Friday, July 22, 2011

sickly doggie baby

Tuesday afternoon our sweet baby dog (Iliana) seemed to get very sick very quickly.  She had a recheck appointment at the vet later on that evening, but by 3:30pm it was apparent that she was not going to make it to that 6pm appointment.  I called the vet and they had us come in right away.

Iliana is 10 years old and has had struggles with anxiety, aggressiveness (towards her sister dog) over food, problems with stomach upset, and several other ongoing issues that have sent us back and forth to the vet for the past few years.  We knew that stress was triggering our girl to get upset tummies and to do anything to be with us when we prepped to leave the house.  The anxiety got so bad a few months ago that we had to put her on medication. 

The problems on Tuesday including diarrhea and vomiting at the same time.  Yikes!  It got so bad that I could not control it, and off to the vet we went.  After about three hours of tests they determined (from x-ray) that her liver was enlarged and that she was testing positive on a CPL test (alerting us to an issue with the pancreas).  The vet gave her an injection of an antibiotic, told us she likely had Cushing's Disease, told us to buy some Prilosec to give her on a daily basis, and to follow up with the ultrasound tech to confirm this disease.

Kind of in shock, I left the vet - just accepting what they said, doing what they said, and not thinking things were too serious.

When we got home Iliana tanked up on water (like she always does) and I gave her the Prilosec.  Within minutes she was projectile vomiting.  She continued to throw up (every 15 - 20 minutes) until 9pm.  At 7:30pm we called the vet and told them about the vomiting.  They told us to take her off food and water and try the Prilosec again in the morning...

At 10:30pm she started dry heaving again.  At this point, the hubs decided we needed to get her to the ER.  The more we Googled, the more nervous we got.  I feared she had pancreatitus, and reading about pancreatitus you can learn that it can get so severe that it can be deadly.  We called the doggie ER and told them we'd be on our way.

They took us straight back to a room and took Iliana to another room.  They started running tests on her as quickly as they could, while I pulled out the arsenal of paperwork to document what was done earlier in the day and all of the bottles of pills that she's been on recently.  The Dr. examined her and quickly told us that they suspect she had pancreatitus and Cushing's Disease - all signs pointed to "yes".  They admitted her to the ICU and promised they'd take good care of her.  They told us we could call and check in on her throughout the night and that they'd be in touch by 10am the next morning.

Wednesday we had a long (3 hour visit) at the Doggie ER. Illy was diagnosed with all of the following: Severe Acute Pancreatitus, a tumor on her spleen, an enlarged liver, enlarged adrenal gland, kidney stones, a heart murmur (grade 4), bladder infection, UTI, and they are 90% certain she has Cushing's.


The doctors took their time to explain everything to us and talk to us about what the future would look like with a sweet baby that has Cushing's disease.  Hopefully with the right medication and a watchful eye she can live a happy and relaxed remainder of her life.  It's hard to digest it all when you look back and all of the symptoms she has had over the year are now screaming out "DUH!  Hello, why did you not notice this before!"  I feel so bad that she has been suffering with this Cushing's disease for who knows how long, and we've been treating the individual symptoms, but never seeing the big picture.

Thinking about all of this cannot help us think how we'd feel if this same situation happened to our human baby.  It's been so hard to handle the fact that a living creature is suffering because you cannot read their symptoms and get them the treatment that they need to feel better.

Illy kept down food for 12 hours without getting sick, and this afternoon we got to bring her home.  She is on quite a few medicines and a special diet.  They will recheck her on August 4th and will talk to us about the treatment plan for the Cushing's once the pancreatitus has settled down.
Please keep us in your prayers.  I feel so guilty for not pushing harder with vet #1 to get her some anti nausea medication then and there and taking their response to our alarm when we called.  I felt helpless then, but I knew something was not right.  It's difficult when you put your trust in someone else's judgement to help you make a decision over a helpless living being.  However, I know that if everything had not played out the way that it did, we might not have ended up at the ER vet on Tuesday night and Illy might not be laying here sleeping on the bed right this minute.

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