Regular readers know that our Turk was attacked
by a Bullmastiff while BJ was at the Chena River State Recreation Area Campground in Fairbanks on the evening of July 2nd. The vet at the emergency clinic did surgery to repair five broken ribs, a punctured lung, and a flail chest wound and kept him overnight before returning him with instructions to follow up with a regular vet on Friday following the holiday.
The regular Fairbanks vet checked his wound and confirmed his medication and care regiment, removed his drain tube and his IV port, and agreed to see him again on Monday morning before we left town. With his approval on Monday we rolled south.
We continued to experience episodes of significant serum seepage from the incision although a phone consultation with yet another vet concurred that this was normal and that we should leave the incision exposed to the air to facilitate healing.
Yesterday morning we had an appointment with the vet our son uses in Eagle River and went through our concerns with continued episodes of serum leakage, typically from one of three places along the incision. After a close inspection, the vet removed all the stitches and we took Turk back to the trailer with a smile on our face.
Within a couple hours, Turk once again expelled serum from the center of the incision, followed by the realization that I could hear him breathing through the small gap in his incision, aka a sucking chest wound. A phone call to the vet led to chest x-rays where it was obvious that his left lung was collapsed although his pulse ox was reasonably good.
Consultation suggested our best option was to transfer him to Pet Emergency Treatment in Anchorage where they put him in an oxygen cage and arranged a consult with a thoracic specialist, followed by a surgery to figure out what wasn't holding and healing.
This morning we went back to visit him and were able to take him for a walk outside although he was still a bit groggy. The surgeon trimmed some rib ends that weren't healing, flushed his chest, and did some new internal stitches to replace those that had been originally placed in tissue that then died - apparently common in dog bite cases.
He'll be staying at the hospital until they confirm the lung is fully inflated, that drainage is within normal parameters, and remove his chest tap - likely a couple more days. They're pleased with how he's responding - he even cleaned up his plate!
7/17 - Turk continues to improve but they want to hold him in the hospital until Friday afternoon. Given that, BJ is going to stay in Eagle River and I'm going to take the truck for a long but quick trip to McCarthy. Should be back by noon on Friday. Don't expect any blog updates until Saturday :-)
So sorry you are having to deal with this while so far from home. Sounds like he is getting great care. Wishing the three of you the best.ReplyDelete
I spent time this afternoon playing with potential schedules. We'll be in Jeff's driveway for at least two weeks so that we can stick with one vet. Once we get back to the expected stitch removal date we can figure out the plan from there. Not what we wanted but we're blessed with a place to park and an excellent vet.Delete
I hope the other person's insurance is not only paying for the vet bills, but also any costs of your having to stay in one place.ReplyDelete
But, mostly I hope that Turk gets better.
Turk continues to make progress and is winning friends with his gentle and loving disposition. As to the continued support from the other party, we'll have to wait and see.Delete
Poor little Turk! So glad he is getting the additional treatment he needed. Thanks for the update on how he is doing.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your thoughts. We're hoping this round is all that is necessary.Delete
John, I feel so sad for Turk and you and BJ!ReplyDelete
Glad you can see the bright spots with the driveway and vet. Hope he bounces back fast with all the excellent care!
Thanks, Lynne. Hope you're enjoying Fairbanks and that David continues to feel better.Delete
John, do you know if they have any leash laws or restraining laws or muzzling laws in Alaska? Was either dog on a leash? Just curious because this kind of thing really bothers me. No matter who pays the bill, look at all the pain & suffering & troubles it has caused your poor dog & you & your wife. Things will never be the same.......sad.ReplyDelete
Both dogs were on a leash but the owner was unable to control his Bullmastiff.Delete
Hang in there!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Bob. As of this morning he's doing better than he has since we started this ordeal. He's scheduled to come home tomorrow.Delete