Tuesday, May 20, 2008

USOs..."Unidentified Swallowed Objects"

My weekend was spent at the ER...the Animal ER, that is. Caution: The following blog post may contain graphic references not recommended for the faint of heart...or stomach. On Friday evening, I got home and found (to put it mildly) about 10 places where one of the dogs had thrown up. At the time I didn't know which dog it was, but I soon learned that it was Jack, my 11 year old Jack Russell. He continued throwing up about once every 3 minutes, in between me calling vets (none of which were open) and cleaning up the previous mess. It was horrible. The weird thing was that it was all water...nothing solid. Then I found it...in the far corner of the guest room, he had evidently gotten rid of whatever it was he swallowed. It looked like a big pink eraser, but I couldn't imagine what he had gotten into. Well, I put it in a Ziploc bag as evidence, and whisked Jack and the Ziploc bag to the Animal ER. It was a LOVELY 15 minute car ride in which Jack managed to go through 6 towels. Could Ryan have possibly been in town for such an exciting event? Of course not. BUT, he did call at a really appropriate time..right when I got the estimate for the $3000 surgery Jack needed. I was a basketcase, which I know sounds silly, but Jack is like my kid. I know he has 4 legs, sheds a lot, and doesn't speak "human", but he is definitely my companion! Anyway, I signed the papers, and left Jack at the ER at about 1:30am. At 5:00, the vet called me to say that the surgery went fine. They found another piece of the same thing I had found, and called it the "Unidentified Swallowed Object", or "USO". They also found that his small intestine had severe scar tissue. Because of that, they couldn't just remove the USO. They had to remove almost 3 inches of his small intestine. There is a really high risk of infection when they have to do that, and they have to be extra careful that there's no chance of the small intestine leaking or rupturing later on. How scary is that?!! He has 2 layers of stitches and 14 staples in his little tummy. Poor baby!!! So, Jack spent the next 2 full days in the ER hooked up to IVs because he wouldn't eat or drink. I had to visit him in the emergency room the first 2 times, but after that they would bring him out to me in his own room. He would just lay there like in this picture. It was SO pitiful.



They wouldn't release him until he ate and drank, so finally on Sunday night, I was able to get him to take 3 bites! WOO HOO!! Luckily that was enough to get the vet to release him. Unfortunately, we got home and he refused to take his medicine by mouth. I literally tried everything for an hour to get one pill down him, but he wouldn't have it. So, it was back to the ER at 12:30am for him to get 4 shots. They threatened to keep him again, but I begged for them to let me take him home. I couldn't stand seeing him in that place! At 7:30 the next morning, I took him into our regular vet (since it finally wasn't emergency hours) and they gave him his medicine, took out his catheter and gave me the best animal product I have ever purchased. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present:



They are the only way Jack would take his medicine, which is saving me a TON of money. His shots were $30 each, and he was getting 4 of them three times a day. You do the math. Anyway, he has been on the up and up ever since. So much that he managed to pull out 3 of his staples today while I went to work for 2 hours. We just returned from vet appointment #4 because of it, so I'm praying that this is all until he gets his staples out next week. What a weekend!


13 comments:

Laloo said...

oh no! so sorry about your weekend -- our Hannah is a gulper, too, so we've had some scary moments -- glad Jack is on the mend!

Finally an Abrigg..... said...

WHere is his cone head?! :) I'm so sorry that happened! EW.

allyo said...

Oh my...I am so sorry! I know how hard it is to watch someone you love (even if it is a dog) be so sick. I was in nourning for about two months, when Saedee was stolen. I still tear up when I see a dog that looks like her! I don't know how many times I have been late to places because I have to turn around to go see if the dog I just saw was Saedee. Wow. That was way off sbject. I just wanted to let you know I was thinking about you and sweet Jack. Let me know if you need anything!

Melodie said...

such a sad story and kinda gross. what dedication you have to jack!! i'm impressed sarah! at the $3k surgery, i probably would have asked what it costs to have her put down. :)

crazymom said...

sarah, i know how much you love jack. i miss him so much. he isnt your normal dog, so i understand the love you feel for him! we will pray for our little doggy! jackie rose said, oh mommy, can i kiss jacks boo boo. how cute is that! stay strong sister!

Andi said...

I have been through a very similar situation with my Deuce. I totally know what you are feeling!

GateWay said...

oh my sweet Sarah....I absolutely understand, and have done so much the same things!! (do you see the animal stuff on my blogs???!!!) We just took one of my big old kitties to the emergency vet and had to make the horrible choice of putting him down, or doing some real manuevering to get him his special food THE REST OF HIS LIFE!!! and he is an outside cat! KG (our 7 year old granddaughter was in the room).... What could Troy do with me and KG there and Puff kitty's head in our laps???? yes, we are feeding him SPECIAL food everyday separate from any other cat! so much more that I could say, but suffice it to say.... I would do the same thing! I love your heart and that of your husband who allows you to be you!

GateWay said...

oh yes... forgot... we also did the emergency surgery and a WEEK in the vet clinic!!! oh my gosh!!!! LORD, can't we just say the WORD???/

Poefam said...

So glad he's on the mend! Poor Jack! You were such a brave mommy!

JEN said...

Hi, caught your blog off of April's and just wanted to say I am so glad that there are other people out there who care as much for their animals as I do! I have two dogs and would do almost anything for them! I obviously don't have children yet but very much consider them my babies! Hope your little guy gets better soon!

campers said...

ahhh so sad! I am so glad poor Jack is better! I hate seeing my puppies in pain!

Poefam said...

I would LOVE to go again...I could see it 100 times! Wanna meet halfway soon? And, are you going this weekend? I decided for sure that I just can't! I'm sad, but know that it's the best decision! Love you!

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

I'm still reeling from the cost! Did you say $3000???!!! But I'm a dog lover too, and would have done the same!