I said goodbye to my little one last week. I was headed to bed and had a weird feeling- I got back up to check on them and Finn was just laying on the bottom of the cage, weak and lethargic. It looked like he fell from his food dish? I took him right out and I thought maybe be was dehydrated, grabbed water and yogurt, but then I saw the hole in his back.
For years he's been overgrooming a small spot on his back, I saw the vet
a few times, treated for infection, but he was happy and healthy otherwise. We got a different cage, different wheels
, new toys
, different foods, it felt like I tried everything. I finally got him and his brother neutered last summer, though. They both did really well at first, and Jeff never knew the difference.
I suspect it was because of the painkillers that he was just doing his normal overgrooming of his shoulder and didn't feel it happening- just dug straight through. Down to the little bones and muscles. I had a family member help me burrito him, because he seemed to feel great? No pain at all, not even when I dabbed disinfectant into the hole. So they held him and I bandaged him up. Got him to the vet
first thing in the morning. They knocked him out and stitched him up and got him started on some meds. He came home, into a medical cage, and it was a crisis trying to rebandage him everytime he would get out. Smart little guy. I had to keep running to the drug store to look for different medical tapes- not sticky enough to pull out fur, but sticky enough that he can't tear through. I had a cone at the ready, but with the bandage around his neck/shoulder, he slipped right out of it. He did well, but started picking at the stitches right before they were gonna come out. Eventually he finished antibiotics, stitches out, watching him carefully, he did awesome. His fur even grew back in over that spot!
A few months later he started to overgroom it again. I watched, he never broke the skin or scratched, just pulled the hair out again. And that's where we were when I found him the other night. Cautiously well.
I tried to bandage the hole, but it must have happened early during the day. It had already started to "heal". I couldn't even see it till I was shuffling through his fur in my hands, when he was standing the fur was obscuring it. He was disoriented and fell face first in the spoon of yoghurt. Scratch that plan. He refused to eat or drink after that. I'd been home alone at the time, and it was well after midnight. I googled the earliest open glider vets
and held my breath. Wasn't sure how we were gonna get through the night, but he was cold like he was dehydrated, so I laid him on my chest and put some blankies over him and just rubbed his little back and head. Eventually I realized I could only feel my own heartbeat.
I brought him to his brother and I know animals don't grieve but they definitely understand.
I don't know. I wish I'd caught it earlier, I'm sure the vet
could have patched him back up, but I am truly glad I was able to hold him tight and keep him warm and talk to him while he went.