Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Emergency Vet Visit


My husband fled the island last night, on the 11:00 pm boat, hoping to get our dog to the vet in time...

He'd already consulted with the summer island vet about Bailey's swelling, distended abdomen, odd behavior, bloating, and possible intestinal torsion. Without emergency equipment, the vet could do nothing, so Allen headed to a vet in Harbor Springs - a 20 minute wait for the boat, a 15 minute ride, and a one hour drive away. I hoped they'd make it - we'd had Bailey since she was a puppy and I knew Allen wasn't ready to say goodbye to her, nor were the kids.

At 1:30 am the phone rang. After X-rays the vet said neither her intestines or her stomach was twisted (a good sign) yet she was quite bloated. Under general anesthetic he used a needle to drain off the fluid and wanted her to stay the night. It was looking good, but she wasn't out of the woods yet.

At 8:30 am my husband called again to say she was doing well. She needs antibiotics, but should be OK and he was going to bring her home later today. Though, since the vet can't determine why this happened, he warned my husband that it could happen again...

Our cat, Sushi -
all 18 pounds of her.

Owning a pet on Mackinac Island is like owning a pet way out in the country. If there is a problem, you aren't very close to emergency care. Several years ago, Bailey found and ate an entire bottle of Advil. I remember my husband feeding her activated charcoal, putting her in the snowmobile cutter and racing across the ice to get her to the vet. She dodged the bullet that time too, but not all our pets have been so lucky.

About twelve years ago my cat, Chelsea, died from an acute asthma attack. She took medication to help her breathing on a daily basis, but when that first severe attack came there was nothing we could do. It was late at night, after the boats had stopped running, at a time of the year where no vet was available, and even if one was here, what could he have done? We probably only had ten minutes between when the attack started and when sweet little Chelsea died in my arms. We wrapped her in a small quilt and buried her later that night. She was such a good little kitty...

Bailey is about 10 - old for a large dog. And I can't help but wonder if she is nearing the end of her life. I can't bear the thought of her, or my husband, going through another episode like this one again.

8 comments:

The Hubby said...

HORRIBLE picture of Bailey! Liz is not a dog person and would much rather take pictures of her beloved cat. The mutt is doing well. I have now learned the procedure for inserting a trocar(large bore needle) into the stomach to decompress the bloat and will be keeping a couple on hand. Hopefully it never happens again.

This is fairly common in dogs and is fatal if untreated. If you have a dog, I highly recommend this article. Bailey was lucky. I knew what was going on and moved quickly. I hope you never have to deal with this. If you see signs of bloat in your dog, MOVE QUICKLY!

stitching under oaks said...

yikes! hope Bailey stays ok...and that you don't have to do that procedure again. Glad she's alright. they really are part of the family aren't they?

Sara said...

Oh, I can't imagine! Glad the pooch is doing pretty well, considering!

Allie said...

WOW - I had no idea this condition existed in dogs - I'm so glad Bailey is ok and I hope it never happens again! Good for hubby on being prepared, though!

Melody said...

WOW. I'm so glad you guys were able to get treatment for your doggie! Pets become a part of our family. I can't imagine life without our beloved Oreo (whom looks IDENTICAL to your kitty!). I pray you have many long years w/ your pets! :)

Erin said...

Glad things worked out and hope you don't have a scare like that again. You mention 10 being old for a larger dog. My larger dog is 11 1/2...I know she's a senior dog, but I hadn't really thought of her being really old. :(

underatopazsky said...

That's one of the issues of living away from big centres of population. I live in a town now and having done that sort of dash with a small and very sick child, would never go back to living in the country. Hope things settle for you and Bailey.

Debi VanDyke said...

So glad Bailey's doing better! After all the porcupine attacks we endured this spring, and all the emergency trips to the vet, I can sure appreciate your dilemma. I'll pray your animal issues remain simple!