Wednesday, 10 August 2016
Tough time for our little man
Things took quite a turn last week after my last post telling you what a wonderful time Nelly and I were having in Wales. Our poor little Kiko gave a big squeal in the camper-van during the night, and it seemed that he had done something to his leg. We settled him back to sleep for the night, but in the morning he was in a bad way, crossing his little legs over at the back as he walked, and he was clearly in pain. I called my vets in our Dorset hometown to make an appointment for as soon as we arrived back home, but their advice was far more urgent than we could have expected. She told us that what we had described sounded like a spinal injury which would need treatment straight away, plus they would not be equipped to deal with it. They gave us the number of some where nearer to where we were, a place called Langport.
By then of course, Nelly and I were in a blind panic. When someone tells you your little baby has a spinal injury, that is not a happy moment. Nelly was brilliant. She held Kiko in the van and did all the calling for us while I drove. This is a much bigger thing than it sounds, her ASD means she really struggles with telephone conversations - even I don't like speaking to her on the telephone! But she was great, and phoned Langport straight away.
To our dismay, the reaction at Langport was not what we expected. The lady we spoke to, whilst lovely, said they were a referral hospital and therefore people couldn't just arrive there with poorly animals. However, understanding the urgency of Kiko's situation and our difficulty as we were travelling, she took our own vets number and said she would call them and find out what was going on.
When that same lovely lady called us back about fifteen minutes later, she had everything under control, thank goodness! She had registered us with a local veterinary surgery at Langford, who were waiting for us to arrive and would send Kiko straight to them at the hospital. She gave us the details for how to get there and was so calm and reassuring - she is somebody whose kindness I will never forget.
Well, we arrived, and Kiko was seen straight away by their lead vet. It transpired that Langford is part of the campus of Bristol University because it is a veterinary training hospital. The staff were amazing. To begin with the vet felt that Kiko had had a stroke, because it was clear that both his neck and legs were affected. The neurologist came from the hospital to see him and agreed that was likely, and that was that - our poor little Kiko was whisked off to doggy intensive care, where he would remain for the next three days.
At this point, I'm going to depart from telling you about Kiko, to throw in a little pearl of wisdom which I hope is taken seriously by anyone who ever sat on the fence on this issue - please, please, please, always make sure you have pet insurance. And don't just take out the cheapest one, either. Go for the best policy you can afford. The policy may never be needed by you, and I truly hope it isn't, but I promise you that if there does ever come a time when your little furry friend needs treatment, you do not ever want to have to think, 'I can't help them because I can't afford the treatment.' I have never been so grateful that I insure all my pets. I always have. I'm in my mid forties and I've been a pet owner since I was 18, and I've never needed a policy before. I'll admit that I have resented signing up for new policies before now, and considered going for the cheapest policy available, but oh my, I am so happy I didn't, because being able to tell those vets, 'do everything you need to' was such a comfort. Right, that's it, lecture over!
Well, after an MRI, xrays and every test you could imagine, it transpired that our poor little Bright Prince had fractured his top two vertebrae. We have no idea how and we will almost certainly never know. Their little bones are so tiny that the vets say it's a common injury. But of course, with that news came the worry of whether they would want to operate, a terribly risky procedure on a doggie so little. But I'm thankful - oh so thankful - to report that they have made the decision to let him heal naturally, and will monitor his progress to see how he gets on.
So now our poor little Kiko has eight weeks of crate rest ahead of him. He's allowed out only for cuddles, food and piddle stops. But he has been home with us now for three days and though he is clearly still in pain, I do think he looks brighter already. What a terrible time it has been for all of us, especially my poor mummy for although Kiko is a family pet, he is her little baby. We have nothing but gratitude for the kindness shown to us and our boy during his time at Langford. As you can see from the picture, Kiko was also full of love for his neurology consultant!
Thank you Langford Animal Hospital, and here's hoping our little man makes a full and speedy recovery.