Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Great Danes are the New Mutual Fund

About a week ago, we finally got Anthony to sleep and were looking forward to catching some much-needed shut eye. I just gotten into bed and was drifting off to dreamland when I heard our first-born (our giant dog, Parker) throwing up at about 1:30 a.m.

Great, I thought. Something fun to clean up in the morning. (Because I was NOT going to get out of bed to clean it up then, no matter how gross that sounds. I was exhausted. And that's why tile floors were invented.)

But I heard him pacing back and forth and just had a feeling something wasn't right. So I got up to check on him. I'm glad I did.

Turns out that he wasn't just sick from eating his dinner too quickly or some other benign reason that pets get sick. His stomach had flipped upside down, something that is called "bloat" and is a major threat to giant breed dogs (although it can happen to any dog, so read up on it here). It's the second leading cause of death among big dogs after cancer and we've been terrified of it ever since getting Parker as a puppy because it can kill them within a couple hours and can occur at any time, without warning.

I grabbed my trusty laptop, read about his symptoms and figured out what was happening. I yelled for Z to get out of bed to take Parker to the vet while I stayed with Anthony and then yelled louder for him to get dressed QUICKLY since literally every minute counts with getting the dog treated in time.

Z rushed to the emergency, 24-hour vet where we took Sydney when she ate a sock last year (we have the best luck, don't we?) only to find out that they didn't have a doctor in until 8 a.m. So, while Zach was driving all around the Salt Lake Valley at 2 a.m. with our dying dog in-tow, I found another vet that was open, called Zach to give him the address and then I let the vet know that Parker was on his way in.

They immediately did an x-ray and the vet confirmed that his stomach was flipped. She then told us that she could do emergency surgery which would save his life but cost us a small fortune. If she didn't do the surgery he would definitely die within a few hours.

So, we did the surgery even though this is not the smartest investment we could make with our money. I don't believe Suze Orman or Dave Ramsey recommend putting your hard-earned cash in something that boasts such impressive returns as pooing Volkswagon-size presents on your back lawn or shedding enough hair to make Donald Trump a new toupee every single day. But, since we are not the kind of people who can look into the eyes of an animal that we love and see as a real part of our family and just let him die when he doesn't have to (and, for the record, I am glad we are this kind of people), we did the surgery and he is making a stellar recovery.

And besides, when was the last time your 401-K snuggled with you on the couch?

Parker has to take 16 pills a day while he's recovering and he has a pretty brutal scar, but is already acting like his old self. Minus some testosterone. (While he was out, we also had him neutered. Poor guy.)

Image taken by Atelier Photographie

If you live in the downtown/Sugarhouse/Millcreek/Highland area of Salt Lake and have a pet that you care about, I recommend you put this number and address into your cell phone in case you are in need of help in the middle of the night. They're open 24-hours and did an excellent job taking care of Parker:

Advanced Veterinary Care
1021 E 3300 South
(801) 485-2306



Daybreaking Dickersons said...

Cute Parker.

Teri said...

You have the best maternal instincts. All 3 of your children should feel lucky to have you as their mommy!

Amanda said...

I am glad you got up in the middle of the night. So hard to do when sleep deprived. I almost cried while I was reading. I am glad he's okay.

Maegan said...

HE'S NEUTERED NOW???? Now we can't laugh at his HUGE balls anymore....:(
Glad that he's doing better though.
Bonnie sends her love, but takes back her offer that she offered before, if you know what i mean.

The Miller Family said...

Poor thing! I am so glad he is better!!!! I am so proud of you for getting out of bed. I remember that kind of tired.

Joelle said...

So glad to hear all is well...even if it took a small fortune. It is worth it no matter what Suze would say.

IdlyYours said...

I'm sad what happened, glad he's ok, and it's rad that I have this number in my phone now.

katie said...

You had to, there was no other choice.
Dave totally would have understood.
Glad to hear he is on the mend.

Kathee said...

I could just cry reading your story!! We have poured quite a bit of money in our dogs in the last year or so and I wouldn't change anything!! I know that feeling when something is not quite right with the dog, and you can hear and feel it. Parker is such a cute dog and you could never regret it. I am sure his unending love and loyalty will re-pay you 10 fold!

Courtney and Jeff said...

Oh my... I understand what it feels like to have sick dogs like that. My shepherd/lab mix likes to eat everything and she has major stomach problems, so we've visited the vet a couple of times. They're like family and one of your own kids, so it's something you just do! :-) I'm glad he is feeling better! He's a beautiful dog!