The Joys and Sorrows of Love part 1

Love is an amazing emotion. No other emotion that I know of can so easily and significantly affect other emotions as love. If I have learned anything from the events of the last week it is that. Let me explain...

Man's Best Friend

I have a 5 year old dog named Ashlee. She is a Black Lab mix and she is adorable...and very sick. It all started the weekend of June 5th, when myself, and everyone around, noticed that Ashlee was not acting her chipper, happy-go-lucky self. She seemed to be laying about like a bum, more than usual. At first we chalked it up to being hot (it was a hot weekend) and having solid black fur in the summer heat cannot be very comfortable. However, as the weekend progressed, I noticed that she didn't seem to be eating. The food in her bowl was not moving. Again, not starting to worry too much as she sometimes wouldn't eat for a day or two when it was really hot anyway. Sunday, she just looked beat. She certainly hadn't eaten in a couple of days. My Godson fed her a couple treats which she ate but she had no interest in her food. After dinner, I decided to give her a small bit of the leftover pork to see if she'd eat that..she did and about 10 minutes later it came right back up. Something was wrong.

The next morning (Monday) I phoned my vet and explained the situation. I took her in and the vet did a brief exam and thought maybe she had a stomach bug. So, I was to put her on a bland diet of cooked white rice and boiled hamburger. I did this that evening and she did eat a little bit of it but not much. That morning, early like around 4am, that stuff came up too, all over my bedroom floor. Something wasn't right. I phoned my vet again, explained what had happened and was told to give it 24 hours and she if she is eating. She didn't eat at all and I also noticed she didn't seem to be drinking anything either. I was getting nervous. The next day (Wednesday) I planned to call the vet at around 3pm to give them a report but I didn't make it that long. I got a call from home that she was really weak and run down and really was acting sick. I called the vet and got her in that afternoon.

The vet did a more thorough exam this time and believed she may have an ulcer. They gave her some anti-nausea medication, drew some blood and and sent her home with instructions to give her sugar-free popsicles to get some liquid in her, an intestinal antibiotic and directions to give her generic Pepcid to help her stomach. I did as they said, got her to take her pills but she wouldn't touch the popsicles, or eat, or drink any kind of fluid. Thursday, I tried to give her her pills and she would have nothing to do with it. They came up too, as soon as I got them in her mouth. another call to the vet. This time, the blood work was in and something was certainly wrong. Elevated liver enzymes and and a very low Lymphocyte count. They had me make arrangements to have an ultrasound done and in the meantime, I took her in to get IV fluids since she hadn't had anything to drink in about 3 days.

The ultrasound revealed fluid in her abdomen and a liver that didn't look right. Back to the vet where they kept her overnight to get her more IV fluids. Friday, after reading the full ultrasound report, the vet told me that exploratory surgery was recommended to see what was going on. I was beside myself. The word cancer was being thrown around and I was literally preparing myself for the worst while praying for the best. I was a wreck. The vet did the surgery and checked out everything he could. Was able to determine a lot of what it was NOT, but no clear diagnosis. Not cancer, not renal failure, spleen was good gallbladder was good, only thing that seems probable is the liver.

So, vet kept her over the weekend. Gave her a small dose of steroids to stimulate the appetite and wanted her to eat and drink on her own. As of yesterday (Sunday) she was eating and drinking again and more active and alert. My godson and I went to visit this morning (Monday) and she was excited to see us. We took her for a walk, gave her some much needed love and gave her back to the vet. She's not done yet. Another round of blood work and more observation. The culprit may be the liver but nothing is known for sure.

A wildly emotional roller coaster of a week and still no concrete answers. This ran long so I'll make this part one of this blog post, call it the background. Part two will be my reflections so far...

Stay tuned and God Bless