Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What a week- Your Prayers Worked!

I apologize for not updating sooner on Tucker's condition, but we have had our hands full since my last post. For those of you that prayed for our sweet buddy and emailed asking for an update, thank you. Thank you very, very much.

I'd like to start from the beginning of Tucker's latest episode, which goes back to last Monday and actually about a month prior to that, but I'll begin by saying that your hearts can rest throughout the story because he is home now and doing amazingly well.

I can't even remember where I left off with him, but to make the beginning of this ailment go more quickly, here's a speedy recap: my best buddy was very sick, urinating blood, acting very clingy, and he was on two antibiotics over the course of two weeks to try and rid what we all thought was a bladder infection. After neither antibiotic worked the way we wanted it to, the vet said he needed to do an x-ray to see if he had bladder stones......

So, Monday, June 1, Allen took Tucker in, where the vet proceeded to give him a shot to knock him out (sedate him) and take an x-ray. We anticipated a call in the early afternoon to let us know if he had bladder stones with all intentions of scheduling a surgery once we knew for sure it was stones.

I got a call from Allen about 11:00 AM Monday letting me know that Tucker had been sedated for his x-rays, but our vet, Dr. Marshall, had called and said there were quite a few stones in his bladder and urethra that needed to be removed immediately. Given the severity of the situation and that he was already sedated, we had no choice but to move forward with the surgery.

During the surgery, the vet found multiple stones in his penis/urethra. Dr. Marshall tried to use a small catheter to move them back into Tucker's bladder for easy removal, but the small catheter couldn't budge them. He tried a thicker catheter and was able to move some, but one was unable to be moved. Thus, the vet had to take all the stones out of his bladder and then cut an extra hole in Tucker's penis for him to urinate out of since the stone would continue to get larger, to the point he would no longer be able to use the "normal" hole for eliminating urine.

Although there was more to the surgery than we originally anticipated, Dr. Marshall had done this same procedure in the past with success. We brought him home Monday evening with great hopes for an uneventful recovery.....

Monday night Tucker Bug ate a small bite of food that contained his medication, but he went downhill rapidly after this. I was up all throughout the night and had planned to work from home on Tuesday to ensure Moxie (his little sister) left him alone and that he stayed "calm." About 6:00 AM, I heard him moving around under our bed; it took some gentle pushing to actually get him to emerge. Once I had my buddy in my arms, it was obvious he was not doing well at all. He was pretty lethargic, the swelling had more than doubled from the night before, and he refused to eat or drink. We knew this wasn't a good sign, but we also knew he had been through some pretty major surgery. After letting him down, Tucker walked over to the corner and just stood. He wouldn't lie down, he didn't respond to his name, and he generally looked awful overall. Allen finally got him to lie down in his bed, but that is when we noticed some bleeding and just how bad the incision and surgery area looked. We waited until the vet opened and called immediately to get him back in that morning. From the looks of things, neither Allen nor I were even sure Tucker could make it that long and started our discussions of possibly having to put him down immediately. We couldn't allow him to suffer just because we weren't ready to say goodbye.

Our appointment Tuesday AM was at 9:15, and Dr. Marshall told us things were not good from the looks of him. He needed to go back in and do exploratory surgery to ensure his bladder hadn't ruptured. We left Tucker knowing this was far from an ideal situation.

Tuesday's vet report wasn't good; his bladder was still intact, but the swelling was out of control and he was refusing to eat or drink, a sign that he was not fighting the infection. We asked our vet if it was time to put him to sleep, and he told us he wanted to fight a bit longer. Dr. Marshall didn't feel putting Tucker to sleep at that point was best for Tucker or for us. The vet kept him overnight, giving him fluids intravenously, and we called several times to check in on him. Swelling had taken a major hold of my little buddy and the vet wanted to keep him for several days to try and eliminate the swelling and infection.

Poor Tucker was with Dr. Marshall Tuesday through Saturday morning on fluids and medications. Another x-ray revealed more stones in his urethra and bladder, which meant another surgery was in his future if he got over this major hump. I checked on him daily and encouraged him to fight for me and his best friend, Moxie. He actually ate some baby food and chicken for me later in the week. Yippee!

Saturday early afternoon I brought the little boy home, where he cried and begged me to hold him. Because the swelling was still so great and because he was leaking urine, we opted to keep him crated the majority of the time, but I did spend some time holding him and loving on him too. We also had to put him in diapers because the extra hole in his penis was leaking urine incessantly. Although he was embarrassed, I thought he looked absolutely adorable in his little "Pupster" diaper.

The checkup last Monday showed almost all of the swelling gone! Your prayers worked! Thank you! His next surgery was scheduled for Monday (yesterday) to remove the remaining stones, if he was still doing so well.

And yesterday.... guess what? The x-ray showed there was only one small stone remaining, and it was in his bladder. A catheter was easily passed through his penis and no surgery/ cutting him back open was necessary for now! He actually passed a few of the stones on his own throughout the week when we sedated him because he was straining to urinate.

My boy is so wonderful. He is a fighter. I cannot believe the recovery he has made, and I couldn't be happier. From thinking we were going to lose him to an almost-full recovery, my dog is a Superdog. An expensive Superdog, but nonetheless, a Superdog.

Again, thank you so much for your prayers! And I apologize for the long post, but I wanted to document Tucker's amazingness and all that we went through with him the past few weeks. In case you can't tell, Tucker is my first baby and always will be!


Chelle said...

ahh, what a strong little boy tucker is! I am so glad he is okay. I hope he has a speedy recovery! (Tell him not to be too embarassed by the diaper) ;)

Happiness Is... said...

I was wondering where you had been and really had been hoping for good news about glad to hear that he's doing well. We have a fighter puppy, too, so I know what a roller coast ride it can be. Here's hoping Tucker won't have any more health issues!

Cole said...

I'm so happy to hear that Tucker is doing better and that your vet advised you to fight just a little longer. :-)

uncomplicateme said...

Gah! I hopped over to your new blog when you started it and then failed to update my reader with your new link! :( Sorry about my absence... I'm off to catch up with you now! :)

Photogrl said...

Wow, what a week!

Glad to hear Tucker is on the mend. He is quite the fighter!

Natalie Hudkins said...

That is wonderful that he is doing well! I am so happy for all of your good news. :)

Mom2Drew said...

YEY! Great news! I'm so happy for you guys and was just thinking yesterday that I hoped you would update again soon with some good news about Tucker.

Enjoy your sweet, growing family!

Mel said...

Oh Ashley...I am so happy he is doing better! Poor little guy and how stressful it must have been for you. Glad he is recovering!

Danielle said...

So glad Tuck is ok.

Please take the word verification off your blog. it makes me want to throw my beloved computer against a wall.



Hales Family said...

Such a sweet dog! He looks pretty relieved to be home.

I'm so glad that he is getting better!

Just Me. said...

Awww...that poor sweet boy! I'm glad he's ok. I'd be worried big time!

Hugs to you, baby Tuck and those sweet babies in ya!