a scary story

Yesterday morning between six and six-thirty Kichou fell off the bed. He thumped onto the floor with a yelp, but I heard him scrambling down the hallway to drink some water and afterwards he got back up on the bed on his own so I figured he was okay. HOWEVER at around seven-fifteen Taylor was taking the dogs out for a walk and we discovered that Kichou… couldn’t. Like he won’t come when you call him anymore (he’s deaf) so you have to pick him up and carry him when you want him to go somewhere. Taylor plucked him off the bed and put him down in the foyer to leash him and he just sat down. He couldn’t stand or walk on his hind legs and when he sat he was sitting all weird and crooked.

We felt around his hind legs and one, his right leg, was very tight and his hip on that side felt knobby and strange. We decided we’d have to take him to the emergency vet, or rather Taylor would because I was working and all the kids were already here. I called at about 9:45 and was able to get an appointment for 10:30. Just after I got off the phone Kichou, who had been laying in his doggy bed under Taylor’s desk, yelped again, and when we went to get him bundled up and into his crate for the bus ride to the vet Taylor realized Kichou had peed on himself; we think he’d tried to getup to go to the bathroom but was too painful.

What followed next was a long and upsetting day for Taylor, myself and presumably Kichou as well (he’s not a fan of the vet). There was a lot of waiting around the animal hospital for tests and results for Taylor and waiting for texts and phonecalls for me. We were super stressing about it because well… vet bills are expensive and the day before payday we LITERALLY had no extra money to spare. Like I still haven’t recovered financially from Georgie’s emergency vet bills in the spring, and Kichou is really old so like.. at what point do you stop? But on the other hand he’s our dog! So yeah. STRESS.

The vet wasn’t sure if it was a soft tissue injury, a dislocated hip or a broken femur, but after x-rays we learn it was a dislocation. Theoretically that wasn’t the worst-case scenario, but I guess there are different kinds of dislocations: the “good” kind where you can just pop the bone back in easily and the “bad” kind where it’s not so simple. Of course Kichou had the bad kind, and initially we were given this possible course of treatment:
1. try popping it back in with the knowledge that it might not “take,” the hip socket itself might be damaged, etc etc
2. if the pop in didn’t work he’d need surgery to repair the joint
3. if the surgery wasn’t possible, the whole leg would need to be amputated.
We were totally buggin’ because there was NO WAY we could afford the surgery, and after talking to the surgeon the vet was told they were unwilling to attempt an amputation because with Kichou’s age and health it would likely be catastrophic for him. That was the word they used. Catastrophic. I mean at his age even attempting to pop the joint in was risky because he’d have to go under general anaesthesia and might not wake up from it.

The decision was made to attempt to pop his leg back into place, with the knowledge that if it didn’t work then we were going to have to say goodbye. I had to call my neighbor to pick up Gwen from school for me because I was so upset and crying so much I couldn’t face the outside world. Like… I didn’t even get to say goodbye to him that morning! And now I might not get a chance! And like no offence to this world but can we STOP with the pet injury and death already I’VE HAD ENOUGH THIS YEAR.

Thankfully a few hours later the vet called us to say the procedure was successful! The leg went back in and seemed to be holding. They had his leg stabilized so he wouldn’t stress the joint too much, and they kept him overnight for observation (and also because we couldn’t afford to pay the bill yet. The vet actually waived some of the fees, have I mentioned that I really LOVE this animal hospital?). They called this morning with the great news that he could come home so Taylor picked him up after his morning meetings. His leg is still a bit painful and we have to make sure he doesn’t re-injure it so no walks for a week and he has to sleep in a crate, but we are so happy to have him back.

Welcome home, old man dog.

(No but seriously the bill was more then we can really handle right now, please donate to our GoFundMe)

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