I’m a little behind on posts and I apologize- this week has been a complete whirlwind. About a week and a half ago our little bear became suddenly ill. Initially she was simply disinterested in her favorite salmon and sweet potato kibble, but as the week progressed her lack of appetite turned into constant vomiting (too much information I know- sorry!). Ellie has a history of stomach issues due to her love of chewing on kennels and her associated separation anxiety so we played the vomiting off as another one of Ellie’s episodes.
After a night filled with sickness and a morning of the like we knew this wasn’t one of Ellie’s typical “bad belly days.”
Fortunately, Andrew was off from work so he immediately rushed her to the Petsmart vet.
After running a series of tests, the vet believed Ellie might have pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis has no distinct cause and it can progress very quickly. The vet suggested we take Ellie to the emergency hospital as soon as possible.
So off we went- two adults twisted in a tangle of nerves and one sick pooch who was still giving lovies and acting as though nothing could slow her down.
After Ellie greeted the friendly emergency hospital staff with nothing other than smooches, we were ushered into a room where poor Ellie proceeded to get sick many more times. Symptoms were discussed and preliminary tests performed when the doctor informed us that if Ellie did have pancreatitis, her abdomen would be excruciatingly sore, which it was not- she happily rolled over for everyone to pet her. He also informed us that her x-rays did not indicate any kind of foreign object; however, he did note that not all foreign objects appear on x-rays. The probability that a foreign object was causing Ellie’s illness was high and we came to a fork in the road.
We could take Ellie home and hope and pray that home treatment would heal her or we could leave Ellie at the emergency hospital where she would have liquids pumped in to try and pass the foreign object while further tests were run. Neither solution was guaranteed to work, but a choice had to be made.
Deep down both Andrew and I knew what needed to be done and after the doctor confirmed the route he would take if his dog was in Ellie’s situation our decision was made.
Despite our nerves and apprehensiveness to leave our puppy in such a vulnerable condition, we knew it was the right decision and that she was in good hands.
We were assured that we could call and check on her as much as we wanted- it was even encouraged! They would only be calling us if treatment needed to take a different path or if something was wrong. We crossed our fingers that we would not hear from them, gave Ellie lovies, and left for a long weekend much different than planned.
We called multiple times within the first afternoon and evening- we couldn’t help but worry. Around midnight the first night Ellie was in the hospital my phone rang and it immediately registered with me that that something must be wrong.
A linear obstruction was found in Ellie’s intestine and the only option to save her was surgery. In order to excavate the obstruction they would have to cut into her intestine.
A few sleepless and prayer-filled hours later we received another phone call. Ellie’s surgery was a success. The obstruction was found. The culprit was none other than rope toys and plastic, presumably from the 3 kennels our little menace has chewed through.
With lots of fluids, rest, and lovies Ellie was going to be okay. She had to remain in the hospital for three more days to ensure there were no complications and that she regained her appetite. This experience put a strain on our family in so many ways- all of the past exams, presentations, and bills don’t even compare to the worry and stress we experienced during this weekend. We were unable to visit Ellie until her last night for fear of her anxiety causing issues when we left again. When we did see her it was quite the reunion. Even with a cone of shame, tubes, and a belly full of sutures Ellie managed to wag her bum 🙂
Ellie is a fighter and we knew with every ounce of our hearts she would pull through, but that did little to calm our minds during this trial.
This could have happened to any dog. Truthfully, this could happen to Ellie again. I didn’t write this post to incite sympathy- Ellie certainly does not want that unless it involves wet dog food- she sure loves that stuff. Some good belly pats and a spot on the sofa make her happy as can be.
I wrote this post to serve as a precautionary warning. Please please please watch what your furry friends do with their toys. We never thought Ellie ingested any of her toys. We simply thought she tore them apart and left piles of fuzz for us to collect. I would never wish this experience upon anyone. It is so upsetting to see your little puppy so helpless and in so much pain.
Two weeks later, Ellie’s 18 sutures will soon be removed and it will be as though this never happened. Ellie is healed and happier than ever, but we will never forget this weekend. Ellie’s toys have been thrown away- other than her nyla bone and rawhide bones. The day she looked in her toy bin to discover only bandanas our hearts broke. As difficult as it is to not give Ellie everything she wants, we never want her to experience that pain again.
Our bear is an angel and we are so thankful she is still spoiling us with her love here on earth. Here’s to many more years of Ellie’s maniacal endeavors.
Have y’all ever had similar experiences with your pooches?