Monday, November 21, 2005


Have you ever noticed that when you get some money, in addition to what you normally bring in, such as someone buying a piece of equipment you were selling or that "extra" paycheck that comes twice a year for those who are paid every 2 weeks rather than twice a month, you get hit with an unexpected and not trivial expense? And that it usually either negates the bonus cash or exceeds it? Yeah.

"And how is that sick and beloved puppy dog?" you kindly ask.

"Ah. Let me continue the saga." I say.

When last I left you, it was Friday and we had just gotten back from the second trip to the vet that week. If you don't remember, read the last post for the long version. To sum up: Vomiting, followed by incontinence of bowels then better then incontinence of urine and congested in the schnoz. 2 antibiotics, 2 vet trips, labs, labs, and the info for the emergency vet clinic. Large amounts of paper towels, old bath towels, antiseptic cleaner, and the constant running of the washer and dryer.

Saturday, she really seems better. We excavate boogers, I kid you not, the size of the last phalanx of my finger, which causes her to smile afterward, because who wouldn't if the concrete nose plugs were removed. She eats some chicken. She eats some more. She seems comfortable, if still peeing lots.

Sunday, here we go again, but worse: The pee, the poop, the nose, and she just looks like she's had enough. Charles and I look at each other and decide that we need to trust our instincts and take her in to the expensive pet urgent care. They are lovely and concerned. The vet has spoken to our vet 2 days before, as he had a feeling we would be coming in. The labs were in her possession, the ones from his office and the ones sent to the outside lab that are back. She does a thorough exam and finds that her belly is tender and distended. Her weight is up 3 pounds, despite all the output, her labs, while not bad, are lower, not counting for dehydration, which she is showing some mild signs of. Emma is a trooper. Even when she squeals and jumps back when the sore place on her stomach is examined, she then goes back and"apologizes" to the vet and licks her hand. The x-ray shows her stomach is distended and possibly consistent with early bloat, her spleen is markedly enlarged, her bladder distended. Of course we consent to surgery, which they can perform in a controlled fashion, after they hydrate her and finish another emergent surgery. After all, she really doesn't look like she is dying in front of us.

Last night, after the surgery, the vet called. Emma is recovering uneventfully. They found a spleen 4 times its normal size, which is now in a bucket somewhere, no longer causing her a problem. The stomach was not torsed and is now tacked so she will not have a problem in the future. Her bladder seems fine. The head-scratching presumptive diagnosis is that of "splenitis" causing gastric outlet problems. They still can't account for the bladder. We go up to the clinic to pick her up tonight. We sincerely hope that this is the end of it.

And some good did come out of all that! I cleaned all our main floor carpets, something I've been needing to do for, well, really since we had them cleaned before we moved in almost 2 years ago, then had all our friends help us move all our stuff in through the muck. They look and smell so much better! See! Silver lining! Somebody slap me, please.

In other housekeeping news, for all you llama fans, I have here a picture I finally uploaded, taken last spring.

And, finally:

Q: How do you know it is Thanksgiving week here in the States?

A: Because I have a respiratory infection.

Sadly, with the exception of last year, I have been under the weather for each and every Thanksgiving since I started this line of work, some 15+ years ago. Nice to know there are some things you can count on. Gives you a sense of security in the troubled times.



Blogger Rozanne said...

Poor, poor puppy.

But doesn't she need that spleen to, for example, make new red blood cells?

Anyway, I am so glad she's better! What a lot of trouble that spleen caused.

I think one of the many corollaries to Murphy's Law is that your pet will always get very, very sick late at night or on a Sunday when regular vet offices are closed, thus necessitating a visit to the $$$$ emergency clinic.

That said, it sounds like your regular vet really went beyond the call of duty, forwarding all that stuff to the emergency clinic just in case. That probably saved you some $$$ you might have had to spend getting duplicate tests.

7:14 PM  
Blogger moegirl said...

So glad that the outlook for Emma is good.

Yes, clean carpets are a silver lining! You know what the Python gang says, "Always look on the bright side of life"---or maybe it's "No one expects the Spanish Inquistion!"

7:44 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

I'm so glad Emma is recovering. And I'm glad you found a silver lining, but I will not slap you. You sound more like you need a hug and/or a nice break and or both.

I hear you on the respiratory infections - every year right around this time. It happens at our house, too. I blame it on everyone voluntarily cooping themselves up inside instead of going outside in the fresh, invigorating air and/or being involuntarily cooped up in school, and then sneezing and coughing all over every public surface they come in contact with, those cretins.

I had a friend who was an accountant who used to get really sick at the end of March or early April - just in time for the last-minute tax rush.

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Teachers always get sick over Spring Break. Cathy was close to having me put into an experiment somewhere to see why.

Emma is such a dear! She is not a Maia, but then Maia was not Emma. Any beast wanting to sit on my lap just has to be good, even if he/she/it is bigger than me.

Ole RFer

11:15 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

I'm so glad things have taken a turn for the better. Give your doggie a hug for me.

And clean carpets! Don't knock it.

11:56 PM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

Da hell?? Er, good news? I hope she improves now, speedily. Have they checked for visceral Leishmaniosis (how were the kidneys)? Cushing's (pancreatitis causing vomits? how's her pancreas?)? Babesiosis (very long shot)? Amyloidosis?

I assume they've found no tumours, which is excellent (spleens often have hemangiosarcomas, not very good) and SEVERAL samples of the spleen were sent to pathoanatomy - right?

Has she fallen recently, bumped hard into something? She'll probably look much thinner now bcs in dogs the primary spleen function (if I remmeber correctly) is being a blood reservoir. The liver and bone marrow will now take over where needed, and minor functions will be lost but the body will do fine without them. Poor Emma thing.

2:46 AM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

Oh oh, and poor you! Hope you caugh your way out of it soon. Stare at the sparkling (loose choice of adjective) carpets, that will cheer you up.

2:48 AM  
Blogger brooksba said...

Oh, poor Emma and poor you. I'm glad she's recovering. I know you'll make her feel at home and take great care of her. She'll love every moment of it too.

I'm glad that Emma has someone who loves her and takes care of her. You are truly amazing.

4:20 AM  
Blogger Babs said...

Ah, at least she will be better now.

And I totally sympathize with the being ill/thanksgiving thing.

I've a feeling that's why me bloody allergies have just gone mad. Bugger lol

6:23 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Everybody- Large, snotty nosed hug.

Rozanne- Surprisingly, they do just fine without that spleen. They don't even need the vaccines humans do as they apparently don't get the encapsulated bacterial infections that asplenic folks are prone to. Kids and pets and after hours illnesses. OUCH. I'm not sure in dogs, but for humans, the spleen is basically a large lymph node, helpful in fighting infection, but for adults, the bone marrow is the blood cell factory. When enlarged, the spleen actually sequesters the blood cells, so they don't get out and about as they should.

Doesn't our vet rock?

Stace- Monty Python has something for every occasion.

Teri- Here's hoping your household gets through your current bug quickly. And I'll take that hug, gladly.

Dad- She sure is a love, isn't she. If she comes through this, we may just cave and let her be the lap dog she has always aspired to be. What's a small thing like furniture compared to your lovely dog?

Jamie- I am ridiculously pleased with the carpets that are no longer plagued with brown trails down the traffic zones.

Johnny- "Da hell?" is right. Accent on the question mark. OK: Her kidneys seem fine. Her urine is on the dilute side, though. She is getting IV fluids at maintenance levels. Her sodium is slightly low, potassium is fine. Liver labs fine. Protein is dipping down and Hematocrit is drifting up, leading to a mismatch. They are thinking possibly Addison's, rather than Cushings, given the electrolytes and urine. Would also cause the GI symptoms, although not the nose. Nothing that looked like tumor on chest or belly films and nothing on the exploratory lap part of the surgery. She has temporal wasting, so something has been brewing that we didn't notice. That didn't happen overnight. I think they sent the whole damn spleen to path. No recent falls that we are aware of. As for the infectious things, I don't think any of the ones you mentioned were tested. Leishmania is not endemic to our area, at least not that which humans get. Pancreas looked fine, as did the pancreas labs. Anything else?

Beth- If she was a slightly spoiled dog before, she will be terribly spoiled when she gets home, you can believe it. How can you not? She is just such a sweet pup.

Babs- No. Not allergies on top of it all. Nope. Not fair. You have enough to deal with. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, won't you?

10:09 AM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

At least I know the spleen had something to do with blood.

Sounds like in dog's at least it's almost a vestigal organ.

3:01 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

I am sending you hugs. I feel kind of late about this because I just saw this post after the other one so I'm just waiting for the post that says she is all better.

4:38 PM  

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