Every time the vet calls, I take copious notes, and here is what I wrote down yesterday:
1. The latest ultrasound showed that his misplaced intestine has dropped down into its rightful position. Can I have an amen?
2. The vets are operating on the theory that all the bute and banamine I had to give him to relieve his pain and swelling caused gastric ulcers. They believe this because he went from uninterested in food to ravenous once pumped full of milk of magnesia – ravenous to the point of eating the stall shavings, which had to be removed.
3. Hank convinced the staff that he is claustrophobic and demanded to be moved from an enclosed indoor stall with a great big fan to an outdoor pen, where he prefers to stand in the unsheltered portion, torrential rain or shine. I'm told the vet went out in a storm to move him under the shelter and he promptly went right back into the rain. That's my boy.
4. He makes everybody laugh.
5. He appears bright-eyed, comfortable and content. Were it not for his still-swollen muzzle and the fact that he's not drinking any water, the vet would allow him to come home.
I told the vet that Hank has been known to be a finicky water drinker; when I used to take him on weekend trips, I hauled water from home and he still wouldn't drink for the first 24-36 hours. So is he not drinking now because he can't or because he won't? Perhaps I need to take Fish to the clinic to poop in his water so that it tastes right.
Anyway, they'll continue to work on getting the swelling to go away, using low doses of dexamethasone instead of the stomach-irritating bute and banamine. And with any luck, he'll start drinking on his own. Because I live so far away, they don't want to release him until they're positive he's ready.
I'm breathing big sighs of relief, and I hope you are, too. Thank you all for your support and concern.
I'm confident Hank will be home soon in all his handsome glory.