Emergencies always seem to happen at the most unpredictable and inconvenient times. Given the recent COVID-19 pandemic, veterinary care is seeing unprecedented demand. With that demand comes …
Emergencies always seem to happen at the most unpredictable and inconvenient times. Given the recent COVID-19 pandemic, veterinary care is seeing unprecedented demand. With that demand comes extremely long waits at the veterinary emergency rooms and full appointment books at your local veterinarian’s office.
Several weeks ago, I received a call from a veterinary colleague about a young dog that she was seeing at an area emergency room. The dog, Macho, was brought to the emergency room by his owner for not eating well and vomiting. The veterinarian was concerned about the severity of the vomiting and how sick Macho appeared that she performed some radiographs. Upon evaluating those radiographs, it was found that Macho had what appeared to be an obstruction in his stomach; there seemed to be some sort of fabric material, along with a metal screw, within Macho’s stomach. The fees at the emergency room were far beyond Macho’s owner’s ability and, therefore, he was treated with just the bare necessities and sent home. Macho’s owner was instructed to seek veterinary care the following day as urgent surgery was needed to help address the fabric material within the stomach.
Macho found his way to Catskill Veterinary Services, PLLC in Rock Hill, NY and was evaluated by me. We performed some follow-up radiographs to be sure the fabric was still in the stomach. Those radiographs confirmed the fabric was in the same place. Unfortunately, Macho’s condition declined, and he required aggressive and rapid intravenous fluids in order to help his intestines receive the proper blood supply. After a few hours on fluids, Macho underwent surgery. In surgery, we discovered an infant’s jacket and the metal screw. Thankfully, we got the material out just in time before there was a major complication to the intestines. Macho was hospitalized for several days on additional intravenous fluids and medication infusions to help his pain, address any infection and to help intestinal movements.
The days following the surgery, Macho continued to do well and was able to be discharged. He went home and has been eating and drinking very well, making a complete and full recovery. Macho will return to the hospital in another week’s time to have his staples removed. In Macho’s case, he was incredibly lucky the outcome was positive; however, for others, that is not always the case. It is important as a pet owner to be prepared for serious and complicated emergencies and the major costs that come along with them. To give an example, Macho’s family was given an estimate of $3,500 to $5,000 for the surgery and care at the emergency room. For many people, those sorts of figures are not reasonable. It is extremely important that if your pet is vomiting and not keeping any food or water down do not delay in seeking veterinary care, especially if you can see a local veterinarian, as their cost of providing veterinary care is not nearly as high as in emergency rooms.
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