Meet Mr. Floyd. He is a 2.75 year old English Bulldog with a very easy going and fun loving personality. He enjoys walks, cuddles and treats… farting, snoring and drooling. He is Brynlee’s best friend and his paws smell like nachos!
On January 25th we took Floyd to Guardian Vet Clinic to get his rear right leg checked out by a specialist. For the past couple months we had noticed him limping every once in a while and thought it might be a stiff hip or pulled muscle. Unfortunately we found out that he had ruptured the cranial cruciate ligament in his hind right knee and required surgery.
Craig dropped Floyd off the next morning and Dr. Sereda performed a tibial plateau levelling osteotomy. Surgery went smoothly and we were scheduled to pick him up the following afternoon. In the middle of the night, however, we got an unexpected phone call from Dr. Halford the DVM on call, stating that Floyd had gone into respiratory distress. They were unsure of the cause… they found some food lodged at the back of his throat – maybe he regurgitated and aspirated? They started Floyd on a round of broad spectrum antibiotics to prevent aspiration pneumonia and gave him a shot of steroids to decrease airway swelling. However, when giving such a high dose of steroids there is potential that it may cause stomach ulcers. Therefore, Floyd was also started on “gut protectors” to decrease stomach acid production.
Before surgery Craig was required to sign a form indicating whether or not we wanted extraordinary measures taken if something went wrong during Floyd’s surgery and recovery. We did. So when we received the phone call, Floyd was already reintubated and stable. We did however need to make a very difficult and important decision. We were given three options: perform a tracheostomy, which would allow them to reduce his sedation and extubate; keep him intubated and sedated until Dr. Sereda could assess him later that morning; or try extubating him and just seeing how he did. We chose option number one and Dr. Halford called us back an hour later stating that the temporary tracheostomy was in, Floyd was breathing better and already a much happier puppy.
Later that morning, Dr. Sereda examined Floyd’s airway and told us that he required another surgery to trim the soft palate and remove his left laryngeal saccule. This meant more worrying and lengthening Floyd’s hospital stay from two days to four. We were able to visit Floyd that afternoon and it was terrible, awful, sad, and good all at the same time – a flurry of emotions. He was still on a fentanyl infusion, his eyes glazed over from all the drugs and sedation, and he had a fairly large incision in his neck with the trach tube sticking out. All he wanted to do was snuggle into Craig’s lap. It made us feel better to see where Floyd was being “housed”. All other dogs were in cribs, crates or kennels but Floyd was in the middle of the room on top of a bunch of snuggly blankets with a metal playpen around him – always in plain sight. It was hard saying goodbye knowing that he was going for another surgery but certainly helpful to see that he was in good hands and being very well taken care of.
Floyd’s airway surgery went well that afternoon and a few hours post-op they took out his temporary tracheostomy tube. Fingers crossed, we would be able to take him home the next day. And we did… With a large stack of discharge papers and instructions, a harness to decrease weight and stress on his hind legs, and an adorable bandana with “Be gentle, I just had surgery” on it.