green_dreams: (Angel peering)
See if you can guess which is which.

% DoneCat!Reaction
0%Awh, cuddles. What a good monkey.
15%Nooooo! Wait, what are you... Nooo!
25%Nooooo! My claws! Whymyclaws? Whyyyy?
35%HAH! I am bitey! I bite your knuck-- whoops. Uhm.
Perhaps I will just sit here with my teeth sort of gently resting on your knuckles and stare at you. Yes. That seems better than biting.'re very big, monkey.
40%Yep, just staring. You know, the other cat flinches by now.
50%I hate you, monkey. Hate you. I hate--
...perhaps I will run away to France. (Seriously, I cannot better describe the suddenly sad, contemplative, staring-into-the-distance expression that suddenly arrived on my victim cat's face.)
50%-75%Yes. To France. There will be a small café somewhere on the Riviera.
87.5%You are so mean.
100%Terrible monkey! You have mangled me, leaving me helpless against the wilderness! How will I defend myself? How will I hunt? How will I live?
I'm gonna go poke the dog.

% DoneCat!Reaction
0%Hi monkey. What are we doing? ...oof.
0%-45%'Parently we're picking me up. Okay. An' pokin' my paws. What are those clippy snippy noises?
50%Uhm, hey. Do you need to... okay.
50%-81.25%You could let me go, you know. I'm just gonna float that one while I lie back here and think.
87.5%With one mighty push of my forepaws, I get you away from-- No, huh? Not working. Damn.
100%With one mighty push of my forepaws, I get you away from-- look, you're done anyway, right? And this is undignified. I wanna leave. I wanna...
Okay, I'm leaving as soon as you're done tummy rubs. But I still think you're being unfair.
green_dreams: (Piper looking noble)
Customs issue was sorted; when I got to the vet's a little past 4, actually, pretty sure I saw the FedEx van leaving.

We picked her up and took her home. She is stoned. She's been given some kind of time-release painkiller that'll have a slowly decreasing effect over the next three days, and she's having trouble with her back legs because she is high as three kites so walking is wicked tricksy right now.

She is not in nearly so much pain as last time, and that is awesome. She needs help to get up or stand (we have a sling for that, so we can take a lot of her weight), and the six-yard round-trip to the old picnic table in the back yard is a huge deal (she made it! so brave! good dog!), and she is very very whiny, and I am sure some of it is pain. But she's much better than last time. Also she ate, which she hadn't done since the surgery. (Yes. Piper hadn't eaten since Tuesday. Yes, that is exactly as worrying as you might imagine, if not moreso.)

John insisted I get out of the house to go to knitting for an hour, and am feeling much better for it.

Hoping that she heals as quickly now as she did then.
green_dreams: (Piper looking noble)
Piper went in for surgery on Tuesday. Wednesday was that whole not-abnormal-but-very-worrying thing with her body temperature dropping, and the expected ton of pain. (Her body temperature was back to normal by evening, at least.)

She's getting treatment for her joints. The treatment came in to the airport today, whereupon Customs apparently saw "medical treatment, time-critical, biological material" on the label and decided the best thing to do was sit on that for a few days.

I count us lucky that they have not yet dropped it down the back of a radiator to dry out.

The medical company, FedEx (which is apparently a lot better when delivering to businesses, which is nice), the medical company's broker, and the vet hospital are all yelling at them to for the love get that to us, but it literally needs to be released in a few hours or it's useless. So I'm basically wishing there was some way I could usefully scream at someone--hell, I wish there was some way I could usefully do anything at someone, but there is a very strong impulse to yell right now--and hoping that someone with either clue or clout gets back from lunch in the next twenty minutes or so and lights a fire under Customs' ass.

We're picking her up tonight. She's currently "heavily sedated" and "very vocal when disturbed" which suggests to me that yes, there will be a lot of crying and probably not enough we can do about the pain. (We will manage it as best we can, and her vets are mercifully very sensible about pain management, but there is only so much we can do without the NSAIDs.)


May. 7th, 2013 12:21 am
green_dreams: Greyscale silhouette of a black cat with grey eyes (boo-cat)
Went to bed two hours ago. Cannot sleep; partly I have a cracking headache, partly I'm hungry, partly I'm apparently just not tired. Going to grab a pita and maybe try warm milk and honey.

Lucy's right eye is getting a bit goopy; she's squinching it more shut than the left one, sometimes lightly so, sometimes noticeably so. Hoping it clears up in a day (she gets this sometimes); if not, will see about a doctor's appointment. Am particularly sympathetic to itchy eyes right now, as I just realized that I can't do the warm milk thing without aggravating my own allergies.

Anyway. Warm soothing drink of some variety, and possibly a bit of laundry folding until I feel sleepy.
green_dreams: Sepia-toned picture of a dog, with the caption "Will reload saves for Dogmeat." (will reload for Dogmeat)
Piper is doing much better; she still whimpers when she moves (and screamed a couple of times, dear god), but she's crashing out and sleeping a lot. We've gotten her up the stairs, let her fall asleep in front of the fire, and the day seems to be turning into a Mad Max marathon interrupted by pauses to find out if she's complaining because she wants to roll over, be brought water, be helped up, get more pills (strict schedule, puppy), or just get tummy rubs.

Hadn't ever seen the first two Mad Max movies. Mildly surprised by how non-post-apocalyptic the first one was. The second one, on the other hand...
To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time. When the world was powered by the black fuel, and the desert sprouted great cities of pipe and steel. Gone now, swept away. For reasons long forgotten, two mighty warrior tribes went to war and touched off a blaze which engulfed them all... Their world crumbled. The cities exploded. A firestorm of fear.
I'll, uhm, be over here, trying to wipe the Deadlands: Hell on Earth off my TV screen. (This may prove difficult. It's an enduring setting.)

If Piper keeps improving at this rate, I expect we'll need to set up the baby gate soon to keep her from trying the stairs by herself. This is encouraging in terms of progress, but honestly, she was having trouble with the hardwood stairs being slippery before the surgery, so it is sort of horrific in terms of things to visualize. It's not the up, it's the down.

Nothing much else, today. Mostly counting down the time to Piper's next dose.

(Right, we've just seen a... a bicycle-auto-gyro-copter-thingy. The Wasted West ain't going nowhere.)
green_dreams: Greyscale silhouette of a black cat with grey eyes (boo-cat)
Piper went in for her her arthroscopy yesterday. They kept her overnight for grogginess and to ensure she recovered from general anaesthesia properly. Today she seemed in "unusual pain" this morning, and we were told we could take her home. It's not dangerous--my understanding is it's not even atypical. Joint surgery, arthritis, working on tiny chips of bone, that kind of thing hurts and she can't have NSAIDs so one of the biggest hammers in the painkilling arsenal is not there for her.

I thought I understood this. I was unprepared.

I got to the vet's at 4:45. She was whimpering and crying and huffing out tight little pained breaths, and sometimes she was yelping, and a couple of times, when we had to help her move, she snarled.

She did this for over three hours. Around seven-thirty, she napped for three minutes. John (thank you, John) got us food and then sent me out of the house at eight, because I was cringing every time she cried. I think this helped. I knew that she was in pain, but I had no idea what that meant. I was expecting her slow and stiff and hobbling and still able to be happy to see us; I was expecting her as she was a few days after the septic peritonitis that, as the vet said, most animals die from. But this is fresh joint surgery, not work on her intestine and abdominal wall, and I didn't get that. I was not expecting a constant "I hurt. I hurt. Why won't you make it stop hurting? I told you I hurt. I hurt, monkey. I hurt. Help me. I hurt."

It's very hard to regroup and hit a point where you can cope with a crying dog when you are in the same room as said crying dog. So yay for breathing room. Very much.

(She napped for longer when I was out--I think about twenty minutes--and she's actually been crashed out since just a little past ten. She's not asleep, but she's zoned out fairly hard, and sometimes she snores a little. I'll be giving her her next painkiller in about forty minutes.)

((She's on an "every six hours" painkiller schedule, BTW. I am really really hoping it will be enough.))

She bounced back very quickly after the stomach trouble; I'm hoping the healing she displayed then will kick in soon and she'll be much better by, say, forty-eight hours after it's done. Early afternoon tomorrow or so.

She's just started the paw-twitching that indicates she's running in her sleep. You good dog, you. You keep sleeping until it's pilltime.

(I swear I never thought of myself as a dog person.)
green_dreams: Greyscale silhouette of a black cat with grey eyes (boo-cat)
The thing about our cat, Lucifer Tailypo--well, kitten, really--she's sweet and she's affable and she's very patient. But she may have been taken away from her mother a bit too early, or possibly she just has a nervous habit...

To wit, she suckles. She'll find a blanket, or occasionally a housecoat or a jacket, and she'll start kneading it with her front paws and purring and sucking on it, loudly.

I woke up at 3:30 this morning. The blanket was over my mouth and nose. I could see, dimly, in the dark above me, a pair of black ears not six inches in front of my eyes. And she was sucking determinedly on the duvet cover right over my mouth.

(Who's a good little breath-stealer? You are!)

Ways to wake up, I tell you.

Good dog!

Feb. 27th, 2013 01:45 pm
green_dreams: (Piper looking noble)
Today, Piper got her staples out! And her tube. (It is kind of a sign of our decreasing nervousness about her situation that we started calling the feeding tube her hip-snorkel a couple of days ago, and by this morning it had progressed to "Little Miss Butt-Snorkel".) It was somewhat painful--she cried and kicked and tried to pull away, but she did not growl or make a motion to bite. Mind, she is apparently a particularly sweet-natured dog.

She is also an amazingly good-at-healing dog. The whole thing about surviving surgery? The taking food by mouth 24 hours afterwards? The fact that she got to come home after one week, rather than staying at the vet's under 24-hour trained surveillance for at least two? The lack of complications? Yeah. The surgeon was talking about her in terms of winning the lottery. We'll need to watch her carefully for gastro-intestinal troubles for the rest of her life, pretty much, because once you win the lottery it is a good thing to make sure you are never again in the position of needing to buy a ticket again, but that's okay.

(They're sterilizing the bit that was inside her and letting me pick it up for a souvenir when we next go back.)

She's on more painkillers, because her elbow is really giving her noticeably more trouble, and we are so not putting her back on NSAIDs. Hoping to do the elbow surgery in a couple of weeks or so.

Lucy has turned the Cone of Shame into a Fortress of Solitude that just happens to have a convenient skylight for entrance, exit, and sudden lunging pounces at Things What Dangle.

Piper's currently crashed out hard--it's been an exciting morning, and I don't imagine anyone in the household really wants to be out in the determinedly-falling snow-and-ice mix we are getting--and I am so glad to have her home. Home without extra bits, even.


Feb. 21st, 2013 04:08 pm
green_dreams: (Piper looking noble)
Needed to replace the dressing on Piper's... stomach peg tube thing. Anyway, she seemed unhappy about that, and then there was goop[1], and given that there was a hole in her stomach, we decided to take her to the vet so a professional could say "calm down, it's okay, here's how you replace the dressing."

That went pretty well, although took up half the morning. And then there was the discovery that one end of one of her staples had come out[2], and some backing and forthing about what needed to be done about that. Turns out this is apparently okay and a thing that happens, although speaking as a layperson I do not exactly feel bad about having been being a bit freaked out about it.

Today, she has been offered wet dog food (duck-based), dry dog food (kangaroo-oatmeal blend), semi-solid dog food (pill pockets), human baby food (chicken broth variant), water, dry cat food (for clean teeth!), and other wet dog food (junk food, but apparently tasty). Yesterday's options of peanut butter and wet cat food were sadly not on the menu (at any rate, she's sad). We're picking up some more dry dog food in case her usual stuff got stale, and some different wet dog food that's meant particularly for animals recovering from serious surgery, since she was eating it at the vet's and it's probably better for her than the junk food.

...and they say that cats are the picky eaters.[3]

She's crashed out again, and all is well.
[1] Not infected goop that would be described in any words from the surgery report! Just anxiety-inducing wet reddish goop, if you see the difference.
[2] If I may just gently reiterate, metal-staples-in-my-dog. It's not upsetting, most of the time, but it weighs on me.
[3] Oh, yes, Lucy. Diving whisker-deep into the duck-based wet dog food marks you as the epitome of discernment. Meanwhile Abby and Angus were climbing me to get the baby food.
green_dreams: (Piper looking noble)
We actually went to get her twenty-one hours ago. Mind, we only actually got her home eighteen hours ago, because putting the dog in the car is apparently a very reliable invocation for snow. And then I had absolutely miserable cramps and just was not up to posting about it.

The drain in her stomach abdomen's been taken out. She still has the feeding tube going into her stomach, but we're not expected to use it. The staples (!metal staples! in my dog!) should come out in about a week.

She's still stiff and limping (and yes, looking forward to elbow surgery on top of this, once she heals), and her appetite isn't what it used to be. She's definitely alert enough to object to the cats going near her food, though, and she actually tried to chase Lucy when Lucy was scolded and dropped on the floor. Awesome that she wants to, although that is definitely Not Allowed Yet.

And she flumps against me, and sometimes she sleeps, and sometimes she purrs. It's a very clumsy purr. That's okay, because she's doing amazingly better, and she's home.

I never thought I was a dog person, you know?
green_dreams: (little red heart)
We got to see Piper last night, and she cleared the 36-hours-out-of-surgery point[1] at three this morning. The surgeon was very busy today[2], so we haven't gotten a medical assessment, but the technician called a couple of hours ago to says she's eating solid food again[3], looking for attention, and doing well. The drainage bottle hanging off her side is collecting less fluid[4], and I guess they can take the feeding tube out soon.

If she keeps improving at this rate, we can expect her home tomorrow or Saturday. If she slows down, Monday.

(Then, mind, there are going to be weeks of Elizabethan collars and keeping her out of the cat food and making sure she gets her meds and then taking her back for the knee surgery she was initially scheduled for a week ago today. And we get to do this. Because she is coming home. Oh my good dog.)
[1] Given that her odds of surviving until then were given as 50%, I was a little tense.
[2] I so do not begrudge this, given how quickly they got Piper into the OR once they determined she needed surgery.
[3] For the record: her refusing solid food was a big factor in our deciding that something was vet-wrong on Thursday night.
[4] My dog. My poor poor dog.
green_dreams: (commit no nuisance)
...if we were planning to harm you,
  do you think we'd be lurking here beside the path in the very darkest part of the forest?

Piper is not awake yet. She is out of surgery, and they have patched up the hole in her stomach with a bit of intestine. We got to it reasonably quickly, and everything went well, and if she lives through the next 36 hours, she'll recover fully.

The vet said "We are not out of the woods. These are very large, very deep woods. But we're on the path."

I am going to sit here and hope. It is scary, and exhausting, and much better than the alternative.

Don't expect to be around much for a day or so.
green_dreams: Books, and coffee cup with "Happiness is a cup of coffee and a really good book" on the side. (Default)
The overnight vet just called. On the plus side, she didn't call because Piper's condition deteriorated. Minus side, explanation for the condition is not good.

The blur on the X-ray was an infection. They drew a sample of fluid, and it has an elevated white blood cell count, and the white blood cells have been busily killing bacteria. They didn't show on her bloodwork because they're all going to the fluid to deal with the infection, rather than running around in her bloodstream.

(Yes, she has a small reservoir of infection contained within her body that is currently not spilling out and overrunning everything. Management thanks you for considering the Feed reference to have already been made, but is willing to hear further commentary along these lines.)

((Goddammit dog when you get these many X-rays you are supposed to get super-powers. Superpowers. Not zombie infections.))

This is likely septic peritonitis, most probably due to (1) a perforating ulcer from inflammation from the medicine that burst, or (2) a puncture or tear in the abdominal wall from something she ate. It might be an infected tumour, but they're not looking at that as one of the two likely primary causes.

The surgeons are getting in at 8 a.m. The surgeons and the medicine guys are going to look at her, and unless one of them spots something that puts a different spin on things (which everyone is pretty sure they won't) they're going to skip the ultrasound and go straight to getting her an emergency surgery slot.

50/50 chance of making a recovery and coming home.
green_dreams: (fall cat)
More about Piper, again.

Cut for length. )

I want her to get better, and I really hope it's soon.

I leave you with this thought:

Silly dog.

Feb. 8th, 2013 09:39 pm
green_dreams: (soft bright red heart)
A touch of context, before getting into the breakdown of My Poor Dog; she has a damaged elbow, and she has been on an anti-inflammatory/painkiller (Metacam) to help manage this for a few weeks as we arranged X-rays and tried to get the surgery scheduled. Tuesday we took her in for a consult with the surgeon, talked about options, and arranged for surgery to happen Thursday morning.

That was the first time she was at the vet this week.

A summary, just so it's all in one place and I can forget about it. )

And that is why we have been at the 24-hour vet's every day this week except Monday, and why I am a bit distracted and stressed.

(Please understand if I am slow to respond to comments, and if I've forgotten to get back in touch with you about something, do let me know?)

Damn dog.

Feb. 8th, 2013 01:12 am
green_dreams: (Angel peering)
She's overnighting at the vet's. She, apparently, should be fine. I'm very happy, very tired, and going to go to sleep now.


Feb. 8th, 2013 12:16 am
green_dreams: (buried alive)
At vet's again. Yes, at this hour.

Stupid dog

Feb. 6th, 2013 10:21 pm
green_dreams: (gallows humour)
Just got back from the emergency 24-hour vet. With thirteen hours to go before surgery, Piper started oozing bloody goo.

She's fine, surgery is being rescheduled, and I am fried.

Someone Else is cooking and then I'm crashing.

Stupid dog.


Feb. 4th, 2013 06:04 pm
green_dreams: Books, and coffee cup with "Happiness is a cup of coffee and a really good book" on the side. (Default)
I went out and got groceries, which is nice; we have plans for dinner tonight, and tomorrow (probably?) I'm making the leek-and-potato soup from A Fest of Ice & Fire. And maybe oatcakes. (Related to that: pine nuts are ridiculously expensive. O.o I mean, I am sure there are reasons, and I can't speak to what those reasons are, but ~$70 a kilo is... sort of mindblowing. (Suggestions for alternatives included roasted sunflower seeds, which are a tenth the price.))

And we heard back from the vet! Piper is probably getting surgery, and we are taking her in for a consult tomorrow morning. We will hopefully know more about how much we can help her and what aftercare will look like then.

I am off to tidy and cook the kitchen into submission.
green_dreams: "Heard of Rodney King, Patrolman Jefferson?" "It's Inspector Jefferson." "Not once I get through with you." (Cheswick has teeth)
In the future, I should probably not start on the last third of a Dennis Lehane novel before going to sleep. It is inconducive to relaxation.

(Also, iconed a quote in the book that had me grinning a bit:
I'd have used it here--I did on DW--but my paid account expired on LJ, and I am not paying for more-than-six-icons right now, dammit.)

Abby is being grouchy, and I suspect it has something to do with our cat-sitting Gizmo; will see. And it's currently -22°C (-30 with the windchill[1]), so I am thinking that perhaps it is a day to get as many things possible done from inside the house.
[1]-7°F/-22, for those of you not using metric.
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