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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Poor Layla

Although I obviously didn't birth her, I consider Layla to be my "first born."  She was my baby for three years before Lillian's arrival, and she, too, is one of the best things that ever happened to us.  Layla hurt her paw over the weekend, and it has caused a lot of stress in the Baum household.

We took her to the beach with us for the holiday weekend.  Due to the nasty weather, we didn't take her onto the actual beach like we normally do.  Instead, she got several walks when it wasn't raining (on the pavement - we avoided mud puddles like the plague), and Dan took her to play on the tennis courts one day to keep her from getting nasty in the wet grass and mud.  Around Saturday night, we noticed that she was limping.  Her paw has been hurt before from walking on the pavement instead of in the grass, so we assumed that's what it was.  She was pitiful enough that Grandma Susie and Papa allowed her on the couch, though, as I mentioned before.  On Sunday, the limp was much worse.  When we got back home and settled, Dan examined her paw.  We were pretty sure it wasn't sprained or broken, because she didn't whimper or cry when we tried to touch it.  He noticed that she broke the nail that's on the side of her paw, and we assumed she was just experiencing some tenderness in her paw as a result.

When we woke up on Monday morning, not only was her limp even worse, but her paw was swollen to at least two times its normal size.  We were still thinking it had to do with the broken nail, and decided to wait and see if it would get better on its own.  We didn't want to take her to the vet and pay an exorbitant amount of money for them to tell us that it was her broken nail and it would get better on its own eventually.  However, as the day went on, her behavior worried me more and more.  She wasn't really eating, and she just wasn't herself.  She had no energy and was very lethargic - if you know Layla, you know that this is NOT normal.  I knew something was really wrong when she wasn't even interested in people food.  Her limp was so bad that Dan was carrying her up and down the stairs when she needed to go.  He did some internet research, cleaned her nail really well, and even iced her leg, which seemed to help with the swelling but not for long.

This morning when she wasn't better, we still couldn't decide whether to call the vet.  I wanted to take her in and have her checked out if for nothing else than peace of mind, but again, I didn't want to get charged an arm and a leg for it to turn out to be nothing.  It was when I was talking to my Mom about the situation that we made a decision.  She said, "You wouldn't hesitate to take Lilly to the doctor if something was wrong.  Layla is your child, too."  And I knew she was right (I know it's hard to believe that I was never a dog person before we got her!).  So, I sucked it up called the vet.  I described what was going on, and they said to bring her in as soon as we could.

Side note: my bff is awesome, because she is a mind reader and knew as soon as I told her we had to go to the vet that I was already worrying about how to get both the dog and the baby there and back, so she and Hadley came to play with Lilly.  THANK YOU, BESTIE!

When we arrived at the vet, I noticed that Layla's paw had started bleeding pretty badly.  No matter what the cost, I was immediately glad I'd taken her in.  They took her from me to examine her, and all I heard was her wailing.  It seriously broke my heart, and I almost cried.  They came in to tell me that she wouldn't let them near her paw, so they were going to have to sedate her so that they could shave it and take a closer look.  All I could see was dollar signs, but of course I agreed. 

Long story short, there was some sort of small puncture in her paw - the doctor said it could have been a thorn, or even a bug, or anything really - which created an abscess (Seriously?  I am about to have to spend $1281239128737 over a bug bite?!?!).  The abscess was severely infected.  The doctor said that the abscess had ruptured, which was why it started bleeding, and that she'd probably been in a lot more pain prior to the rupture.  I think he was right, because I noticed that once we got to the vet, while her limp was still there, it wasn't as bad as it had been at home.  He told me that he wanted to do an x-ray just to make sure there was no fracture or break; her paw was so swollen that they couldn't tell.  My poor baby!

Luckily, the abscess was the only problem - no fractures or breaks.  She has to take three pills - an anti-inflammatory and an antibiotic - twice per day for two weeks.  The vet told us that she will not be back to 100% until probably next week - he said there was a lot of swelling and that she was in a good amount of pain.  She is to try to rest and we are not to take her on walks until she stops limping and her foot looks a lot better.  Great, try telling that to the most energetic dog ever.  She was a real trooper, and I am so thankful that she is okay - and also I was pleasantly surprised because the vet bill was a lot less than we'd anticipated.  Score!  Isn't she pitiful? 

Layla, we are so glad you're okay.  We can't imagine life without you.  It was worth every penny we spent at the vet to make sure everything was fine. We hope you have a speedy recovery...and also that you will put your jealousy aside and start to love your little sister soon, because she sure does love watching you and giggling!


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