Puppy Updates, Part II

Shaun and I were feeling pretty optimistic yesterday afternoon. We spent the day walking around the city to kill time until we had to pick Grady up. I think we covered six miles, at least. We stopped in a new bike shop, explored Main Street, and generally enjoyed the weather. Grady’s doctor called around 4 to tell us he was pleased with Grady’s progress: his blood tests were clear, he was in good spirits, and hadn’t vomited all day. We were excited to see him, even if just to transport him to the next hospital.

We got there and the doctor was kind enough to show us Grady’s x-rays. There is some sort of mass in his intestines somewhere, but it’s difficult to say where because of how they fold in on one another. The doctor explained everything to the best of his ability, and tried so hard to be positive and comforting. I think we picked a great veterinary hospital.

Unfortunately, just as we were waiting to put his leash on, Grady surprised everyone by violently vomiting. Everywhere. The doctor explained plainly, “This changes things.” The poor guy looked so disheveled: he was bandaged from blood tests and shaved from the ultrasound.

We drove him to the emergency hospital and explained to the technicians all of the changes. Then, we sat down with the doctor, who told us pretty bluntly that they expected they would have to perform exploratory surgery. She gave us some quiet time with him and then we headed out for the night. We were told to expect a call by 10PM with his [third] x-ray results and a decision on how to proceed.

I think Shaun and I did a pretty good job of eating our feelings between 8PM and 10PM special thanks to a Guadalajara vegetable quesadilla, chips and salsa, and Arch’s frozen yogurt [with toppings]. Then, I took out my anxiety on the characters of Downton Abbey. God, that show is horribly addicting and I hate them all right now. All of them. The doctor called shortly before 11PM to inform us that his [third] x-ray showed that the strange mass was still there, and that he was still vomiting.

While we were in the waiting room at the emergency hospital, a family came tearing in with a dog that was hit by a car. The mother was so upset, and her two young sons didn’t seem to have a grasp on the situation yet. The dog was wailing uncontrollably, which immediately made me start crying; but needless to say, this dog was a priority over Grady at that time and received surgery first. The decision to send Grady into surgery was post-poned until this morning. I truly hope that everything worked out for that pup and his family. It’s so hard to see animals in pain.

So our call came around 6AM today. Grady vomited through the night, and a [fourth] x-ray showed no change, so the doctor made the call to put him in surgery. They are cutting open his chest to explore his intestines and stomach, and will make a call from there.

One of the most distressing aspects of this situation is how we wish we just would have given him the surgery yesterday at our regular vet. Our vet trusts the emergency hospital, and so do we, but there’s just a marked change in attitude. The first thing they did was throw cost estimates in our faces, high-end, l0w-end junk. Costs and risks, costs and risks, here’s all of the things that could go wrong, oh and  you may have to come in this afternoon [not to visit the puppy, but] to give us more money, risks, risks, DNR, cost. There’s nothing gentile about their approach.

Update: We just got the call from the emergency vet [9:15AM] – they closed him up. It was a walnut. He swallowed a whole walnut. He’s not awake yet, so we’ll know more in a few hours. A walnut.


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Categories: Dog


Courtney grew up in Reading, PA, and has lived in New York City (where she earned a bachelor's degree at NYU), Prague, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville (where she received a J.D. from UVa Law). Courtney and her new husband will settle in Philadelphia following a six-week Euro-trip extravaganza in September of 2012. Courtney's interests include music, writing, criticism, fitness, travel, cooking, and sports. Please enjoy the blog. LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/courtney-marello/1a/375/b30 Tumblr: http://abarrelofoddsandends.tumblr.com/


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