November 15th, 2010

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Crianza update

So, on Saturday, things were grim-ish. Crianza's leg was really swollen from the fluids, and she was having trouble walking and didn't like me touching her. But as the day went on, she started feeling better about things.

I was still giving her pedialyte via syringe, and she seemed to actually not mind that much. After cleaning her up a bit, I left her alone for the most part, and I think she sort of appreciated that.

Sometime around eight or so, I carried her outside to pee. She peed, and then she pooped, and then she told me that she was going to walk back in on her own. I was overjoyed to hear it, and then, joy of joys, she went to her waterbowl and drank water on her own! After that, she decided she was going to my bed and she hopped up on her own. I started feeling much better about things.

The closing night party for Graham's film festival was that night, and I wanted to go to support him. Claudia came over so we could all ride over together, and Crianza was happy enough to bark a little when she came and she even licked Claudia's hand.

She wasn't out of the woods, though. She'd moved on to a frightening "throw up water" stage. And it happened almost every time she moved. And it wasn't really throwing up as it was "allowing water mixed with a little mucus to fall out of her mouth". I think her stomach got so small it doesn't hold much right now, so the back up comes right on back up.

Still, I went to the party, and I had a good time, though Graham was in full festival mode and couldn't really talk all that much. I came home, and we went outside again to pee, and we went to bed.

When Graham came home at some ungodly hour of the morning, she threw up all over him. I never got back to sleep after that, because I kept on listening for her.

Sunday, I devoted to her. By and large, we spent most of the day watching football and movies. I gave her some pedialyte at various points throughout the day, and I think she threw up 3/4 of what went down. But we got into a routine. Jose and Claudia came over to visit. And Graham was able to finally get off work at a reasonable hour and spend the evening with us.

We all went to bed at around 9:00 last night, but I never really got any rest. At around ten, she got up and went to the waterbowl. Then there were various bouts of throwing up. Graham got up at 4:00ish, having had more sleep than the last few nights combined. He moved into the TV room so she'd have more room on the bed. I kept track of which pillow cases needed to be washed. I don't think she ever got a good night's sleep, either, as she seemed to move around quite a bit. At some point she joined Graham in the TV room. I think I slept from 6:00 to 8:00 am.

I called the vet when I woke up, and she said that we needed to get a better ultrasound to see what was going on inside. I called into work and said I didn't know when I'd be coming in.

So off to the Gulf Coast Animal Hospital for a radiologist consult. The last time I was in that building was when Athena died, and the last time Crianza was there was when she ate 17 of Relampago's heart medications. I'm very glad that this hospital is here, but I very much never want to go there.

Crianza was in fairly fair spirits this morning, all things considered. Though in the last 12 hours or so, she'd developed a snotty runny nose. Everyone thinks it's probably because of aspirated vomit and she's not coughing at all, but pneumonia is yet another thing to worry about. She hopped off the couch to get her leash put on, she hopped into the car to go to the vet. She had no trouble walking, though she was going a little slow. She waited patiently while I checked into the hosptial, and she hopped on to the chair next to mine in the waiting room. One of the other wait-ees told her she was pretty. The vet tech came and asked a bunch of questions about what was going on. I answered them as best I could, and then she went away and I went home.

I cleaned up the house a bit, washing a variety of pillows, blankets and pillowcases, and then took a nap on the couch with the phone nearby and Celosa on my stomach. Celosa has been ridiculously awesome throughout this. At around one, my vet called to ask if we'd heard anything. At around one forty, the hosptial called and said that I could pick her up.

I talked with the vet tech for awhile and got a copy of the discharge summary. They didn't find anything in the ultrasound that could tell us what was wrong. The pancreatitis from a few days ago was gone. There's a tiny nodule on her liver that could be something, but maybe not. A few lymph nodes are flared, but that could be just a result of all the throwing up. Her small intestines are inflamed. There's a bit of liquid but not much else in her colon. She's lost even more weight; she's about 20 pounds now, when she weighed 29 in April.

They recommended taking a look at her lungs to make sure there's no pnemonia, and they recommended re-doing her bloodwork again to make sure that the liver and kidney functions are still normal. There was talk about maybe doing an endoscopy for further examination of the inestinal track, and maybe taking a biopsy, but that's down the road. And there's a slight chance of maybe Addison's disease (though I don't think she shows that many of the symptoms based off a websearch.)

I took her back to my vet at around two thirty or so, and we talked over some of this stuff. She'll get the x-ray and bloodwork, and they're going to be a little more aggressive in feeding her, to try to get that system working again. She'll be back on fluids, and she'll probably get a new antibiotic for the respiratory thing. If there's inflammation, maybe steroids?

And we'll see.

Graham's insisting on my sleeping tonight. And honestly, it will be a little easier without having to worry so much about Crianza's every breath. I haven't really had a good night sleep since at least Halloween, in part because of Crianza and in part because of the crowings of a young, time dyslexic rooster that lives in the yard behind ours. I may have heard Graham arguing with the rooster at four this morning when he took Crianza out for a pee.

Geek night is also at our house tonight, and we're watching Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Celosa will be overjoyed to have all her friends come over to play with her, and I think it'll be nice for Graham and I to have the company and support of our friends, too.

I can't help but think that she's turning a corner soon. As grim as all the news has been and as frustrating as the lack of a diagnosis has been, she's not lost her spirits entirely, and she seems to want to do what she can to get better. I take heart in the fact she's seeking out water. I take heart in the fact that she's walking on her own. I know how weak she is, but she still wants to do things herself. These things tell me she doesn't want to give up.

So I won't give up on her. And hopefully by Christmas, she'll be insisting that we give her more food so she can put the weight back on.

Thank you all for the kudos and kind words and suggestions. It means a lot to us, and I tell her about each and every one.

UPDATE: Just got off the phone with the vet. Chest looks really good, but we're still not sure where the runny nose is coming from. She threw up, but she'd been force fed, so the vet's not that surprised. One liver element is up, so they're changing the antibiotic protocol a bit to account for that. Her electroyltes are a little out of whack but they should be stabilized soon. Otherwise, the bloodwork is pretty normal. There's one white cell line that's slightly elevated, but nothing exciting. Again, she's a medical anomoly. One of the vet techs at her clinic called her the Medical Mystery Dog when she came in this afternoon.

Things that have been eliminated as far as I can tell:
Something wrong with kidneys
Something wrong with heart
Something wrong with lungs
Soemthing wrong with blood
Most cancers in the intestinal system
Pancreas seems to have settled down
Maybe weird liver thing, but very small evidence of that
Something wrong with the spleen would generally be accompanied with pain, no evidence of that

They're putting her on another anti-vomiting medicine tonight. Hopefully she can keep food down and get the digestive system working again.