Longest, worst weekend of my
Longest, worst weekend of my life bar none. As for cause, suffice it to say Pongo got chomped by a dog more than twice his size. Secondary cause: the damage to my left hand from trying to pull the other dog off Pongo.
Which means that at 5:00 pm on Friday a neighbor and I were trying to find a veterinarian to deal with a really ugly swelling in the area where the Rottweiler’s teeth had latched on to l’il Pongo’s side. We found a great one, and one who had experience with African dogs to boot, in Doctor Perry Diamond, BVSc MRCVS, of the Clairemont Village Pet Clinic. Dr. Diamond previously lived in South Africa. He calmed Pongo down, got him drugged, x-rayed and diagnosed. The x-rays showed in disgusting detail that Pongo hada hernia (the abdominal wall?) had been punctured, so he referred us to a 24/7 animal ER a few miles away.
At the Animal ER of San Diego Doctor Chris Hoolihan (who doesn’t put his acronyms on his business card) took charge of Pongo, and ended up performing surgery to repair a hernia at about 10:00 that night. When he called at about midnight he said that about 25-50% of Pongo’s intestines had slipped through the hernia and out of the abdominal cavity, but that there appeared to be no organ damage. We talked about releasing Pongo after he’d had some rest and eaten some food. Then in a later conversation I learned Pongo had puked up the little food they’d given him. I got a call from the nurse about 5:00 pm asking me to come down around seven to try and feed him myself. Apprantly he was getting uppity; having stayed in a few hospitals myself I understood completely.
In the interim, my parents came down to help out and we all went to Urgent Care in Pacific Beach. Unfortunately, this was the day of the Pacific Beach Block Party with its resulting parking and traffic problems, but the doctor was quick and good, prescribing antibiotics for the pussy swollen finger and cutting dangling skin flaps away from some of the other wounds. There’s apparantly some kind of a national shortage of the Tetanus vaccine, so I’ll have to go somewhere else on Monday to get that taken care of. Who knew it’d been eleven years since a doctor had last updated my Tetanus?
I got down there at 7:00 pm and Pongo was very happy to see me. That unconditional love is always an ego boost. But then the shock set it. I was expecting the cone on his head. I expected some shaving from the surgery. The entire right side of his torso was shaved. He has a big pain patch over his right shoulder, and drainage points at three other places. He had an IV needle plugged into his right front leg, and those drainage points were working, leading to a trail of red fluid dripping everywhere he went. He doesn’t get the nice dainty human stitches but big nasty looking metal staples. But he ate a couple milk bone chewy treats and kept them down, so he got to come home.
It’s Sunday morning now and he’s definitely more energetic. We’ve been down and up the stairs twice this morning, and he definitely has the strength, energy and will to get back to his old life. I hope he doesn’t expect chicken broth and scrambled eggs served to his bed to last forever, but it sure makes him happy.
I know this is a bit disjointed, and there are some details I’ve intentionally left out. Maybe more later. There are pictures of the injuries to both of us – I am a lawyer after all, but for now I don’t think they’re appropriate for here. Maybe something later if I can get a good shot of conehead without the other disgusting stuff.
Also, big thanks to everyone who helped out and wished us well over the last day-and-a-half (I know at least a few of you read this). You’ll never know how much its been appreciated