Tango is an energetic 4 ½ year old terrier mix. She loves to run and walk and run and generally expect attention all the time. One Wednesday a few weeks ago when I took her for her afternoon walk, she was gagging and smacking her lips. She drank an excessive amount of water and continued to gag and cough.
Since she was acting so oddly we decided to investigate only to find her favorite zebra quilt shredded and quilt batting behind the bed and on the floor. We never would have guessed how much she had actually eaten. That night she threw up a small wad of batting mixed with food, we were hoping that she had thrown everything up and things would be back to normal. That night she did not eat and threw up again, this time some bits of the quilt material (zebra colored). On Friday morning she refused treats and food and just wasn’t herself, so we took her into our local vet.
They x-rayed her stomach and it was FULL of foreign material. They induced vomiting and she threw up several bits of cloth and batting, but a 2nd x-ray showed that her stomach was still stuffed. They recommended emergency treatment and I knew exactly where we wanted to take Tango. The clinic called the U of M and we were on our way.
As soon as we walked into the clinic Tango was taken by 2 technicians for some pre-work. They acted with a sense of urgency which made me feel that Tango was in the right place. The doctor that reviewed options with us was Dr. Tara Sime. She was calm, comforting and clearly cared about Tango. Due to the presence of cloth in her colon, they were worried it could compromise her intestinal tract and the only way to remove the foreign material was emergency surgery. It was hard to leave her behind but I knew she was in the best place possible for her care.
I arrived home around 4:30pm and by 5:30pm Dr. Balough called to explain to us the surgical procedure. It was nice to know what Tango was about to go through and to speak to the doctor that would be performing the surgery. Dr. Balough called back around 9pm when the surgery was over to tell us she was doing fine and that fortunately there was no need to remove any of her intestines. Dr. Balough even spoke to my daughter, a 3rd year Vet student at Madison, though far from home and worried about Tango, the discussion with Dr. Balough put her mind at ease. Tango came home that Saturday and now 2 weeks later (with her 23 staples removed) she is back to her normal rambunctious self.
We cannot thank the U of M Vet Clinic enough for the care they provided Tango and for everything they did to answer our questions and put us at ease. The quality of care and the communication is outstanding.
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