The Mystery Illness - Part 2
While running down the hill, Hugo stopped midway and this odd look came upon his face. It was a look of despair, a look of “I don’t know what’s happening to me?” That same look started to grow on both our faces too. Hugo started to drag himself the rest of the way down to the car. We weren’t quite sure if he had just twisted his leg or if this was much worse than it looked. Hugo just sat there as he couldn’t jump up into the truck. The head camp trainer looked on as I picked Hugo up and put him in the truck. I yelled out to the trainer “what’s wrong with Hugo? Had you seen this happen before?” I asked. “Well as a matter of fact” he said, scratching his head. “I did see him do this a couple of times while out on our long walks but after a few minutes he would be fine again”. Hugo now sitting quietly in the back of the truck looked just fine. Not in any pain. Both my wife and I gave him a big hug before starting back for home. As Usual Hugo slept during the trip back but all along we kept hoping he was ok. Once we reached home the panic began to set in. Hugo could not get up; he was having trouble steadying himself. We were able to get him down from the truck but he could only sit there looking up at us with his doggy eyes. We couldn’t understand what was going on with him. I had to grab his back legs and wheel barrel him into the house. I was able to get him over to his favorite spot and there he stayed for hours. It wasn’t unusual for Hugo to sleep for hours after his camp stay. Sometimes he would sleep right through to the next day. While Hugo slept my wife swung into action searching websites that might give us some answers to what might have happened while I tried calling our vet. Being a Sunday it was hard to find not only our vet but any vet for that matter. There was always the local twenty four hour emergency pet hospital number we kept on the fridge door…luckily someone was there. All they could tell us was that it was probably some kind of a hip problem and told us to wait a few days to see if it got better. Everything we found on the net pointed to the same problem, a hip displacement. Hugo was part shepherd and usually shepherds are prone to hip problems. Another issue was starting to develop as Hugo needed to relieve himself but could not get up on his own. He would just sit there and bark until I took him outside. I actually had to hold him up as he did his thing. First thing Monday morning we took him to our vet for a prognosis. “Well” said the vet, “We’ll need to take x-rays to be sure we get it right”. We took him home and waited patiently to hear the results. In the mean time it was fifteen hours since Hugo last relieved himself. This time when I took him out he could not go. He could not stand on his own and it became apparent that he was not comfortable. I tried again and again but with the same result, he could not urinate. I phoned the vet and told him what was happening. After four more hours and still no luck I took him back to the vet’s and he had to be put on a catheter. A catheter, for those who don’t know is a flexible tube inserted through a narrow opening into a body cavity, particularly the bladder, for removing fluid. This meant that Hugo had to be put under as it was too painful to do while awake. We took Hugo home that night and once again took him out in the morning with no result. After forty eight hours of trying to get him to go we had to once again put him under and relieve him through the catheter. This was killing us watching Hugo go through this for the second time in two days and we struggled with the thought that maybe this was it for him. You never want to see an animal suffer and thoughts of having to put him to sleep were crossing our mind. We had seen three or four different veterinarians and a few specialists and no one could tell us what was wrong. His hips were perfect and there was no sign of any other physical problems. We really had to make a final decision and had less than a day before Hugo would once again need the catheter. One of the vets we saw said that we should take Hugo to the Guelph Animal Hospital, best known for treating horses but it was also a veterinarian college where they helped diagnose rare medical conditions. Guelph is a city about two hours west of Toronto and this was our last hurrah for maybe saving Hugo’s life.
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