Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Our house is a jail": a Willy update

Whew, these have been a few traumatic weeks in the Carter house.  I apologize for my blog absence!!  I posted something on facebook about Willy and needing some prayers for him and I'm so thankful for everyone's concerns and prayers!!!  To the story..

We got back from LA on Friday night and our pups were getting some awesome babysitting treatment from my dad at our house all week.  We were so excited to see the dogs again, so we did our normal, immediately throw everything down and just love all the dogs and they were jumping al over us.  I was holding Milly and then looked down and there was blood everywhere.  Totally freaked me out - like who the heck was bleeding??  So then I look at Milly and it's coming from her claw.  Her dew claw (the one that's like a person's thumb) had pretty much ripped off.  And it was just hanging there.  So painful, for her, and then wouldn't stop bleeding...which was not good for us or our house (carpet, sheets, couches, etc.).  So around midnight, after arriving home from a 5 day trip, there we are cutting up an old t-shirt and trying to duck tape it to her claw so it will stop bleeding and we can all go to sleep.  It was unsuccessful...but it stopped bleeding eventually.  So that's good.

The next day was New Year's Eve and we were planning on going over to Ben and Julia's house and they always say that Milly and Willy are invited and since Milly had a rough day before and we thought Willy was acting a little strange...so we took them over to help us ring in the new year.  There was a HUGE pit bull over there that was such a sweetheart that Willy didn't take too well to, but he seemed to be doing ok.  About 11:30PM, Milly was sleeping on the couch and Willy was next to him so I took a seat down right next to them.  And then Jimmy came over and kind of just grabbed Willy to say "hi" and he lost it.  An awful crying/whining sound that went on for like 2 minutes straight.  There were 4 other dogs there and they all immediately came to the couch to see what was happening.  So sad!!  That was it for me...I took the dogs home and let everyone else ring in the new year.  I was perfectly happy snuggling with my pups, hurt and all.

So of course all day Sunday, I wanted to take Willy to the emergency vet because he was just SO tense and having trouble walking.  It was so sad.  But since it was Sunday AND a holiday, and it wasn't an emergency, so we didn't go.  And it was hard.  Monday rolled around and even though it was a federal holiday, Hallmark still had to work (weird I know).  So Jimmy and I went back to work and tried to call our vet and they weren't open.  My mom suggested calling their vet and luckily they were open and I left work and took him in for an 11AM appointment.  We were pretty worried it was a slipped disc in his back and that would lead to the "surgery decision".  Which was one I literally couldn't think about because it was so much money and for a dog that just turned 10 years old....ahh.  Don't want to talk about it.  So at that appointment, the vet said she was guessing it was a pinched nerve in his neck and gave him 2 types of drugs and said if he wasn't feeling better in 48 hours to call her back and then we can do an x-ray.  The days rolled by and Wednesday afternoon rolled around.  I had come home early and was working from home.  Jimmy walked in the door around 4:30PM and that's when Willy lost it again.  We thought he was doing so much better and then he laid under the table completely motionless and every time he moved....he cried.  It was terrible.  I immediately called the vet we went to and said we needed to come in ASAP.  Luckily they were open until 7PM that night so we headed over to a 5:30PM appointment.

This time we talked to a "wiener dog" expert vet and she was wonderful.  She took at a look at him and asked a lot of questions and we were pretty concerned.  At first they were both concerned about giving him any steroids because he is already kind of overweight.  So she gave us another type of muscle relaxer and pain killer to help him and said let us know if he's feeling worse in a few days.

Few days come and go and Thursday night, he was still have "episodes".  We finally got it on video.  I won't post it because it's so sad.  But just in case the vet wanted to hear it, we had it.  And then we realized that we had to take him back in.  Tried to make an appointment for Saturday, but the vet we had been seeing wasn't in, so my mom was very nice and said she would take him in on Friday afternoon.  They did an x-ray and confirmed that he didn't have a slipped disc in his back (which was an amazing thing and meant no need for a "surgery decision").  Then they finally gave him some steroids and more pain pills and we started those on Saturday with strict orders to make sure Willy relaxed.  No stairs, no running around, little excitement and elevated food bowls.  Now anyone who has had a hurt dog (think cone) know that it's pretty hard to keep a dog sedentary, especially when you have 2 other ones running around!!!  But we tried our best.  And attempted to make our side by side split house just one level.  Hence the comment "our house is a jail".

Gate so Willy cannot go down to the family room
Our attempt to block him from going up the stairs....

Willy on the dog bed with a space heater.  Our attempt to "relax" him    
He's so cute!!!  Poor guy

We did OK with that and surprisingly, the combo of pills did start to make him feel better.  Mid week, he was starting to be his normal self again, which was making me SO happy.  That is probably what I was most upset about in thinking if he would ever go back to the "normal" funny and cute dog he was.  He was a little slower, but he was excited to see us when we got home and started eating again (hello, when this dog doesn't eat, there is a problem).  We are now to the point that the medicine is all almost out and we called the vet over the weekend to see if we needed to get some refills and they said if he's feeling better and acting better, then no.  So we are giving it a try and now all that is left is the remaining steroids, which he gets every other day.  

Poor guy!!!  I know I was super dramatic about poor Willy, but literally it was breaking my heart to see him like that and hear him cry non-stop with NO idea what was wrong with him.  What the heck are we going to do when we have kids?!?!?  Jeez - what a mess I was!!  

But thank you for your concerns and thoughts - it was so sweet to get emails and text messages about him!  All you dog people completely understand!!!

Let's pray for some good health, dogs and people, in 2012!!


  1. Arf! Glad he is doing better. Love, Franklin

  2. We have a wiener dog and my husband's parents have three! Their little back problems are so scary and I know someday are going to cost us LOTS of money. I understand your worry... dogs are your first children and honestly we love Bella just as much as the boys!

    Hope Willy is feeling better and enjoying the extra attention. Like reading your blog!