Monday, September 07, 2009

Junebug's End

Kathy woke up Sunday morning to the sound of Junebug throwing up, something that's unpleasant but not uncommon. With Kathy's pregnancy gag reflex in full force at the moment, I had the displeasure of cleaning up the mess. Junebug threw up a couple more times, and when I walked the dogs, she ate grass to throw up some more. The first sign that things were worse than usual was when she didn't eat her breakfast. She also threw up some water a little later. Finally at about 11:30, she threw up something that appeared fairly solid. It was disgusting, so I didn't examine it too closely, but I was hopeful that things would be ok from there. They weren't -- she still wouldn't eat and when she drank a little bit of water, she threw that up too.

So I took her to the emergency vet clinic, where they admitted her for the night, ran some blood work, and gave her some anti-nausea medication. At around 2:30am, she apparently threw up what the clinic described as a "baby bonnet" -- I have no idea whether it was one of Emelia's hats or some of her doll clothes. No matter, even with that additional blockage removed, Junebug still threw up some water at around 11am. When the vet called a little after noon with that news, I figured things were looking bad. I had the clinic do x-rays, and the report was that there appeared to be a bell in her stomach, and while it didn't show up on the x-ray, the accumulation of gas suggested there was an additional (cloth?) blockage in her intestine. The options were to perform surgery or to put her to sleep.

I went to tell Kathy, and we both knew the correct alternative was to put her to sleep. We both were crying over making the decision. Emelia was sleeping, and we asked our friend Bryce to stay at the house while we went to the clinic. We were given time alone with Junebug, but in some ways we were already too late. She briefly acknowledged our presence, but then lay down and didn't respond to us. When the vet came in, we asked if she had been sedated, and she said no, and that she had been doing ok until the x-ray, which seemed to take a lot out of her. We were crying, but hearing that made us feel better about our decision -- if she could hardly handle an x-ray, then surgery would almost certainly have been too much. Kathy waited outside when the doctor administered the injections that put Junebug to sleep. Even though Junebug didn't seem to know I was there, I stayed there to the end with my hand on her side, figuring that it was the least I could do for her.