Both my mother and my dog were in the hospital this past weekend. That kinda thing makes it pretty stressful around here. To tell you the truth, I was more worried about my dog.
Why was Nana (my mother) in the hospital? Because she TOOK TOO MANY TYLENOL. This tells me two things:
#2 Apparently my mother doesn’t read my blog.
She took all that acetaminophen because her hip was hurting her and her doctor said, “Take Tylenol, it won’t hurt you.” This is also the same doctor who had her on so many different drugs (three for blood pressure alone) that her blood pressure would not come down and she hadn’t really slept for about three months. He is no longer her doctor.
My brothertook her to the hospital and she was put in a regular room where she promptly fell asleep. A tox screen showed very little acet in her blood so she didn’t take enough to even rate. Amateur.
It also confirmed to the hospital doctors why she wasn’t sleeping, and why she’s a little psychotic lately. So that explains it. But she was on a slew of drugs, a few of which I didn’t want her to take because they make one prone to psychosis, like Ambient and Xanax. Which she was taking to help her sleep. Which they weren’t. Anyway.
The next morning, she was “unresponsive” and her pupils were tiny pin pricks, so they moved her to ICU. When my siblings arrived, she was groggily responsive, then fell back asleep, then woke and knew everyone’s names, then went back to sleep. By afternoon, she was sitting up in bed working a crossword puzzle.
In ICU working a crossword puzzle. That’s my mom. She goes to the hospital – ICU, no less – to catch up on her zzzzs. She went home yesterday and is doing fine. Very well rested.
Winston (my dog), on the other hand, is having a rougher go. On Saturday, a warm day, he and Sam went for a long walk up the mountain. This is a walk he’s done many times before, with me and Sam, but not in the last two months since I’ve been sick. Sam had to flag down a car to bring Winston home because he laid down in the road and was panting like crazy, clearly overheated.
We cooled him off and took him to a nearby vet (who I’ve been to before and will now never go to again) who completely discounted heatstroke, like he didn’t even hear us, and insisted it was his heart. I don’t think so, Winston’s not even five. The vet gave Winston a couple of shots – Vit E and Selenium for his heart and a steroid to prevent inflammation – and we brought him home. He was still not walking well, very unsteady and seemed to have lost a lot of strength in his upper body: when he goes to lay down, as soon as his “elbows” bend, he flops. Plus he threw up all the water he drank every time. That can’t be good.
When you look up dog heatstroke on the internet, the main repercussion is organ failure. Winston looked great on the outside, his gums were pink again (purple right after the walk), his eyes were clearing up, but he was perfectly lethargic. Not holding down water, not able to walk. We were scared.
Then, during the night, he pooped and peed in the house which he never does and there was plenty of blood in both… horrible and scary. Plus, he was still not walking well: he’d go a few few steps, then flop down.
Sunday morning, I took him to Dr. Calderon, a vet in Rohrmoser recommended by my friend Chris. Calderon pretty much discounted heatstroke as well, which I don’t understand. He said Winston should not go on long walks (now I know), he found a parasite, gave drugs for that, put Winston on an IV with water and electrolytes and kept him overnight. Calderon insisted he would be fine which we all discounted. Winston was one sick puppy.
I went back Monday morning, fully expecting to be told some very bad news. But I’ll be darned if Winston was not sitting up in his cage, happy to see me. Still not active, not 100%, but clearly better. Later that afternoon, after all the IV was done, I brought him home. We are so relieved. The internet also said if he survives 72 hours after suffering heatstroke (which we all think he suffered), he will survive.
He still flops down, can’t walk far, just wants to lay down. His pee is clear, thank goodness. Haven’t seen the poop but I’ll spare you those details. (Does anyone but a mother talk about pee and poop like it was regular conversation?) I’m going to see this as a stroke, and assume with time and care, he will get stronger. He’s stronger already, so I think that’s a good assumption.
Winston is the sweetest, gentlest most loving dog in every way. It would be a huge blow to lose him. We are lucky to have him!
If anyone has advice or suggestions for taking the best care of Winston, I will gratefully accept. Thank you.
So, just another stressful medical weekend down here in Paradise. Like we haven’t had enough of that kinda thing around here.