The $11,000 dog

the night before

Thank you to all the lovely people on Twitter, Facebook and in Blogland who have sent kind thoughts and healing wishes to our little dog Willy over the past few weeks. I’m sure all those positive wishes helped him pull through and he’s now on the mend.

Willy got very ill on Monday three weeks ago. I took him up to the Bundoora animal hospital and they thought he had gastro and sent us home, but during the afternoon he got progressively worse and luckily we got in to see our regular vet in Northcote where they planned to do some blood tests and x-rays to decide what to do next. In the end they only did an x-ray because that showed something seriously wrong and so we rushed him to the animal emergency hospital in Kensington that evening.

Willy underwent emergency surgery overnight where they discovered what appeared to be a peach pip lodged in his intestine near the pancreas. The vet also removed half a litre of fluid from his stomach.

The surgery seemed to be successful but a couple of days later the vets said that Willy wasn’t improving so they wanted to operate again as they thought the wound was leaking. The second operation seemed to be a success but poor Willy just couldn’t keep any food down. They tried feeding with a syringe which didn’t help, and then he was put on nasogastric feeding but the food was still regurgitating.

By that weekend we were getting desperately worried. His spirits were good but he just wasn’t able to get any nutrients in to allow him to heal. By this time his belly wound was distended and leaking (leaking protein, which concerned the vet the most, as that’s what he needed to start mending). We spoke with the chief emergency vet on the Sunday night and went in to talk to her and see Willy on the  Monday, after the little guy had been in hospital for a week.

Willy in the hospital

She said the usual next step would be feeding via a tube directly into his oesophegus, but his stomach would continue to regurgitate the food, and the next step after that (a feeding tube directly into his intestine) was too dangerous given the swelling in his abdomen. But the vet agreed he still had a spark and was still fighting and she wanted to try one more thing: feeding nutrients directly into a vein in his neck.

Visiting Willy in hospital

We went in to see Willy in the surgery on the Wednesday night. He was still dangerously ill but everyone agreed he was looking better and he’d been amusing the vets and nurses by tossing the blankets around in his crate. As one of them commented “it’s like a party in there”. Over the next couple of days Willy was still vomiting a little, but he was keeping enough food down to start the healing process. When he was well enough the nurses took him out of his crate and he sat on a mat in the corner of the surgery watching what was going on (and apparently following the nurses when they went to make a cup of tea).

We got a phone call on the Friday to tell us that Willy had been vomiting again, which was very scary, especially as the vets were talking about a third operation, but when we went in to see him on Friday night he was looking quite bright, and he was even better on Saturday when the vet surprised us by saying he could come home on Sunday. So, after two weeks at the emergency hospital Willy came home.

We  went back to the hospital for the all clear today and to get his stitches out. Now we just need to fatten him up a bit.

Home at last



10 responses to “The $11,000 dog

  1. I am so so so glad Willy is making his way back to his old self!

  2. This is the second best news I’ve had all week–I’ve been thinking of you guys even this week! I am SO, SO glad to hear it. I’ll have to tell my Mum, too, who is as much of a dog-lover as you are, and who will be thrilled to hear the little guy made it after I was wondering aloud about you earlier in the week.

    • Thanks Dana, I have just heard your first best news this week too. Congratulations and welcome to your little guy!

  3. Glad he’s better!

  4. Worth every cent and more – what a brave little chap!

  5. Poor, skinny Willy! So, so glad to hear that he’s on the mend — and thanks for sharing the story. Such great pictures of the little trooper, too!

  6. Thank you everyone! Willy is now off his meds and eating well, getting back to his old self.

  7. So happy to hear that he is back at home and that his health is improving. He must also feel better to be back on the couch with you guys and Kuma.

  8. Awww, Willy! Welcome home, little buddy! So pleased he pulled through. ^_^

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