The Day My Dog Star ALMOST Died
We've all had our pups get sick from something at some point in their lives. Most of the time it's easy stuff like ear infections, skin issues, maybe an infection. You never think it will be something dire....until it is.
This is my baby girl Star - isn't she cute?!
Flashback to 8 years ago when Star was 5 years old. At that point in her life she was not fixed. We really wanted to have little Star puppies but we just hadn't found the right male match for her. Besides the occasional ear infection, she had always been a very healthy pup. She didn't have to go to the vet often, other than for vaccinations and whatnot.
July 4th - I can remember the date clearly because it also happened to be her vet's birthday, which I found out after the fact. It was a sunny and hot morning around 8:00am and I was feeding all the pups breakfast. Star is VERY food motivated so the first signal something was wrong was that she wouldn't eat. She was lying under the kitchen table, on the cool tile floor, and wouldn't get up for anything. She was listless and just looked....tired. When I crawled under the table to get a better look, I could suddenly see that was laying in a very small pool of pus.
I think I lost it for about 60 seconds, panicking and running every bad scenario through my head before I put up a mental block and got my phone out right away. Of course it was a holiday so the vet's office was closed but they leave the emergency number to the vet on the machine. My vet is SO amazing that he called me back in less than 5 minutes. After a quick rundown of the symptoms, the his voice suddenly took an urgent tone and asked me to get to the office ASAP and he would meet us there.
Not knowing why he sounded so worried, my brain was going in all different directions! We loaded her up and hauled butt as quick as we could. When we got there a tech was waiting in his car and helped us get her out and into the building. The vet was shortly behind us.
Sitting in the waiting room while she was getting checked out was probably one of the most nerve wrecking experiences in my life. None of my other dogs had ever had a major issue, this was my first time and it was just devastating. Was she going to die? Would we have to put her to sleep? Surely the vet wouldn't rush over here on a major holiday for just nothing. We get called in...
Star had pyometra, which basically means an infection in the uterus due to her not being fixed. It was a serious and life threatening condition! Luck was on our side though, we had caught it early. Per the vet, a few more hours and she wouldn't have made it. There are usually no symptoms other than increased thirst so often it is too late to be caught in time. Right then and there the vet performed an ovario-hysterectomy, meaning he removed her uterus AND ovaries. No puppies for Star but she was alive!
I have so much appreciation for my vet that day. Not only was he home celebrating the holiday with his family but it was also his birthday!! He put that all aside to save my dog with one phone call and a multiple hour surgery. Star, who is now 13, has not had one problem since that day. The most valuable lesson we learned - fix your female pup if she isn't pregnant by her third or fourth heat cycle! It should be done as early as possible with female pups to avoid the risk of certain cancers and infections later in life.
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