Thursday, July 29, 2010

Best intentions gone awry

Rocky with Crossed Paws
Haven't posted in a few days because of Rocky, our smooth-coated collie. Poor guy showed symptoms of a urinary tract infection over the weekend, so DD#1, the vet tech at a major animal hospital for the tri-state area, took him along Monday for a look-see. He came home in the evening with some antibiotics, some disinfectant soap for cleansing- and the inability to move his tail, sit, or lie down. You read that right. He was over DD#1's house for the evening when she spotted his distress; she promptly drove him over to her good friend the vet neurologist J who works with her. J prescribed a pain-killer until a full workup could be done; even on pain meds poor Rocky passed a restless night. He could not negotiate stairs- and our house is all stairs. DH decided to sleep in the family room with Rocky where there's a sliding door out to the backyard, but Rocky knows he's my dog, and wants to sleep near me (why DH didn't get me up to sleep downstairs is testimony to what a great guy DH is, not that I had such a good rest anyway).

The next day Rocky went back to the hospital. Verdict: soft tissue injury to both hips caused by a careless vet tech who forced his legs apart (he didn't need forcing) and tore his muscles (he's over 9; the vet tech didn't check the chart and though Rocky was no more than 5). Cage rest, no stairs, pain killers, and anti-inflammatories were prescribed.

I am angry. I sent a basically healthy dog with a minor infection to the animal hospital; I got back a dog with a still-minor infection but one that is now partially lame. I sent a continent dog to the hospital, I got back a partially-incontinent dog. My big worry is that given his age, Rocky might be left with mobility problems down the road. DD#1 told me she spoke to the vet tech who worked with Rocky (DD#1 was called into surgery, being she's 1 of only 2 who do anesthesia there) and was met with denial (though a lot of surprise at Rocky's real age: "You kidding? He's not five?" No, she's not kidding and why didn't you read the chart?). Yes he looks much younger than his true age: we never over-feed him, give him proper exercise and grooming, and make sure his weight stays in the right range for his size and breed. He weighs only 65 pounds, which isn't much for a dog that's 24" tall at the shoulders. And he has Lassie's personality, like a true collie. People are his concern. When one of us is sick or injured, there is Rocky, ready to take care of us in his own way. Now we're returning the favor. In a few weeks we're all going to the old Terhune estate, former home of Lad the collie, scene of Albert Payson Terhune's many books about collies, and current venue for an annual Collie Gathering. Rocky must be better by then so he can play with his collie friends.

1 comment:

Henya said...

This is horrible! Hope with time Rocky gets better.