Wednesday, August 20, 2008


So I am sitting here relieved and frankly, kinda pissed. I just went through an awful 3 days preparing for the death of my 14 year old dog Courtney. Only to find out that she has a severe case of...... constipation. Constipation!! Yep.

This is the Courtster (hanging with her kitty friend Sabre) She's a supersweet, lovable Spaniel mix who I have had since she was a wee pup. This dog was given to me just after my Mom's sudden death 14 years ago, at a time when I was so overwhelmed with grief that I could not eat, sleep, or even speak. At the time I couldn't even summon the strength to care enough to take care of myself. Watching my Mom's terrible death had left me shell-shocked and lost. But then someone handed me this needy, homeless baby puppy and I looked at those brown eyes, and had no choice but to love her. I took her in. And then I had this little life to take care of, and it helped me to survive that horrible time. It channeled my energy and pulled me out of my fog of grief.

This is an old pic, I've had her such a long time! This was me & my chubby puppy maybe 10 years ago?

Anyway. Last weekend, Courtney seemed to be having a bit of a problem with dropping the kids off at the pool. She couldn't launch a sub, couldn't chuck the football. You know, she just could not um..... well it rhymes with 'make a spit'. So I took her to the vet on Monday because she has had this problem in the past and it's usually an easy fix (you want no more detail than that, trust me) So I told the doc what her history was, thinking he'd do the usual fix (which rhymes with schmenema) Instead, he ignores me completely and orders a round of (expensive) x-rays & blood tests.

After the tests he brings me back into the x-ray suite, and shows me her x-ray. He says that there is a huge mass in her belly area, and that it was NOT there a month & a half ago (when she had to have an emergency surgery) And he says because it's so big, and has grown so fast, he's pretty sure it's cancer, and that the 'prognosis is very, very poor' He says that due to the 'deadly cancer' and her old age, his advice is to just go ahead and put her down right away. Well, I'm never one to give up on my babies so easily (yeah you guys know that by now right? Haha) So I say what are the alternatives. He says a very risky $300 exploratory surgery. I say, can't we try an enema or some other treatment first, since you're not even sure WHAT the 'mass' could be? And then maybe do a second round of x-rays? He says no, it won't do any good. He has to put her on an IV for 2 days and then do the surgery. And he assures me that he really does not expect her to survive this.

So I try to prepare myself.
I left her there and went home crying. I went back yesterday to say 'goodbye' to her... sitting on the floor on front of her cage and curling my fingers through the bars while she whined and touched my hands with her paws. I told her how much I love her and that she will always be my babydog. Because of the IV and stuff I couldn't even open the cage to hold or pet her. It was excruciating. So I tried to make my peace and leave her with some love. Again, I came home crying.

Today was surgery day. I had tossed & turned all night long, feeling sick to my stomach. The hours passed by so slowly. Finally the news came of Courtney's surgery.

And guess what.

They opened the poor girl up, put her 14 year old body through all of that surgical stress, and found nothing. No tumor, no cancer, nothing whatsoever other than a badly constipated canine.

Now, as relieved as I am to know that she doesn't have some awful deadly cancer, I am also pissed, because had the vet just listened to me I'm betting they would not have seen a 'mass' in her belly. Now she has to go through a long recovery process from the needless surgery. In my (humble) opinion, they should have tried an enema first, then an x-ray... they might have seen that that 'mass' had um, moved along after the enema. Have they never heard of the scientific principle of Occam's razor, for pete's sake??! (Occam's razor= 'All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best'... I am not a doctor but I do watch one on House! :P)

Now they suspect that maybe the mass was food that couldn't pass into the intestines. DUH. I wish they would have listened to me, we could have avoided all the stress, trauma, surgery, and oh yes the almost $400 vet bill!!

Anyway... *deep breaths*... at least she is ok. I am thankful for that. I know she's 14 and she's not gonna live forever, but thank goodness I did not listen to them on Monday and just 'put her down' Can you imagine- I would have put my dog to sleep for being constipated. And that is scary stuff.

And PS I never ever expected to blog the word 'enema' so many times- let alone ever- in my blog, lol. I will most likely get some um interesting search results as a consequence ha ha hahaha.....


richardttu said...

That must be one relieved puppy dog. I am sorry the doctor was such a jerk, but I am glad she is going to be okay.

Eli said...

Wow! I'm so happy your puppy is okay, but that doctor seems to be trying for a lawsuit.

Do vets ever get taken to court for malpractice? I'm not a normally litigious person, but really.

Anonymous said...

Ok, first, I laughed really, really hard over, "she couldn't launch a sub"...'cause that was some top shelf comedy right there. But THEN I realized the weight of it: you could've potentially been convinced to put your dog down for being constipated. And that's nuts! What the hell? My vet just killed my only-eight-years-old, sweet cat Possum, by giving him a steroid shot without first testing him for diabetes. He exhibited all the signs of a diabetic. They never asked me any questions about his habits...they just gave him a steroid, which sent him into a diabetic kitty coma and took him out in two days. Worst experience EVER...especially realizing I drove and carried him to his doom. Bah. Makes me not trust ANYONE! Now I have two more boys to tend....brothers. Not a dull moment. Thank goodness your baby is gonna be okay...a pox on your vet! ~Randi

Shady said...

Richard... thanks, and relieved is not the word! She's a million times better, tail wagging & doggie smiles everywhere :)

Eli... thanks hon... I am relieved but PISSED. I don't know if there is anything I can do about it legally but I doubt I could afford it if there was. This vet is ancient, a really old, stubborn guy who listened to nothing whatsoever that I told him. From now on I will be making sure he gets nowhere near ANY of my pets!

Randi.... glad that made you laugh, heheh :P It's a funny topic to talk about but yeah- today I suddenly realized, if I could not have afforded the surgery (thanks, Dad!) I would have put her to sleep thinking there was no other option. Over CONSTIPATION. WTF!!!! Very scary. I haven't trusted people doctors since one misdiagnosed my Mom and killed her, but I had some faith in vets. Not anymore... *sigh*

Shady said...

And Randi... gosh that's fucking awful about your cat :) I am so sorry.

Anonymous said...

Your poor doggie! It sucks she had to go through surgery, but at least she's okay now.

Anonymous said...

Oh damn! I am sooo happy you didn't just go along with Dr. Doggie Kevorkian! I'd be major pissed, too.

Candice DeVille said...

What a shocker! I'd be filling an official compliant with whoever the Vet accreditation board is over there. At least then his doddgy practice could be investigated.