Beckett's mom here. First of all, Beckett is fine. But it has been a very long 12 hours or so...
Last night, I was out at a meeting. I came home about 7:45pm, gave Beckett his dinner, ate mine, and was puttering around the house as usual. He (and I) were behaving perfectly normally. About 8:35 or 8:40, he wanted to go out in the back yard, as he usually does around that time. I let him out, then used the time to go pay attention to Miss Mehitabel, then do a few things around the house. About 9:05 or so I opened the door to let him in, but he wasn't there. I called and he didn't come. At that point, I thought that he had gotten out of the yard (I had heard him barking earlier) so I went inside to get my shoes and flashlight.
When I went back out, I saw Beckett lying on the ground in the far back right corner of the yard. He was so still. When I got there I couldn't see him breathing and he was pretty much motionless. I put my hand on his belly and felt that he was breathing, but he wasn't responding to me calling his name. I looked around the area to see if I could see anything obvious amiss - I didn't see any blood, broken branches, or anything like that. I tried to lift him up with the idea of rushing him to my car and to the Animal ER but I couldn't get him off the ground. He's a little under 60lbs and while I can lift him from standing, or from the sofa, I just couldn't make him budge.
At this point, needless to say, I was totally hysterical. I had my cell phone with me and called Father Ray, but he didn't pick up, so I called my friend Andrew who said he'd be right over (but he lives about 15 minutes away). It occurred to me to try Ray's home number and I got him and he said he would head over. He arrived about 10 minutes later with Andrew right behind him. At this point Beckett was a little more responsive. He'd moved over a bit, and curled up, and was moving his head around a little bit and looking at me as I was patting him, but his breathing was irregular and his eyes looked funny.
Andrew carried him to his car and I got in the back seat and we followed Ray to the Animal ER, which is in a totally different part of town. Nancy, Ray's wife, had called ahead to let the ER know we were coming. Beckett perked up some on the drive - when we got there and the vet techs came out he even stood up on his own but couldn't walk into the hospital, though he did wag his tail. It was about 10 when we got there, I think.
Ray, Andrew and Beckett went into an exam room with the vet immediately and I stayed outside filling out paperwork for a few minutes, then went in. The vet looked him over, gave me a treatment plan, and once I signed it he got a bunch of blood work done and some x-rays and eventually she told us a whole bunch of very detailed stuff that I was too much in shock to understand, but it boiled down to that he was in shock. His color was off, his gums were almost gray instead of pink like normal, he was breathing from his belly instead of his chest - but he was wagging his tail at the vet and techs. His protein, hematocrit (I think), and liver levels were off. His x-rays didn't show any foreign bodies in there clogging things up, and there was no evidence of tumors. His temperature was normal. He had also started to vomit a little bit of blood, they had tapped his stomach and found some blood, and his stool sample was runny.
They started treatment (fluids, antibiotics, close monitoring) and Andrew and I waited around a little while. Once he was settled in (and I had turned over my credit card) we headed home. They told me to be back there by 7:30 am and they would have him ready to be transferred to his regular vet. I got home about 12:30 am.
I didn't sleep much. They told me that no news from them was good news. I'd turned the ringer on my cell phone up to eleven, and basically clued the cordless house phone to my hand, but I was paranoid I'd miss a call. I was also paranoid I'd fall asleep and miss getting there in time in the morning, so I set every alarm clock in the house. I got at most 3 hours of sleep.
I picked him up this morning and when the vet was bringing him out front and told him to, "Get moving, goofball," I knew he had to be feeling better. He was tired and hungry but otherwise alert and wanting to be the center of attention. They gave me a folder of all the information about what they did, plus a copy of his x-rays on disc, and (after I gave them my credit card again) sent us off to our regular vet.
We got there before the regular vet and since Beckett was at this point behaving pretty much normally, I didn't think they needed to call him to get in earlier. We went home for about 90 minutes and he napped, then we went back. The regular vet kept him today for observation and to repeat some tests, and I picked him up a little over an hour ago.
Basically, he's fine. His protein and hematocrit levels were back where they should be. His liver levels are still high, so he has some medicine to take for that and we'll recheck them soon. They didn't find blood in his belly, he was no longer vomiting, and his behavior was normal. So he is home now (after I once again handed over my credit card), and I am watching him and slowly giving him some food and watching him like a hawk, and he is napping.
There was no obvious cause of his collapse and shock. The vet thinks that perhaps he had a seizure, since it happened so suddenly. Maybe he knocked into something during the seizure that caused him to bleed a little in the belly. But the bottom line is that we don't know what caused it because he was out in the yard alone when it happened, and it could have been a fluke thing.
What is important is that he seems to be fine now, and I am so incredibly grateful to the vets, vet techs, and especially Ray and Andrew who unhesitatingly responded to my call for help.
Give your family and friends, no matter how many legs they have (even if it's none at all), a hug tonight. Love is what really matters in this world, but sometimes we take it for granted.
(Also, program the number of the Animal ER into your cell phone and know where it is. I had been meaning to do the former, but hadn't yet, and I knew generally where it was but hadn't actually ever seen it.)
The blog will be back in Beckett's paws tomorrow.