Rainy Day

The Life and Times of a Weimaraner


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Another Surgery: Warning….Graphic Photos

Dr. Denney and his “assistants” helping Rainy Photo by Anney Denney

Yesterday was a very difficult day. Rainy still wouldn’t eat or drink and she was bloating up. My husband walked her a bit in the morning hoping she would poop and when she didn’t he took her to see Dr. Denney once again  who, upon seeing her, decided X-rays would be prudent. When he saw the x-rays he saw small shards of bone in her belly and her stomach was full of fluid but nothing in her intestines. He sent her home with Philips Milk of Magnesia and prune juice and told us to bring her back in at 3:30. After two doses of each she still wasn’t going potty. She was so bloated she looked very pregnant and was so uncomfortable. At 3:30 we went back in and Dr. Denney was as concerned as I was. I know what Bloat can do to a dog and I knew Weimananers were a high risk for Bloat. He hated to do it but decided we had no choice but to gas her again and tube her. As she was going under she lifted her head and pressed her mouth to his which almost made the man cry. The minute the tube went in all this gas came out then 3 buckets of the most foul putrid liquid I have ever seen. Dr. Denney was very alarmed. All of that poison was being reabsorbed into her already weakened body. He had never seen such festering putrification going on inside a dog such as what he saw in her. Once he flushed her out and got her back down to a normal size he palpitated her belly and found an obstruction.  There was nothing left to do but to go in and remove it for she was completely blocked. He requested my husband and I stay to help out with the surgery. He was going to cut into her abdominal wall and retrieve the intestine then find the blockage and get it out but it was going to come with some more of that hideous cesspool of bile and poison so I had to be ready to divert it into a bucket and avoid getting it into the abdominal cavity.

Dr. Denney just finding her obstruction Photo by Anney Denny

Ron was in charge of monitoring her heart rate and respiration while also monitoring her IV bag. He also had to rinse with saline when the doctor needed him to. I had to put on gloves and assist with the operation itself. The doc found the obstruction quickly enough and promptly removed it. It initially looked like a big chunk of wood. We discovered later it was in fact a piece of a Bully Stick. She must have found a piece in the house and swallowed it. Let that be a lesson to everyone…always watch what your dog is chewing on and when pieces get too small throw them away.He thoroughly examined the entire length of her intestine and cleaned her out then began the process of sewing her back up. I held onto the intestine while he stitched it close then kept using the antimicrobial spray as he requested it and rinsed her wound until he had her shut up. Now all we had to do was wait for her to wake up which she did very, very slowly. Her body temperature had dropped and she had the shakes real bad but he kept her covered and on a heating pad. As she was waking Dr. Denney handed me his dental tools and I gave her a quick dental while she was still asleep. Finally at midnight we felt if we could somehow carry her to the car and then into the house we could get her home to sleep it off. I sat in the front seat while Ron and Dr. Denney fashioned a large hammock like contraption made from a very large towel. She was placed in my lap and I cradled her like a child all the way home. Dr. Denney followed us home and helped Ron carry her upstairs and into the house where I had a comfy bed for two made up on the floor.

Lisa giving Rainy a Dental Photo by Anney Denney

They laid her down and I covered her with a blanket and a heating pad set on low as I tried to get her chills to subside and I laid down next to her all night. I never took my eyes off of her. I was certain I was going to lose her earlier. I know what bloat does to a dog and I also recognize when a dog is giving up because they are losing the battle. She was losing her fight and I was terrified. Throughout all of this (which was incredibly painful) she had nothing for me and my husband and the doc but love and forgiveness and patience and tenderness. As much pain as she was in and has been in it would not have surprised me if she would bite out of pain or fear but not my Rainy. All she had was kisses for us and love. The tears rolled down my face the entire day.

She stayed in the exact same spot and in the exact same position until 8:45 this morning. She gingerly got up and ate with gusto and had lots of water then laid down and went back to sleep. Dr. Denney was suppose to be on the 8:00 boat this morning but decided to post pone his trip until he saw Rainy one more time and gave her more fluids. He came to the house this morning and loaded her up with as much good things as he could and pronounced her fit enough for him to catch the 11:45 boat. His wife Anney was telling me he never leaves the office before 2 in the morning and this is everyday. Because of his ridiculous hours and his illness he needs a break more than anyone I know. I have never met a man besides my husband with his work ethic and drive. No matter how tired and how sick he is if an animal needs him he goes to it. To me he embodies the “Modern Day St. Francis”. I will never be able to repay his kindness and friendship and the above board treatment Rainy got in his attempts to save her life not once but twice. I have learned so much from him and my life is forever changed having known him. I have invited him to visit up in Moab as his wife Anney loves to hike in the desert. I will remind them constantly that the offer was sincere and heartfelt.  He has a beautiful soul and a genuine kindness about him that is unmatched by any other BUT Ron. He and Ron became friends and he paid Ron a dear compliment that left Ron speechless. I know I am going on a bit but meeting someone of his caliper is highly unlikely. I have been fortunate enough to have met two such souls in my life and I married one of them. In today’s world this type of service is unheard of.  This is a person that has had a great impact on my life and influence. He will always be remembered and I can only hope he knows how much his life has meant to me. He has made a huge difference. I am but just one of his patients. Imagine….he does this for everyone. Incredible!! Much like Ron helping me out when I had nowhere to go and he expected nothing in return. He did it merely because he saw someone that needed help and he was in a position to give it.

Photo of an x-ray showing gastric dilatation a...

Photo of an x-ray showing gastric dilatation and volvulus in a large mixed-breed dog. The large dark area is the gas trapped in the stomach. The pylorus and duodenum are in an abnormal position cranial to the stomach and are separated by a fold in the stomach, creating a “double bubble” appearance. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The obstruction in her bowel…. piece of a bully stick Photo by Anney Denney

I know this experience taught me what true humanity is and I will strive everyday to achieve it. If I have something to offer someone who needs it then I will freely give it with no expectations of getting anything in return. If only there was more people like that in the world this place would be a much better place.

Dr. Denney this morning at our home with Rainy Photo by Lisa L. Day

Rainy and Dr. Denney Photo by Lisa L. Day

Brave Girl Photo by Lisa L. Day

IV Drip….the last one!! Photo by Lisa L. Day

The whole family takes part Photo by Lisa L. Day

Now the rest is up to her…..and lots of LOVE Photo by Lisa L. Day

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Sticks and Stones

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.

area of Rainy’s surgery today

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.

Rainy’s salivary gland and the wood chips

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.

 


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More Bad News

For the last 6 days we have been giving her these painful injections of antibiotics trying to kill whatever it is that is having a party in her jaw. It takes two of us and I HATE it cause she just whimpers and then looks at us in utter confusion wondering what the hell made us decide to torture her for no reason. Ron had to go to the mainland to take our second load of belongings back to Utah and she still has two injections to give. I really didn’t see how I could manage this process on my own so off we went to see Dr. Denny this evening so he could give us a hand. I recognized the lump was not getting smaller and these are very powerful antibiotics we are giving her so I knew what was coming even before he said “I don’t like it” so her surgery is scheduled on Wednesday at 10. He believes its one of two things or both. One is there is still a sliver of stick or debris stuck in the area but he also believes that the relentless bacteria that causes cellulitis may have encapsulated itself in a fibrous pocket preventing the antibiotics from penetrated the infected area giving this strain of bacteria a free ride. Either way it must be removed which means going in from the outside through nerves, veins and arteries that are thick in the neck area. So I will be responsible for taking care of my mother on my own plus I have to walk my baby in to get a delicate surgery performed. I have decided now would be a good time to pray to St. Francis and whatever well wishes he may send our way.

Photo by Ron Day

I will keep you posted as to her progress and in the meantime we are just going to run and run and chase pigeons and everything that catches her eye. She has  discovered a fun thing….crabs. She will fly around the rocks slipping on the moss that has her flaying in the water but she muscles her way back to shore only to repeat the whole process. I know its just a matter of time when she comes howling out of a nook or crannie she has shoved her face into pulling out a crab that has firmly planted itself on her nose but I guess some lessons must be painful in order to learn from them.

Photo by Ron Day

Tonight I ran her in a big field that runs along the golf course. Its a huge area to run and play ball but do you think she was happy doing that? Hell no…the golf course looked way more interesting and as she was flying out onto the fairway I was screaming at her to get her butt right back praying a field marshal didn’t notice. The one thing I have a healthy respect for is a marshal as they are militant…almost nazi like in their methods of maintaining order and respect for the game of golf. Rainy is blissfully unaware that some of her adventures are somewhat frowned upon no matter how hilarious I find it.

Photo by Ron Day

Wish us luck and I will keep you posted.