Wednesday, April 21, 2010

And There In The Coolness - Update #5

of the April morning, Storm started acting funny... staggering on his feet, panting short breaths, foaming at the mouth, unable to drink or sit or lie down.

As I type this with reddened eyes, my Storm trooper is in surgery... I have no idea if he will make it or not. If his stomach is too gone, I will have him euthanized.

To many, dogs are just dogs. Anyone who knows me understands my love for the furkids in my house is beyond just thinking they are fur, teeth, and nails. It is their hearts that I long for and at this moment, all I want to do is run my fingers through his fur, tell him he wasn't really the naughtiest dog I'd ever owned, just the most mischievous and that I love him. As I left, I smelled his fur, felt the softness of the downy coat, told him he was an amazing protector and love.

I'm praying he pulls through surgery.


Storm pulled through surgery and only a tiny piece of his stomach was questionable. Vet says my fast action when I saw him going downhill probably saved his life. Far from the event being over or Storm out of the woods, this afternoon I will be with him... smelling his fur, rubbing his ears, letting him know I love him. At a minimum, I get to love him up a little more...


He is not doing well tonight. I spent an hour or more with him stroking his fur, telling him I loved him, letting him know if it was his time, I would understand. Tongue hanging out the side of his mouth, his eyes fairly hazy, he barely moved.

I don't know if I will still have my friend tomorrow but I know if I don't, I got to say goodbye and got to love him, one last time.

Am I greedy for wanting more than that?


I called the vet at 8:01 this morning because 7:59 or 8:00 would have appeared too anxious :P

Storm was out for a walk this morning with the vet techs. I'm on my way there to bring him his fluffy, double sided, insulated, comfy blanket that he sleeps on in my room... because you know, meds are one thing but scents of HOME are even better.

He is far from out of the woods. I've been researching pretty much all night, talking to online vets, getting opinions, and it can still go very wrong.

However, I'm going to unabashedly embrace my greediness with him and his life.


Spent about an hour with my boy in his kennel, thankful I'd brought his flannel blanket with me. The vet is awesome but not equipped for great dane ICU so... he was on the floor on blankets but I wanted MORE insulation between the floor and his body.

After standing to greet me, sans waggy tail, he laid back down and once the yappy schnauzer shut-t-f-up, he relaxed and leaned into me, falling asleep. I took another blanket and covered him up; a breeder I trust (the one with the show pup I'd hope to get), said to keep him warm which will help him recover.

The vet said he is not out of the woods yet. I asked if 50/50 and she said she'd give him a little better than that, and it was far better than what they thought yesterday... when they did not think he would survive. Apparently, the part of his stomach that had started to turn purple, which means it is/could be necrotic, had pinked up while they were inside him, checking his heart and spleen. Good thing about all of that, there were no tumors (am trying to stay positive!).

Anyway, with the purple section turning pink, there was only one little spot they were still concerned about. I asked if it was still dark when they closed and she said no, it just was not pinking up like the other area.

The toxins that build in the system post stomach twist, will have passed his system by now. That he is standing, and perking his ears on hearing running water, is a good sign too.

Another 24 hours and he will be getting close to seeing the pasture on the outside of the woods.

Got asked why I would spend, or incur in this case, a $1500+ vet bill for an almost 8 year old great dane.

Six years ago, I was doing overnights and transports for a rescue group. At any one time, I could have upwards of 25 dogs in my guest house kennel. On one occasion, I was asked to save a pup from the gas chamber (euphemism for decompression chamber which I won't go into) so I chose the dachshund/basset hound pup that was 6 weeks old.

I'd been told he'd been fully vetted... a lie. He came to me and within 24 hours was diagnosed with every parasite known to man. Yes, all of them - hook, round, whip, tape... and then he got parvo. His chance of survival since I caught it early was about 60/40 but the cost would be upwards of $2000+. This pup was never going to be mine, he was always a rescue.

That little pup is now living in Brandon, Manitoba with a family that adores him, unaware of the money I spent to save his life. His final vet bill was $2200... his little life, his love of his family, far more worth it than not.

Storm is mine. As long as his chance for a viable life was conceivable, I trusted my vets to make the decision while inside whether or not he could live a few more years.

They chose to try. I choose to have a garage sale to pay the bill :D There is no doubt, the Storm Trooper is far more to me, than just a dog.


Vet called. Storm is resting comfortably. I will be there in the morning to see him.

"Dear God,

Creator of all. Please give Storm strength to endure whichever path you choose, and me the grace to accept.

Thank you for blessing my life with him. And if you really listen to lofted prayer, please let him come home.

Just me."


OMDG said...


Did he have bloat?

I thought of you and your Great Danes at the dog park last weekend. There were three of them there. They were beautiful dogs.

I hope your baby pulls through.

A Doc 2 Be said...

Yes, he had bloat and 180 degree twist.

The vet said the prognosis, even if he makes it through surgery, is always guarded.

I am a mess right now. School what?!

A Doc 2 Be said...

And thank you. I just knew something wasn't right with him. By the time I got him to the vet, he wa refusing to stand back up, foaming at the mouth, wobbling.

There is no other way to describe the scene other than horrific.

He is always widely beloved wherever we go... always being told what a gorgeous dog he is (and of his moment he still, "is")

Ella said...

Awww. Poor baby! I can't imagine! Sending good thoughts to your baby!

Anonymous said...

Just goes to show you you will made a damn good doc making an excellent diagnosis early on...

Dogs give us unconditional love when we need it most. I know Storm has been there for you through thick and thin...and God willing will be for several years to come...

Bring him home, make him comfortable and make yourself comfortable. Right now nothing matters now except you and Storm. My thoughts and prayers are with you both.


Ella said...

just as a side note for the future... pet insurance is only about $25 per month and reimburses you for about 80% of vet medical bills. VPI pet insurance is the one I use.

A Doc 2 Be said...

Ella, I'd checked into that, and did a quick calculation now:

I'd have paid $2400 into the insurance company over the past 8 years, and barely be breaking even, if even.

It is probably good to have for emergencies like this, but I'm thinking if I put $25 into a savings account, and never touched it save for vetting, I'd probably be better off.

Thanks for the tip tho :)

rhonda said...

I'm sorry to hear about the dog, I saw a great dane last weekend at the Dachsund Dash and thought of you. It was a cute puppy! I hope Storm is okay.

Elizabeth said...

oh I am so sorry ti hear your boy bloated, but I am very glad to hear he is doing ok.
Pay no attention to what people say about what "you" spend on "your" dogs..
I totally understand how much you can love your furkids. I have 3 labs and one has Addison's.
i am hoping for the best for Storm, and I know several danes who have lived to be 12 and 13 so don't give up at all.. He has plenty of life yet to live.

A Doc 2 Be said...

Thank you, Elizabeth.

Even my boss who is not an animal lover was kind hearted enough to inquire as to his well being, fully understanding Storm is my kid, not my dog, not my house ornament, but a living, breathing, loving part of my family.

OMDG said...

I'm so glad that he seems to be pulling through. My fingers are crossed that he keeps improving.