I have been through the following things with the dogs, in no particular order:
Severe allergies, allergy testing, food trials, giardia, mange, colitis, spinal deformity, collapsed disks, spinal cysts, UTIs, incontinence, meatballs, diarrhea, constipation, yeast infections, ear infections, chronic reverse sneezing, mites, laryngeal paralysis, lung aspiration with potential lung lobe removal, broken toenails, daily regurgitation, happy tail, tail amputation, anal gland infections, hot spots, bad teeth, nasal widening, hyperthyroidism, liver damage, cushings, Ehrlichia, tick born infections, arthritis, legs that don’t work, MRIs, Spinal Taps, ultrasounds and x-rays. I’m sure I’m missing about 50 things.
More than once, cancer has been suggested, suspected and or never ruled out. I have never lost my footing. I’ve cried, but I stood strong.
My greatest heath fear for the dogs, especially since the day Melvin walked into my life, is bloat. Melvin is extremely barrel chested, even more than most other labs we’ve met. He eats too fast, drinks too fast and he combines eating and drinking. Every day or night, I press on his stomach to make sure there is no discomfort. He’s a big dude, it’s not always easy to visually see that his stomach is bigger. Bloat is always on my mind and it is the one thing I will say wholeheartedly that I am irrational about.
This week for our 9,436th emergency vet visit, it was found that Melvin had a minor blockage. They were easily able to take care of it and they did x-rays to be sure they got it all. During the x-rays the vet saw far more air in Melvin’s stomach than should have been there and he had air pockets in his intestines. I knew immediately the words that she was going to say so I just said them myself: Does he have bloat? She said: not at this point, but I’m definitely concerned.
I am not sure I breathed or maybe there was no air or maybe I passed out while still having my eyes open. Then I came to and said: No. I refuse bloat. The vet looked at me concerned, worried that I might think it was optional.
The vet said it was reason for concern but not to the point that they should do the procedure to clear the air. He was in a grey area. I brought him home with 10 things to watch for.
Once we got home, I stared him in the eye and said three things. 1. No matter how much time we have, I will love you beyond eternity. 2. If you die, I’ll kill you. 3. Dear bloat, F-off.
While Melvin definitely did not feel good last night he has improved a lot today. We are waiting on the blood work to come back (to also try to answer why he lost six pounds in a month) We will go back later this week to take another look at the air situation, but for now, all is good!