The week before Christmas, well, let's just say it was eventful and a big lesson on perspective. My biggest worry was whether I would have enough gifts for the kids for Christmas and if my house would be presentable enough to host Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners.
That all changed early before Christmas when our little Caligirl came in from her morning business and urinated pure blood on our kitchen floor.
We immediately dialed our vet who called us back within minutes and thought she may have a UTI. The doctor said we could wait and bring her in on Monday or take her to one of the local emergency vets. For us there really wasn't a question, we would take her right away, not only was the amount of blood alarming but Cali was lethargic and in pain, the cost of ER care was the least of our worries.
Thank goodness we trusted our instincts.
Cali's red blood count was at 15%, in the fatal range and x-rays showed that she had what looked like coins in her tummy. Because of these findings the doctor was presuming that at least one of the coins was a penny that was minted AFTER 1983 which are made with zinc. When ingested and not expelled, the zinc absorbs into the system causing acute zinc toxicity. The things you learn in these types of situations are amazing.
Cali was essentially bleeding to death and if we had waited until the next day we would have lost her, and at the time the doctor told us there was a chance we still could. After a blood transfusion (and lots of tears) Cali was stable enough for us to transfer her to a facility that had the tools needed to perform an endoscopy to remove the coins.
She had to remain in the hospital for 4 days, lots of follow-up tests and another blood transfusion, and visits from us, but we had her home for Christmas; very thankful that it was a positive outcome. We sat in the hospital waiting room with other owners that were not as fortunate and having been in that exact situation before-in this very place, all I could think of to do was console and hug a stranger. It really is like losing a family member to many of us, and the hurt feels just as strong.
I’m happy to report that she is doing fine just three weeks after the fact. Our bank account, not so much, but hey, what are you gonna do? Like I said it wasn’t even a question of whether to save her or not. We were responsible for the pennies being on the floor, not Cali, and we know what a chewer and archeologist she is so we should have known better and so we pay the price.
We are also watching her like a hawk these days; the poor thing can’t get away with diddly although she's living the life that every rescue dog deserves right now.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone and don’t forget to hug your pet(s); that is unless your pet is a hedgehog, tarantula, scorpion or anything in the viper category; in that case a virtual hug will do. Amen.