|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.