Oh Maggie, My Maggie – The Different Finish of the Leash


First: Maggie is alive.

Second: She virtually wasn’t.

All because of a cork. Which she ate. Which nearly killed her.

I’m telling the story in hopes it’ll educate, inform, and encourage. And don’t all of us love a superb canine story, as lengthy the the canine doesn’t die? This one didn’t, however it was fairly rattling shut.

It began on Monday, June thirteenth, when Maggie started vomiting. At first I wasn’t notably distressed; everyone knows proudly owning a canine means cleansing up the occasional vomit on the rug. However the vomiting continued, and have become so violent that her physique really was pushed backward by the power of her abdomen expelling its contents. “Rocket vomit,” I’m going to name it. A lot of yellow fluid, with a little bit of partially digested meals. She was additionally thirsty–very, very thirsty, however she couldn’t preserve it down earlier than it flew out of her mouth. Evidently, by now I’d referred to as the vet, and obtained her in inside a number of hours. I suspected that she had an obstruction, particularly because the canine had found a nest of child turkeys and Maggie had disappeared within the woods after working sheep, licking her lips. Very atypical of her.

However the radiograph confirmed no signal of a international object or a mass (whew), the pancreatitis take a look at was adverse, and the blood work was high-quality, so Dr. Dally (Spring Inexperienced Animal Hospital) suspected she simply had a nasty case of gastroenteritis. We got here house, I withheld meals that evening and fed her rice with defatted hen broth the subsequent day. (You at all times preserve a inventory of it within the freezer proper?) She ate a bit, however barely moved all the subsequent day. I figured she’d was exhausted from a lot bodily trauma, remembering how I felt the day after the Norovirus did its quantity on me. Lastly, on Wednesday she perked up and appeared again to her traditional self. We had firm, and he or she was candy and energetic and hungry. She did vomit a tiny quantity a number of occasions within the subsequent 5 days, however appeared comfortable and wholesome in any other case.

After which. Tuesday the twenty first, I took Skip to the clinic to have a rhinoscopy accomplished by internist, Dr. Julie Bates. He’d began occasional sniffing or snorting about two weeks earlier than, and it was getting worse. Grass seed in his nasal passage? (I used to be properly conscious that grass awns can generally migrate by a canine flesh and do horrible issues, so yeah, I used to be getting nervous.) The outcomes have been irritating: No object, no placque associated to aspergillus, however a small space of irritation. Whereas making an attempt to kind out what to do subsequent, I got here house to find that Maggie had been vomiting, so much, whereas I used to be gone. Again to the vet.

Xrays once more confirmed no obstruction, however her Amylase was up which prompt pancreatitis. She didn’t appear in sufficient misery for care within the clinic, she even ate some treats that Dr. John supplied, so I took her house with some industrial low-fat meals that I might complement meals I made for her. However because the afternoon wore on, she grew to become quieter, and had little interest in her dinner in any respect. Hmmm. I assumed we’d need to take her again to the vet the subsequent day. Little did I do know.

                 Maggie the night of June twenty first. Not feeling too good.

After I awakened Wednesday morning, Maggie seemed like she had swallowed a watermelon. Large enough for a household picnic. I might see it even from throughout the room. I bolted away from bed and ran to her; her stomach was like a drum–“tympannic,” vets name it. Bloat. She seemed like she had aged ten years–her eyes have been glazed, her face pinched, and he or she stood hunched like an offended cat, a transparent signal of belly ache.

We rushed her downstairs. I referred to as my native vet whereas getting her into the automobile. We agreed she wanted emergency care, so we rushed to the Veterinary Emergency Service in Middleton after he referred to as them to allow them to know I used to be on the best way. At this level, my panic had developed right into a type of centered, dedicated depth. Get Maggie to vet as quick as you possibly can. Don’t trigger an accident on the best way–for Maggie’s sake. Get Maggie to the vet. Now.

After I lifted Maggie out of her crate on the clinic, I might see that her bloat had barely dissipated. Nonetheless swollen, nonetheless bloated, however not as badly. I needed to wait a couple of minutes on the clinic, the melodrama of emergency clinics by no means ends, however somebody got here out for Maggie fairly shortly. I went over the historical past; then they took Maggie into the again for prognosis, fluids (she was badly dehydrated), and ache drugs. After ready what felt like without end to listen to that she was stabilized, I went house, ready to listen to about my pricey, candy, spoiled, Princess Maggie.

It took 13 days to get a prognosis. No, wait, really, it was solely 13 hours. Two radiographs had discovered nothing. An ultrasound discovered nothing. However Dr. Alicia Sibley did a distinction examine that confirmed an oblong object caught on the distal finish of her duodenum. (Please somebody inform me if that’s “doo-oh-dee-num” or “doo-odd-o-num.) It confirmed that her GI tract was completely, and utterly blocked, which had brought about her abdomen to replenish with fluid. They took over a liter –A LITER — of fluid out of her abdomen. Dr. Sibley thinks that’s the reason she started gastric dilation, (or torsion, or bloat, you choose the time period). We each suspected that the automobile experience (who knew dangerous roads can be so good) helped her abdomen to realign itself. However she nonetheless had this unidentified factor blocking her intestine.

Maggie had the surgical procedure the subsequent day, after agreeing that she was steady, and midnight surgical procedure wasn’t obligatory or suggested. After it was over, mid afternoon the subsequent day, (or a month later, you choose), Dr. Sibley tortured me by making me guess what the item was. “It’s probably not rectangular, besides on its aspect. It’s one thing you’d discover in your kitchen on the counter.” My curiosity in guessing was minimal, and I hereby settle for a medal for not shrieking WHAT THE HELL WAS IT into the telephone. Okay, it wasn’t too exhausting to stifle myself: This can be a veterinarian who I completely adore, who gave Willie one other 12 months of life by discovering his liver most cancers when three different vets couldn’t determine what was fallacious with him past the truth that he seemed like he was dying. She is strictly the vet I need any time I’ve a veterinary emergency and I hereby demand that these by no means occur until she is on responsibility. Wait, by no means, ever is best.

She lastly informed me what was in Maggie’s stomach. It was a cork. A wine cork. An object principally designed to cease the circulation of liquid. Or something. However, a cork?We don’t drink wine, until firm brings it. It will need to have fallen off the deck within the backyard once we had some people over for dinner. Maggie has by no means eaten a non-food merchandise in her life. At the very least, not that I do know of.  Granted, she defines “meals” a bit otherwise than I do, however a cork? (Word: I’ve already talked about this on my Fb web page, and a number of other folks commented that their canine had eaten corks too. You may need to make an observation.)

Yup, that’s the cork. Maggie’s face in all probability appears careworn as a result of I simply informed her I’d kill her if she tried to eat it once more.

Okay, whew, now we have a prognosis and know what to do. The surgical procedure went properly. The subsequent day, Maggie was doing properly, ate some hen, and the vet clinic stated she was able to go house. House she went, wobbly on Gabapentin and the sedative Trazadon, (solely given as a result of I used to be afraid she’d go bonkers once we got here to get her).

I took her out to pee, on leash in fact. She peed and settled down in the lounge now repurposed right into a restoration room. I lay down beside her, overwhelmed with gratitude to have the ability to pet her candy head.

After which. She slept all afternoon. Okay, she should be exhausted and I knew that she’d been sedated. Lastly, within the late afternoon, I inspired her to stand up. She didn’t need to. Her eyes have been getting glassy once more. She refused meals. She was hunched up once more. Dangerous phrases have been spoken within my mind. I referred to as the clinic, efficiently squelching OMG MAGGIE IS CRASHING AND I HAVE TO BRING HER IN RIGHT AWAY into: “I’m involved about Maggie and thought I ought to run what’s occurring by you.” They agreed I ought to deliver her in, so we did, Jim selecting her as much as put her into her crate.

I’ll simply casually point out that, by this time, I’ve slept, uh, a number of hours an evening at greatest for approach too many nights, I’m nonetheless making an attempt to determine what to do about Skip, and I’m now, privately, unofficially, verging on PANIC NUMBER TWO.

Maggie was seen by yet one more fantastic vet, Dr. Emily Evenson, who I’ve additionally met earlier than and belief utterly. She agreed that Maggie was in intense ache, and wanted fluids and ache killers, and may keep in a single day. We drove away, once more. The clinic stated “no information is nice information, we’ll name you to verify in someday tomorrow morning between 4 and 10 AM.” You possibly can guess how a lot I slept that evening. I obtained a name within the morning to say that Maggie was “resting comfortably.” I’ve to confess meaning nothing to a behaviorist. My interpretation of that phrase is “she isn’t barking, screaming or writhing.” However couldn’t a canine be flat-out depressing, as Maggie was in the lounge that earlier afternoon. However she’d gotten ache meds, and fluids for her dehydration, and was being monitored usually. Okay. Good. Take a breath.

Lastly, Saturday afternoon, about 24 hours from taking Maggie again, they referred to as to say that she was doing nice. GREAT! She was pushing her meals bowl round to get the final molecules of meals in it. Comfortable to go exterior to pee. Pooped. We introduced her house.

And she or he is okay. Actually okay. I didn’t really feel like she was out of the woods on Sunday, however then, her surgical procedure had been Thursday afternoon, so I didn’t count on her to be frolicking. We stored her quiet, one us lay beside her on a regular basis. Skip did too. I do know this picture can be on the prime of this submit, however right here it’s once more, however, properly, I can put it in twice if I need to. It makes me comfortable.

Jim took this as I used to be mendacity on the LR flooring beside Maggie. Skip, who has been quiet and worried-looking throughout this whole episode, came visiting and lay down beside her. Maggie had put her head on his neck–the adorsable issue was off the charts–and I requested Jim to get the digicam and take a photograph. By the point he did, she moved her head. However nonetheless. So candy.

Maggie is way, a lot better at the moment. Now it’s all about administration. We’re very progressively starting quick leash walks. We preserve her from licking or scratching. (She will be able to attain the incision, however relatively than use a cone we simply preserve somebody beside her always.) No play with Skip, we don’t even take them exterior collectively. We don’t let Maggie leap or bounce up on something. Nonetheless, Maggie appears to adore, really crave, mendacity up on issues. She has quite a few, comfortable beds on the ground, however she has begged repeatedly to be allowed up on the sofa or her favourite chair. We picked her up final evening so she might cuddle beside me whereas we watched TV, however then picked her as much as get her down. Jim coated the sofa this morning to maintain her off of it.

Whereas I used to be writing the paragraphs above, actually, Maggie did this whereas I used to be in one other room:

A lot for all my obsessive administration. Evidently, Maggie is now shut into the room the place I’m penning this, having been gently escorted off the sofa. After I broke out laughing. After I took the picture. By the weekend we’ll begin for much longer walks, in all probability off the farm the place she received’t be tempted to play with Skip or work sheep. We’re informed that she will work sheep and play with Skip a month from now. She and I’ll negotiate in regards to the sofa–I’m pondering by the center of subsequent week or so.


MEANWHILE, again on the farm: There’s actually nothing to say however we’re making an attempt to catch up from the week from hell (wherein my beloved sister went again into the hospital–comfortable to say she’s out now, and our AC died when it was 96 exterior, it’s nonetheless out.), deal with Maggie and preserve Skip in situation to compete in trials. We needed to miss a contest I’ve been over-the-moon enthusiastic about (Rush Creek, Ohio), and will make the subsequent one in Illinois. It’s all as much as Maggie

Earlier than I am going, I’ll inform you a shaggy dog story that I considered once I was driving Maggie to the vet when she was bloating. I had that very same decided, centered emotion once I obtained a name from Jim final 12 months, when he was doing his weekly mowing in a close-by county park. The park is extraordinarily hilly, and I nervous about him utilizing the county’s big, industrial-sized mower on the steep slopes. He promised to at all times take his telephone, and inform me the place within the park he’d be mowing. At some point the telephone rang, it was Jim calling. I heard “Arghaur, gwahh, arg…”. After which it hung up. Whaaaa? My telephone rang once more simply seconds later. “Arguargh, gharahgh, ugggghhhhh.” Hung up. Once more. Okay, my husband is gravely injured, and mendacity beneath a chunk of kit the dimensions of Connecticut.

The park was solely about 12-Quarter-hour away. I cannot inform you how briskly I used to be going, however I’ll inform you that I felt as alive as I’ve ever been, like a race automobile driver on the prime of her sport. I felt like my husband’s life may rely upon me, and I wasn’t as scared as I used to be dedicated. I obtained there in eight minutes. I knew which aspect of the park he was on, and I started working, working, working, up a viciously steep hill. If you recognize me, you recognize I’ve quick, stumpy legs which might be nice at strolling and mountaineering, and have the lung capability of an asthmatic sloth. As I struggled up the hill, panting and sweating, I heard the sound of the mower! Sure! However wait, what if he had been thrown and the mower was simply working in circles? Why else would he name me in such misery? I went again to working. And located my husband fortunately perched on prime of the mower, saying “What are you doing right here?” I couldn’t reply him for awhile, due to that need-for-oxygen factor, after which defined the telephone calls. He stated he hadn’t referred to as. However apparently, his shirt pocket had.

Individuals ask me if I used to be mad, however I by no means felt the slightest pang of anger. Simply reduction. Identical to I really feel now, waves of it, when my pricey, candy, cuddle-bunny Maggie–the canine who has taught and given me a lot–goes to be okay. I do know completely properly that she might have died within the evening. However she didn’t, and I’m so very, very grateful.

I go away you with a photograph of some flowers, as a result of, you recognize, flowers make us comfortable. I hope you’ve gotten some moments of happiness too, in a time that feels darkish and harmful is so some ways.






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