Xena: Pupdates? Does this mean you have a date with Achilles, Lucy?
Lucy: No, Xe, although I wish I did. There’s just been a lot going on around here, especially with Riley and with our brother Adam.
Chia: Whatcha’ll woofin’ about?
Xena: Everything going on around here. We wanted to do a Halloween post, but this stuff is more important.
Chia: I don’t care what anyone said, it wasn’t me that unstuffed Riley’s dog bed.
Lucy: We all know it was you, so quite your fibbing. Besides, this isn’t about you today. Let’s start with Riley
Riley: I’m trying to get a last pre-food nap in. Leave me alone, will ya?
Lucy: Go back to sleep, Ri. I’ve got this.
Ahem. Lucy, Ace Reporter here…
Xena and Chia: *groan*
…reporting on Riley’s ear situation. As many of you know, Riley whacked his ear on something hard while he was shaking his head. It was later determined that the cause of the shaking was both a bacterial and fungal infection in both ears. The ear hit so hard that the Mom heard something go *whack* but didn’t know the source. The next morning, while sitting on the floor next to Riley to put in his eye drops, the Mom saw that his right ear was swollen “like a balloon” and sticking straight out from his head. The vet didn’t have time to do a full aural hematoma (that’s a techinical medical term) repair because of being already booked full with surgeries that day. Instead, they sedated Riley, drained the blood and liquid and put an “ear wrap” (another medical term) on to try to keep it from refilling. Per Murphy’s Law, this occured the day before the folks were going away for their anniversary trip, when they dropped this reporter and her sister Xena at our Uncle Bill and Auntie Jen’s.
This Ace Reporter was told the dog sitter took good care of Riley, yet the ear had swollen back up by Sunday night. Upon our return, the Mom took Riley back to the vet to have the aural hematoma surgery performed. The surgery had been scheduled the week before on a “just in case” contingency. The patient was quite loopy all that evening, but returned to “himself” within a day or two. He kept managing to get one or the other of his ears out of the now-hated wrap.
Another instance of Murphy’s Law then kicked in. A week ago on Saturday afternoon when all except the emergency vet was closed, he managed to drop the full, undisturbed bandage on the floor, with his ear still in the green wrap. The Mom and the Dad worked together to use gauze pads and scotch tape to create what appeared to be a viable alternative. Thatworked for about an hour. The Mom wanted to move to duct tape, but The Dad forbid it. They once again created a new bandage wrap for his ear that didn’t come off until bedtime, when they gave it one last try before turning out the lights for the night.
The next morning the newest bandage came off and out of the ear wrap before the first cup of coffee was drunk. The Dad went to the corner CVS drugstore and stocked up on everything one might want to bandage an ear. This time, after wrapping it with gauze, they laid it flat against Riley’s head and went over his ear and round and round his head with a stretch wrap before placing the expensive green ear wrap back on. That lasted until The Dad got Riley to the vet for his first recheck the next afternoon. They were both feeling pretty good about it, and thought that the vet staff would congratulate them on their ingenuity. *rolls eyes* (Why do I feel like I’m at Nelly and Phenny’s house?)
The ear was examined after looks of horror at what the staff saw upon removing the green ear wrap. They unwound the stretch wrap and the gauze and saw that the ear was healing nicely. They re-wrapped the ear — correctly — and put the green ear wrap back on so tight that it was said that Riley is “so wrinkled on his forehead that he looks like a Shar Pei.” The Dad was told that Riley has to wear a cone at all times to prevent him from rubbing the side of his face on anything, causing the ear to come out or the wrap to come off even when the ear isn’t out. The vet did not want a repeat of home-made ear bandages. The Mom facilitated the cone by borrowing the Reporter’s collar, since Riley’s collar was too small to go all the way around with the green ear wrap on him.
Chia: So that’s why you’ve been running around the house naked all week!
Lucy: *blush* Anyhow so Riley has to go back for recheck #2 this Tuesday and probably another one a week later, at which time the stiches will come out and the expensive green ear wrap will come off.
OK, Xena, do you want to tell about what’s happening with our brother Adam? *drops head* You’re his favorite.
Xena: Sure, Luce. First a picture so y’all will know who I’m talking about. This is Adam holding me about 3 years ago when I was only one. He loved Angel Lexi a lot, and he loves me a lot too. He thinks us schnauzers are the best!
Mommy got a call last Monday from Trish who is in charge of the group home where Adam lives. She said that Adam had passed out and fallen in the bathroom. There’s more gross details we won’t mention. He was weak and dizzy when he got up. He said it was ok for her to call 9-1-1, but when the EMT’s got there, he refused to go to the hospital. We know it’s because of the terrible trips to a different kind of a hospital over 20 years ago. Trish handed the phone to Adam, and Mommy tried her best to convince him to go. Nope. I overheard Daddy say the stubborn fruit didn’t fall far from the tree. Hmm, I wonder if that fruit is good to eat…
Anyhoo, that was the same afternoon that Daddy took Riley to the vet for his first post-op recheck. After hanging up with Trish, Mommy called Daddy and asked him if he was on his way home with Riley yet, ’cause they had to go to Cleveland (about a 40 minute drive without a lot of traffic). That’s where brother Adam lives. Thankfully, Daddy was almost home, so Mommy didn’t have to go alone or have to drive the old truck there. It took a lot of people doing a lot of convincing, but they were finally able to call the non-emergency ambulance and get Adam to the hospital. He was too weak to even walk out of his bedroom, and pale like chalk. Our folks had a pretty good idea what was happening, and knew that it was a life and death emergency to get him help right away.
In the E.R., he got all kinds of bloodwork done and a CT scan of his tummy. Our folks were right — he had a hole in his tummy and poisons were leaking into his body. His tummy was also filling up with blood from an ulcer, too. He hadn’t told anyone that he had been throwing up for weeks. Mommy knew something was wrong the first week of August when he was here for his birthday and didn’t eat his steak and shrimp. She saw how much weight he had lost, too. But his next regular checkup didn’t show anything ou of the ordinary.
The nice surgeon came to the E.R. to see Adam around 10 o’clock that night. He had originally planned on taking Adam into surgery right away, but when he looked at the CT scan, he saw the hole was on the far side of the stomach, right next to his colon, and behind his pancreas and something else I don’t remember what. So he gave Adam two more options. Adam picked having the tube run through his nose into his stomach. We won’t go into the black horror that kept coming out of it for a couple of days. He was hooked up to all kinds of other tubes, too, and had to keep getting blood transfusions.
Thursday he got another CT scan, and it seemed that the hole had closed, and things were looking up.
Friday evening the hospital called Mommy and told her that even though the hole had supposedly closed, the ulcer was bleeding into his tummy, and they needed to go in through a vein in his groin to place a “coil” in the ulcer. They said Adam was ok with it, and Mommy gave her permission.
Saturday the surgeon called again. He said Adam’s crit was all matted [hematocrit] and very low. He said that whenever Adam got another blood transfusion, thatt crit thing would go up. Then later when they would check it again, it would have dropped low again. The doctor asked Mommy to meet him up at the hospital this morning (Sunday) around 8 o’clock. More bloodwork would be done, and if the crit was low, he would need to take Adam to the O.R. to repair the ulcer. Mommy knew she was going to have another fight on her hands convincing Adam that this was necessary.
We’re all waiting here for them to come back and tell us how our brother Adam is. In the meantime, please send your prayers, POTP and good thoughts his way. And maybe a few for Mommy, too. She has been what’s called an “emotional wreck.” We’re doing our part with POTP and being on our best behavior. We hope to be able to give you good news later today or tomorrow.
This is Lucy (Ace Reporter) and Xena Schnauzer Warrior Princess waiting for some good news.