Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Weekend from Hell!

Friday afternoon after work I drove to Marietta to Tip Top Foods to purchase two cases of chicken backs. This is part of the raw diet I feed my four Greyhounds. I got home and unloaded the chicken and then commenced to letting the pack out to potty. Once that was over, it was time for their dinner. I grabbed four chicken backs for them and put them outside to eat. As usual my foster ate her kibble in the kitchen in her bowl. While they were eating, I had begun the process of bagging the chicken backs in meal-size bags for freezing.

After having ample time to potty, it was time for them to come back inside. Everyone clamored around me as I worked to bag the chicken backs. After completing the first case, I decided to let them back outside so they wouldn't have their noses right in the case of chicken! It would only be for a few minutes. I didn't muzzle them as I normally do. About ten minutes later, I heard alot of commotion so I flew out the back door only to see them attacking Sugar. She was on the ground, belly up, kicking and screaming. It was really Lucy and my foster. Remi and Sami were there but they weren't on her. I tried to get Sugar away from them but couldn't. I grabbed her by the collar and started dragging her toward the back door. All the while, they continued to take jabs at her - they wouldn't stop no matter how loud I screamed at them. It seemed the more she shrilled, the more they attacked. She was pretty torn up but I was finally able to get her in the house by herself.

I immediately called my BFF, Kim, who then called my vet to see if they would wait for me. It was 5:50 pm and they close at 6 pm. They said they would so I put Sugar into the Pilot and then went inside to get the others from the backyard. I went to crate them and Lucy even lunged at me, ready to attack! I couldn't believe it!! I was able to get everyone crated and then I jumped in to the vehicle to head to the vet. We arrived in 20 minutes or so - a total bloody mess. During the entire ride there, Sugar stood up the entire time.

Because of the extent of her injuries, it being a weekend, and the fact that she has Von Willebrands disease, it was recommended that we go to Cobb Emergency Veterinary Clinic so they could monitor her 24x7. My vet bandaged her up to slow the bleeding and we then headed to the emegency clinic. When we arrived, they took her back and started procedures and such to stabilize her. Kim arrived shortly thereafter. Surgery was definitely required. After some creative financing (her bill was est. at $3,000-$4,000), they started some tests to ensure she could clot before doing the surgery. I went back to see her and she looked just horrible - just beaten to a pulp and her color was grey. They were going to give her plasma, which would take 2 hours, so we decided to go home and clean up blood. We got back to the hospital about midnight. They had decided not to do the plasma just yet but had begun the surgery. About 4-4:30 a.m. they came to tell us that all went well and Sugar was awake. Kim actually heard her yell out around 3:30 a.m. Apparently she had a rough time waking up from the anesthesia and was in quite a bit of pain.
They did decide to give her the plasma Saturday morning. That afternoon, I went to see her, taking her some hamburger meat, marshmallows, and sweet potato treats - hoping she would eat something. Sunday morning she did eat some of the hamburger and was able to take her meds orally so she was weaned from the IV drip and I was able to bring her home that afternoon.

She has a 3-inch tear on her neck that was stitched, several on her left side that were stitched, another 3-inch tear on her chest that was stitched, one on her crotch that was stitched, several smaller ones here and there on her body that were stitched, and the worst was her left forearm. There was no skin left on that 4-inch long, 2-inch wide wound. The night it happened, I could see muscle and tendons. The vet stitched her up the best she could but there is an area the size of a quarter that is still bare. She has a wet/dry bandage there which will be there for a few days.

I saw the wound yesterday during a dressing change and it is amazing how good it looks. My vet was totally impressed with the surgical work they did on her. The before and after is quite a transformation. Anyway, she does walk a bit funny on that front leg, folding her foot over and dragging it. We're hoping there isn't any neurological damage but won't know that until the bandages come off and she is able to bend it better and put pressure on it. She is bruised pretty badly, mostly on her stomach, chest and legs.

Despite her injuries, she looks really good now that she's stitched up all over. She ate a chicken back last night and a little hamburger meat and a bit more stew meat this morning for breakfast. She is taking her pills via peanut butter which is excellent because when she had the liver ailment a few years back, I ran out of various methods to pill her. She would figure out a pill is involved in whatever I was giving her and wouldn't eat it - for months afterwards. Smart and stubborn - that is my Sugar.

Her six drainage tubes come out tomorrow and another bandage change will happen on that front leg. I'm hoping one more after that and then we'll be home free. Next week her stitches will come out. She's a fighter and will survive.

I can't say enough good things about the emergency clinic. They were informative, professional, and current on Sugar's case anytime I asked about her. My vet called there on Saturday morning to inquire about her status and then again on Sunday which made me feel really good. I didn't know that until we were there yesterday for the bandage change.

Lucy is now on Amitriptyline and the foster was moved to another foster home. I am being careful about the dynamics and am watching for anymore signs of aggressiveness from Lucy. Of course, I have no idea what transpired in the backyard that night and probably won't ever know. I do know, however, that I will be much more careful about the muzzles. I was busy with the task at hand in the kitchen and it just slipped my mind and I am usually a stickler about the girls wearing them!

The look on Sugar's face that night will forever be in my mind and definitely will serve as a reminder to me to muzzle, muzzle, and muzzle again!
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KF-in-Georgia said...

Patti, does the Von Willebrands give her any odd behavior that could make her seem vulnerable to the other girls? I've read (on Greytalk) of normally-friendly greyhounds piling on a greyhound that was suffering a seizure.

So sorry this has happened. I know it had to be scary. CEVC is my ER of choice, too: two trips with Oreo, and two trips with Sam.

IHateToast said...

the poor baby.

i had to move my leads to the door handle in our old house. i always did lead, muzzle, door, lead, muzzle, door, lead, muzzle, door, until one time i did muzzle, door. tamale was gone. lucky for me, she was a yard-ho and just zigzagged through all the back yards. of course, she out runs me zigzagging even though i'm running straight. thank goodness the people who enjoy racing around in their little-weenie cars weren't off work yet.

every routine can be messed up. i'm glad she's healing so well. i'm sorry for you and sugar. BFFs like your kim are tops.

Patti said...

Thanks Kathy and Katy for your kind words. It's been really tough seeing my Sugar like this, knowing it was all my fault. I hope she forgives me. She is healing really well, is eating extrememly well, and is taking her pills like a good patient. I couldn't ask for anything better. Today she gets her tubes out and another bandage change on the front leg.

Kathy, I don't know about a seizure but that definitely could have provoked a fight like this. She does do some trancing but that's usually late at night. I think it was just a squabble and then my Lucy getting dominant.

Katy, I'm sorry to hear about your Tamale. I know you must still be aching with grief but know you must have some wonderful memories of the years you had together.

Gerry said...

I am so sorry to hear about Sugar.
I hope she continues to improve every day. Thank goodness you were there to save her life.

Cool Coty said...

Cool Coty and Luna are so sorry about Sugar and are sending their greyt prayers her way.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Oh my gosh! Poor Sugar. I hope she continues to heal quickly.