Thursday, July 29, 2010

Skinny Mini is back in the hospital...

On Monday, I said that I wasn't panicking over the fact that Mini hadn't been eating.

On Tuesday, I panicked and called the hospital where the surgery was done. The doctor that returned my call said I shouldn't be worried about the seven days sans food, and to wait until her first week of medication ran its course before getting overly concerned.

Earlier today (Wednesday - I haven't slept yet), Mini's regular vet called to see how she was doing. When I told her that I was worried that she wasn't eating, despite the fact that the hospital told me not to worry, she told me that she, too, was worried.

In fact, she couldn't stress enough how important it was that we get food into her as soon as possible.

The extent of Mini's nutrients have come from honey, which I give her after her pills. Knowing that, my vet said to try giving her sweet foods that can are easy to digest and offer ample calories - apple sauce, baby food, vanilla Ensure, or light vanilla ice cream. We tried the baby food first, and over the course of about an hour tonight, Mini ate a half a small jar of Gerber chicken and vegetable.

That's my baby!

The problem is, she's so weak and anemic at this point, we had to hold her head upright to even feed her - she can't support any of her own weight, collapses like a ragdoll if you don't support her, and doesn't even have the energy to bark when someone is at the door.

I took her outside shortly after 1am tonight to express her bladder, and was absolutely panic-stricken over how limp her body had become. I called the hospital, and they recommended I bring her in as soon as possible. I was at the hospital fifteen minutes later, where both the tech and the senior doctor were flabbergasted by Mini's emaciated condition.

While I am the first person to call out bad customer service (it drives me insane!), tonight was a rare, exemplary case of the opposite. The attending doctor not only listened to everything I had to say (to my credit, I go out of my way to stay level-headed in these situations), but she was also sympathetic, oozed understanding, and never attempted to either justify the other doctor's call, or even insinuate that I might have misunderstood her directions.

And, with minimal effort on my part, she dropped the charges for tonight's hospitalization by more than 80-percent, and told me that I didn't have to pay the estimate until I spoke with the owner in the morning. More than anything, it was the pacifying manner in which she did it that made me feel completely at ease.

I was never made to defend myself. She not once tried to defend her colleague (not that her colleague needed defending - medicine is an inexact science, and she made the best assessment she could, given the information at the time). Despite Mini's condition, I left her in their care feeling nothing but warmth.

In the meantime, they're going to run blood tests on Mini, then pump her full of electrolytes and get some nutrients into her. I'll be getting a call in the morning, and will hopefully be picking her up in the afternoon, once they've had a chance to kickstart her food intake.

Baby steps... Baby food... My poor baby!

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