Friday, March 12, 2010

Riley - The Miracle Dog

Pre-post note, the title was changed from this "You are healed!  {thump on the forehead}".
I'm not a fan of those tele-evangelist shows on TBN, but I thought what they do fit the title...  Title changed due to the extended edition of Riley's last 2 weeks.

As most of you read last Thursday, my poor pup was really sick and I was really worried.  All I can say is this, God is GOOD!  Like, really, really good!  So here's what happened...

I posted this.  Riley was not acting normal.  She was acting very 'punk'.  I tend to not worry a lot, almost to a fault.  But I was worried.

Made an appointment to get her into the vet.  Kaitlin took her to the appointment, since I have work.  The vet said that she was very dehydrated and needed to be hooked up to an IV to rehydrate.  I explained, over the phone, what I suspect happened (getting into the trash) and we went from there.  Riley stayed at the vet all day Friday.  When I picked her up this is what I found out:  Riley most likely has pancreatitis, she also has a small piece of wire in her intestines.  The plan was that I'd bring her back in the morning and she'd resume IV treatment, have another x-ray, as well as possibly have a barium series done.  There was also the possibility that she'd need to have exploratory surgery.  So, I took her home, and a few friends also came over and hung out.  Despite having an anti-vomiting medication, she still continuted to regurgitate throughout the night.

Back to the vet we go.  Due to the fact that she continued to up-chuck water and bile all night the vet was very concerned.  And because of this, it was very possible that she wouldn't be able to keep the barium down.  The wire also barely moved.  So, in the vet's best clinical advice, she suggested that they go in for exploratory surgery and see what's going on.  And they did.  And they found that her pancreas was very inflamed, like really badly, like the worse they had ever seen.  And because of the condition of the pancreas, the bowel right next to it was in really bad shape.  So they removed the wire (a twisty tie) and closed her up.  I then had 3 options:  1) keep doing what we're doing and pray for the best, 2) take her to a local 24 hour emergency vet where they have her seizure meds in IV form, or 3) take her to a 24 hour emergency vet clinic where they have everything she would need as well as all the equipment needed.  Even though #3 was the most costly, it was also the most recommended choice for her condition.  So I picked her up, and with a friend we drove to Dublin (about 1.5 hours away).  With my permission, they took a blood sample to test and got her going on pain meds right away.  Poor thing was hurting, you could tell.  After some time, the vet explained everything under the sun to me regarding her condition, as well as every possible scenario that could happen because of her condition.  I told them that they were to do whatever needed to be done.  So I signed a form to give them my first born, give them a hefty deposit, said goodbye to my girl, and drove home.  I was told that no news is good news, that they'll check in with me morning and night, and to call if I had any questions or needed an update.

I. was. a mess.  A mess I tell you.  I realized when I got home that I was already mourning her, like she was already gone.  And that wasn't fair of me to not give her a fighting chance.  So I flipped my attitude around. 

Morning report was good!  No vomiting (which was great!) since 5pm Saturday.  Her heart rate and blood pressure were good too.  The vet wanted to run another full blood panel to check all her levels.  Do it!  (Honestly, at this point, what's another $130...?)  Evening report was again good.  All her levels were back into normal range.  She was doing much better and quicker than they expected.  That's my girl!  Dr. Ramos was going to consult with the evening vet to get her opinion on giving Riley water, and seeing if she keeps it down.

I got a call from the night vet first thing in the morning.  She told me that they gave Ri a little bit of food, and if all goes well she should be able to go home the next day.  YEAH!  So, one more day at the vet (not included in the original estimate), but she'll be home.  Then, later, I got a call from the office around  5:30pm and they said that she's been released and is free to go home!  Praise the Lord!  So I went home and ate dinner real quick; then Kaitlin and I drove the 1 1/2 hours to pick up my girl!

added to included the extended edition...
Riley was doing great!  Taking it easy, resting, eating, gaining her energy back, etc.  Kaitlin would check on her in the afternoon and hang out for a bit before I got home from work.

Went through the morning routine.  Food, meds, turn the TV on low before heading off to work.  Today was the one day Kaitlin didn't check on Riley.  And when I got home from work she wasn't home.  Nor was she at my parent's house.  Turns out I found a broken board in the back yard.  And I panicked.  Like, freaked out, grabbed my phone, called my parents, and started walking.  Sometime between 8:30am and 5:30pm Riley got loose.  She busted through a fence board where there was a slight hole going under it.  I walked the normal walk route.  I walked all over.  I asked everyone I saw outside if they had seen a small white dog.  I then drove all over.  I drove until it got dark.  Everyone else in the family walk, drove, rode a bike around too.  All to no avail.  I got home and immediately starting making signs to hang all over town.  Again, it was a sleepless night.

Luckily my boss was very understanding.  In fact, he told me to go drive around once an hour.  And around noon he told me to get done what had to get done and to go.  I checked local animal shelters.  Called local vets.  Posted more signs.  Cried.  And prayed.  I himmed and hawwed about still going to Vegas the next day.  I just didn't know what else to do.  Mom and Dad came over and said that they both agree that I should still go.  I've done everything I could and sitting around moping all weekend won't do me any good.  At least in Vegas I'll be distracted while at the convention.  So I packed.  Then slept another sleepless night.

Finished packing.  Stopped and visited my adorable nieces.  Then headed to Fresno to visit Paige and Melissa before flying out.  It was great seeing the Gleason Family.  Amazing how much those kids have grown since I last saw them in July.  My flight left at 8:30pm and landed around 9:30.  After getting checked in at the MGM I walked to see where the convention center was taking place then hung out in my room.  Yea, I'm a baller like that.

Work up to the phone at 6:30am.  It was Kaitlin in hysterics.  My first thought was not a good one.  But then she started screaming that Riley was back.  She was home.  Thanks to my Mom for suggesting that I leave the gate propped open, then just in case Riley would have access to get back into the house (doggy door).  And that's exactly what happened.  She was home.  She was dirty.  And she brought a few hitching friends with her (nothing a little flea dip won't kill).  Praise God!  What an answer to prayer!  And then I slept soundlessly.

Everything looked good.  She didn't seem to be hurt, her scar wasn't infected, and she was happy to be home.  This past Tuesday she went to the vet, where the vet was very happy with her recovery from pancreatitis and being loose.  She's down a few pounds, which she needed to lose anyways.  I'm able to start incorporating normal dog food back into her diet.  And I'm happy.

Oh, and she's on house arrest.

So that is the story of Riley the Miracle Dog.  That's what everyone around town is calling her.  The dog that nearly died, then ran away, then almost 72 hours later found her way home.


Treva said...

Good story!!

Anonymous said...

This has been such an ordeal for you. I'm so glad Riley is back home :)