I saw Puff lying in the grass yesterday, when I came out of the house to go to the gym. Something about the way she was lying there, curled up next to the driveway, made me stop and take a look. She had a lot of debris in her fur, which granted, it is springtime and there is a lot of pollen on the ground, but it seemed like more than usual. I rolled her over to look at her face, and stroke her belly, check for anything unusual. She wasn't real responsive, but I might have just awakened her from a nap. I left her to her slumber and went to the gym.
When I got back from the gym, she wasn't lying by the driveway anymore, and I went inside to phone my husband before I had to go pick up the middle school kids. I looked out the front door, and saw her lying in the street. Garbling something to my husband, I slammed down the phone and ran out to get Puff, expecting her to be already dead. To my surprise, she was alive, but strangely not wanting to move.
I scooped her up in my arms, and ran to the house, where I laid her gently on the rug inside the door and ran to call the local vet. While I was on the phone she got up and half-limped through the kitchen and down the hall, seemingly searching, but for what I didn't know.
I took her to the vet, and the technicians examined her while we waited for the doctor to arrive (and why there was no doctor there at 2:30 pm on a Tuesday, I have no idea - there was only one other client there as well). The one technician discovered that Puff's eyes were not dilating evenly, and her left back leg seemed to be partially paralyzed. The vet arrived and gave her a once over as well, before deciding to do a few x-rays. With her permission, I ran home to check on the kids, who had come home with a neighbor while I was gone.
They did 3 x-rays of her body, and found no significant damage anywhere; no broken bones, no wounds or lacerations, just a little bruising near the back left leg, and a little near her lungs. They gave her steroids to reduce the swelling, and an IV drip to keep her hydrated. An enlarged spleen and kidney showed up on the x-ray, which in turn led to a blood test to screen for any underlying deficiencies, or metabolic issues. It came back completely normal. Meanwhile Puff was anything but normal; she was circling to her left continually, and her eyes appeared fixed and dilated still.
The general concensus is that Puff suffered some sort of trauma to the head, or possibly and more rarely, a stroke. I'm leaning towards the trauma diagnosis, though for the life of me, I can't imagine what happened to her. I mean, wouldn't a car have done more damage? She stayed at the vet overnight, and I brought her home today, but she is by no means out of the woods.
It is now up to me to make sure she gets fluids sub-cutaneously twice a day, and to try and feed her by syringe as much as I can, to try and keep her organs functioning as normally as possible while hopefully, she recovers. She also has no control of her bodily functions, so I'll need to clean her several times a day, when she evacuates or urinates.
I don't want to give up on her, but I also know that she might not come back from this. The vet and I agreed that I would try to keep her going for the next week, and see if she made any neurological progress in that time. It's a quality of life issue here: if she can't walk or feed herself, or use the litterbox, I have to make the call, and let her go. It's breaking my heart to see her like this, my beautiful, sassy, flower-catching Puff, just lying there, her eyes vacant and unseeing, her left side too weak to support her. We just lost Willow a few weeks back, to renal failure, and it's only been a year since Jasper and Squeak both died. I feel full up and unable to deal with death right now, but there really is no choice, other than the one I've made.
Please, send a little healing karma her way, won't you? We all love her so much.