Labor Day weekend we did something I was hoping we’d never have to do, visit the Emergency Vet. It was a bit ironic that this happened on a holiday when we are celebrating those labor workers who work hard day in and day out.
Our Sunday started very normal, we got up, the dogs had their usual breakfast, we had ours and I took them for a walk. Things were great! I was able to go run a few errands before our family barbecue and bonfire. Bolt and Torque were outside with us, swimming in their pool, playing fetch and simply being dogs.
The day took a turn for the worse and how quickly it all changed still boggles my mind.
- 4pm rolled around we could tell that they were getting tired. Bolt gets very ornery when he’s tired so we put both dogs inside for nap.
- 5pm hits. Brent went inside to check on the dogs. Suddenly, my phone is ringing and its him “You need to come in here, Torque pooped and puked all over!” I assumed he was being a bit dramatic. How can a dog so tiny poop and puke ALL OVER!?! Well, sure enough, when I went inside it really was everywhere.
- 7pm the diarrhea started. Things were coming out of both ends. Insert worried dogmom! He was loosing control of his bowels and as he’d try to puke, he’d be pooping. I wiped the diarrhea from his butt and found a tiny metal shaving that he must have licked up from the shop. It was then that I began to worry that there was serious damage. I emailed our holistic vet to get her opinion. We agreed to monitor him as the evening went on and see if his status changed after getting rid of the foreign object.
- 9pm Things continued to get worse. I noticed small amounts of blood in his poop. Now, my worry turned into more of a panic. He wouldn’t eat or drink anything. Torque was miserable and becoming dehydrated. The specks of blood turned into drops and clumps of bloody diarrhea.
My guilt set in as I searched frantically on Google Maps for the closest emergency vet. I called to let them know we were coming and to see how long their wait time was. THREE HOURS! With tears rolling down my face and my heart racing we loaded Torque in the car and drove to the Affiliated Emergency Veterinary Service. The drive seemed to take forever and it felt like to matter how much I was speeding we could get there fast enough. It was only 23 minutes away but it felt like an eternity.
- 10:30pm, we arrived at the emergency vet. I wrapped Torque in his blanket and carried him inside. He was miserable, messy, still drooling and his butt was covered in bloody diarrhea. A veterinary technician took Torque right away to measure his vitals. Brent and I sat in the waiting room. I had knots in my stomach and was nauseous. I couldn’t decide if I was going to puke or pass out. With how many times I ran to the bathroom about to puke, the people in the waiting room probably thought I was in need of medical attention.
- Midnight – Over an hour after they had taken Torque, we were told that he was on an IV of fluids and as soon as they are done with the diagnostic testing the doctor will see us. My mind was boggled as I tried to figure out how things can change so drastically in less than 6 hours. We sat, we waited, we watched Shark Tank on the tv and did what anyone does while they wait, scroll through Facebook and Instagram.
- 1:30am rolls around and we hear someone say “Torque”. Our heads pop up and they call us back to a room. I was hoping Torque would be in there but he wasn’t. Without talking the vet tech handed us a paper that read Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis and walked out of the room. We read through the paper trying to figure out what on earth Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis was. Basically, it means his gastrointestinal system came into contact with something it didn’t like (more than likely the metal shaving). There wasn’t any immediate concern of surgery or serious medical conditions. The worst part was severe dehydration and I knew that with an IV he would be getting better.
On one end I was sad and fearful of what was happening. On the other end I was grateful and calm because I knew Torque was getting the care and comfort he needed. The doctor talked us through the handout and told us what she wanted to do over the next 48 hours. I hated hearing that because it was then that I knew he wouldn’t be coming home with us. Torque was going to be given care we couldn’t provide him and that’s all that mattered. Torque was diagnosed with a minor parasite as well that they were certain was not related to his condition but they began treating as a precaution.
We saw him briefly before we left. He was already looking better. His eyes weren’t glazed over anymore and he was no longer drooling. I told him I loved him, that he’d be taken care of and that I’d see him very soon. My heart at ease as we had to turn and walk out of the hospital. Of course, the worrying didn’t stop. I think I slept for 2 hours once we finally got home around 3am.
The vets checked in every 8 hours and less than 20 hours later we were able to bring him home. We arrived at 10:30pm Sunday night and I was able to pick him up at 7:00pm on Monday. His recovery was fast and this little ball of fur proved to us just how strong he is. The vets were happy and quite surprised at how quickly he recovered. I like to think its because of the raw food and chemical-free home that we work so hard to have. 😉 Now, we just need to make sure we clean up better after metal work projects. Torque was happy to be home.
Throughout the entire experience I kept finding things to be grateful for. It was the only way I would be able to push past the fear, sadness and anxiety. I was grateful for the men and women who take on the emotionally challenging job of emergency care. They not only see animals in their most horrific state but they see their owners broken-hearted and in tears. There are times when they have to see pet owners make end of life decisions for their companions. They do everything in their power to keep our pets alive and sometimes everything isn’t enough. When I saw the candle on the counter with the note reading “When this candle is lit please be respectful as a family is saying goodbye to their pet. If you feel compelled, say a prayer for the family” I cried for the tenth time. These people watch animals cross the rainbow bridge every day and they continue to show up for work to put all their energy into saving the pets we know and love.
I was grateful that I have a good relationship with a holistic vet who was willing and happy to communicate with me throughout this experience. We emailed back and forth the entire time Torque was in emergency care. She was emailing me at midnight while we were at the emergency vet and continued to check in throughout the day on Labor Day. I forwarded her the paperwork of his care and the medications they prescribed him. Dr. Jessica Levy dug into everything and came up with a plan to treat his parasite homeopathically. She also suggested some homeopathic remedies for supporting his body systems during his recovery. I love that I can communicate and talk with her through emails and she’s willing to listen. More than that it feels great knowing that she loves to do it.
There are times when I know that traditional veterinary care is needed. Most often I prefer to treat things more naturally but knowing and recognizing when its an emergency situation is critical. There is no telling what could have happened to Torque without them. I can’t even let myself think about that because it makes me cry.
As I conclude I want to give you a recommendations. Be knowledgable about Emergency Vets in your area. The one we went to was Blue Pearl Emergency in Blaine, Minnesota. You can click the link to search for one near you. We love and care for our dogs just like you and never would have imagined needing to rush to the emergency room with one of them but things happen. Knowing where to go can literally save your dogs’ life. Get on Google Maps today and search for your nearest emergency vet, bookmark or save the number and pray that you never have to use it.