Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nursing Bisou

Took Bisou to the vet at the crack of dawn today.  She was suffering mightily from a two-inch-wide impacted gland.  I will spare you the location of the thing, and how I came to miss such a big hurt on a little dog.  Suffice it to say that she showed little discomfort until the last day, that she is wiggly and has a lot of long red hair, and that I was not channeling my veterinarian grandfather while this was developing.

At the vet's I held her while she was shaved and the first measures were taken.  When the vet showed me what we were dealing with, I almost passed out.  But, turning bowels into heart (as we say in Spanish), I paid attention while the vet explained about the pain meds and oral antibiotics I would be administering, the many hot water compresses I would be applying (four or more daily, for ten minutes each), and the external antibiotic I would have to put inside the wound--deep inside, the vet said, looking me in the eye.

So far Bisou and I have survived the application of four compresses and one dose of in-the-wound antibiotic.  Every time I see the abscess I feel less queasy.  She, on the other hand, has become the very image of sorrow and mortification, not because she is in pain any longer, but because she is wearing an Elizabethan collar.  She refuses to walk, much less go up and down the stairs, while she's wearing the thing, so she gets carried around a lot.  I take it off to let her outside, and she scampers around as usual, but then starts licking the tragic spot and I have to put the collar back on.

By early afternoon, what with the trauma of the wound and the collar, plus the effect of the pain meds, Bisou was limp with exhaustion, and so was I.  I put her on the bed in my study, took off the evil collar, climbed in beside her, and we both had a restorative nap under a nice soft afghan.

Between now and bedtime, I'll do two more compresses and one more infusion of antibiotic.  And maybe by tomorrow I'll be more confident and she'll be more comfortable, perhaps even willing to take a few steps in her collar.  And with the help of good Saint Roch, patron of dogs, we will slowly make our way out of the woods.

6 comments :

  1. That's awful. I'm so sorry. Dogs are like babies in that they can't tell you what's wrong and they often don't even know where the hurt is. And she may have a high threshold for pain. Even though the nursing back to health is a pain in the butt for you and literally for her, she'll love the devotion and attention.

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  2. mrb, yes, all those 10-minute sessions with the hot water compresses have turned into meditative intervals, both for her and for me. And she's walking around a little now, with her collar on.

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  3. Meditative intervals, yes. This reminds me so much of the many times a day my cat Mickey's leg needed to be soaked. At first I couldn't even imagine doing it once. But we did it for weeks, and it became a shared experience I treasure. Bisou is lucky to have you.

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  4. Susan, for weeks? Yikes! It's such a WET business, too. No matter how carefully I fold the towel, I end up soaked every time.

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  5. Poor Bisou! You've had quite the dog health issues lately!

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  6. True! However, thanks to my obsessive compliance about the hot compresses, and the antibiotics, she's now been given a clean bill of health.

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