Something that I have never experienced before was a terrifying vet visit. However, nearly one week ago, I had this experience. And it honestly came a lot sooner than I thought it would. As many know, Jackson is only two years old. I didn’t expect him to have any health problems while he is still young, but it turns out that he had contracted a viral stomach infection, although we did not know this at the time.
Sunday, November 3
I awoke around 7AM, planning to visit a church located nearly an hour away from where I live. Since my fiance lives in the town of said church, we had plans to spend quite a large amount of time there that day.
However, after I got out of the shower, I noticed that Jackson wasn’t being himself. He is notably lazy in the mornings, but something just felt wrong. It wasn’t until I sat down next to him on the floor and actually began to pet him that I felt how strongly his little body was shaking. Immediately, I knew something was happening.
I contacted an emergency vet clinic and they offered to see Jackson right away. When he was initially examined, they revealed to me that his heart rate was 250. The average heart rate for a dog is 60-140, so this was not good. Immediately, they sedated him in an attempt to lower his heart rate. While he was sedated, they performed x-rays. The x-rays showed that his food from the day before had not digested and he had far too much fecal matter left in his bowels.
Since his stomach wasn’t processing food or allowing him to defecate normally, they considered that he may have an obstruction or may have eaten something toxic. After I left him at the vet, I cleaned my entire apartment, searching for anything he could have ingested — I even put on gloves and dug through my trash. But I never found anything.
The rest of that day was an emotional roller coaster. The vet continuously expressed that it was a mystery. She even contacted a cardiologist since Jackson’s heart rate was remaining far too high. I was notified that if he wasn’t better, or if we was worse, the next morning he would be referred to a neighboring city which is about an hour and a half away.
Monday, November 4
Monday morning, I discovered that he was actually doing better. The vet had plans to release Jackson to me around 2PM, and I was ecstatic.
However, after she tested his kidneys, she discovered they weren’t working as well as they should have been. And at this point, his heart rate was resting around 180, which was still too high. So, she said she would contact me later to let me know if he would be staying with them another night.
Thankfully, through God and the vet’s work, Jackson was released to me that evening. He was placed on four medications and special dog food to help his stomach. The vet revealed that, although she could not be 100% sure, she believed that he had contracted a viral stomach infection.
Jackson is finishing up his medication and he is back to his normal self again. I had never been so scared in my entire life. I’ve had animals in the past, but if something happened to them they normally passed away immediately (i.e. car hit them, animal attack, etc). This was the first time that I had to sit by the phone and wait.
I felt completely powerless in those moments and it was heartbreaking. I cannot feel more thankful for the fact that Jackson got to come home.
If you are currently struggling with a situation like this with your pet, try to stay as strong as possible. Not all stories will turn out positively, but hold on to the good memories that you have with your pet and know that they have enjoyed all of their days with you.