Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Patient

Thank you all for your concern, support and prayers for Smokey. It meant a lot to me. Smokey is doing much better. Still having a lot of difficulty walking but he is walking which is a huge blessing. My husband went to visit him at the hospital after church on Sunday. He had to stay until Monday for my brother-in-law to take a look at him, take more x-rays, more poking and prodding of his neurological fibers and a dose or two of steroids which seemed to help a little. They narrowed his pain down to soft tissue injuries in his front shoulder which won't require surgery and should improve with time. The only bad news is there' s really nothing we can do to hasten the healing process other than keep him from injuring it further.

I picked him up at the hospital last night after his battery of tests, and he practically ran for the door when I opened his cage. No "Hi Mom, I'm so very happy to see you!!" Nothing. Just a beeline for the nearest exit. Can't really blame him. I wouldn't want to be in the hospital either, but, uh, did you forget that you can't walk?! So he rustled his way into the car hurting himself a bit in the process, but knowing it was only soft tissue pain, I worried less about what he might injure in the process of scurrying out of the hospital. By the time we got home, he was worn out but able to walk into the house on his own (with lots of coaxing). After drinking a gallon of water (when he is away from home, he only likes bottled water, he's not spoiled much ;-) he laid down for a long night's sleep (probably his first restful night in a couple days). This morning, he was able to get up (without all the caterwalling we had to deal with on Saturday) and walk outside to do his business (with help up and down the front stoop). We bought him a special shoulder harness to help.

So all in all, I'd say his prognosis is very good and we are very thankful. We still don't know what happened, but I suppose we'll know something when he decides the horse is an evil monster. We're guessing he just tripped in a hole and sprained his shoulder while the horse looked on.

Sitting in the emergency clinic on 3 different occasions made me very thankful that I don't do that for a living. What a stressful job! There were a lot of emergencies over the weekend. A young woman brought in a cat that had been hit by a car. It was going to cost roughly $3,000 to fix her and even then, she was expected to lose a leg, and might not make it. The woman was crying, of course, but filled out credit paperwork to pay for the surgery. I'd have to think long and hard about that. Much as I love my animals, there is a limit. I just don't know what it is until I have to cross that bridge.



At 11:39 AM, April 11, 2007, Blogger Janie said...

I'm so glad to hear Smokey's doing better.

Laughed at the beeline for the exit.

Man's best friend until they're in situations they hate and it's Katie, bar the door. They forget all their commands, even the one to love others as I have loved you.

Oh, wait, that's us, huh?

Glad Smokey's better. I'll continue to pray for him. I know y'all are way relieved.

At 6:26 PM, April 11, 2007, Blogger beth said...

Oh I'm so glad he's going to be ok!

Sitting in the specialty vet waiting room when we took Meg to see the internist was an eye opener - and heartbreaking (there was one dog just covered in visible sad.) In my head I agree that there is a limit, but in my heart I pray that I'm never forced to consider what it really is.

At 7:03 PM, April 11, 2007, Blogger Gwynne said...

Beth, that is exactly what I found myself worried about...aside from his agonizing pain, I wondered what kind of agonizing decisions we would have to make, not only financial but also about whether to put my beloved brother-in-law in the precarious position of operating on our most precious baby. Given his advanced age (for a large dog), both decisions would be very hard, but I'm afraid we'd stop at almost nothing.

Janie, I think the reason that command exists for us is that it comes less naturally for us. For dogs, it is their nature to love others unconditionally (until, like you say, they are in a bad spot...heck, we even had to buy a muzzle for Smokey!). But yes, we are very relieved.

At 9:39 PM, April 11, 2007, Blogger Emma Sometimes said...

I am so glad he is on the mend. Hope he heals up soon.

How are *you* feeling?

At 10:02 PM, April 11, 2007, Blogger Eric said...

Dang, a lot sure happens when I leave town and then can't get caught up when I return. Although I'm sort of glad I missed the first chapter and got to skip right to the happier almost-ending. Things have been tough on dog-loving bloggers lately.

So glad and relieved to hear that he's doing better, and will pray for a complete and speedy recovery.

Think I'll go give our little dog a pat (even though she won't appreciate it too much, seeing as how she's already retired to her crate for the night).

At 6:20 AM, April 12, 2007, Anonymous The County Clerk said...

I'd say his prognosis is very good

Thank heavens.

These dogs are important. I have two at my feet now. They are ENORMOUS parts of my life.



At 8:38 PM, April 12, 2007, Anonymous Brian said...

Hooray for soft-tissue injuries! ...or something...

I'm glad it's nothing worse. Amazing how they know their audience, isn't it?

At 1:24 AM, April 13, 2007, Blogger Gwynne said...

Emma, if it weren't for this stupid tax deadline, I'd be feeling fine. Smokey's accident took a toll on me partly because I'm just so tired. But I see light...

Eric, you and YLB are the role models for taking care of sick puppies. Don't think I didn't think about you and Abbye as I pondered the various possibilities of living with a handicapped dog.

County Clerk, I couldn't agree more...they are important! I help out at a local animal shelter in my "spare" time and my favorite program is Pets for the is remarkable the difference a pet can make in a person's life when they live alone facing life's many challenges.

Brian, you think? ;-)

At 9:44 AM, April 13, 2007, Blogger Foo said...

Yay Smokey!

At 5:56 PM, April 15, 2007, Anonymous jennifer said...

I'm a little late to the good news, but I'm glad to hear it. Keep up the recovery, Smokey!


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