Vet visit 10,591.

As Doug’s legs have gotten better, I started noticing that he is having some other issues. My general rule for vet visits is that 1. If it seems like an emergency, it is an emergency and we go right away.  2. If it something shows up (but not a 911) and persists, we go.  Doug’s latest symptoms have shown up, then gone away, then shown up a few weeks later for a day or two, then gone away. So it took me a little while to realize that in this case, persisting was defined a little differently.

  • He throws up. Not daily. Sometimes less than once a week. But enough that I can say ‘regularly’.
  • He has runny poops or poops that start out good then go runny.  This will happen once and then he’ll be fine for a week then it will happen again for maybe two times then not happen again for two weeks. (This one made a little more sense to me. As he has come off tie down and gone back to his normal exploring mode, things go in that shouldn’t).
  • He has a cough. He will cough one day, then not again for a week, then maybe throughout one day, and not again for several days.
  • He rarely has any of these issues at the same time.

All of the above started after his last surgery but also after he came off all his meds and as he was becoming  more active. Then last week he was just off.  He was hyper one day then completely lethargic the next day. And I could tell he was nauseous from the amount of drool he was producing. So off to the vet we went.

Take me to the vet woman. IMG_7171

I listed out all of the things for the vet and I mentioned how he never had any stomach upset with surgery or pain meds and that I thought it was odd that all of this started as he came off meds.

The vet found the timing to be very suspect. All of his symptoms (other than the poop part) could point to his esophagus being irritated during the last surgery when they put in or removed the breathing tube. He felt the on and off again could indicate it healing then flaring, repeat, repeat, repeat. So we started on some meds to coat his digestive tract, some meds to tamper down acid production and some meds to help with the poops. He also got a nausea shot that night and we went home with nausea medication.

The first few days on the meds were just more of the same. But by day 3 or 4, Doug was remarkably better and WAY CRAZIER than usual.  I could tell he was feeling better. The only thing that is persisting is the cough.  I know this cough, Jake had it when he was going through radiation and having anesthesia (and thus a breathing tube) daily.

The next step, since the meds did seem to help, will be to scope him and see whats going on. Is there inflammation in his esophagus?  Is it limited to there or does he perhaps have an ulcer.  Is it something else all together?

The only thing I  know for sure is that getting insurance on Doug is the best things I have EVER done.

I’m gonna take a nap but you need to keep working so you can pay for my insurance. IMG_7352

Doug is my little oddball.

Yesterday, Doug went under anesthesia so that the vet could do X-rays of his mouth and leg. He is missing four teeth (which is odd at his age) and we needed to see if they were impacted. As for his leg, his body is a ball of muscle, except his rear left leg.  It’s much weaker than the other legs and he often holds it up/won’t put weight on it.

The teeth situation is that it seems Doug never had those teeth. There is no sign that he had them and lost them and there are no teeth currently up in there. This is VERY good news.  He’s been having some drooling and pain when chewing so we were very worried this was an issue (that would require a speicalist to deal with). The pain is likely that HE IS SUCH AN INSANE SUPER CHEWER.

As for his leg, there is no indication that there is a bone issue.  His hips look good, his knee looks good too. So it’s likely a soft tissue issue. When they said soft tissue my mind immediately went to Jake who had a soft tissue cancer. But then I quickly pulled myself back. Doug is not even one yet, he’s healthy, it’s a something we can do rehab on and be fine.

I am currently two to three different people at any given time. I’m Jake (and Melvin’s) mom, who is still grieving and who worries when limps present themselves. I’m Doug’s mom who is learning what is it like to have an active, relatively healthy young dog, a role I am not used to yet.  And I’m me, the person who tries to be them both without being too much of either. Stay in the middle Tracey, learn from where you have come but don’t be afraid of where you are going.

True of all of my dogs, Doug was completely out of it all night long and has the explosive poops. He’s mine, all mine.

Why is the room spinning? No really,  make it stop. Is the fire burning my butt? My butt burns too. img_1223

Thank you for all of the well wishes!  We really apprciate it! xoxo

He’s mine.

I have had Doug for two months. We have been to the vet four times. He’s definitely my dog.

Our first time was to just introduce him and see what was up. The second visit he had been super itchy and it was determined he had mites. Third appointment was an ear infection. Fourth appointment, well that one is a little more complicated.

Let’s go back to the very first appointment we had.  After a thorough look-over, the vet informed me that Doug was missing four teeth. Two on top, two on the bottom. Not the same teeth on each side. My question back was: how is that possible?

Reasons could include:

  1. He lost them. But if I got Doug at 8 months old and his gums did not show signs of any post-healing, he would have to have lost them REALLY early.  And four of them?
  2. He never got them, that perhaps genetically, he never had them.  It would be odd but not impossible.
  3. They were still in there and never came down. This scenario would be least favorable.

We decided at the time to take a wait-and-see approach. Last week, Doug was chewing a Kong and he yelped. This didn’t stop him from chewing it, when you are obsessed with destruction, you laugh in the face of pain. After a few more yelps, and very drooly morning, we headed to the vet.

Must keep chewing through the pain to impress pink hippo girlfriend.img_1084

Doug is going to get anesthetized (try to schedule for this week) so that they can determine via X-ray if any of the four teeth are in there. If any are, we will have to see a specialist for removal since it’s not a simple procedure.  Of course the entire time they were telling me this I was 100% certain at least one tooth was in there because this is how my dogs go.

We had pre-surgical blood work done.  Here is the interesting thing about joy and hope. It heals quietly. The last ten (+) times I have had blood work done on dogs was with Melvin and Jake and those results were not good and I knew the moment their blood was drawn it wouldn’t be good. I had been somewhat conditioned that blood draws = bad news. But at no time in waiting for Doug’s results did I worry that his would be anything but healthy.  And they were exactly that, perfect.  It would be easy to think Doug is somehow destined for cancer or illness but when I look at him, I have faith that we will have a long life together.  Maybe a few less (hidden) teeth but still a long life.

While he is under, they are going to x-ray his hind leg too, for some reason, it’s much weaker than the other leg.  Yep, my dog indeed!

Pain meds Doug is very snuggly. img_1034

Sidetone: For all of you praying for our Foster Athena, as of Thursday she was still at the vet battling the infection. We are not going to be getting her back but I will let you know when I hear back that she is on the mend.  Doug and I donated to her care, all we want is for her to heal and find joy.