What a weekend we have had in our household. And it’s not been a very pleasant one, either. I chose to write this post, to raise awareness to other dog owners, as we nearly lost our dog this weekend.
On Friday, our dog woke up with diarrhoea. She had previously been well, no signs of an illness coming. She was in and out of the garden every 20 minutes, obviously in distress. I assumed it was a tummy bug, so I didn’t feed her at lunch, or dinner, to try and starve it out of her, as we normally do when she has sickness or an upset belly. Friday night she began to deteriorate and bleed. Our dog is a bitch and she had not been spayed as we were still undecided whether we were to breed her or not. She is 6 years old this year, so we had been warned by our vet that the more seasons a bitch has, the more susceptible she is to infection in her womb. We assumed that this would mean as she got older, so were thinking about maybe doing it in the next year or so, once the wedding was out of the way. Dame, our dog, had only just had her last season a month prior, and so was definitely not due to have another as they normally bleed a couple of times a year at the very most. And we knew this wasn’t normal bleeding as it was all of a sudden, and it was straight away dark blood, whereas when she is in season it begins watery for a few days before darkening.
I had a little search on the internet and came across ‘phantom pregnancies’ in bitches. Now, when we got our kitten, Jerry, Dame became extremely maternal and protective over the kitten. She would nudge people’s hands out of the way when they went to stroke Jerry and would stand over the top of him to guard him. The symptoms Dame was having were similar to those of a ‘phantom pregnancy’ and so I assumed that because we got the kitten, it brought out her maternal side and because she hadn’t been spayed, she was believing she was pregnant. OH’s old bitch when he was younger used to do this quite often so he mentioned it straight away. So we made sure she had plenty of water and went to bed.
We were up and down in excess of 8 times during the night so that she could go out to urinate. The amount of water she was drinking was just going straight through her. We began to get concerned and when we got up Saturday morning and she was lethargic, weak, panting and then had a sort of fit, lying on the floor vibrating. We rushed her to the vets.
The vet said she had a high temperature and that she had contracted a serious uterine infection which meant her uterus had swelled and filled with pus and blood, which was what the leaking blood was. He said it was emptying a little but it would never all drain out, and if the swelling ruptured, the pus would swamp her body and it could be fatal. We were devastated. She had contracted the infection that we were told she could if we didn’t spay her but we didn’t realise it would be so early in her life. The guilt was unbelievable.
Our only option was to rush her in for an emergency operation and remove her womb. But just to add salt to the wound, she suffers with a heart murmur, has done all her life, so putting her under sedation is dangerous as it is. The vet then told us that a normal spaying operation is fine, but because of the pus filled ball inside her, it made it extremely complicated and it could rupture whilst they were trying to remove it. So, you will agree that we left there feeling like we were not going to be collecting her afterwards; the odds were not stacked in her favour. Poor dog.
LO cried when we left Dame as she just wanted to take her home. It was heartbreaking and I admit I had a few tears too.
But, we got the phone call a few hours later to say she had survived the operation and was on a drip and recovering well. We were elated.
We received another call on Sunday morning to say she had done well through the night and was off the drip and eating so we could collect her at midday. We were half an hour early!
So she is now home with antibiotics and pain killers and recovering well. She is like a new dog, jumping around (which she is not supposed to be doing for risk of opening her wound – but try telling her that!) her ears are up again and her tail is wagging. It is so nice to have her home again.
A word of warning to anyone who has bitches. If you do not plan to breed, then I would highly recommend that you get them spayed. Each season they got through means they are at higher risk of contracting this particular infection and it can be fatal if not detected early enough. Dame is only 6 years old.
And here she is, recovering at home with her best friend who she sorely missed (and I think he missed her too!)