In early February my dog, Tina, started to act very whiney and was limping. A few days later her back left hip was swollen. A visit to the local vet and he thought it was a grass awn that had migrated down to her hip area. Instead of surgery we went for a round of antibiotics. They seemed to work and in a week she was back to normal.
Then about two weeks ago she started to limp but without any swelling. Her respiration was faster and she just never seemed comfortable. A trip to the Univ of MN Vet Hospital and a visit with Doc Anderson and it was pretty clear that something was definitely out of whack. He was pretty confident that it was inflammation caused by a foreign body. It would be a spendy and involved operation. Tina is going to turn eight this summer so I figured that if she did have a full recovery that she would have a few more really good seasons hunting or if she recovered just enough to be house dog that she deserved that also as she is a total sweetheart of a dog and has always put it on the line when we went hunting. It was a lot of money but in the end we decided that she deserved a shot at feeling good.
I dropped her off on Wednesday morning and they operated in the afternoon. They called in the evening to say that it went well and that they removed a fair amount of damaged tissue and were draining an area of infection. On Thursday they kept in the ICU as the anesthesia seemed to have affected her more than they thought. They also had an IV giving her more fluids as she was dehydrated. Another night in ICU and on Friday they moved her to the general care ward. We went to the U to pick her up on Friday evening and she had developed a cough so we had an X-ray done to see if it was pneumonia or not. The results looked like a slight case of pneumonia so we decided to let her stay one more night.
Saturday the U gave us a call and said she was all clear to come home. Yeah! She will be ticked off at us for two weeks while she wears her protective Ecollar and gets to stay in her travel kennel, it is a very large one though. She has had her first meal and meds and seems to be almost back to her cheery self.
The U is more expensive than the local vet but they have actual Radiologists and Anesthetists right there in case they are needed.
This round of care is more then I spent on a few cars back in the day but I plan on her being around longer than any of those cars made it.
The ruffed grouse grapevine has already put out the word on our return to the woods this fall after mostly chasing pheasants the last few years.