Sunday, October 6, 2013

Trip Cut Short

Our intentions were to meet up with our camping buddies on Tuesday, September 17 at Grant River COE Campground in Potosi, WI, however that was not to be.

We parted ways with Jim and Sherry in Mitchell, SD and planned to take two days to get to Potosi, our planned stop was Welcome, MN.  All was going according to plan. We stopped at a Walmart to stock up on supplies to get us through Sunday and while there I picked up some different treats for the dogs.

After arriving at the campground in Welcome, I stripped the bed, gave the dogs treats and had just stepped out of the trailer with the bedding when I heard a horrible cry from inside.  When I got back in Harley was on top of Quark.  I  didn’t understand what was happening as they would often play in that manner. Then I saw that Quark’s eye was closed. 

As he wouldn’t let us get a look at the eye and it was late in the day we didn’t get him to a vet until the following morning.  As it turned out that probably would not have an affect on the end result.  The following morning after several attempt we found a local vet that could take us.  (Apparently Tuesday mornings are set aside for surgery in the vet world.)  This vet was 20 miles west in Jackson, MN so armed with our trusty GPS packed up the trailer and took off.  We made it to Jackson just fine however,  there was a street and drive of the same name and as luck would have it we went to the wrong one.  The vet kindly stayed on the phone and directed us back to his office. 

He put some numbing drops into his eye and examined it.  He said the injury was beyond his scope of expertise and that the best thing would be to get him to an animal opthamologist.  He suggested either Des Moines or Minneapolis.  We suggested UW Veterinary School so if he needed follow-up it was close to home.  The found us the phone number, he put some antibiotic drops in his eye and we took off. 

For almost eight hours 418 miles, our brave boy rode in his car seat without making a peep.  Once in Madison, we had to drag the trailer through campus.  It was not easy with all the one way streets, students-on bikes and mopeds and walking with earphones in their ears, not paying attention where they are going.  Then we were very close and couldn’t find it and had to call and be guided to the clinic.  (The GPS worked this time but when you are dragging a trailer, you want to make sure you are going the right way.) Finally we got to the trailer parking area. Yeah. 

After a brief wait the too us and a student took down all the info then we had to wait for the doctor but she was not the eye doctor.  They had to call the eye doctor then she looked a him.  She said the cornea was ulcerated and there was some infection.  Two options were presented to us 1) take him home and treat him ourselves hourly and bring him back on Wednesday. However, we would not be able to tell if the cornea deteriorated or not, or 2) leave him overnight and let them treat him hourly and monitor the eye.  We chose option 2 and went home.

The following morning we connected with the doctor and got the bad news that the ulcerated cornea progressed into a rupture and we could either spend thousands of dollars on surgery to repair the hole for an uncertain result or have the eye removed.  They said they could do it for $1,200 to $1,500 or if our vet felt comfortable doing it, we could have him do it for a third of the cost.  The called our vet and told him what was going on and he said he could do it but as it was almost noon on Wednesday and he had Wednesday afternoons off he would do it on Thursday morning.  We were given 12-days worth of antibiotics and two kinds of pain killers and took Quark home.

Quark had his surgery on Thursday and came come the same day.  Again he was very stoic. The worst thing for him seemed to be the darn cone.  We had to cut it down by 1.5” as he couldn’t reach the food or water bowls.  He would get snagged going down and coming up the two stairs on the deck.  Then he would go under the deck and we would hear the cone scraping either on the stones below or the underside of the deck.  We breathed a sigh of relief after he emerged without getting stuck.  We took the cone off the following Wednesday and his stitches were removed the Saturday after that.


Quarkie seems to be getting along okay, however, when he makes a quick left turn he sometimes bumps into things.  He has been running around both inside the house and out. He has gained weight, though, due to having peanut butter with his antibiotic twice a day, his pain pills crushed up into canned dog food and all the sympathy treats he has been getting.

It was a rough time.  A lot of tears.

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