On Sugar’s 5th Anniversary, exact to the day, we started noticing something was amiss with Paris. It started out with H telling me that she didn’t finish her breakfast. And Paris never refuses food. That was the first sign. I naively attributed to Paris somehow knowing it was her dear jie-jie’s death anniversary and she was emo over it.
In the following days to come, we noticed that she was always down in the mornings but behaving quite normally in the evenings. We arrived at the conclusion that she was feeling separation anxiety since we just returned from a vacation and she didn’t like us leaving home early every morning. We thought al she needed was a few days to return to normal.
The last straw was on Saturday night, after an extremely long day for me, when I came home to find her sprawled on all fours along the corridor, unable to walk to H cooking in the kitchen or to greet me. I thought she might have popped her hip. In any case, her immobility was certainly an emergency. Within 10 minutes, we were out of the house, rushing her to the only A&E clinic I know, Mount Pleasant at Whitley Road.
We had to wait quite a while, close to an hour before Paris was seen by the vet in attendant – Dr Lesley Teo. There were a number of sick pooches that night. Then I narrated what we thought was the problem with Paris in my usual long-winded manner. She didn’t think that the limp was an issue, but told us her concern was with the state of the tummy – it was hard.
After a blood test and x-rays, we went in to see the vet again. And it was bad news. At least the blood work was very bad news while the x-rays didn’t show anything conclusive. She told us it could be an auto-immune disease or cancer, and wanted Paris to be hospitalised overnight to undergo an ultrasound immediately the next morning.
Given our experience with Sugar, there was no way we would be leaving Paris at the hospital. We brought her home and monitored her closely the whole night. With the exception of Belle, I don’t think the whole family slept much that night.
The next morning, we realised how unwise it was of us to bring her home. The ultrasound showed that her stomach was a mess and that her spleen has ruptured, explaining why her red blood cell count was so low. An immediate surgery was warranted to salvage the situation or we will lose her due to internal bleeding. It was a scary decision we had to make. It all felt so familiar… like what happened to Sugar was repeating all over again. I broke down during the consultation with the doctor, because again, we were asked if they should resuscitate if her heart failed. At the same point during Sugar’s ordeal, I broke down. I cannot lose Paris the same way.
And she also needed blood donors because she was losing so much blood, and going through a surgery could only make it worse. I swallowed my pride and ask every and anybody I could. Unfortunately those who could help were not a match. Belle was later found to be a match. So we were quite relieved. After all, both dogs belong to us, any need for blood transfusion would be much easier.
Paris pulled through the surgery. She was alert and well after surgery so much so that I thought she would be alright. But I know… things can go wrong. Like in Sugar’s case.