Last night I was unwinding from the day on the couch with a nice Hallmark movie. I noticed Reba on the other couch chewing on something. She will steal bully sticks from the puppies and had gotten a hold of one and was vigorously gnawing away on it. (First mistake! I should’ve taken it from her!)
I dozed off watching my movie and was awakened by strange noises; Reba trying to swallow and gagging. She had apparently chewed that thing down to a small piece and then attempted to swallow it. But it must’ve gotten stuck on the way down. She was trying to get it down, swallowing repeatedly, gagging, vomiting, but the only thing coming out was white foam. She was in obvious distress and seemed to be having trouble breathing.
I grabbed the phone as I tried whatever I could do to help make her more comfortable and called my regular vet. I got some message (and maybe I heard it wrong), but it sounded like they couldn’t take any after hour emergencies and to call the emergency clinic in Spokane. 😮(I found out today that the doctor was on call, answered the phone, but we somehow didn’t connect. This would prove to be providential).
I called three other vet clinics and finally heard back from the one in Colville. I wrapped Reba up and we headed to town. (this was around 12:30 am this morning).
She was examined, sedated, x-rayed and scooped. The doctor saw something in her esophagus and it was also filled with lots of air. He used the scoop and then a catheter and passed it clear to her stomach, hoping to push the offending piece clear down. The x-ray showed that the tube had gotten all the way to her stomach so we thought we were good.
She started waking from the sedative, so I headed home with her. I bundled up on the couch so I could keep an eye on her and we got a few hours sleep before our “normal” day began.
But later that morning she still looked very uncomfortable and went between resting quietly to sitting up and vomiting more foam.
Back to the vet we went, as I informed my husband that he would need to take Rosie’s puppies in (to our regular vet) for their exams.
More x-rays were taken which showed the air that had filled her esophagus was reduced and we could no longer see the small obstruction. But here she was still very uncomfortable and not getting better. The doctor assumed it was all from the irritation and swelling and unfortunately he couldn’t give her anything to help that because of her pregnancy. He also suspected some aspiration pneumonia and had sent home antibiotics which I hadn’t started because of her continuous vomiting.
He suggested I leave her there so her could support her with i.v. fluids and antibiotics. And also planned to send the x-rays off to a specialist for a second opinion.
At that point my husband was almost to Colville, so I told him to meet me there and I would take the puppies on to their appointment. (More on that later).
I eventually made it home around 4:30 in the afternoon and got the puppies unloaded and everyone fed and watered, then crashed for a short nap.
I got a call from the vet about an hour ago and he had heard back from the specialist who thinks that unfortunately the tube did push the piece down, but that it slipped past the tube and didn’t make it all the way to the stomach. So the doctor wanted to sedate her again and give it another shot.
As I was writing this, he called again to let me know their second attempt was unsuccessful. 😩
Our next step is to take her to Spokane in the morning to a specialist…..
Hard lesson learned; when any chewie gets too small, take it from the dog and throw it away!!
I just hope this story has a good ending.