The vet led me through the medical part of the facilities passed cages of animals waiting for treatment,passed the doorway leading to the boarding section, past the quarantine areas for cats and dogs to the room where animals recover after surgery. We entered the room there were 4 sections for the pets to be in reasonable isolation while they recover. Three of them were empty. The fourth contained Freya. I knew from previous dogs I’ve owned not to say anything until I’m in front of their cage. This keeps them from getting too excited and barking to signal me where they are, so I said nothing until I standing in front of her. She looked skinny, the mass they removed weighted eight pounds from a dog that weighed thirty-five point seven pounds before she went in. She lost 22% of her total body mass from the surgery and it showed. They had an Albumin IV running to bring up her blood serum levels. It was because of these levels being critically low that she had to stay. There was a further complication in so far as they were almost out of albumin for dogs and none of their other facilities and the other clinics they called were out too.
Hypoalbuminemia in Dogs
When the levels of albumin in a dog’s blood serum are abnormally low, it is said to have hypoalbuminemia. A protein formed in the liver and carried into the blood, albumin is responsible for regulating blood volume by controlling pressure in the blood compartment. It is also important for retaining fluid in the vascular compartment. Therefore, a deficiency of albumin can pose grave risks for a dog, including dangerous fluid buildup. (courtesy of PetMD)
They had enough on hand to last a few days and depending on how her levels progressed. But is improvement was too slow then they might have to procure more. They were already working on it. As I looked down at her lying in a pile of blankets with protective cone around her head to keep her from licking her incisions I called out her; “Freya, whose a good girl…” with that she wagged her tail twice and started a struggle to lift her head. By this time we had the gate opened and I was stepping in to her space. She did her best to lift her head but she was still to weak from the surgery and the illness. I reached down and cradled her head in my hand lifting her head up so she could see me. I scratched her chin which elicited a few more feeble wags of her tail and she started urinating on the blankets the Vet summoned a couple of tech who quickly came in and cleaned up. “I was hoping we might coax her into standing, if it’s possible.” The vet stated; “She also needs to keep drinking she’s incredibly dehydrated.” I did get Freya to stand up, She was very wobbly and I kept a hand on her all times to help steady her and leaned gently against my leg, but she was up. I led her over to her water dish the cone combined with her weakened condition made the process of drinking more complicated then it needed to be, but she managed a few laps. “She’s not eating at all,” the vet said; “That’s not good, we have been feeding her with a syringe but she has to get back to solid food before we can let her go home.” The vet and I discussed water and food issues for a few minutes as well as what we should be looking for over the next few days but now it was Sunday would be the earliest day she might go home. Freya curled up in her fresh blankets I said my goodbyes to her, we locked the cage and after a brief discussion over finances I agreed to leave another $500.00 towards expenses. When I stepped outside I lit a cig and realized I had been inside almost 2 hours but it felt like only minutes. I felt guilty for not staying longer but she was already back dosing by the time we had finished securing her in and letting her heal was probably best. Back at the studio I went back mundane tasks cleaning up and the like, I caught myself on more than one occasion looking around to see where she was, before the realization hit she wasn’t there.
Sunday morning I received a call from a different vet. He told me that Freya’s blood tests were showing more positive results but she would need to stay at least another day, they had tracked down more Albumin and it was on its way to them. I asked what time would be a good time to come to visit the Vet informed me that I could come between 11am and 2pm. It was 8am a very early time in the morning for me since leaving AFLAC I’m back on a second and third shift schedule, so eight is a wee bit early for me, but I knew I wasn’t going to go back to sleep so it was coffee time.