Christmas and NY of 2023/24 did not go how we expected.
We wake up bright and jolly on Christmas morning with Chester feeling very under the weather with symptoms of vomiting, lethargy, lack of appetite, panting and general discomfort. A wait of 3 hours to see [another] emergency hospital, it ended with pain relief and discharge with improvement over the next day, only to have the same symptoms and treatment 2 days later.
One week later, we discovered a splatter of blood in the hallway and fresh vomit in the back yard, so he was admitted to hospital for bloods, scans and overnight observation. Bloods were normal but scans revealed a mass in his abdomen which did not move over the next 12 hours he was observed. We transferred him to our regular vet who undertook exploratory surgery to discover a 20c sized piece of bone fragment had lodged itself in Chester’s intestines, pierced through his intentions and caused severe damage and infection to his intestinal area. They also discovered a small mass growing on his larynx. He was given a very small chance of survival.
The local vet did everything they could, before recommending referral to SASH. We drove the hour to SASH. At about 5:30pm, the amazing vet, Dr. Adheip, took us into a private room and explained that if too much of Chester’s intestines were damaged from the bone slicing through them, he wouldn’t make it. Adheip was so calm, considerate, honest and patient with us, answering all questions and drawing a clear image of Chester’s procedure on the whiteboard so we could understand.
4 very anxious hours later, we got the call that only 15% of his intestines were removed, as well as his spleen, and that this was the best case scenario. If he made it through the night, it was a good sign. Chester then spent 2 nights in ICU, and another 2 in general care before he came home on Saturday the 6th January.
The team at SASH treated our baby as one of their own, never made us feel like he wasn’t being looked after, were transparent in all procedures and processes, we couldn’t have asked for better care.
It’s been 4 weeks since Chester’s emergency surgery, and he has been given the most unlikely green flag from our local vet that he has made a full recovery. The lump turned out to be a benign oral plasmacytoma, and he was also diagnosed with severe arthritis in his back hips.
With the help of supplements for the arthritis, Chester should continue to live a very long, happy and healthy life.
Chester, we never thought twice about whether or not we would try to save you. We always knew you would fight this, and you have. We owe his survival to the amazing team at SASH, and here’s to never EVER eating another bone ever again.