Oct. 21st, 2012

nodramaqueen: (pic#423897)
I nearly lost my Chloe on Thursday. At work of all places. I work in a dog friendly office, and she comes with me most days. She's a 2.5 year old black pug, and she has her own bed next to my desk, and an assortment of toys. She's a real charmer whose only fault is she is a food gulper. She was starved as a youngster, and it's a behavioral trait I have not been able to eliminate.
One of my coworkers gave her a biscuit, one of her favorites, and one she has eaten many times. This time it nearly killed her. Apparently she tried to swallow the whole thing, couldn't, bit it once or twice, and gulped the pieces. A large piece became lodged in her throat. I was facing my computer and didn't realize anything was wrong until a coworker said, "hey, something's wrong with Chloe". I turned around in time to see her pitch over on her side and start paddling. She was completely silent due to the choking--if my coworker hadn't noticed the problem I probably wouldn't have gotten to her in time. As it was, myself and the coworker who gave her the biscuit hit the floor. I Heimliched her (Chloe, not my coworker!)--no results. My poor pug was already blue from anoxia. My coworker flipped her up sternal, and I stuck my fingers down her throat. Well, one finger. Chloe, like most brachycephalics (squashed face breeds) has a very hypoplastic esophagus and trachea. I could only get my forefinger into her throat. I located the chunk of biscuit deep in her throat, but I couldn't grasp it with one finger and there was no time to hunt for some kind of utensil. So I pushed it down her esophagus. Pulled my finger out and swept as much of the copious thick saliva out of her mouth and the entrance to her trachea as I could. Bless her heart, my little girl took a breath, pinked right up, and started wagging her curlique tail. It took her a few seconds to get her feet back under her. It took a lot longer than that for me to wrap my head around the incident, let me tell you!
This is not the first time I've had to deal with animals or humans with compromised airways, but it's different when it's your own pet. There's a whole other level of adrenaline involved! Thank god the coworker who leaped in to help me is a former veterinary nurse like me-- she didn't panic and she knew how to hold Chloe.
I phoned my vet to confirm at home treatment for Chloe's abraded and inflamed esophagus (benadryl and topical lidocaine--which I have at home). Forty eight hours of soft food, and she's completely back to normal.
I have four dogs, three of whom are elderly and two of them have serious medical issues. But it's the two year healthy dog that nearly slipped away from me! There's no rhyme or reason...
And I have new gray hairs!


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