About 4 weeks after bringing Griffin home, he got sick. On Friday he was coughing and seemed a little sick. I brought him to the small town vet by camp who gave me some antibiotics. By Sunday, his eyes were filled with pus and he looked terrible. When he climbed under the porch and refused to move, I started panicking. When I finally got him inside and he was so weak he couldn't walk, wouldn't eat and peed all over himself, I was in full panic mode. I had 3 options- I could bring him to the emergency vet in the next town over, bring him back to St. Paul to the emergency vet or wait a day and bring him to my vet (who specializes in bulldogs).
He made it through the night and the normally 3 hour drive took me just under two hours the next day. $300 worth of tests later, the vet shook her head and said she just didn't know what to say. Anything that could be wrong was and she wasn't sure what to say. She gave me some more antibiotics and told me to come back in three days. Dr. Jim (a well known bulldog specialist) would be available and he would be able to tell me if there was anything we could do for Griffin. Gently, she told me I needed to start preparing myself for the possibility he would need to be put to sleep.
3 days later, Griffin was slightly better, although still sick. The pneumonia had shut down his immune system, which allowed his eye to get infected. Antibiotics were helping but Dr. Jim told me he needed eye surgery that day. Without eye surgery, he would most definitely lose his eye (even with surgery, he might lose his eye) and would for sure die within the next few days. He was still so sick that going into surgery might kill him too. Dr. Jim showed me an X-Ray of Griffin's respiratory system and told me his trachea (the breathing tube) was so narrow it was like breathing through a straw. He had major lung damage and would be sick the rest of his life. He told me that I should consider taking him back to the former owner because Griffin's health problems were just beginning.
|The vet has a statue that looks just like Olivia. This was the day|
I took Griffin to find out if we would have to put him to sleep or not.
As we waited to check in, he rested his head on her head.
Griffin made it through surgery and over the next few days, made a solid recovery. When the course of antibiotics ended, he immediately got sick again, but luckily, the vet was able to call in a prescription and once he was back on medication, he was fine.We made it though the summer and I was feeling good about Griffin's prognosis. In September, he had another surgery to repair some of the damage to his eye from the first surgery. He was still on antibiotics, but doing well.
That morning, I called bulldog rescue and found out that he wasn't adoptable. They suggested I contact Dr. Jim to see what he would recommend. He told me our last chance was to do palate surgery. Most dogs, even dogs as sick as Griffin come out of palate surgery and never get sick again.
I gasped as if he had punched me in the stomach. I didn't even want to pay $50 more, much less $1300. He told me he knew I was at my wits end and I'd done a lot for Griffin and that we just needed to get him healthy. He offered to do the surgery for $700. Still a lot of money, but manageable. I didn't have any other choice- I didn't want to get rid of him, but I couldn't continue with him being constantly sick.
Two weeks after surgery, we took the dogs to the dog park. Usually one person had to hang back with Griffin because he was a pretty slow walker. This time, he took off running, actually sprinting. Danny and I looked at each other in shock. It was like he was a different dog.
Griffin's been off of antibiotics for almost 2 months now and he hasn't been sick once. He runs, he plays, he chases a ball with Olivia, he's active and happy. It's like a miracle and I am amazed at the physical change I see in him. I still worry there will be more hurdles, but for the time being, he's a playful, lovable 2 year old puppy.