Henrietta’s Dislocated Hip
Thursday, Sept 14 was a day like any other. I was working from my home office, cats either draped across the keyboard or walking across the keyboard and Henrietta and Murray alternating between lying on the couch or barking from the couch.
Everything changed when Henrietta was heading toward the office and Murray ran from the office and barrelled Henrietta right over. He’s a big, gangly dog and has done it before and Hen has yipped, but gotten up and carried on. This time, though, she didn’t get up. This time, the cries of pain were heart rending. I was on the phone, trying to keep it together, but eventually hung up, wrapped her in a towel and tried to calm her down. Her back leg was sticking straight out.
I was worried that in her pain she’d try to nip me, but she just kept crying and shaking as I was holding her. I called my vet at Barre Animal Hospital, broke into tears when Joy answered, got control of myself and told her what happened. They said to bring her right in.
Henrietta was gently bundled into a carrier and off to the vet we went. She kept moaning during the car trip and I was trying not to cry… it didn’t work. When I saw the friendly faces at the vet’s — Joy and Dr. Neno — I really started crying. Dr. Neno asked me to put Hen on the floor to see if she could walk. She couldn’t.
They took her for x-rays and the verdict was that her hip was displaced. When Dr. Neno came back into the exam room with Hen I reached my arms out to take her back — I assumed she’d already been “fixed.” Dr. Neno said she was bringing her in so I could hug and kiss her because she had to stay, be anesthesized and have her hip put back into joint. I could bring her home later.
I left. Sat in my car and sobbed for a few minutes before I could drive home. Once home, I paced and cried. I sat down and cried. I paced some more. I sat in my chair and just stared … at nothing. I didn’t turn the television on and the radio was droning on in the background.
Finally, at about 6:30 pm, the vet called. We could pick her up! Tim drove me, thank goodness because I know I would have been speeding. I also wasn’t sure what to expect. We walked in and Henrietta was sitting with Becky. You could tell Hen was still groggy when we put her in the carrier. She kept looking at me and was making these heartbreaking whines. I started crying. Dr. Neno hugged me. Tim, thankfully talked with Becky and listened to the home care instructions.
Henrietta’s leg is bandaged and bound to her side so the hip will remain immobile. She is on complete restricted activity which means I will be either carrying her around all day or… well, I think it means I will be carrying her all day! She also has to be kept inactive so I got the crate out, put in a lot of blankets and the Devons, Ickis and Oblina, promptly claimed it as a jungle gym then took over sleeping in it.
Once home, we zipped Hen into the carrier and I brought her with me everywhere I walked. We unzipped the top when we were sitting on the couch and every so often she’d pop her head out and look at me. I wanted to cry every time I saw the pain and confusion in her eyes. It’s like having a baby who is in pain and you just can’t explain to them what happened and what is going on, all you can do is comfort and hope it helps.
My bedtime is typically 9ish, but I stayed awake because I was afraid something would happen to Hen in the nighttime while she was in the carrier. She usually sleeps in bed with us and sleeps under the blanket between our pillows, but that wasn’t safe with all she’d been through. I woke up several times during the night and checked on her. She would look up at me. I’d pet her then go back to bed.
This morning, Friday, I took her outside to see if she had to go to the bathroom. She didn’t. She cried when I took her out of the cage and I don’t really know how to hold her to not cause her pain. She did eat a little bit of wet food and drank a bit of water.
Right now I am writing this and she is sleeping in the carrier next to me. Every so often she will pop her head up and look at me and make little cries of pain. I’m trying to type and not cry. I know she will heal, but it’s hard to watch her suffer right now.