On September 30th, Cooper wasn't feeling well. He wasn't eating, was very lethargic, puking and we could hear his stomach gurgling for a few hours. Thinking he had an upset stomach, we weren't too worried until he did not get better as the day went on. That night, we decided to take him to Ohio State to get checked out. The Vet called and said that they were going to do some testing and an ultrasound and would call us back with next steps.
We got the phone call shortly after that Cooper needed emergency surgery. Cooper's intestines were bunched up like an accordion from some baby wipes and a piece of blanket he ate weeks prior. He had been passing the wipes through his stool and acting normal, so we had no idea he had this obstruction for weeks. His intestines were trying to push the foreign objects through but instead, were creating a wad and could not pass. So he got a surgery on his stomach and intestines.
We were relieved Cooper's surgery went well and he got to come home a few days later. Unfortunately, when he got home, he was even more lethargic and seemed to be in pain so back to Ohio State we went. More bad news: Cooper had an infection of his wound. Dr. Biggo (his original surgeon) suggested a second surgery to culture the wound to pinpoint the bacteria and then flush out the incision. We agreed and were hopeful. The bacteria found was common E. coli. Once again, his surgery went well and we were hoping for him to come home in a few days.
However, his second surgery incision did not go well as the tissue kept dying around the sutures and opening up his entire abdominal wall. With it not being able to stay closed, he could get more infection and also his organs could eventually fall out. So back to surgery he went. Once the third surgery was over, Cooper had a large open wound so that Dr. Biggo and her team could monitor it. But, once again, his tissue was dying and nothing seemed to be working.
By this point, Cooper had three surgeries in 2 weeks, hadn't eaten in several days and was miserable. A different vet called and told us that we should highly consider humane euthanasia. However, Dr. Biggo didn't want to give up on Cooper. As we were on our way to put Cooper down, she called with one more option. Another surgery and another culture to determine if he had some other bacteria growing that her team wasn't aware of. We agreed to the fourth surgery because we desperately wanted to save our pup.
The culture came back that Cooper had E. coli which had morphed into a rare form and that is why all of his tissue was dying and his abdominal wall sutures would not stay in tact. The good news is that we finally knew what type of bacteria was affecting Cooper's wound, but to treat this rare E. coli, Dr. Biggo and her team had to put on full PPE and administer it by injection to Cooper several times a day. The antibiotic started working and each day Cooper got better. We were still leery, but after 7 full days on the antibiotic and no signs of issues along with the fact that Cooper started eating again, we were so excited.
Cooper had his fifth surgery to completely close up his wound where he had a microbial antibiotic placed under his stitches.
Cooper came home after being in the hospital in ICU for 20 days. Dr. Biggo, Dr. Sekhar. Vet Technician, Mariah, and the rest of the team did not give up on Cooper. They worked overtime on weekends, gave us at least 2-3 updates daily, were compassionate and kind. They did everything they humanly could to ensure that they saved his life. We could not be more grateful. The purpose of this fundraiser is to help the Small Animal Surgery team in funding so they can keep saving the lives of other people's pet family members.