a tale of two frog legs

We don’t have children. We have dogs. And we love our dogs with our whole hearts. It’s a little ridiculous, but it’s how we get by.

I never thought I would be one of these people who think of their dogs as family, but I totally am. It’s me and Jacob and our two little froglegged cuddlebugs and we have a happy little family.

Last night was the first time anything has shaken our little family.

I was home alone with the boys packing and watching bad tv around midnight when I realized something was wrong. Yogi was laying on the couch and – without getting into too much grossness – made a mess of himself and his surroundings without moving. I jumped over to him and started shaking him assuming that he was asleep or something. Yogi has always been an active dreamer, so I thought maybe something went haywire in his dreams. But he just laid there, staring at me with his beautiful brown eyes, completely unresponsive.

The next few minutes are a blur, but I know that I called Jacob at work, found a 24 hour vet, sobbed on the phone with a stranger, moved Yogi, wrapped him in a clean blanket, crated Neko (who at this point knew something was up with his brother and was headbutting him and whining), found my doctors bag and started checking reflexes.

Did I mention I’m in medical school? Did I mention that I was somewhat traumatized by neuro? Did I mention that in a sobbing fit of terror I had the wherewithal to dig my diagnostic kit out of its fancy new leather dr. bag home? Ok…

His pupillary reflexes were good. His heart rate was elevated. His breathing was labored. His gums were pale. He wasn’t moving. I sat on the couch with him and attempted to hold his head in a way that wouldn’t compromise his airway. I cried and told him to just hang on a little while longer.

Jacob was home in a flash, and yogi’s tail wagged a little when he walked in. We carried Yogi to the truck using his blanket as a stretcher. By the time we got him into the car he was able to hold up his head and perked his ears when we called his name. He was still mostly flaccid and breathing like he’d just run a marathon.

When we made it to the clinic we were able to prop him up on the scale. Once he got his footing, he was able to stagger into the exam room (think drunk guy at Oktoberfest). At the end of the vet tech’s exam, Yogi was alert and responsive and able to stand and sit on his own. By the time the vet made it in, our little man was a little lethargic, but mostly fine. I had finally stopped crying. I’m a little pathetic.

Blood tests, observation, questioning. Around 2:30, the vet told us that they wanted to keep Yogman until morning to do further testing, start an IV, antibiotics, etc. The differential diagnosis included ingestion of an array of horrible toxins, seizure, pancreatitis. Go home, we’ll know more in the morning.

So we came home, showered, tried to wash the panic off. Four rolled around and began the most fitful few hours of sleep of my life.

This morning, I drove to the clinic to pick Yogi up and transfer him to his regular vet. The women at the clinic went on and on about what a sweet dog he is and how good and loving he was all morning. He was back to his wagglebutt self. Diagnosis, acute pancreatitis. Possibly shock from the excruciating pain. Probably got into something while he was on a walk outside. There’s know way to know what triggered it. Push more fluids, keep him for observation. He’ll be fine.

Fine? Those are the words I had been waiting so long to hear. He’ll be just fine.

I’ll pick my little man up at 5:30. He will come home and relax and get the love he’s been missing for the last few hours. And maybe then I’ll be able to breathe again.

And those vet bills are big, but it just doesn’t matter.

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4 Responses to a tale of two frog legs

  1. I’m glad to hear Yogi is okay now. How cool that you could get your doc bag and check out his vital signs.

    My cat Shady is having a problem, and it’s a weekend with Monday a holiday. I’ll have to take him to the emergency clinic, too, if he gets worse. He’s had a problem urinating. He doesn’t seem to be in pain, and I’ll be watching closely to see if he is blocked or not. Scary. Blessings to you…

    • doforyou says:

      Sometimes I think that I’m just a silly med student… but these skills come in handy sometimes!!

      I’m so sorry that your Shady is having trouble! It’s so scary when pets have problems because they aren’t good at expressing their troubles. I will keep you guys in my thoughts. Hopefully things turn out ok.

  2. Loving your dogs with your whole hearts is definitely not ridiculous. They are such important parts of our lives. I can not imagine living life without my pups. I am so glad Yogi is ok. It is so frightening when they get sick or hurt and they cannot really tell us what is wrong. A lot like a young child. I will have to check back often to see how Yogi and his brother are doing. Fast thinking on your part!

    • doforyou says:

      Glad I’m not alone! I would absolutely be lost without my boys. They double as a security detail when I’m home alone and sweet cuddlebugs when I need some extra love. This is the first time I’ve dealt with something so scary, so I’m glad I was able to keep somewhat calm and take care of Yogi.

      Thanks for checking in! I’ll post an update about Yogman shortly.

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