On September 15, 2010 Tucker and I set out for Starbucks -- a common and often visited destination of ours. It was a warm day, but not unusually hot -- he has walked in much hotter conditions many times before so I did not think the weather was a problem when I checked the temperature.
Upon returning home, Tucker was drooling and panting as he always does, but he was walking abnormally and was non-responsive when I talked to him. I feared heat stroke as I had just read about it the day before at our vet's office. We immediately hosed him down to cool him off as much as possible and lifted our unresponsive 140 lb dog (this was so difficult emotionally and physically) into the car and rushed him to our vet's office, Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center. When we got there, they were waiting for us in the parking lot with a stretcher! His temperature was at least 110 degrees – the thermometer only goes to 110 so it may have been higher! Dr. Michele Dodd and her team were very concerned and honest in telling us that they have never seen a dog survive this condition with this high of a temperature -- the situation was grave and his survival did not look promising -- but they would do everything they could to save him!
Over the next two days he was in critical condition as his organs/system had shut down and he was bleeding internally – unable to clot. He was on numerous machines, getting IV's and Plasma units around the clock; it was serious and very frightening.
The entire hospital staff could not have been more kind, sensitive, thorough, patient and concerned for Tucker. We received frequent phone calls with updates from the doctors and nurses and there was always someone available to talk to in the middle of the night when I would call unable to sleep. They let us visit him whenever we wanted and we would stay with him as long as we liked. Dr. Dodd was incredibly professional -- going the extra mile -- she even consulted with holistic doctors for other healing options. I know Tucker was not her only patient but she sure made us feel like he was!
By the third day, we were so thankful to learn that Tucker was going to survive -- only time would tell if he would have any long-term health concerns. He remained at the hospital for another three days until his vitals were consistent and he was healthy enough to come home.
We are truly so thankful and blessed that Tucker had the care he received as he would likely not be with us today if he had been elsewhere. Thanks to everyone at Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center, we still have our sweet beast! Tucker enjoys going to the hospital and seeing all his friends and fans! Each time he does he reminds them that because of their efforts and care, he is a "survivor"!