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I can’t even think of a witty title (or, indeed, a non-witty title) for this post- that’s the kind of week it’s been.
And, I mean, it hasn’t been ALL bad. Rubin made it through his operation on Tuesday, for one thing, and that’s definitely something to be grateful for. It seems that Wednesday’s optimism, and all of that, “Yay, he’s almost totally back to normal now!” stuff I posted that day was just a little premature, though. Big surprise, right?
He WAS doing really well when I wrote that post, to be fair. He was eating, he was playing with his toys… we took him round to Terry’s mum’s for a visit, and everyone commented on how well he seemed, especially considering he’d had surgery the day before. We really felt he was on the mend, and that everything was going to be just fine.
Later that night, though, he started crying… and he basically didn’t stop for the next 2 days. By the time we got up on Thursday morning, it was really obvious that something wasn’t right. Rubin was wide awake when we went down to get him, and he didn’t sleep AT ALL for the rest of that day. Instead, he just sat there with his head pointing towards the ceiling, in obvious distress. He wouldn’t eat any of his dog food or treats: he DID eat some cooked chicken we bought for him, and also some cheese, but his breathing was short and fast, he still wouldn’t stop crying, and, above all, he STILL wouldn’t sleep, even although it was obvious he needed to.
In fact, not only was he refusing to sleep, we couldn’t even get him to lie down: every time we tried, he’d just get right back up again, and resume his head-pointing-towards-the-ceiling position. Every so often, he’d get so tired he’d drift off for a few seconds, at which point his front legs would give way, and he’d fall to the floor – only to get right back up, and resume staring.
It was absolutely awful.
Between his poor, shaven neck, his alarmingly large scar, and his huge, pleading eyes, it was just absolutely heartbreaking to see him like that. We tried everything we could think of to try to calm him down and get him to sleep, but nothing worked, so we jumped back into the car and headed back to the vet’s, who checked him over, and found nothing physically wrong with him. His wound was healing well, his temperature was normal… “It’s either the effects of the anaesthetic,” he told us, “Or he’s still in some pain from the operation.” So he prescribed some painkillers, warned us it might take 24 hours for them to work, and told us to come back tomorrow if they didn’t.
When we got home, Rubin went right back into his “staring at the ceiling” routine, and Terry and I became absolutely frantic with sheer helplessness. There really seemed to be absolutely nothing we could do to comfort him or make him feel better, and although we managed to get him to swallow the first of the pills when we got home, when it was time to take the second, he resolutely refused everything we offered him, no matter how hard we tried to coax him.
I don’t think any of us got much sleep that night. Rubin was still refusing to even lie down, and when we brought him into our bedroom he was so unsettled there he wouldn’t even sit still, so we moved him down to the office, with Terry and I getting up to check on him every couple of hours. Every time we went down, there he was still sitting bolt upright and staring at the ceiling. We honestly didn’t think he was going to make it through the night – it was that bad.
Yesterday morning, though, we went down to the office, opened the door… and there he was, lying on his side, fast asleep for the first time in almost 48 hours. We could have cried with relief. He had an appointment with the vet for a checkup that day anyway, and by the time we got there, he was almost his old self again. He was, however (and I hesitate to even mention this, for fear of internet diagnosis), breathing faster than usual, which the vet was concerned about. She checked him over carefully, and at the moment her best guess is that it might be some kind of problem with his heart – which is obviously the last thing we wanted to hear.
She couldn’t actually detect any kind of problem just from listening to his heart, however, so she’s given us some more pills to try him on for a week. If that doesn’t work, she tells us the next step would be to do a chest x-ray, which would involve sedating him again – something we REALLY want to avoid, given how badly he seemed to react to it the first time. So, at the moment, its just a case of “wait and see” basically. On the plus side, we can see quite a big improvement in Rubin this morning again, so we’re really hoping that will continue, and it’ll all turn out to be nothing too serious. In the meantime, well, suffice to say that Terry and I still aren’t getting a whole lot of sleep – a situation not helped by the fact that we’ve both come down with some sort of chest infection/bug this week. It never rains…
Anyway, right now I’m just REALLY glad it’s the weekend, and that we’re all here to enjoy it. How about you?