It all started on Wednesday night. Justin had left for softball and it was just me and the boys. I fed the boys and then I fed the dogs. Typical nightly events.
As Kaden was working on his homework, I glanced over to the backdoor and noticed that Stoli had gotten sick. I also noticed that there was something more than just food lying in the pile, so I put on gloves and examined it. My initial thought was a finger puppet but it was pretty tightly wound and covered so I tossed it and didn't think anything more about it.
As Justin and I settled into bed I told him that Stoli had been sick earlier so that if we hear anything tonight to jump up quickly to get her to the tile of the bathroom or the hardwood floors of the hallway. Fifteen minutes later and we were both jumping up out of bed and not in enough time. I got her out to the backyard and as I was headed back upstairs to take some carpet cleaner to him I noticed another spot on her dog bead and living room carpet. It looked like it had been there a little while.
Damn. Three times in about 3 hours. I thought, surely she is done, so we put her back on her dog bed and then about 2 hours later it happened again. We were too late again as well.
I decided to sleep downstairs with her and after yet another episode at 2:30 in the morning, I called the ER Vet to get some help. They suggested that I take away all her water and food and to call our vet in the morning or we could bring her now if needed. I decided to give it till morning, that was until she got sick twice more. Four o'clock in the morning and we were loading up into the Camry, the fear in her eyes is still etched into my memory.
We arrived and they took her back. They did an x-ray and checked her vitals and they were both good. They went ahead and gave her some anti-nausea medicine and sent us home with instructions not to give her food or water for 12 hours but that if after 12 hours she hadn't gotten sick, we could reintroduce a bland diet.
Twelve hours came and went and no additional episodes so we let her have something to drink and gave her a small amount of food. I was thinking things were looking better. She was laying in one of her favorite places--the first landing on our stairs--and I no more stepped away for ten seconds when I heard the all to familiar sound. Damn it. My heart was officially breaking and I was starting to get more nervous.
I removed the food and water again and we made it through the night but just as Kaden was getting up for school she had one final episode and I immediately was calling our vet. Since moving out west we have transitioned to a new vet--Falcon Valley Animal Hospital and they were great. There wasn't a doctor there yet and they already had a full day of surgeries planned but they immediately gave me the number to their sister clinic, Cherokee Animal Clinic in OP and stated that a doctor was at the office---it was 7 am---and that I should call immediately. That they too had a ultrasound machine and would be able to act quickly if needed. I called and within 10 minutes we were loading back up and headed their way.
They got me right in. They got Stoli right up on the table and started checking her vitals---no comment was made to me about how they were but instead they started talking about options.
He was concerned that he only heard a little amount of activity in her bowel which usually means there is an obstruction and it needed to be located. They were going to keep Stoli and not only do an ultrasound but also run a complete blood work up and then do a series of x-rays if they were needed.
I couldn't stand telling her goodbye and just gave her the biggest hug and kissed the top of her head letting her know how much we all loved her. I was praying that they would find answers and just hoping that whatever it was, we were in time.
I got a call around 11:30 letting me know they did in fact find an obstruction in her intestines and surgery was the only way in which she would be okay. We of course agreed to moving ahead with the surgery, after all, she's family and you do whatever it takes to make sure your family is okay and you get/give them whatever it is they need to help those chances. Now, it was a waiting game.
We finally got the call at 3:30. There was another finger puppet in her track and that is what was causing the blockage. The issue, when they removed the finger puppet the tissue that it had been pressed up against had not been receiving blood, meaning oxygen and was pretty much dead. They were hoping that once the blood flow started again that it would bounce back on it's own but it didn't. He ended up having to cut out the toxic part of her intestines and reconnect the healthy tissue to her bowl. He was hopeful that she would recover nicely and told us that we could pick her up on Saturday.
I was there promptly at 12:30 to speak with the doctor and get her discharge paperwork and around the corner she walked with her new accessory---the inflatable neck donut. I took her home and everyone was so happy to see her and she was happy to see every too.
Saturday was a rough day. She drank some water but didn't want any food. She mainly laid around but hey, she just had major abdominal surgery. She slept fairly well on Sunday and managed to get up a few times to go outside to use the restroom but would come straight back in and either lay down or sit at your feet. She looked off but I was hoping it was just from having a major surgery, hoping.
Family started to arrive for brunch and Justin was telling everyone to start eating, she threw up. I lost it. Everyone was telling me that it was going to be okay but I knew what it meant if she threw up again---something was still wrong. I cleaned it up really quickly and then went upstairs to call the doctor. On Easter. We talked for a few minutes and he came to the conclusion that since it was green it was just bile. And that she was probably just nauseous and he ordered me a prescription for her. He also suggested giving her Zantac and Pedialyte. She wasn't the biggest fan of the Pedialyte or drinking water at first but then she found the snow outside and loved it. I quickly grabbed a few bowls full of snow and doused it with Pedialyte and she went to town. Thankfully it seems that the new presciption and Zantac has eased her belly and we are starting to see her personality come through.
I wasn't prepared for the emotions that would surface in a situation like this. Stoli is our first baby, she's my only girl & she has been family since day one. We love our Stoli girl & praying that she's ready to give us another few years because we just aren't ready to let her go.