Thursday, February 26, 2009


The week has just blown by. My toy poodle, Pepe (accent on that last e) started having similar symptoms as a dog with a foreign body blockage by Saturday evening. In January he had a similar episode and we thought he’d chewed on and swallowed and piece of sheet rock (long story). Well, I don’t think he ever had any blockage but everything presented that way. Distended bowls, inability to go #2, lethargic, no appetite, vomiting, and some discomfort in the abdomen. That last symptom was pretty minimal so he didn’t fit the “profile” 100%.

Fast fwd to today and he is having major surgery at 11am today at the Vet School. He’ll have a team of Vets, his own anesthesiologist, and the head of soft tissue surgery in the room plus I am sure a few extra 4th year Vet students to boot. His assigned student has been wonderful. I am happy he will have such great care but I am a nervous wreck that he has to go through yet another major surgery.

His last was in ‘06 when he had to have a ruptured salivary gland removed. When he came into our rescue he suffered from a condition that should have been the size of a quarter but was instead the size of a grapefruit. Probably due to someone hurting him, possibly kicking him. Yea, his past is pretty awful and he also has a very gruesome scar along his side where we think someone burned him so bad that it destroyed the skin follicles. No hair grows there.

When he first arrived we had no plans of keeping him but rather finding him a wonderful forever home. Big dogs and German shepherds (GSD) was our breed of choice to work with not a toy poodle. Still we took in Pepe because he came with a GSD who was close to starving to death named Apache and had some major fear issues. The more we had the pair the more I fell for Pepe and when he finally decided to trust someone it was me that he picked. That is how I have GSD’s and a toy poodle. His buddy was adopted by a great family in my hometown and 007 helped him get over his fear issues. He's a fantastic family dog and has three kids and doggy sibling that he adores not to mention his new folks.

Anyway, a local vet who’s a rather skilled specialty surgeon did the removal of the ruptured gland (duct?). I talked with him this morning to let him know what’s up and bring him up to speed in case the surgeon for today wants to talk with him. I also wanted to be sure he had done well under anesthesia.

To back up a bit Pepe started presenting on Sunday evening, called Dr. L and by morning I was at the clinic doing x-rays, blood work, more fluids. We repeated x-rays Tuesday and Wednesday and noticed something showing up in what we thought was the colon and so we gave it until Wednesday AM. Upon palpation Dr. L determined it was outside the colon wall but still in the pelvic canal. Great!

So off to the Vet School we went and sure enough he has all of radiology stumped and everyone is just dying to get in there to see what the hell is going on. Hopefully it is encapsulated and can be easily removed. There is some kind a of mass and it could be intestine that has worked its way down to the pelvic canal which is extremely rare, he could have a double colon (yea I want to know how too), it could be an abscess, or a tumor, or something else nobodies thought of. Great!
So surgery is risky b/c of all the bad bacteria in that region. Yea, I am a wreck mostly b/c I don’t think it is fair to him to have yet another problem and I can’t get over how small surgery site will be.

But I am thinking positive and since he has the best possible team available to me in the state I am confident but since I won’t be in the room I can’t stand it! Can you imagine if I have a kid I’ll have to go to medical school!

To be continued…

An update! Pepe did great through surgery. They found a piece of his intestine had some how made its way to his pelvic canal and was stuck. It had pinned his colon so nothing was getting through it. The amazing part about all of this is its been a condition for sometime. I first noticed he had some pain associated with his lower abdomen, groin area, and seemed to pick up his right back leg when he ran. My guess was a sprained hip/leg/ankle maybe some arthritis. Dr. L guessed possibly hernia but bloodwork, x-rays and palpation reviled nothing significant. So we started him on a join supplement. That was in October. I think some of his blood work was a little elevated but nothing alarming. We'll go over that on Monday I am sure.

Then in January he had a similar bought as mentioned above with what we thought was a foreign body but x-rays revealed nothing. Well, now we know all of these conditions were linked. Wow, its just crazy to think about and man I am pumped that his surgery is over. He is doing great in recovery but has some pain. They are giving him meds and will updated me again around 6am or so.

He may have to have a second surgery to repair a possible hernia if there is one caused by the bowel needing to go somewhere. We are not sure as the whole region is inflamed and his doctor didn't want to aggravate this situation but rather give it time to calm down to be sure there is a hernia. She did resection his bowel removing about a centimeter of bowl that was necrotic that had been pinched and then the part of bowel that was stretched out going all the way to his pelvic cavity. It wasn't much removal and a good move to insure that he only has functional tissue. However, we are not out of the woods yet.

The critical days for a bowel resection I am told are days 3-5 post opt. So I'll be a nervous ninnie and I've already talked with Dr. L and the vet that did his surgery. He is spending the night in ICU, yes they have these even for pets and I am grateful. So the bottom line is he's on the mends and it was probably the best case scenario as far as these things go. He also caused quiet the stir at the Vet School. I wonder how I can work that into my interview next year (assuming the ask me back again).

Yea, I want a be a vet again! Go figure.

Pepe and Apache

A closer view of Pepe's ruptured salivary gland. Typically this condition is the size of a dime to a quarter. Because of the size it is believed that he lived with this condition for a long time prior to coming to the rescue. We had it removed as soon as we found a great Vet who was confident he could handle the procedure. He's a very skilled Doc and also a large animal vet in a rural community. Yea, I think he walks on water!

Post surgery and with a new haircut.

Hanging with Mom riding in the truck, one of his favorite things to-do.

If I receive any photos from his latest surgery I will post them, but I am not sure what they will give me back. He sure is one heck of a guy and I can't wait until he is home again!

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