I woke Tony up and he suggested attempting to syringe water into her mouth (she looked dehydrated). She wouldn't swallow. Then he suggested we try the honey trick that works for puppies with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), but she clamped her jaw shut and wouldn't take the drop of honey I offered her. She still wasn't holding her body heat, and when laid down, wouldn't pull her feet in. We admitted defeat and called the vet just before midnight. Of course Tony works early in the mornings, so I called my Mom to bring me out there.
The vet clinic is 45 minutes away, so we set off as soon as the vet agreed to come in. We (my Mom and I) met him there by 12:40. He gave Lagertha subcutaneous fluids, followed by an xray. When the xray came up on the screen we were all confused. Her entire distended belly was nothing but foggy grey with one air pocket right at the end (a kitten fart). None of her "guts" were visible at all, which is incredibly odd. Fortunately, I brought Floki too and the vet took her xray as well to compare. While Floki's xray was mostly cloudy, some loops of intestine were visible. I have no idea why Lagertha's xray is "muddy" and shows nothing (though her bones showed up just fine).
Assuming the problem is her lack of pooping, the vet gave Lagertha an enema, which did pretty close to nothing. She didn't even seem to care. Next we attempted to get blood from her to run a blood sugar test. Two small cuts to her ear produced less than a drop of blood. Her right jugular yielded nothing, and finally her left jugular vein gave two drops - enough to run the test.
Her blood sugar was at 20. It should be 70+, and 20 is in the immediate danger zone for coma and death. He immediately got a can of special food and a syringe and got some in her mouth. He said I'd need to keep doing this once every hour to make sure she was getting something in her system to boost her blood sugar levels. So much for any rest tonight, but if it saves her life - I'm all in.
The bill was over $150, and he said if she doesn't have a bowel movement (poop) by this afternoon, she should come back in. Since my Mom conveniently has an appointment this afternoon for one of her dogs' annual exams, I'm planning to tag along... again.
Next step (assuming I can keep her alive and out of a coma until 2pm) is a Barium test. Basically, they tube feed her Barium (chalk-like substance that shows up brightly on an xray) and then xray her every hour or two to see the Barium move through her digestive tract. This is supposed to show them where the problem might be if there's a blockage or something. However, with the "muddy" xray from this morning, I'm not entirely certain what this test could possibly tell us - assuming they won't be able to read the results properly anyway. Of course, xrays are $55 each, so just a few hours of this test already double my current vet expenses.
I've never been one to put a price on any of my animals. In fact, quite the opposite. I will go to the ends of the Earth and move mountains to fundraise to make sure my critters get the care they need. And so - in this case, I am begging you (yes, you - reading this right now), to please check out my Bonanza Shop. Find something you want, and make a purchase. All proceeds will go toward Lagertha's ever-increasing veterinary bills. Or, if you prefer to donate directly - please send me an email, and I will give you the information for the vet so you can call in a payment via credit card.
In the meantime, I have been attempting syringe feeding every 30 minutes, and while it was going well at first, she is now spitting out everything I'm putting in. Floki and Mabel are loving cleaning her up after these feedings as the mush seems irresistibly tasty to them. Lagertha has urinated (likely those sub-q fluids coming through her system), but still won't poop. It's nearing 7am, so I'm going to sign off and get ready for her next syringe feed attempt. Please, please help me fund her veterinary care!