Okay, so we got her home, got a t-shirt on her, and got her set up in her crate. As much as I would have preferred to have her upstairs with the rest of us because she seems a lot more comfortable knowing that we're right there, there was just no way that she was going to be able to make it up the stairs. She was limping a fair amount on her right leg, and both feet were a little swollen with fluid. We may have been able to get her up the stairs, but getting her down in the morning would have been a trial. I didn't take any pictures that night because it was late and I just really wanted to get her settled in. She was a pretty unhappy and groggy girl and it was all I could do to get all of her medications down her, get a t-shirt on her, and get her settled in her crate. I did snap a picture of the site when I took the dogs out for their morning pee. The whole area looks really nice when it's been neatly sutured shut! And you can see the obvious drains as well (those get to come out on Thur. morning).
As I said, there's a whole lot of draining going on, which is a good thing. Keeps the area from swelling with fluid and becoming more painful. This is what Bess' t-shirt looked like when I got home from work today.
She was in a fair amount of pain still this morning, but was able to climb up the stairs after breakfast (which she ate ALL of!) and hang out with Heffner and I. I really didn't want to take her back down to her crate and figured that she could use the room to sort of sprawl out a bit more and hopefully stay as comfortable as possible, so I set her up in our spare bedroom. We have comforter on the floor in there as well as a pillow that she likes to lay her head on sometimes. I put the baby gate up in the doorway so that Heffner can keep an eye on her, but not bother her. He's been really great with her. He's been mostly just interested in sniffing her. He's very gentle and careful when walking around her.
I really appreciate all of the comments and well wishes! It's kind of a trying time right now for many reasons. I'm reassured now that I'm back home and she's acting a lot better. She's acting more like herself and was a much happier girl. I was very tempted to call the vet today and ask for stronger pain meds because of how she was acting this morning. It just tears me up to have her going through all of this!
I'll touch on a few of the questions and concerns that people brought up. I think I was able to keep it together on the way to the car because of what we already went through with the pneumonia. When we took her to Dove Lewis two weeks ago, I seriously thought that my dog was dying in front of my eyes. There is just nothing that can quite compare to that feeling. I was breaking down at home while getting her ready, I was breaking down on the phone when I was talking to Georgia before we left, and I was barely holding it together on the drive to the hospital (thank goodness Adam was driving). That was the most awful time. And knowing now exactly how bad off she was doesn't help any. However, with that very vivid image in my mind, there was a definite difference between my dog who was rapidly going downhill and in a very bad state versus my dog who had a gaping wound and was in pain. She was able to walk, though obviously painfully. The wound also didn't bleed much. My reaction may have been different if I was also trying to keep enough pressure on the wound to keep her from bleeding out. Thankfully she only lost a few mLs of blood. Nothing significant for a dog her size. I was so focused on her the whole time down the hill, on the drive to the hospital, and getting her checked in, that I didn't really have a spare thought for anything else. It was a tricky climb back down and I had to focus on finding the best path for her that would jar her the least and also give her good enough footing. It wasn't difficult to stay clear headed. However, once she was checked in and I sat down, it all came crashing in. I got fairly light headed and was hyperventilating a bit. Thankfully the technicians and the vet were checking in with me pretty frequently to let me know how things were going and what the plan of action was, that I also didn't have a whole lot of time to stew about it much.
Brooke asked if I look into ER vets when we're going places. I didn't really used to in the past, but I started to more recently. It's not a huge deal at dog shows because there's usually a vet on site of some sort. The agility trials that we go to are all fairly local, so I generally know how to get from where I'm at to an emergency clinic. The hiking part is the tricky thing. We could be in the middle of no where. I do now tend to play a sort of mental game of sorts where I take note of any vet clinics along any of the routes that we travel. That way I can just back track to one of them and something has got to be open. I also have both Dove Lewis and Rock Creek (the e vet that went to yesterday) programmed into my phone. You can often call a major emergency clinic and ask them if they could tell you where the closest clinic is to you if you're too far away. If we're planning a longer road trip, I do now look into that. And obviously now I'm a lot more paranoid and that's more of a priority.
The majority of the times that we're out hiking, it's just me and the dogs. I also mostly look for places to take them that others don't frequent. So the likelihood of having random people around to help me in an incident is pretty low. That is the one thought that bothers me when we're out hiking. Another little mental "game" that I play when we're hiking is what if the dogs got hurt here. I think out scenarios and how to handle them. While others like to play the "what if zombies attacked" game, I play the "how the heck would I transport my dogs if they were injured" game. While it may seem a touch on the dark side, I do feel like I'm a little more prepared mentally for an instance to occur. The down side of having such huge dogs is that they are not of a weight that I can easily carry for long distances over tricky terrain. While I'm in decent shape, my upper body strength is not enough for me to easily pack either dog around. How I would transport them depends a whole lot on how and where they're injured. Bess was far too with it for me to try picking her up and putting her into any position for me to carry her. If they're gonna fight being carried too much, then they're well enough to walk until they can't. I think that I would prefer the around the back of the neck method. Kind of how you can see some people carry lambs. It seems like a good way to distribute the weight. Now if both dogs got injured, I'd be in a heap of trouble. Either way, I always carry my cell phone on me in case I need it.
All of this has only served to remind me that I really need to seriously carry a canine first aid kit with me at least in the car. While I can't prepare for everything, I can prepare for some instances. I don't think that there was a whole lot more that I could have done to help Bess in this instance, but it would be nice to have a little something more on hand.