Saturday, April 07, 2007

I Wish They Could Talk

"Man's Best Friend" doesn't even skim the surface of the deep bond my husband has with Smokey. The two have worked together every day that weather and working conditions permit since Smokey was less than a year old. He was the chosen one of (at one time) 5 Aussies that we owned...the best behaved, the most loyal and the most intelligent. Smokey is turning 13 this month. It's hard to watch them grow old. Even harder when we lose them.

Last evening, my husband let Smokey and Cocoa out to do their business and after a few minutes heard screaming and crying coming from outside. He ran outside, fearing that one of them had been hit by a car. Instead, he saw Smokey lying in the pasture, writhing in pain with our horse standing over him pawing at the ground. We don't know what happened, only that he couldn't walk and cried loudly whenever we tried to move him. My husband somehow managed to carry him into the house. We don't know if the horse kicked him, stomped on him, or if he just tripped in a mole hole and sprained or broke something. Fearing the worst (internal injuries and broken bones) and not wanting to lift Smokey into the car by himself, my husband called me at work to come home and help. That was a long 35 minute drive home. And then another 40 minute drive to the emergency vet clinic. By midnight we were in the waiting room. They looked him over and took x-rays and the good news is, no broken bones, no apparent internal injuries and he walked out of the hospital (not without a lot of pain and difficulty, but he was able to walk which was a big relief)! The bad news is we still don't know what is wrong. It's obvious he has significant leg pain and the doctor surmised it might be the dog equivalent of a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament in the front knee area but offered no explanation for the rear leg/hip pain.

When we got him home, we had a hard time getting him out of the truck and he refused to get up off the ground, so we rolled him up in a sheet and carried him on his back into the house. We unrolled him onto the living room floor where he spent the night. As did my husband. Every time we left the room, he whimpered and cried. When we were with him, he seemed fine as long as we didn't try to move him.

This morning, he was still the same, unable to stand without us pulling him up with a towel under his chest (he weighs 65 pounds so while not a big, big dog, we can't just pick him up), and more crying.

So I called my brother-in-law who is an orthopaedic vet (he works at the emergency clinic but is out of town right now) and he suggested taking him back in for neurological tests to make sure it's not a herniated disk requiring immediate surgery. So we did that (with much agony transporting him in and out of the truck again, a muzzle, and a gurney ride into the vet's office) and now Smokey is at the hospital for further evaluation and monitoring until my brother-in-law can look at him.

They tell us it's not likely anything serious (a blessing that I want to believe, but until we have our boy home and he is not crying, I can't help but worry). They also tell us he's spoiled and while he can't walk at home he seems to be able to walk (almost) fine at the hospital. Isn't this like taking your car to the mechanic only to have it work just "fine" for them? I figure it's the increased adrenaline at the hospital, but maybe Smokey is just spoiled, you think? ;-)

I know most of my blogroll consists of "dog people," so I'm hoping that with a few extra prayers, Smokey will come home on Monday and be on the road to recovery from whatever ails him.

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15 Comments:

At 3:08 PM, April 07, 2007, Anonymous jennifer said...

praying...hard...

 
At 3:12 PM, April 07, 2007, Blogger Gwynne said...

Thanks, Jennifer. That's especially meaningful, coming from you. Carla's passing still makes me cry. :-(

 
At 3:13 PM, April 07, 2007, Anonymous Brian said...

I'm with Jenn - praying for Smokey and your husband and you.

May God give the three of you comfort and strength.

 
At 3:57 PM, April 07, 2007, Anonymous Jim said...

Our dog also did the ACL equivalent thing in her left rear leg. She cried about it for a couple of days and the vet said she might turn up lame without surgery (which incidentally would cost us 1,500 dollars).

We opted not to do the surgery and she is fine now, but it was a bit difficult there for a couple of weeks.

Hope Smokey turns out the same, and in shorter time!

 
At 4:34 PM, April 07, 2007, Blogger Gwynne said...

Thanks, Brian. And prayers for you and your family as well.

Jim, that's very encouraging! How did you deal with the mobility issue during those two weeks? I'm worried Smokey will "hold it in" for days if he can't go outside. I'm hoping to find some sort of sling like they use at the groomer's that we might help him walk.

 
At 8:58 PM, April 07, 2007, Blogger beth said...

Oh no! Gosh, lots of prayers here that he's back in the pink very very quickly. Poor baby. Poor you!

 
At 9:56 PM, April 07, 2007, Blogger Janie said...

Oh, Gwynne! What a hard thing! Many prayers going up for Smoky and y'all. Keep us in the loop.

 
At 2:38 AM, April 08, 2007, Blogger Emma Sometimes said...

I wanted to pop in a say hi...this is sad!! I'll pray for Smokey. Hope he up and about and feels better soon!

 
At 9:06 AM, April 08, 2007, Blogger Foo said...

We're kitty people here, but we'll be hoping the best for your man's best friend, Smokey.

 
At 7:59 PM, April 08, 2007, Blogger DarkoV said...

Best wishes and a howl at the moon for Smokey so that he's soon parked again on the sidewalk supervising yuor husband's work.

 
At 8:17 PM, April 08, 2007, Anonymous jennifer said...

Gwynne-just wanted you to know we're still thinking about you and Smokey. Hoping for good news tomorrow. Hugs and prayers!

 
At 1:47 AM, April 09, 2007, Blogger Gwynne said...

Thank you all so much for your support and good wishes. I'll be sure to post an update. As of now, he's still the same but will undergo a shoulder x-ray and maybe an MRI tomorrow, er, today, later. ;-)

 
At 9:06 AM, April 09, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor Smokey! It's so hard to have them be in pain and not know what hurts. Saying a prayer for the poor boy.


Gwen

 
At 9:20 AM, April 09, 2007, Blogger Jen said...

Praying and waiting for an updaτe

 
At 6:04 AM, April 11, 2007, Anonymous Jim said...

Gwynne,

Glad to hear on the next post that things are getting better (slowly).

We dealt with the mobility issue by carrying the pooch up and down the steps at night... for six months.

Other than that she got around okay. It sounds like our issue wasn't quite as severe as yours.

 

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