He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. —Psalm 113:9

August 29, 2011

Not So Fun Times At the Animal ER

Yesterday evening I was hanging out in bed with a book when I looked over at my dog and realized he was having a seizure. I managed to stay calm -- I've had enough exposure to epilepsy in both the pets and people in my family to not freak out too much (although, our dog Fizzgigg passed away during a seizure, so there was definitely some freaking) as I called out to Matt and told him what was happening.

It lasted about ten minutes, but after it passed, Pete seemed fine, albeit a little freaked out himself, but we decided we'd rather be safe than sorry, so we took him to the animal ER closest to our house. They did a full blood workup to rule out poison or illness as a cause, and kept him overnight for observation. Ten hours and $400 later, I picked him up and learned that he didn't have any other episodes and that his blood tests all came back normal. Nevertheless, they left an IV catheter in his leg and sent me away with a bag of IV fluid with instructions to take him directly to his regular vet for a follow-up.

Which I did, despite the fact that it was only 7 AM and his vet wasn't open yet. Somewhere between the ER and his vet my worry-addled and coffee-deprived brain realized I should call ahead. Nobody answered, but the machine said that they opened at 7:30, so I stayed the course and drove all the way across town to his "regular" vet, i.e., the place where we chose to have him neutered three years ago because it was close to my then-workplace. I got there right at 7:30 and they still hadn't opened yet, so I called and talked to a person this time, who told me that the doctor wouldn't arrive until 9, so I might as well go home and come back later. OY!

Never mind the inconvenience of having to schlep clear across town four times in one morning (two of which were during the morning rush). Poor Pete was so anxious and confused by this point, he had NO clue what was going on, and letting him go home only to turn right around just as he was starting to relax and take him back to get poked and prodded by more strange people and get yet another thermometer poked up his backside just COMPLETELY ruined whatever happiness was left in his day.

Stressed puppy

At any rate, we finally had the follow-up, and his vet said that he's basically healthy, but he's at the right age to develop epilepsy and that it's fairly common in chihuahuas, and that we should just keep an eye on him and keep a log if he has any more seizures. If they start to happen frequently, then she'll want to start him on medication, but unless/until that happens, she didn't really see the point, other than to make us feel better. But as noted above, we've got enough experience in this area to know how hard anti-seizure medicine can be on a body, so we're actually relieved that the vet thinks it's too early to start meds, and hoping that he'll never need them.

Since coming home, he's been showered with love and attention and dog treats, and now he's sleeping it off, and I'm trying to restore some order to my day, and my thoughts, since my routine has been so completely disrupted. But of course it's all worth it to know that our little guy is healthy.

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