If you’re an OG follower of PaleOMG, you know that I share new posts almost every single day on my blog, even while on vacation or in other countries. I make it happen no matter what I have going on. But as of right now, I have nothing left. All my energy and time has gone into saving my dog’s life, and my brain has nothing left because of it. So instead of sharing a new recipe or a skincare product I’m loving while try to fake a virtual smile throughout the post, I thought I would share what’s really going on. And the pain we have been going through the past few weeks.
If you haven’t been following along on social media, I’ll give you a quick rundown on what’s been going on the past 2 weeks with our little pup. Here’s the timeline….
About a month ago, Jackson came down with a little stomach bug that put him in the ER vet.
A week later, he was experiencing ear infection.
A few days after that, he was screaming in pain and could barely lift his head. The vet prescribed him pain meds, steroids, and muscle relaxers and sent us home to see if that helped.
Well, sadly it didn’t and I ended up back at the ER vet at 4am on a Sunday checking him in for an emergency MRI.
He had his MRI the next day where they found a disc extrusion in his neck and some soft palate issues.
Then he went into surgery on Tuesday to fix both of those issues. Well the surgeries went great, but he almost immediately starting dealing with edema (fluid retention throughout his body). All the vets at this location have not seen this reaction before. They believe it’s from the contrast they use for the MRI since he started showing signs of edema immediately after it. Because of this fluid retention, he has trouble moving around, he aspirated a bit which caused breathing issues, and he’s been reluctant to eat since before surgery. He hasn’t eaten in over 9 days at this point.
Then yesterday while I was visiting him, he had a seizure out of nowhere. He’s never had a seizure so obviously this was pretty gut wrenching to see.
So today we decided to move him to CSU vet hospital, where they saved his life after contracting leptospirosis over a year ago. This vet hospital is in Fort Collins (an hour and a half away) and is one of the best vet teaching schools in the country. When we checked him in they immediately told us we have a very sick dog. They quickly removed some of the excess fluid around his lungs to help him breathe then checked him into cardiology to rule out congestive heart failure – all tests came back normal with the heart, luckily. They also found that his potassium levels were dangerously low (potassium ensures that the heart keeps beating) so they got those levels back up.
We left Jackson up at CSU today and we are feeling much more comfortable with him being there. He is in an oxygen crate resting comfortably with their amazing staff. Tomorrow he will be moved over to their internal medicine team and they will start trying to figure out what is causing this edema and how to fix it. Then hopefully we will have some sort of game plan. Since Jackson hasn’t eaten in so long, tomorrow they will most likely put in a feeding tube through his nose to get actual nutrients back in his body. He’s so puffy from the edema, but you can still see his spine and hip bones poking through from the muscle loss, so this will be so incredibly helpful.
This whole experience has been traumatizing, truly heartbreaking, and painful, but I finally feel confident where he is and know that they will do everything possible to figure out what is going on. The last vet just wanted to wait it out and if we would have listened, he would have died. If I’ve learned anything from this experience, it’s that you should always get a second opinion. Never settle. If you feel uncomfortable with something, change your settings. I’ve had a pit in my stomach for so long now and I finally feel like there is hope. I’m so glad I didn’t wait any longer, so f*cking glad. Tomorrow I’ll be heading back up to Fort Collins to stay up there for a few days so I can easily visit him daily. I already can’t wait to see his beautiful face. If you have an animal at home, give them a big smooch for me tonight. Having Jackson back home sounds like truly the best thing in the entire world. I can’t wait to have him back.