high anxiety

My princess hurt herself yesterday. It was my fault, really. I allow her to run around a bit at the lower part of the reservoir park, if there is no one else there. Usually she stays within the grass patch, going round and round, and we play ‘catch’ for about 30 seconds to a minute. Yesterday morning, as she was running around on the grass, one of her human friends called out to her from the concrete area, and she rushed to greet him, then ended up crashing into the metal chairs. This is still a guess, though, as I didn’t see it happen, because they were both behind a pillar, but I did hear a sound and I heard her friend say, “Oh dear!” But they both emerged from behind the pillar soon afterwards, she came bounding towards me, and her friend didn’t say anything, so I didn’t even notice she had been hurt.

It was only much later when we were heading home and she began to limp, and held up her right front paw to me, that I realised something was wrong. I looked at her hind legs and I saw small but angry red gashes at the joints, where her skin is even more paper thin than elsewhere. Greyhounds have almost no fat at all in some places, especially their joints and their long legs. The poor girl was bleeding, though thankfully not too profusely. I also did read that Greys are prone to profuse bleeding when cut.

Once home, I cleaned her with mild antiseptic and bandaged her, and then began to frantically call around for a vet. The first one I called didn’t answer, so I left a message. But being the anxious Aspie that I am, I then decided not to wait for her to return my call, and called another vet who has a clinic about 500 metres away. This vet was available and so I walked Lucy there immediately. I do not have a car. I cannot afford it, not on $10 a day, with a dog to feed too. Poor baby had to walk all the way there, though thankfully she was not in much pain. 500 metres seemed like a long, long walk.

Once there, the vet looked at her wounds and told me she needed stitching up, but he couldn’t do a local anaesthetic because she is edgy and unsure of him, and will struggle. As a consequence, he said he needed to sedate her. I panicked of course, because although he has obviously had many years of experience with other dogs and cats, this vet didn’t seem to have seen many Greyhounds before, especially in the area of surgery. After I made a mini fuss about the issue, he promised he’d look into the issue of correct anesthesia protocol for Greyhounds, which registered in my mind as verbal babble, but somehow didn’t help to calm me down at all by then. Biting the bullet, and resisting the urge to run away with her in tow, I left her with him, and headed home, off into the sizzling steamy bog of anxiety.

I was worried sick about the anaesthesia, having read about some Greyhounds who die under anaesthesia because they are allergic to the usual sedatives. I just couldn’t concentrate on anything at all, even though I have two conference papers that I need to review as part of a double blind refereeing system.

Well, my baby made it through the ordeal and she is now home, sleeping in her own bed, next to mine. I am so relieved, bur now, my entire body is aching from exhaustion and the after effects of a day spent in a state of high anxiety. While on our first early morning pee and poo walk earlier today, she lost one of the new protective socks I’d sewn for her yesterday (during my high anxiety afternoon, because I just couldn’t concentrate on anything else!). It was still dark at 5.30am so I didn’t even notice it was gone, and I couldn’t find it in the dark retracing our footsteps.

My little princess is right now in her usual belly up position in bed, legs in the air, resting after a good breakfast of kibble, carrots and yoghurt. Time to check that her bandaged paws are still in the cling wrap from earlier this morning, and we’ll head out in the rain for yet another pee and poo session. I left the cling wrap on just for the morning, will take it off when we return, since our next walk after this one won’t be until the afternoon.

I really don’t blame her friend for triggering this incident, he didn’t know, but I should have known, and not taken that risk of letting her play unleashed in that place. Her other homeless friend, who knows Greyhounds well because his parents are Grey breeders, reiterated to me that I must remember to only ever allow her to run unleashed in a fenced dog park without any obstacles of any sort around. Point taken. After a horrible high anxiety day and AU$600 spent, it is a lesson I will remember for always!

Let’s go, Lucy!

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