Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The day I almost lost Baby

Baby lost her right eye last week. It happened so fast that I didn't even realise it until the maid told me. She has been reluctant to move these 2 weeks. She is now totally blind due to cataracts to both her eyes. I've read that cataracts aren't removable on dogs. If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know.

When I called out to her on Sunday morning, she wagged her tail and came out of hiding, banging her head and body against walls. And when I looked at her, I started crying because she seemed to be on her last legs. She hadn't been eating well because she couldn't find her food or water, I think. The maid told me that Baby had been falling into the drains and did not want to come out.

While I was weeping while patting Baby, Jimmy noticed that there were a lot of flies around her. When he bent down, he saw gaping holes at her neck area and they were bleeding. My first thought was that some dog must have bitten her. I called the vet but he was in surgery and his assistant told me to call again the next day.

Monday morning came and I was preparing myself for the worst. Baby is 13 years old this year, which is equivalent to 91 dog years. I don't want her to suffer. When I reached home, the maid complained that Baby was very grumpy because she couldn't see and she would snap at the maid whenever the maid tried to get her out of drains or under the car. But the maid had already bathed Baby and got her ready to go to the vet's. By this time, Baby's wound was dripping blood and she smelled of rotten meat.

The journey to the vet's was easy as Baby sat quietly and with my hand protectively on her head. She didn't seem to mind not being able to see at that time. When I reached the vet's, he took a look at her and asked if I had time to take care of an old dog like her because many more ailments are bound to come. As much as I prepared myself for the worst, I burst into tears.

I told the doctor to look at Baby's wound first and treat that before saying anything else. It turned out that Baby had a maggot infection. It started with a small scratch wound that attracted flies to lay eggs in it. The vet tried  to pull a maggot out to show me, but Baby whined in pain so he stopped. I had two options: put Baby to sleep or put her under anaesthesia so that the vet could treat the maggot infection with the risk that she might suffer a heart attack or never wake from the anesthesia.

I called my mother and she suggested that I put her down. Why let her suffer, she asked? I was crying uncontrollably by then. I really don't want her to suffer. Jimmy shouted at me for wanting to give up on Baby so easily. I wasn't giving up on her. I cared for her too much that I can't see her suffer in old age. The vet left me alone to think about it for about an hour. A second call from Jimmy made me realise that I really couldn't give up on her so easily. She came with me to the vet happily because she trusted me. She was sitting on the surgery table comfortably because she was leaning against me and because she knew I was there. How could I put her to sleep just because I think she was suffering? She surely didn't look as though she was suffering! Uncomfortable, yes. Unable to adapt because she is newly blind, yes. But she was not suffering.

I took the chance that she might suffer from a heart attack. It's God's will if she died on the surgery table. The doctor put her under anaesthesia and she suffered from spasms for about a minute. I thought I had lost her then. But, everything was well. After a 45 minute surgery, the 20 over maggots that were about 1cm each was taken out and the wound cleared.

(Googled for image)

Baby was knocked out for about 6 hours in total. When I left that night, she couldn't move her body yet but she was blinking and wagging her tail when I touched her. Thank God for Jimmy for talking me out of making the worst decision ever!
I know in my heart that there might come a day in the near future that I might have to make the decision again. But I'm grateful for the days, weeks and months that Baby still has with us.


Gratitude said...

Being an animal-lover and having had the same experiences, I do understand and emphatize with your predicament. I too am in agreement with Jimmy. I never regret my decision to not leave my late pet Jolie at the vet. She was so pleased to come home and even had the energy to wobble around the house, before passing away sometime later. They too want to live out their lives in the comfort of home and being with their owner(s).

Pray she recovers and get to spend some quality time with you.

Alice Law said...

I agreed with Gratitude, our buddies too choose to pass peacefully at her home and most important by our side!

I reckon you have learnt a lesson, whenever you see the flies around the animals, 1st thing you should clean the wound and treat it with maggot powder(you can get it from the vet). Then send her to the vet for further check up and antibiotic, my 2 cents.

You did the right choice, proud of you!

Gratitude said...

Oh oh since Alice mentioned maggot powder, I wanna share with you that sulphur powder works well too, not only for flusing out the maggots but also for the healing of any type of wound and skin infection. I keep a packet stashed away in the storeroom.

Jiawen said...

Thanks Gratitude and Alice. I still tear up whenever I remember what had happened.

I got a insecticide spray that she hates. Spraying it on her once a day but the wound is still there. How long does it take to heal completely, you reckon?

Thanks for sharing. :)