We were packed and ready for a camping weekend when a curve ball was thrown at us. The plan was Mike would pick me up at 4pm and we’d leave town. Mike called a little before 4pm saying I needed to take a Lyft and meet him at the vet ASAP.
That morning Wiley was throwing up for a few hours and by the afternoon it had not slowed down. While at the vet he was given an injection to help stop the vomiting. We had blood work done plus a urine test to determine what may be the cause. All I could think was thank goodness we weren’t four hours away trying to figure this out.
That evening was a rough night with Wiley pacing and whining to go out. Early morning came and that’s when the diarrhea and dry heaves started. We waited for the vet to open and called to see if the blood work could provide any answers. The good news, all levels tested great from the blood work and the urine test showed he was dehydrated which was not a surprise since he was throwing up for 15 hours. So what next… The vet advised us to admit Wiley to the pet hospital and get him on an IV for fluids. Since it’s Saturday, our regular vet was unable to accommodate Wiley because they are closed on Sundays. Our vet recommended a hospital in NE, DoveLewis, where we could get Wiley on an IV, an ultrasound and x-rays to see what is going on internally.
Once we arrived we had to fill out paperwork answering if we’d authorize CPR or open body CPR if needed. Those questions made this all feel so much more serious and the tears flowed like streams down my cheeks. We haven’t ever had to leave Wiley overnight at a hospital before. While we were going through intake Wiley started again with projectile vomiting in the exam room. We reviewed costs and then we had to coach him through the ICU door which broke my heart seeing him walk away slowly.
When we waited. The ultrasound revealed a foreign object was lodged in his small intestines. We arrived at the hospital at 10am and by 3pm Wiley was being prepped for emergency surgery to remove the foreign material. We were told the best situation is the surgeon goes in cuts the small intestine to remove the object and stitches him up. The other situation could be that the intestines were damaged by the object and they may need to remove a section of the intestines which would require a much longer recovery. We are also looking at a longer recovery because of Wiley’s age, 11.5 years.
The hospital, DoveLewis, was excellent at providing updates and helping us through the process. It is stressful having money conversations and providing approve to move forward. I won’t lie, Wiley’s estimate of $4,000 – $8,000 did make me feel sick to my stomach.
The surgeon called to report Wiley did great in surgery and our mysterious foreign material was identified as a peach pit.
The house felt so strange without hearing Wiley clicks walking on the wood floors. I think this is the first time we’ve been home and not had Wiley with us in over 10 years. Sunday afternoon we were told we could stop by for a visitation. The techs were struggling to get Wiley to eat. He had no interest at all in anything, not even his favorite, peanut butter. While Wiley was under for surgery he was given a feeding tube through the nose that could provide nutrients until he’d eat on his own.
This was the hardest part. Waiting and praying Wiley would eat. He needed to pass food through the intestines to help the healing process. I packed his favorites to try to entice him to eat. Peanut butter, carrots, kibbles and bacon.
It was painful to see Wiley so drugged he could barely keep his eyes open and stare at nothing. Even more tear jerking was to see him turn his head from the food. After about an hour of trying all my treats we were able to get him to eat a small piece of the bacon fat.
The hospital techs would call every morning after rounds to provide an update on Wiley. Unfortunately that tasty bacon fat made him uncomfortable during the night. The techs suggested for our eventing visit to bring boiled chicken, rice and sweet potatoes since he still won’t eaten.
That evening, before we even had a bowl, Wiley snagged some rice from Mike’s hand immediately. Our boy finally had his appetite. We had to stop feeding him since he hasn’t had food in 3 days we didn’t want to put the stress on his stomach by giving him too much food.
Fingers crossed, we hoped this would be Wiley’s last overnight. Tuesday morning I received that sweet call informing us Wiley is ready for discharge that afternoon. I was giddy as we drove to the hospital. The tech went through instructions of Wiley’s 9 mediations. The best part, the tech kept that very expensive peach pit for us to see. Even with it sealed in the ziplock bag you could seem the horrible stick it was emitting. We were offered to keep it but that just seemed silly. A quick photo would to just fine.
The next few days were rough since having to give Wiley his medications every 2 hours day and night. He had pain meds, a few antibiotics, anti nausea, anti vomiting and lastly a slurry to coat the ulcerated regions of the esophagus, stomach and intestines. This one was the worse one.
It’s been a week since all this happened. The lack of sleep is challenging but I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat to have Wiley longer with us. We have one more week till the 15 staples can be removed. Wiley amazes me with his will to live and what he has overcome. To add to his list, he’s survived stage 2 cancer two years ago which left him 30 staple scar. Wiley’s a tough guy and no doubt will be back to normal and ready to camp in no time!