Friday, November 20, 2015

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch

We were only back in St. Louis four days when my husband left for a conference in Chicago. So of course the dog would choose that rainy, stormy night to get into something in the back yard that necessitated a visit to an emergency veterinary clinic. I let Kirby out for what I presumed would be the last time at 9:30 or so. When he came back in, he was running around the house like an obsessed dog. He has food allergies, but also some reaction to evergreens, of which there are a ton in our yard as well as the whole neighborhood. So sometimes he does get irritated when he is outside. But this time he just couldn't settle down. He was panting like crazy and he kept rubbing his face on every surface on the main level of the house. I thought he was going to have a heart attack, but then the next time I looked at him I noticed that his eye was bleeding. Blood was streaked along the fur on the side of his face.

I looked up where my vet recommends taking emergency cases, and that clinic is kind of far away from our home. Since I would be dealing with the dog by myself on a stormy night, I really wanted to go someplace closer. So I did what everyone does in this day and age - I posted a request for recommendations on Facebook - specifically the page for Webster Groves. Within a few minutes I had several suggestions. And that, folks, is why I love Facebook and other social media! I called the clinic that was the most recommended and explained what was going on. She said that you really don't want to mess around with eye issues, and suggested I bring him in.

We arrived at 10:30 to find only one dog ahead of us. A vet tech did the initial intake, including weighing Kirby. But Kirby was having none of the thermometer up the wazoo treatment, so the gal said she would get another tech to help her in the back. After another couple of minutes they took him into an exam room to see the vet, and I sat in the waiting room listening to an interchange between the vet tech and the latest patient. It was a large dog of indeterminate breeding, and they though he had an intestinal blockage. Apparently he consumes toys, socks, paper - he is a non-discriminating chow-hound. Yikes! Kirby likes food too much to ever be bothered eating something that is not something we would also eat. (Not counting his food, of course, since that is a dish we don't share with him. Along with anything that is a grain, as he has allergies to them.)

Then I was called into the exam room to meet with the vet. He looked like he was about 12. Seriously. Doggie Howser, DVM? I guess the new vets get the late shift at the emergency clinic. Anyway, he advised that they had done a test on Kirby's eye and there was no scratch on the retina, so that was good news. Because Kirby was itching and rubbing so much, they gave him a shot of prednisone followed by a shot of Benydryl. He said the small scabs on Kirby's skin were indicative of skin issues, so he sent me home with an ointment to put in the eye twice a day as well as an antibiotic for the skin issues. Kirby also got the Cone of Shame to make sure he didn't scratch his eye anymore.

Kirby at the clinic
Kirby the Cone Head
We were home by 11:30, so the visit really didn't take too long. I had to wait 20 minutes after we got home to take off the pressure bandage that covered the area where he got his shots, and in the meantime he tried to get a drink and eat. This is not an easy feat with a cone around your head. I ended up tilting a plastic bowl for him to drink out of, and hand feeding him some of his dry food. Then we attempted to go to sleep. Ha! Kirby sleeps in bed with us, and he was quite perplexed as to how he was supposed to stretch out with the cone on. He was up and down and walking around the bed quite a while before he finally figured something out. Needless to say, we were both pooped in the morning!

I called our vet in the morning as a follow-up, and was pleased that the emergency clinic had already sent our paperwork over to them. My vet's office told me that I could take the cone off as long as I was in the same room with Kirby and could watch to ensure he didn't scratch himself. But honestly, I was afraid I would not be able to get it back on him by myself, so I left it on for three days until his eye cleared up. He quickly figured out how to eat and drink, and he slept fine after the first night with the cone. We had a follow-up visit with our vet last week, and they cleaned out Kirby's ear and changed his antibiotic to one that they felt is better suited to skin issues. He is so much better, and we just have one more pill left for him to take. Hopefully that will be that.

Kids and pets - why do they have to get sick after hours?

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

Doggie Howser, DVM - funny! I am familiar with the emergency vet fire drill and the sleepless nights with a sick dog. Poor Kirby, but he did wear the cone well.