Today has been a nerve wracking day to say the least. I feel bad because a part of me thought not having Rainy here would be some kind of break but instead I found myself sitting on pins and needles all day. I came out of the shower talking away to her but she wasn’t on the bed listening. I jumped up at our afternoon walking time and grabbed her leash waiting for the excited jingle of her collar and the THUD as she hopped down off the bed but no Rainy. Instead of taking the time to rest or go walking without being dragged half way across the island I just stared at my phone.
The day started off terribly as far as Rainy was concerned because I must’ve forgotten her breakfast. Then we get to the Vet’s office where Annie, his wife, always (without fail) gives Rainy a couple of cookies. Instead Annie had obviously lost her mind like I had. Then Dr. Denny came in the room and gave her a sting on her butt and the next thing she knows shes waking up with what feels like half her face missing.
So here is what happened and I am going to explain all this to fellow dog owners so that they can save themselves the anxiety and cost of “stick surgery”. Get a ball!!!! No more stick EVER!!! Evidently the stick she was playing with impaled the back of her throat, went through her mandibular salivary gland and deposited several chunks of itself deep within her neck tissues.
I do not want to offend anyone here but the next picture is of a cadaver that shows the area Dr. Denny had to work in today. This area is full of nerves and blood vessels and glands and lymph nodes so its a vets worst nightmare to work in.
The globular thing in the throat is the mandibular salivary gland. Hers was removed today and deep behind that in some suspicious tissue he finally found two huge wood chips after two and a half hours. Notice all of the vessels and nerves. To say this was a tedious surgery is a bit of an understatement.
We are hoping he got it all but he is very reserved with his optimism. I actually talked to him on speaker phone as he worked on Rainy and he felt she had been under anesthesia long enough and he had to do so much work her pain level was already going to be extensive.
He said he has seen some pretty horrific stick accidents while in practice and his best advice to me was to never let her play with a stick again and to get lots of balls. I have been in the “dog industry” for many years and I thought I had seen everything. I have seen many things I wish I hadn’t. I am very VERY over protective of Rainy as a result which sometimes irritates both Rainy and Ron as they think I am overreacting….however I don’t care….hate me now love me later is my philosophy…..but I never saw this coming in a million years. So while being in harmony with my other blog’s post titled “No Soup For You” I am afraid I am going to have to be the stick nazi and NO STICK FOR YOU!!!
The vet put in a drain tube as she is really draining a ton of crap. Every time she shook her head she would leave a spray of this blood drainage across his walls. So he wrapped up her ears and face to try to control that. This is what she looked like….
This last picture just makes me choke up as she just wanted to be comforted so bad she sought it out with my mother. However not too long after we got home she just began to howl and howl. The only other time I have heard that inflection in her voice was when she got very upset and chastised me when I squirted her with the hose. My husband heard what I think was the same voice when she was lost and began calling him. Its a chilling sound that has a way of landing right in your heart because you know she is trying her heart out to communicate with you. I knew what the howling meant…..get this ridiculous wrap off my neck. I hated to do it but I had to….I could never say no to that heartfelt plea. So I finally unwrapped her neck and then put a loose and very temporary one on to help staunch the flow of fluid. My guess is there will not be a surface of my house that isn’t covered with blood before the night is over.
However it will be worth it because after standing very still to let me unwrap her she promptly got up on the couch and went to sleep.
And that is where she has been the last hour…she hasn’t moved. Nobody should have to go through this with their dog. It was a tragic accident and one that could have easily been avoided if I had only used my own common sense. I have a sense about these things. If it looks like something bad could happen then it can and most likely will. How I let this one escape my over protective mind I have no idea because if you think about it anything that is dirty and hard and is going to be around the soft tissues of the mouth cannot be good. PERIOD.
So I am afraid my husband and my puppy’s stick playing days are over. Please let something good come from this post and Rainy’s horrible day and take the hard lesson I had to learn so well over the last month and please pray she doesn’t have to go through this again.