Monday, September 17, 2007

Dori Taken Turn for Worse

This weekend was pretty stressful for us. Dori was sick all weekend. Naturally, she got sick after the vet closed for the weekend, and we didn't want to go to the emergency clinic. So our goal all weekend was to keep her drinking and eating as much as possible, all of which was quite difficult as she vomited off and on all weekend. Neither of us dared leave her home alone--one of us was with her all the time to be sure she could go outside if she felt sick. I mentioned earlier last week that she was being picky about her food again. We were hoping that was it--she was just being picky. Saturday we got her new RX food from the vet. Unfortunately, things went from bad to worse. She did eat, but threw it up most of the weekend and our time was taken up with doses of Pepto Bismal and encouraging her to eat and drink. Yesterday, she did finally eat some boiled chicken and managed to keep it down. Derek took her to the vet first thing this morning. She was scheduled to go this week anyway for a follow-up blood test to check liver enzymes, which were headed to normal last week when we picked her up after our trip.

The vet called just a bit ago. The liver number is at least 2000 (their machine only measures to 2000 so it's likely higher) and some other numbers are also elevated. We're sending off a blood sample to test specifically for pancreatitis. We feel this is a good starting place and most likely the culprit. Dori will be on IV fluids only (food worsens the condition) until these test results come back. (We're hoping the sample gets to the testing facility early enough today to get results tomorrow.) Once again, this means an overnight at the emergency clinic so that fluids are continuous. She'll go back and forth between the vet and emergency until the results are in and even then, it's likely that she'll be back and forth for most of this week. (The vet's hearing *chah-ching* and I'm hearing *moan*) If this test comes back inconclusive, we'll begin looking into primary liver diseases, like hepatitis, an infection, or even a type of copper poisoning. And if we get to this point, we'll have some decisions to make about invasiveness of procedures for diagnosis. No matter what, the vet believes whatever we are dealing with is 100% treatable....once a firm diagnosis is made, that is. It's just getting to the diagnosis that is proving difficult. {Aside/update: you can really freak yourself out reading about these illnesses online. Don't tell Derek, but I'm in total panic mode right now.}

In the meantime, I'm seriously considering a "help Dori get well fund." (It's laugh or cry, right?) This illness is costing us a (small) fortune! (Thank God Derek is kicking butt & taking names at work right now! Otherwise, we wouldn't have very many treatment options.)

UPDATE: Dori has done well today. She did not vomit or have diarrhea at all and she has been very alert and talkative for the vet. The vet is preliminarily treating her as a pancreatitis patient until we hear otherwise. We expect test results sometime tomorrow. Right now, she's entertaining the emergency clinic.

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