Sunday, May 29, 2011

Really, Jeeves?

Jeeves is in the Cornell Companion Animal Hospital right now awaiting
surgery for an obstruction of the small intestine.  He should be
having the surgery this afternoon, and will stay in the hospital for
two or three days afterward.  His prognosis is good.

The first signs of the bowel obstruction showed up yesterday morning
when he puked up his breakfast.  He continued to throw up fluid
throughout the day.  We brought him to the vet in the evening when he
turned down his dinner and then puked up the dog treat that Alice gave
him to see if he had any appetite at all.  They took x-rays and didn't
find anything one way or the other.  So, they gave him fluids and sent
him home with instructions for how to treat "dietary indiscretion,"
the most likely and easily treatable cause of vomiting.  This morning,
when we gave him water, after twelve hours without, he puked it all up
about 20 minutes later.  So, we went back to the vet, where they were
able to take a look inside of him using ultrasound.  They found a
bolus in his small intestine, approximately 11 cm long with a 2.5 cm
diameter.  So, they recommended surgery.  We agreed, and they kept

We caught the obstruction very soon after it happened, so everything
should go well.  The vet seemed very positive---she thought that
getting the obstruction out as soon as possible was the very best
thing to do.  So, it's up to the surgeon and Jeeves, now.  Good luck,
little buddy.

Thursday I came home to dog sick all over the rug and in the closet and in all sorts of other strange places. I called Ryan and asked him if he had been the one to throw up all over the rug and he said, "No. But Jeeves did throw up his breakfast."

He seemed fine, so I chalked it up to a dog being a dog and bundled him and Barnaby over to the barn. He ran around and played as normal and then we went home. 

Then he refused dinner. I gave him a treat, which he took, albeit almost more out of custom more than any interest. Then he threw it up, whole. At which point I called Cornell and they said bring him in.

After many hours of waiting and a massive tornado/thunderstorm, we went home with an inconclusive diagnosis. That is to say, they looked at the radiographs of his chest and stomach and found nothing, which didn't rule out anything except something mysteriously called "mega-esophagus". Our instructions were to not feed him for 24 hours or give him water for 12. They also gave him subcutaneous fluids so he had a wobbly, jiggly, camel hump that he spent most of the evening trying to get away from. 

"It's under your skin, Jeeves. You can't actually get away from it."

The thunderstorm or the intestinal distress or the fact that it's probably hard to find  comfortable sleeping position when you have a blob of saline solution quivering like jelly sitting on your back made him restless and I don't think he slept a wink. Then, in the morning, after watching him shift his weight repeatedly trying to find a comfortable position, we gave him a little bit of water. He responded by spewing bright green (it was quite a pretty colour) liquid and undigested grass all over the carpet. I put on some pants and we packed him off to Cornell. 

Ryan sent out the above email a few hours after we'd received the diagnosis. In a way it was a relief that they found an obstruction - much worse things like cancer or liver failure had crossed my mind repeatedly. 

The surgery, that they did on Friday, resulted in the discovery of a winter squash stem. I have no idea where he found a squash stem this time of year, particularly because he has been on house arrest for the last two weeks due to a completely unrelated injury (a mysterious black eye). 

Anyway. His prognosis is very positive. He apparently tried to leave when they took him out of his crate for the first time after his surgery - which is very Jeeves. 

I still can't get the look of his little face as we stood in the hall watching him be led away. They asked us to stay until he couldn't see us anymore because it would be easier to get him to come with them. He kept craning his head around trying to see us. 

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