'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

21 January 2013

Angus Update And A Prayer Request

First thanks to all of you wonderful people who have left us so many kind thoughts and prayers. And Brigid? We love you. Thank you. We needed it. Seriously. Lu and I were both standing right there when it happened and that sight and the sound of his crying will be with both of us until the day we die. I'm not going to go into it any further than that because I really hope someday I'll be able to put it out of my mind. The x-rays are frankly obscene.

As the DO said, Angus broke both bones in his right front leg. Pretty badly though not as bad as some the doctor had seen. Both were displaced fractures, the ulna was broken in two places. Got him into the emergency clinic within about 20 minutes of the accident. They took x-rays, splinted the leg, told us to see our vet today and sent us home.

Angus had a pretty rough night. He was in a lot of pain and the Fentanyl patch wasn't cutting it. Put this down to lessons learned because we later found out the patch was put on with small skin clips that, unknown to us at the time, were causing Angus irritation and adding to his misery. Throw in the whole body shivering and extremely fast heart rate, respiration and heavy panting and it was pretty clear something needed to be done. About 2300 the Mama Grizzly came out in Lu when it was obvious the Fentanyl wasn't giving Angus any relief. She called the emergency Doc, informed him she wasn't about to load Angus back up for another hour round trip for a shot. She wanted some oral pain meds, she wanted them "right fucking now" and they had damn well better be sitting on the counter ready for her by the time she got there. Luckily (for them) they complied and the new meds seemed to help though he tended to suddenly wake up crying all night long. Nobody got much rest.

We got into see out Vet this morning at 0830. By about 0900 we were loaded up and headed for Las Vegas. We had an appointment to see the surgeon at the Las Vegas Veterinary Specialty Center. We talked to a very nice and extremely experienced surgeon. Our Vet recommended him and made the appointment. He explained what we were looking at and what the options were. Essentially he will screw a plate to the Radius as it's the main bone. He'll set the much smaller Ulna but said it doesn't need to be plated. What he said was that the Ulna would do what the Radius did and if one healed they both would and that the Ulna wasn't really needed for complete function and strength. He's confident of a total recovery even for a Field Trial Lab. Angus will be in a splint for 4 to 6 weeks with a specific rehab regimen that we will follow to the letter.

We had to leave Angus there today and that was one of the hardest things Lu and I have ever done. He's never ever been away from both of us, he's in pain, trapped in a cage and can't walk or play. He has to be wondering just exactly what has happened to his whole world. My heart is breaking. I can't bear the thought. He'll be there tonight so they can monitor his pain meds and food/water intake. He'll have the surgery tomorrow, hopefully in the morning. They'll keep him overnight again to monitor him and we can pick him up Wednesday morning. They promised to call us with regular updates. We'll see. If they don't call us we will be calling them. Frequently.

Two days without him. The house has never seemed so big and empty.

The good news is the Doc says there's no reason Angus won't make a complete recovery. Since we chose this surgery as opposed to setting and casting he's confident the leg will heal and be as strong as it ever was. In fact, since the plate is permanent (absent medical issues) it should actually be stronger that the other leg. The breaks were between the wrist and elbow and neither joint was involved. As far as the Doc can tell he shouldn't develop problems like arthritis in those joints as a result of this injury.

For those of you so inclined and who don't think prayers for a dog are sacrilegious I'd like to ask a favor. Some time tomorrow if you could just say a short prayer for Angus Lu and I would be forever in your debt. He's still just a puppy, hurt and all alone and no matter how often such is done, surgery is never a sure thing. That was really driven home when they made me choose a resuscitation option should the unthinkable happen on the operating table. I know he may just be a dog to some but he's our baby. In the past 2 years we've lost Trooper, Chrisi and my mother. We can't stand even the thought of losing Angus.

I'll post an update tomorrow as soon as I hear back from the hospital. Thank you all my friends.

Six

15 comments:

Warlock Sundance said...

Man.......my prayers are sure with ya'll.....

Tango said...

Good luck! Dogs aren't people, but that sure as hell doesn't mean they aren't family. Kneemails inbound for a speedy recovery!

Murphy's Law said...

I prayed for you and him last night and will continue to do so. I know what it is to watch your best friend hurt and not be able to do anything about it. But soon he'll be home and the trauma will fade into the past for him, outweighed by his joy at being back in his house with his family.

It'll get better, Six. And based on his injury as you've described, I also believe that he'll be as good as new in a couple of months. You guys still have lots of summers to share.

If you need anything, call.

innominatus said...

Until just a few minutes ago, I hadn't seen your previous post. Yikes. I pray for mine regularly and would be happy to pray for Angus, too.

Anonymous said...

Been thinking about Angus since reading the DO's post yesterday. Reminded me of how I felt while watching my then six year old son get his ankle caught in a spinning bicycle spoke. My best to The Boy during his, and your, recovery. regards, Alemaster

Rev. Paul said...

Six, I don't mind praying for Angus at all - and I included you & Lu while at it.

Keep us posted.

Expatriate Owl said...

Yes, pets are members of the household who need attention when they get sick or injured.

When our son's now deceased guinea pig got afflicted with a strange skin infection about 10 years ago we made the 40 mile trek a few times to a veterinarian who specializes in small animals. "Einstein" did eventually recover, but we put a lot of time and energy and emotion into it.

And we would do it again if we ever get another pet.

Give Angus the care he needs. You won't regret it.

God, Gals, Guns, Grub said...

We're so glad the prognosis is good... prayin' for ya'll...

Dann in Ohio

Suz said...

After the ortho surgery, demand that his white blood cell count be monitored until there is NO danger of infection. It should be protocol but it's not always done. Good luck.

TrueBlueSam said...

Prayers for your puppy...

Lee from La said...

They come in as pets and become family. Good luck.

Paladin said...

You guys will get through this, Six. You'd think I would develop a thick skin for stuff like this given my profession - but I'm really well aquainted with the feelings you guys are experiencing right now.

Hang in there, buddy.

Coop said...

Prayers Sent my friend...

rest easy, I'm sure the surgeon will call with regular updates.

Do yourself a favor, get as much rest as you can now. I know its difficult, however, come Wednesday, sleep will be non-existent for a couple of days at the very least.

Old NFO said...

Done and done, and at least there is some good news with the bad (the full recovery).

TXS said...

Although it's been a month since the request was posted, it is still our privilege to pray in agreement with you for a full and speedy recovery for Angus.