The vet called yesterday with weird news. Ruby had gotten out of surgery and they hadn't found anything. That's really disconcerting when you know you are forking over a buttload of money for just the surgery. Anyway, the mystery object had passed into her colon by the time they got into her.
Herein lies our dilemma. We really didn't feel okay about paying so much for an exploratory surgery that didn't solve any problems! Dan called his "vet friend" yesterday afternoon just to see if our frustration was valid. His friend was surprised that they didn't do a pre-op x-ray just to make sure they the object was still there. So we knew that we had to chat with them before we wrote any checks.
The vet's office closed at 8:00 last night, so we got there around 7:45 to pick up Ruby. We brought up (very nicely!) our concern and were satisfied with the answer. They had injected the barium on Tuesday night to take pictures of her insides on Wednesday. At surgery time yesterday, the barium was still in her system. They knew the object was soft, so the barium could go into it and run through it. Apparently barium affects the way things are seen in x-rays (which is why they have special barium pictures), so they wouldn't have been able to see it clearly anyway. Plus, if they had seen in the x-ray that it had moved out of the stomach, they still would have gone in to make sure it wasn't blocking anything else. Which is what they did. They felt along the entire intestine and discovered that it was in the colon and would eventually pass. After their explanation, we felt okay about the money we were giving them. Besides, the surgery was almost half the amount they had quoted us anyway. So that all worked out.
Now she is bare-bellied and can't eat until 8:00 this morning, poor thing. But Maddie is MUCH relieved to have her home. Not so much following me around meowing. :)
The end of the pet drama. Thanks to those of you who care. It's like having kids sometimes. Well, probably not at all, actually...