Tuesday, October 18, 2011

UPDATE ON MOON-THE-DOG

Moon on the side deck the day before her surgery; you can tell she's not feeling good.

First off, Moon-the-Dog is back home, resting, and (I hope) slowly improving—though not yet out of danger from post surgical complications. Nor have we yet heard back from all the tests. 

Here's the story…

Moon has not been doing well for some time. After a visit to the family vet's on Wednesday, and no clue as to what was going on from the blood work she ran following that check-up, last Friday afternoon I had to rush Moon to an emergency care center in northern Cincinnati (a bit over an hour from the cottage) for an ultrasound. This is a huge and absolutely remarkable, state-of-the-art facility serving the tri-state. Dozens of general veterinary doctors, surgeons, therapists, oncologists, and various specialists on staff, along with nurses, assistants, service staff and secondary caregivers—all available or on-call for 24/7 service. 

The ultrasound revealed that Moon's gall bladder was enlarged, blocked with congealed bile, and either about-to rupture, or already doing so. This required immediate emergency surgery to remove the gall bladder, as it was an acute condition and life threatening…hours, vs. days. So I left her there and drove home; they did the workup followed by the two-hour surgery, finishing just after midnight. 

This is a serious condition, major surgery, and comes with a 50 percent post-op survival risk. I was mighty relieved when the surgeon called to tell me Moon came through the operation.  

One of the many wonderful things about this place is that you can call any time, day or night, to check on your dog. I called about daylight on Saturday, and was told she had made the night, and was at least holding her own if not improving slightly—though it was still a bit early to tell. I also talked to the surgeon later, after she'd completed her rounds, and she thought Moon was doing okay, but reiterated that we were still in the critical period. Later that afternoon, Myladylove and I went down to see her. She looked awful, of course, given what she'd been through only a few hours before, how sick she'd been prior to the surgery, all the meds she was now on, plus the shaved belly and 50–60 staples holding the incision closed. She wouldn't eat, but was at least still alive.

The worst of the post-surgical risk comes during the first 3-4 days. Moon continued to improve Sunday—an improvement we could see when we again went down to vist; this time we managed to get some some baby food in her via a syringe. They syringe fed her again that evening, and also Monday morning. After talking with the vet, and it was decided I could bring her home yesterday afternoon…which I did. She looked noticeably better than she had on Sunday. She rode well in the makeshift bed I fixed for her, seemed glad to be home, though is weak, sore, and still much in the midst of having had such a serious gall bladder issue and surgery. 

Today she seems about the same as yesterday. Sleeping on a padded bed in my writing room most of the time, with the occasional brief outside potty break. I'm hand-feeding her and giving her her meds at the appointed hour. She's not out of the woods yet, but her odds are certainly improving—barring infections and a half-dozen other complications, and any unforeseen news from the tests. Maybe in the next day or two I'll get her to begin eating on her own. I have to take her back next week to check on various organ functions and replumbing matters. Then a week after that to have the staples removed. 

Time will tell, as it always does…but I sure feel better than I have in days, though I could use a nap. 

Finally…to each and every one of you who wrote, let me say you'll never know how much I appreciated your kind words and encouraging comments. Thank you so, so much. 
———————

32 comments:

giggles said...

Go Moon.... feel better soon.... Good girl.....

Bonnie said...

Hi Grizz - "Moon-the-Dog" must be so happy to be back home with you.

We had a similar situation with our beloved "Silken", a nine year old golden. We were not so lucky however, she died a few hours after the operation.

You and your companion have been through a lot together. Give her a gentle pat on the head for me. Take care of yourself, too!

Penny said...

Thinking of you all and glad things look more positive. Good to have the update.

Wanda..... said...

Moon is beautiful...wishing her all the best.

Jain said...

I'm thrilled to finally see a picture of Moon, Grizz. She is gorgeous!

I wasn't surprised to hear that she was glad to be home. Dogs are like that, more than people, I think. It sounds as if her chances improve with every passing hour. I'll keep her in my thoughts.

George said...

Great to see that photo of Moon-the-Dog, and, more importantly, I'm delighted to know that she has returned home. I'm quite confident that there is no better place for her to heal than in the day to day presence of those who love her. May you all get some rest and find renewed strength with each sunrise.

Grizz………… said...

Giggles…

Moon is wagging…I'm grinning…or maybe it's the other way around.

Thank you!

Kelly said...

Oh my goodness...poor puppy and poor you! I hope Moon-the-Dog continues to improve...and with speed.

Grizz………… said...

Bonnie…

I'm so sorry about Silken—and I know I've been very fortunate thus far with Moon. We have been through a lot, down many roads and a lot of life. Good years, too, for the most part—and always good companionship.

Thank you. (I'm trying to rest as I can.)

Grizz………… said...

Penny…

Yes, things are in a positive mode—and I only hope they continue the same. I'll try and keep updating things as we go along.

Thank you.

Grizz………… said...

Wanda…

She is a lovely dog, a sort of giant Jack Russell…though this isn't she best portrait. Thank you for your well wishes!

Grizz………… said...

Jain…

I've been meaning to do a post on her with a pix—but just never got around to it. She's a really pretty dog, even if I am quite prejudiced.

There is no place like home when you're feeling bad…for dogs or aging old writers or little girls following yellow brick roads. Home is good medicine.

Thank you for all…

Grizz………… said...

George…

Home is a healing place, no question. And Moon seems better almost by the hour. I could use sleep and rest, but at least the worry level has slackened. If I can just get her to eat on her own instead of hand-feeding every couple of hours, we'll both be a big step forward in improving.

Thank you for your nice words.

Grizz………… said...

Kelly…

It has been a rough week, for sure…but getting better with each hour. My faithful old dog is doing her best, and making progress—and you can't believe how that lifts my heart.

Thank you.

bonifer said...

Oh, Grizz what an ordeal to go through, I hope Moon recovers quickly and back to herself soon.
It will help her to be home with her 'parents'..nothing like home for recuperating, thinking of you all..and only good thoughts for Moon!!

Grizz………… said...

Bonifer…

Ordeal is the word. But I'm optimistic the road ahead will be healing and recovery—which will be sweet no matter the effort. We are a family—a one-for-all, all-for-one pack.

Thank you…

Robin said...

You can't know the songs I sing for the two of you...

That said... she is finally back with you.

Comfort all the way around.

You are such a good friend, Grizz, and she knows it. Hold that in your heart when you see her look at you as she is in this picture...

And give her a few good scritches for me.

Grizz………… said...

Robin…

Know that from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate—treasure!—each and every song. Thank you! And thank you, too, for your comment, as there's not much I'd rather have said of me than being a good friend—whether to person of animal…since with me, there's surprisingly little distinction between the two.

Moon does love me, as I love her; we know each other for our strengths and weaknesses, which makes the bond stronger. She's had most of her morning pills, been out a couple of times. and is snoozing on her bed in my writing room, where we can keep an eye on one another. I'll give her those scritches from you.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Oh Grizz - I.am sure Moon felt better to be home. You know yourself, if you are really ill, you are desperate to be at home. I do hope Moon continues to improve and that the prognosis is good. What we go through for our dogs eh?Give her a troke from me.

AfromTO said...

wonderful that Moon is home-I suffer from gallblader issues and a couple of emergency room visits know the pain that comes with it-leave oil out of Moon's diet-that's what triggers my pain-Ihope you have many more walks thru the fields and forests with Moon.

Grizz………… said...

Weaver…

Yes, nothing beats being home and being cared for by those you know when you're feeling bad. Moon continues to improve, and each day beyond the surgery puts her at better odds for a good recovery. I will give her a stroke and a scratch for you. Thank you!

Grizz………… said...

AfromTO…

I have a couple of friends with gall bladder issues, though one has subsequently had their gall bladder removed. So I know something of what you're going through—and I hope you're doing well, not experiencing too many flare-ups, and are being treated and prescribed as well as possible. It's not a fun thing to live with. Please take care of yourself…really talented artist/friends are irreplaceable.

I'm a bit worn out, but it's a wonderful tiredness, if you know what I mean. I'm so glad Moon came through everything and seems to be on the road to recovery. I know I can't have her around forever…but it also didn't seem like this should have been her time. I'm looking forward to that future of walks and rides and days on the deck or in my writing room together. Thank you, as always.

KGMom said...

This post does take me bavk a year plus when our dog Tipper suddenly became ill. Her body began destroying red blood cells.
We took her to the vet, and when we came back to see her, she was so excited--she fainted, due to lack of oxygen. The end of her condition was her demise--such a sad time.

It is inevitable--we who love dogs can't bear to think of them suffering. So, Moon--heal. Take every hand fed bit, and knit your body back together. Then have many years and walks together with Scribe and Ladylove.

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ - sending lots of healing energy and love to 'Moon'. And prayers for your strength too.
Love to you all
Gail
peace.....

Grizz………… said...

KGMom…


I remember your post re. Tipper.

Indeed, time always proves all living things mortal. Not something we necessarily want to face, but an irrefutable fact, nonetheless.

So, we do what we can for those we care about. Which we've been trying to do throughout this situation. It doesn't make getting up at 3 a.m. and stumbling into the rainy darkness when Moon needs to go out any easier, but it is what we do to honor love and responsibility…while hoping that when our own days come, we'll be given similar care—what we must do to earn the right to look ourselves in the mirror and not be disgusted by the reflected image.

I don't know how many years either Moon or I have, if any; time keeps its secrets. But I will do my best to feed and care and love her, because she is my faithful dog, and deserves nothing less.

Thank you. I wish your outcome with Tipper had been better.

Grizz………… said...

Gail…

Hey, thank you—we both need all the help we can get. Moon is doing well, eating a little on her own (though I'm still hand-feeding) and mostly sleeping—obviously worn out from her time at the hospital, the surgery, and the illness. I'm beat from the worry and lack of sleep. But that's only an observation, not a complaint. I'm so grateful to have my "gal" here.

It's been rainy and dark today. The river is up an inch or two and slightly discolored. Cool out, too. Leaf color is still green or brown, some rusty gold.

Take care of yourself. Make something good to eat. And keep all the prayers and positive thoughts you want coming this way…they're never unappreciated.

Robin said...

How many times a day do I scroll down to the bottom of this post to see how things are going? How many times a day do I say a little prayer for you and Moon?

More than you know.....

Grizz………… said...

Robin

However many it is, they're every single one appreciated more than you know. This a been a tough week all around, on everyone concerned. I've spent almost every waking hour sitting with, caring for, and worrying about Moon…and she's doing good, improving a bit more each day. In another week I'll take her to the hospital to have the 60 or so staples removed and some blood work. Then we'll know if everything inside is working as it should.

Myladylove is off work today and she's been dogsitting whileI've been outside splitting wood. It's a lovely autumn day here—and I'm crazy glad to be out of the room for a change.

I hope you a Meander are having some time together. Take care, writ often, and know I appreciate every thought and prayer—always.

giggles said...

I've been checking often, too... Glad to know there's improvement. Hope you're taking care of YOU, too....

Robin said...

I'm glad you've gotten outside, Grizz. And I'm so touched by how well (for lack of a better word... and there should be a word for how you do it) you love the beings around you.

If nothing else... and actually it is everything, Moon knows she's riding the waves with a fearless friend and if one takes her under... it will not be a frightening experience... just another adventure with you at her side.

I am grateful to have met you.

Grizz………… said...

Giggles…

I'm so sore and aching I can barely move (from splitting wood yesterday, which I'm going to do again today) but Moon is doing okay. I'll try and put up a post tonight or tomorrow.

Grizz………… said...

Robin…

I'm one of those 100 percenters at pretty much everything, though often to my detriment. But I don't see how you can care about things halfway—either you love or you don't. No codicils or caveats, no playing it safe or pulling punches. You're in or out. Period. You give it 100 percent. I love my dog; I intend to give her the best I can.

But you're wrong about one thing…I'm not fearless. Truth is, I've been scared to death over the severity and seriousness of things with Moon's illness. Really, I'm not a brave person. I'm afraid of a lot of things in life. There is much to fear. But I refuse to allow my fears to rule or hinder me and do my best to not transmit my fear to those around me.

BTW, I'm sincerely glad you're my friend, too. You are a blessing.