Happy Tail

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Happy Tail

Postby Amie » Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:48 pm

A few weeks ago Oscar started getting happy tail worse than he ever has before. We finally got a wrap on to protect it, kept it on for a few days, when we took it off, the tip looked bad so we took him into the vet. They prescribed antibiotics and wait-and-see. Two days later, there was exposed bone. We scheduled (and performed) and emergency tail amputation the next morning. I had to go out of town for a business trip, so Rob had to deal with him with the surgery while I was away. While I was gone, Oscar seemed anxious but otherwise okay. He ate well the first two days, then gradually stopped eating. By the time I got home Saturday night it looked like he'd lost about five pounds (more than 10% of his body weight). In the middle of the night (2am to be precise) we heard an odd noise and woke up to find Oscar covered in blood. We discovered an abscess on the base of his tail that had burst and was draining infection. We cleaned him up and took him into the vet where we discovered that it appears the infection is throughout his body, and that the stump of the tail that was amputated Monday is dying as well. He's on three types of antibiotics now, we're waiting for culture results, the abscess was flushed with saline and is still draining (he's wearing diapers and is thrilled).

This is life threatening.

Oscar is about ten years old. He's my soul. I don't know how to help him. I just have to wait and pray that I'm not watching him die.

Please pray and send any good energy you can.
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Re: Happy Tail

Postby heartbullies » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:29 pm

Oh no!
:(

I hope the antibiotics work ASAP. This is awful. You're all in my thoughts. Are IV antibiotics or injectables an option?

Come ON Oscar. You and your mom have tons of support & love.

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Re: Happy Tail

Postby Amie » Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:12 pm

I'll ask the doctor tomorrow - we're going back for another flush. Until the culture comes back (earliest is Thursday) we won't know what infection he's got, and so won't know what will be able to kill it, so he's on three that, combined, cover a fairly wide range of options. He obviously feels terrible, but also obviously feels better now that I'm home, so I'm hoping the stress lowering will help him fight this.
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Re: Happy Tail

Postby Enigma » Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:47 pm

I'm so sorry to hear this... I hope the infection clears soon. Hang in there Oscar! :hug:
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Re: Happy Tail

Postby GoingPostal » Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:16 pm

omg, I have caught bits and pieces on facebook but didn't know what actually happened, that is awful, sending good vibes to Oscar and hoping the antibiotics work fast.
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Re: Happy Tail

Postby Odnarb » Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:04 pm

Thinking of you and sending hugs.

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Re: Happy Tail

Postby BabyReba » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:42 am

I can hardly believe this. Oscar, you're a tough boy. Fight this!
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Re: Happy Tail

Postby HappyPuppy » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:36 am

Wow, that's scary and pretty amazing how that can work! Healing thoughts for you guys.
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Re: Happy Tail

Postby jamielvsaustin » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:38 am

How's today going for you guys? I've been thinking about you a lot...to the point of tears-I know what he means to you. I know how difficult it was for you to be away during this, and what trust in Rob it took. (Rob did wonderfully-sending you all the pictures and texts.)
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Re: Happy Tail

Postby Amie » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:06 pm

Rob did absolutely everything right.

I think we've figured out that Oscar associates the food with feeling sick - he won't eat that kibble (which he's always loved, TotW fish) but will eat other kibble as long as I'm there. He won't eat in his crate, but if I take the same bowl out and stand with him, he'll scarf it down (provided it's not that flavor of TotW)

Today the vet said he *thinks* we *might* be able to save Oscar's life. Oscar's butt looks like someone came after him with buck shot - the new antibiotics are doing their job and more abscesses burst, so he's got oozing holes all over his butt and tail stump. The vet saw that and his face lit up - the infection is leaving his body. Enough infection? Fast enough? That we don't know yet. But today he started talking about options after we save his life (do we take off the rest of the tail stump? Do we deglove it and let the skin grow back? Depends on how deep the dead tissue on the stump goes) so that's a huge improvement over yesterday.

We're not out of the woods yet. But we aren't stranded in the middle of them either.
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Re: Happy Tail

Postby PITtsburgher » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:56 pm

That's super scary. :(
Has the vet offered hospitalization or referral? It worries me that he considers this life threatening but is treating him outpatient without IV antibiotics, fluids, etc. (Please don't take this as any kind of a judgement... just wanted to make sure you guys were given all the options).
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Re: Happy Tail

Postby Amie » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:44 am

No, I think they would if it felt necessary, but Oscar is so much better with me it's shocking. He would be more stressed and almost unhandleable if he had to stay at the hospital. Plus, my boyfriend is a vet tech, so they're allowing us to do a lot at home that they would be doing there, like wound care, fluids, and saline flushes. (and I do appreciate the question, and understand where it's coming from - Oscar is getting the best care he can!)


He's feeling better today, and got up in bed to snuggle with me this morning. It's still requiring very close monitoring, and has been into the vet every day since Sunday morning, but it's looking hopeful. We're talking about the best action for the tail now, which is almost definitely going to require total amputation (like, maybe no stub even) but the tail that's left is healthy, it's just the skin surrounding it that is dead. We also obviously need him strong and healthy for further surgery, and while he's getting better every day, he's still not full power. So we'll see how things go this week - we're going back tomorrow morning for another check.
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Re: Happy Tail

Postby AmberD » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:19 pm

I'm so happy to hear Oscar is feeling better, even if that doesn't mean everything's going to be ok (yet). Watching this thread makes me ill with how unfair life can be. It's stuff like this that prevents me from being good with people, because I just can't find it in me to empathize with the problems they feel are devastating (not to say I can't sympathize when they hold their problems in perspective, though). It makes me doubt they've ever seen a loved one (human or furry) struck by some horrific circumstance. I don't pray, but Oscar's for sure having some positive energy sent his way from Michigan.
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Re: Happy Tail

Postby twisted » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:57 pm

wow, i never heard of something like this. good wishes coming your way.
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Re: Happy Tail

Postby Amie » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:27 am

Today showed more pep in his step and wiggle in his giggle, but also showed that some of the deep tissue in the remaining tail stump is also necrotic... so, second tail amputation tomorrow (who knew you could have two of those?) and we'll see how that goes. Continued prayers/positive thoughts very appreciated.
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