Sunday, March 10, 2013

My Favorite Thing Revisited

This is a post I'd never thought I'd be making, at least not for another 7 years. This is My Favorite Thing, originally introduced in this post.

She has always been the picture of health. In 7 years, 9 months, I've NEVER had to take her to the vet outside of shots/well visits...until yesterday.

For the last couple weeks, we've noticed her abdomen increasingly getting larger and her ribs and such sticking out more and more. Finally, this weekend, it was just obvious this wasn't "you're dog is getting older/fatter". She has been scattering her dry food around the house for a few weeks and seemingly eating less and less. She's been very naughty, digging through our trashcans and tearing up anything with food remnants.

Saturday, Joe and I had a talk about her and decided something was definitely not right and she needed to go to the vet. I thought back to when I thought Alex was sick and we didn't know she had diabetes and I waited until the next morning to call the doctor. I decided I was calling the vet right away and not waiting until the weekend was over. They told me to bring her in right away.

Teyla weighed 4 pounds more than she did in January - all fluid in her abdomen.  They did x-rays and came back and said while her heart and her lungs looked good, her abdomen does not. It is so full of fluid they can't see her digestive organs well and there might be a mass there but it's hard to tell. They recommended we do blood work and then an ultrasound once the results were in. They said it could be an infection or a protein problem. They said it could be cancer.

After I brought her home, we decided to run to the pet store and buy her some soft canned dog food high in protein. We put it in her bowl and she ate like she hadn't eaten in a month. She was ravenous and then we felt awful. She was starving in front of us, much like Alex had.  That had to explain all the trash digging that had never been in her nature before.

We waited today in agony for a call from the vet. When he finally called, the news wasn't good. Her liver enzymes and bilirubin levels are high. Her liver is failing. Right now they aren't sure why. It could be an infection, reduced copper stores, liver disease or cancer.

God I hope it's a treatable infection.  I can't imagine losing Teyla right now. I can't imagine losing her at all. But I'm not ready. She is only 7. She is my baby that I brought home at 8 weeks old and became her adopted mom. I taught her to sit, stay, heel, lay down, and come here. I house trained her. I crate trained her. When she was 2 years old, she started sleeping our bed. She is my constant shadow. When everything else is falling apart, she is there. Always.

It didn't sound hopeful over the phone. The vet recommended an ultrasound and a biopsy this week to pinpoint what is going on. And, he said basically once they know, we could stop care at that time unless what they find is treatable. He was kind but not optimistic.

After I hung up the phone, I cried and Teyla came running to put her head in my hand. I don't know what I'll do without her there to calm the storm whenever I need it. And in the past 1.5 years, I've needed it a lot.

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