Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Super Sick -- Blockage?

I was super sick on Tuesday and Wednesday.  I'm out of the woods now, but it was pretty scary for a little bit. 
 I woke my mom and dad up at about 5am on Tuesday by screaming at the backdoor to be let out.  My belly didn't feel well.  And then, I threw up seven times in five hours.  Weird yellow stuff.  By 10am, my mom was scared, so she called the vet, and they said to come in right away.  It was an emergency.  We couldn't wait until my dad got home from work at 5pm -- we had to go NOW! 

My mom called my dad to let him know what was going on, and he told his boss that he had to take a long lunch and came home to take my mom and me to the vet's office.  I threw up again in the car.  And then again in the waiting room at the vet's office.  I was really, really sick.

The doctor did a quick exam.  I weighed only 36.4 lbs (I'm usually 38.5), so that's not good.  I was really dehydrated.  My belly is obviously unhappy.  And what's that... she feels a weird mass in my belly?  She wants to do an Xray????  Oh, please mom!  Not an Xray!  They are cold!

The next thing I know, the vet is pulling me out "the door."  You know -- the bad one.  The good door is the one that you get to walk through when you leave the vet's office with your mom and dad.  The bad door is the gateway to thermometers, Xrays, MRIs, surgeries, saline solutions, stitches, and eek... shots.  I don't mind going through the "bad door" when I'm with my usual vet or vet tech because they always have the most delicious treats, but because this was an emergency, this was a different vet.  I don't know her, and she doesn't have the delicious treats.  But to be honest, no amount of treats is going to make it less scary.  I didn't feel good, and I wanted to stay with my mom and dad!

The Xrays themselves weren't that bad, though.
 The initial Xray did not immediately show any blockages, but looked suspicious.  The doctor asked my mom what sort of string I may have eaten.  String?  I don't remember eating string?  Apparently, my intestines bunched up in an odd pattern which spelled trouble.  The vet wanted to do a barium treatment with progressive Xrays every 2 hours to chart its progress through the intestines.  This meant that I would have to eat a barium "milkshake" (a chalky liquid) that adheres to the intestines, revealing potential problem areas such as tumors, ulcers, and polyps.  If there was a blockage, it would light up like the fourth of July.

My mom agreed, so they did the barium films.  The first few looked normal(ish).  But, then...
The vet told my mom and dad that the films (especially the 7pm film) showed a large "foreign body."  Not a full blockage, but still might be a problem.

The vet's best guess is that it is some kind of fabric, but the barium seemed to have helped to move it through my intestines.  As of 7pm, the "item" had reached my colon, so it looks like we're almost out of the woods.  The vet discharged me Tuesday night at 7:30pm with a bunch of drugs, and I had to return to the vet's office for another Xray on Wednesday morning to make sure that the situation is "progressing."

I was so happy to see my mom and dad when they came to pick me up last night from the vet's office.  I had definitely gained weight/volume from all of the saline and barium that they had pumped into me.  The initial excitement burned out fast though, and I was back to feeling sick within a few hours of being home.  No throwing-up sick, but just "ick-I've-been-through-hell-and-feel-awful" sick. 
When it was time to go to bed, I refused to go to upstairs.  I curled up in my donut bed in the living room and wouldn't budge.  My mom spent the night on the couch so that she could stay right next to me and hold my paw. I think she was afraid to leave me alone.

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