Sunday, July 20, 2014

Day 1678

I keep looking at the last happy picture I took of Dot. Although she was just being transferred from one vet to another, she thought she was going home. Her tail was tucked under because she was still in pain, but she was happy. Dot's eyes practically sparkled as she was eagerly awaiting me to close the tailgate and get out my car keys. I'm so sorry to have disappointed her. Happy dogs make me happy and I am still sad.

We don't know much more than we did yesterday. The good news is that Dot is still alive. The bad news is that her medical team still isn't sure what is causing all the problems. I was afraid that we wouldn't hear anything at all until Monday morning, but we were surprised and delighted to receive a call today from her internal medicine specialist with an update on Dot's condition. I had initially thought that the specialist would leave Dot under the care of her support team during the weekend, but she was in the hospital herself on a Sunday morning, examining Dot and working on a diagnosis.

She told us that based on everything she knew so far, she suspected that Dot's problems originated in her liver. She thought Dot was stable and would make it through the weekend, but she still wasn't eating. This is bad. We won't know anything more until they do an abdominal ultrasound scan on Monday morning to check for hidden tumors, but there are strong signs that Dot may have acute Hepatitis, or even worse, Liver Cancer. I know a lot about Hepatitis after spending the past 30 years living with Hepatitis-C. Hepatitis can be managed and in many cases, completely cured. There are far fewer options available if you have Liver Cancer. For dogs, surgery is just about the only option, since organ transplants for dogs are still just a far-fetched fantasy. We lost Greta to Liver Cancer. We found the best surgeon available and elected to do the surgery, but it didn't work. Greta died four days later. She never even made it out of the hospital. I don't think I could subject a dog to that ever again.

I am not an emotional person, but a sick dog can still make me cry. It was hard to spend the day waiting, knowing that there was absolutely nothing we could do. I will be up at the hospital as soon as it opens tomorrow morning to visit Dot. All I can do though is hold her and hope. The next steps are up to Dot and her team of doctors. I was encouraged to hear the specialist tell me that she thought  Dot wasn't as depressed today as she was yesterday. She is still alert and engaged. That's a good sign, because she hasn't given up yet. Her incontinence appears to have stopped as well. The nurses take her out every four hours so she can pee normally. The doctor was even going to go to the store after we talked this morning and buy some fresh chicken for Dot to see if she could entice her to eat again.

I'm a worrier, but I really wish I wasn't. Worrying only leads to further worrying. I went to the gym today and cleaned all the water off the roof yesterday afternoon, knowing that lots of physical activity makes me tired. Maybe if I'm really tired, I will sleep better tonight. All I did last night was worry about Dot. Thanks for your support. It means a lot.

Lady Jane is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day