December 28, 2004 ~ Vetting
rose on the living room rug
Yesterday (which was, incidentally, my last non-work-day for at least the next two weeks), I finally was able to take Monty to the vet.
And they weren't able to do much. But hopefully they will be able to later this week. They prescribed an antibiotic, for there was a small infection started, and they prescribed an anti-inflammatory painkiller to bring the swelling down. They also cut out some of the dead flesh. Hopefully, by Thursday, it will have gone down enough to sew him up, at least a little (though they doubt that they will be able to sew it all of the way up--it's too late for that).
He was incredible at the vet. A little scared, yes, but incredibly well behaved. He even greeted some of the people in the waiting room, and his normal dominance toward most other canines didn't come out in the slightest. I think he was overwhelmed, and just became very submissive and compliant as a result. Whatever the case, he was a very, very good boy (even when the Great Dane behind the counter growled at him).
Watching an animal, especially one you love, go under anesthesia is very hard. And watching him come partially out of it during the surgery, obviously in pain, is even harder. They had to use gas on top of the drugs. They shaved around and cleaned the wound, cut out all of the dead flesh, packed the wound, then bandaged it.
Afterwards, he took forever to wake up. The worry of the vet techs, thinly veiled with a fake happy calm was unbearable. "Huh. Usually they come out of it way before this. Oh, but I'm sure he's fine..."
While he laid unconscious, I talked to him as I brushed him, every once in a while trying to wake him. The techs made loud noises, and stomped on the floor next to him. Finally, finally, he started to come around. Though it was well over a half an hour after that before he would stand.
And to think that I'm probably going to have to see him go through this at least one more time before this is over...
Monty, with his paw wrapped
They gave us an "Elizabethan collar," one of those huge cone collars that look like a lampshade, to keep him from messing with his bandage. I knew he was going to hate it. So we didn't put it on during the day, while we could supervise him, but at night we've been keeping the dogs in their crates, since they are not yet housetrained (and they are less likely to have an accident in the close quarters of their crates, where they have to sleep).
Monty gave me an unbearable look of hurt when we put the e-collar on him and had him lay down in the crate. He laid there looking utterly depressed and forlorn, and I reluctantly left him to crawl into the bed with Morgan.
Well, at 2:00 a.m., I bolted awake to, "THWACK THWACK THWACK THWACK THWACK THWACK THWACK THWACK THWACK THWACK THWACK THWACK THWACK THWACK!!!" I jumped out of bed, disoriented, and stumbled over to Monty's crate.
He stood looking out at me from his crate, looking absolutely miserable, disoriented, and scared. The e-collar had been catching on every single bar of the crate as he tried to turn around and get into a new position, making a loud THWACK at each catch.
I helped him lay down in a new position, soothed him for a while, then went back to bed.
5:00 a.m., I woke, heart racing, to, "THWACK THWACK THWACK THWACK!!"
I helped him settle again, feeling like a heel to be keeping him miserable.
So, tonight, we're not going to use the e-collar in his crate. I'm going to lay with him so that I'll wake up whenever he moves around or tries to mess with the bandage. I'm not going to put him through another uncomfortable and distressing night if I can help it.
It's time to show him some of the trust that he's been showing me for so long.
We'll see how it goes.
Rose taking up the entire love seat, her favorite sleeping spot
(Sorry so few pictures of Monty. He's still a little scared of the camera, and I don't want to terrorize him).