Emergency surgery for Hank and spiders suck y’all

Last night was rough, really rough.  It’s heartbreaking to know that your baby is suffering and there is nothing you can do about it.  I had to crate him because we have to keep him as still as possible.  He doesn’t like the crate.  That’s why I stayed with him for most of the night, sitting there and talking to him.

He did sleep for a little while and I slept on the sofa beside him.  It wasn’t a long sleep.

sleep time

I took Hank back to the vet yesterday at 4:30.  The vet was still in surgery but she asked her assistant to shave Hank’s leg so she could see what was going on.  Once they started shaving I knew instantly that I had been right, it was a spider bite and there was already some necrotic tissue.

Warning:  If you have a weak stomach, don’t go any further.  I am purposely posting smaller pics that you can click to enlarge in order to spare those of you who are squeamish.  I debated posting any at all but I want this to be a wake up call about the dangers of spider bites and why it is so important to get to the vet immediately.

I took Hank into the vet within a day or two of him acting not so much ill but a bit off.  There were no visible signs of injury at all at the site, only swelling.  That was Wednesday.  By Thursday afternoon when the vet shaved the area, this is what we saw:

necrotic skin from spider biteThat is necrotic tissue, where the spider toxin has killed the skin cells.  I didn’t know what the treatment would be since he was acting almost normal again but I expected the vet to come in and recommend high dose antibiotics and to keep him on the steroids but instead she recommended surgery, and immediately.

Hank before surgery

It’s okay Momma, I got this.

I had to leave my baby with the vet and trust that they could get all of the dead tissue out and prevent it from spreading.  It was so hard to leave him there but I knew we had to get it out or he could get very sick.

An hour after I left the vet assistant called to let me know that they had completely prepared the area and that they had found additional injuries.  She texted me a picture so that I would not be shocked at how much tissue had to be removed.

Necrotic tissue on a dogJust so you know, those are not additional bites, those are areas in which the skin is dying from the spider toxin.

I was expecting to see a big area removed but I had no idea.  No flippin clue.  The surgery ended up taking much longer than the hour they initially told me.  He wasn’t ready for pickup until around 10PM.

I anxiously drove up there and ran in and when they brought him out to me he was groggy and covered in blankets.  The vet explained that they needed to keep the would uncovered but that he needed blankets to keep him him warm after surgery.  She said I may even need to use a heating pad but stressed that he needed to warm up.

She also gave me lots of warning about how bad the wound would look but as much as she tried, I was still shocked and MacGyver even more so.

This one is bad so don’t enlarge it if you are squeamish.

Hanks spider bite post surgeryI cannot believe how much tissue was lost.  I did everything I could to get him to the vet as soon as I knew he was hurting and I followed up immediately when I realized the initial diagnosis was incorrect but I’m here to tell you firsthand, it didn’t matter.  The toxins were already in his little body and the vet assured me there was nothing more I could have done.  She also said they have another dog currently undergoing treatment for a brown recluse bite and he has already had 3 surgeries and lost most of the skin on his back.

These spiders are horribly dangerous.  They  hide in dark places and are so small that you may not see them.  They are often called fiddle back spiders because of the violin shape on their back.

Brown RecluseMacGyver and I are researching the most effective and pet safe treatments that can be used in our home and we will be spraying both houses and the cabin but the most important thing you can do is to be aware that these spiders are out there and if you notice that your pet is acting off or not feeling well, see your vet immediately.  The vet said because I got Hank in so quickly and because I had given him benadryl in the days leading up to his visit, it may have stopped the toxin from spreading any further.  It’s the only time I’ve ever been happy my dog has allergies!

Let’s hope this is the end of the surgeries because Hank is a little dog and he doesn’t have a ton of skin to lose.  They stretched the area as much as possible to close the wound but it may not hold so we are being diligent about keeping him still for as long as we need to.

He seems to be feeling a bit better this morning but any prayers are certainly welcome as the vet has informed us this will be a very long road to recovery.

Hanky Poo after surgery I will do my best to label this post with warnings when I include any pics and also to tag posts regarding the bite in case you don’t want to read them.  I am going to document this journey though because when I suspected a spider bite, I couldn’t find a lot of information pertaining to bites on dogs and I hope this will help anyone who experiences this type of injury in the future.

Hank wanted me to make sure everyone knows, spiders suck but just in case you should really know about them so you can go here to learn more.

Yesterday…

Demssew Tsega Abebe has a marathon PR of two hours and nine minutes and a half marathon time of one hour and one minute.  He was expected to run in the 2016 Olympics for his country of Ethiopia but that was before.

Demssew Tsega Abebe

Before his own country imprisoned him for a peaceful protest and then cut his heels and his feet so severely that he wasn’t able to run for a year.

Abebe escaped to find freedom in the United States and yesterday he was finally reunited with his family after two long years.  Abebe is also running again and I’m looking forward to hearing more about what this talented runner will accomplish. You can read about his story here.

Not too long after a tortured runner and his family became whole again, seventeen other families lives were ripped apart.

parkland school shooting

More and more reports are coming out to suggest that many people saw this coming.  If that’s the case then why?  Why did it escalate to this end?  It’s heartbreaking and I cannot even imagine what it must be like to be a teenager in this day and age.  I would never have in a million years expected any such thing to happen when I was in school.  It’s tragic and unfortunately I don’t believe the answer is a simple one but if we don’t start working toward a solution, I fear this is our new reality.

Yesterday I took both dogs to the vet.  Boomer is already getting better but Hank still seemed very lethargic all day yesterday.  I wanted to chalk it up to the cocktail of drugs that he’s on but I knew something wasn’t right.

This morning the swelling in his hind quarter started to subside and as it did I noticed something in his skin.

Dachshund bite

bug bite

It looks a lot like a bug bite to me.  I do know that his back gives him problems  from time to time but I’m fearful this is a spider bite.  His vet is in surgery this morning but I am taking him back in this afternoon.  It’ll probably cost me another few hundred bucks but I’d rather be safe than sorry and we need to get hm on the right medication if it is a bite.

Someone is looking out for me though because I went on a seven mile run this morning and about two miles in I saw something on the ground.  It was cash, and then I found another, and another, and another.  When I got home I pulled it all out of my sports bra and threw it on the counter.

found money running

I made two bucks a mile today.  Fourteen dollars total.  Not bad.  If I could find money like that every day, I’d never stop running!

What’s the most money you’ve ever found while out running?

Has your pet ever been bitten by an insect?  How could you tell?

WTF Wednesday, No Times and sick puppies

MacGyver and I aren’t real big on the whole Valentine’s Day celebrating thing.  I mean, we used to go out to dinner and he has bought me lots of jewelry over the years but for the past few years, we’ve dined at home and I’ve bought candy the day after at 50% off which makes my man super proud!

proud husband

Anyways, this year when MacGyver asked me if I wanted anything I said yes because despite all the jewelry that he has given me and all that I own, I do not have a pair of ruby earrings and I really wanted to pair so I told him.

Last night we went to the store to purchase them.

earrings

After we finished checking out the lady said, ‘Happy Valentime’s Day!’

No you didn't

No m in Valentines

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Also, it’s not cute.  No one says Valentimes, unless you’re four!

Ahem

For the record, I’ve spent the entire morning endearing the dogs to me.  I took Hank to the Vet at exactly 9AM.

Not that you can tell in the picture but he injured a disc in his back and is now on bed rest and more drugs than an 80’s rockstar.

Exactly one hour after arriving home with Hank, I went back to vet with Boomer.

He is also hyped up on drugs right now and that’s not including the ones I had to give him to get him into the vet’s office.  Boomer has a raging ear infection and some soreness and stiffness in his hind legs and like his brother, good drugs.

The good thing is once they got the drugs in them they didn’t remember the vet visit.  Maybe it will be a good Valentine’s day after all.

WTF, it’s Wednesday, Happy ValenTINES Day!