Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Very Dangerous and Oft' Times Deadly Game of Russian Roulette

Another Episode in the
Life and Times of Lord Malcolm,
Chamberlain to the 
Duchess of Hagg
I know you're talkin' about me!  If I felt better, I'd knock you into next week.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record (remember records?), and like I don't pay any attention to what my dogs are doing.........Yup!   He ate yet another piece of toy.  This was a rubber Kong toy in the shape of a 'stick' that, at one time, had a rope strung through it and knotted on both ends.  It looked like it was originally meant to play 'tug of war'.  Well the rope had been shredded long ago and thrown away, but the rubber 'casing' was in great shape and was used to play catch with McKenzie.  She LOVES for us to throw toys in the air so that she can catch them.  She is the only Boxer Dog I've ever had that (a) would catch things and (b) would give them back so you can do it again.  She plays catch with balls, small Kongs, rubber bones, rings and just about anything she can get her wee mouth around.  She rarely misses.  She can also catch treats.  On this, she NEVER misses.

In my last blog, I mentioned that I had to take Malcolm to the emergency vet last Sunday.  -- Let me just mention here, that I need to write an entire blog just on that visit.  I am stating as clearly as I can that I will never go to that facility again. (There is another choice in our town and if I have to go, it will be there). They advertise 'compassionate' care 24/7.  We didn't get that.  More on that later.  --  Suffice it to say, that my Vet, Dr. George Carley at Hunter's Glen Vet Hospital was only too happy to help me on the phone that morning.  After a bit of discussion with him, it was determined to wait til Monday morning to do anything else.  I didn't feed him at all over the weekend because I didn't want the food to push the toy into his intestine.  He's all ready had 6 inches taken out from the last two surgeries.  (See these posts: The World is My Buffet Table,  Lord Malcolm's Antics Never Cease and Chew Toys Need to be Inspected )

McKenzie providing what comfort she can to aide her brother's recovery.

We had  x rays taken at the emergency vet that showed nothing because the toy was made of rubber and didn't show up. (Of course, they didn't put any 'dye' in  to make it show up!)   No one could feel it, so the Emergency Vet didn't believe me that he actually ate the toy.  Humph!  I guess I know my own dog.  It's his M.O.  The reason I knew it was still in his stomach was because at 5am he woke us up trying to barf.  That's also his M.O.  He only throws up between 5 and 7 am.  The rest of the day, he just goes along as if everything is OK.  So, on Monday, Dr. Carley decided first to 'scope' him.  He found the toy but it was too big for the 'pincers' on the scope to pull out.  We thought about going to an automotive supply to find a tool that mechanics use to pick up nuts and bolts that they drop into tight places.  In the end, we filled him full of soft canned food that would hopefully engulf the foreign body and gave a drop of Apomorphine in his eye to cause him to throw up thereby, bringing the toy out with the food.  Well, he threw up all the food, but the toy didn't come up.

Staring into the fire and feeling bad enough to just jump in.  Wondering why the heck I go to that Vet if I always feel like this afterwards.

The worry was that the toy would go into the intestine and create a block where the scare tissue all ready exists from the last surgery.  He almost died that time and I really would do almost anything to avoid intestinal surgery again.  I even brought up a scenario where we put him under and someone stuck there hand down his throat to literally pull it out.  (It was explained to me that this procedure would put way too much pressure on the heart).  After much discussion, we decided that stomach surgery was better than intestinal surgery.  So, under the knife he went.  He did fine in the expert hands of a truly great Vet.  I was kept informed throughout the procedure and finally, Malcolm gave 'birth' to a bouncing baby chunk of rubber.  Interestingly, it had changed from blue to green and the rough edges were now smooth because of the stomach acid.  The Doc was also able to take out some (but not all) of the old sutures from the last episode.  You may recall that he had a reaction to the original dis-solvable sutures causing the 2nd surgery and the need to use permanent sutures.

Well.  That's the story of Lord Malcolm's addiction to the very dangerous game he plays.  I've had destructive chewers before.  You know, when you come home to see chaos and devastation strewn everywhere.  Malcolm doesn't normally chew on anything but his toys really.  But he chews so hard, that it's broken within 3-4 minutes.  Instead of leaving the evidence for me to find, like any good criminal;  he swallows it!  (Indeed.  I had just given him that toy a few minutes before and it was in good shape).  We now have a new rule.  Toy box is kept in the closet and there are no toys out.  When it's time to play, I get the toy box out and I sit in the floor and play with them.  No one plays alone, even for one minute.  We just can't keep doing this.  He is only 2 years old and has all ready had 3 major surgeries (not counting his neuter).

The last thing I'd like to say is that if it weren't for Trupanion Pet Insurance we'd be selling our home to pay for him.  (That is only a slight exaggeration).  I've put an ad for Trupanion in the right side bar of this blog.  If you click on it, you can fill out a request for a quote.  I don't sell Trupanion.  I just really believe in it.  We pay a $100 deductible and they pay 90% per occurrence.  Put this way, all 3 surgeries including the emergency vet visit (which is really expensive for almost nothing in return) cost about $4700.  We paid $200 in deductibles (2 occurrences, 3 surgeries) plus around $450 for our 10%.  $650 is way better than $4700.  Remember, he's only 2.  We've got at least 8 more years to go!  We bought the insurance on both Malcolm and McKenzie when we got them.  The benefits provided thus far have paid the premiums for both of them and more.  Your dog may be the greatest and never get into trouble.  Lucky you.  But it's really been a life saver (literally) for us. 


Malcolm has like 15 staples in his belly right now, but he's back to his ol' devil may care attitude.  His agility class is Monday night, 1 week to the day after his surgery.  He'll be there ready to do the jumps (perhaps a bit lower) and climb the A Frame and I'm sure he'll want to say hello to all his doggy friends by jumping and drooling on them.  He's quite a popular guy.  He just has this love affair with danger.

I'm feelin' better Baby.  I'm handsome and I dig danger.  Need an adrenaline rush?  Call me.

Dogs just don't know what's good for them.  Malcolm is one lucky dog that he came home with us.

The next post will be written by Herself, the Duchess of Hagg......

No comments: