asked if I wanted to watch the surgery. So, my daughter and I decided to watch.
I was worried that Christa would freak out watching the surgery, but she was excited. We walked in and behind the glass, there was Louie, with a tube in his mouth, lying on his back. They cut and pulled and prodded. I kept watching the monitors to make sure he was doing ok. His vital signs remained good throughout the surgery. They finished up and came out to talk to us. All had gone perfectly!!!! We waited until he woke up to snuggle with him n
He was so happy to see us and Soooo wiggly! We were making him to excited so we had to leave. We came back to pick him up the next day. He was doing great!!! 3 years later, he is still doing great!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What a strange place to sleep!

As I was walking downstairs, I looked over the railing into the kitchen, as I always do...  I saw something large and black ON the kitchen table.  I did a double take....
There, sleeping on the kitchen table, was a large black lab!!!  My Beau....  When I came downstairs and asked him what he was doing, he just jumped down and went on his merry way!  Some days, I really wish they could talk!

A bit too big to be sleeping on the kitchen table!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Louie has a death wish....

It was time for Louie to get neutered.  We didn't feed hi after midnight.  We headed to the vet and he was super excited to be going on a ride!  We arrived at the vet's and wished Louie good luck!  They said his surgury would start around 11am.  They would call when he was all done.

I used to work for a vet, so I know how long a neuter generally takes.  I didn't expect to hear from anyone until at least noon.  The phone rang at 11:10, I saw it was the vet....  I answered the phone "What's wrong?".  Dr. Dawn, our amazing vet said, "Laurie, Louie just stopped breathing on the table, we are trying to get him back.  I knew you'd want to know.".  That was it...  I hung up the phone and began to sob.  Louie had already won our hearts in the short time we had known him.  I had to explain, in kid terms, to my daughter (then 2) why I was crying.  I had to call my husband.  Joe got very choked up when I told him.  We all sat around and waited, not so patiently, for the next phone call.
About an hour later, the phone rang.  I was preparing myself for the worst....  Dr. Dawn said, "Laurie, we got him back!  But he is not neutered..."  I was so pleased!  What a huge relief.  This was when we learned of all the potential bulldog issues...
We went to pick the little stinker up and Dr. Dawn told us we should go see a specialist - a cardiologist!!!  Really, we have a dog that needs a cardiology consult????  It was believed that Louie had spontaneous, pulmonary hypertension, which caused him to die on the surgery table....  Off we go to one, of only two dog cardiologists in Colorado!!