Monday, December 17, 2007

Doggie post

Meet Dylan, my four-legged baby, otherwise known as The Beast. He has been talked about here before and there have been pictures of him here and here too. He is a black Labrador Retriever and turned 10 years old this past November. He is one of the sweetest dogs you could ever meet. He is a big dog and has a big bark which has not helped the myriad of migraines that I seem to be afflicted with on a semi-regular basis.

When Dylan was six, he was diagnosed with Diabetes. For the past four years I have scheduled my life around his insulin shots. He can only eat special dog food designed for diabetics and he gets two shots a day, 12 hours apart. When he was first diagnosed he was a nice big lab and weighed in at around 110 pounds. Now he is down to around 84 pounds.

After the second year of changing the amount of insulin every couple of weeks I asked the doctors if they could look to see if there was something else wrong with him that could be causing more problems. They said his behavior was normal for diabetics. I felt they were wrong.

Over the past several months, his insulin requirements have jumped dramatically and he has been having more of his “spells”. He has seizures and episodes where he is very wobbly and can’t walk up and down stairs or get up and down from the bed. A few weeks ago I rushed him to the emergency vet at midnight on a Friday night because his eyes looked as if they had sunken into his head. They diagnosed him with something called Horner’s Syndrome, which is a dying of the nerve endings around the eyes and causes the lids to droop.

Last Tuesday, I happened to be home during the day due to a migraine, when he had another episode. I took him to the vet and the new doctor there did some tests that came back relatively normal for a diabetic dog. However, she was very concerned about his constant episodes and wanted to do more testing. Today he went in for an ultrasound of the abdomen and also to have his ears checked. She was planning to lightly sedate him so that she could get a look down deep into his ears, the middle ear, I think.

She called a few minutes ago and said that the ears looked good, except for being dirty (they were just cleaned last week) and a slight infection. The ultrasound showed an abnormal nodule on his spleen. They aspirated it and are going to do a cytology (sp?) on it to see if it is a regenerative tumor or something else. She said that with the regenerative kind, there are normally more than one at a time. She is also concerned that he has a pancreas problem. She said there is a lot of muscle wasting around his head and also in his legs and that the pancreas problem could be causing that because his body is probably not getting enough nutrients from his food to help him and he is literally starving to death.

I’m very concerned about him. I have already lost Jade and my Grandmother and an uncle this year, not to mention my dad’s 16 year old lab. I don’t know if I can take another loss right now. I may be jumping the gun, but I just don’t have a good feeling about this.

As with Jade, I don’t want Dylan to be in pain. He always looks like so sad, but I don’t know if that is the Horner’s Syndrome or if he is in pain. My mum said yesterday that I need to think about how far I’m willing to go to diagnose his issues and treat them. I spend about $250 per month on food and insulin for him. That does not include all the vet trips and tests they have to run to monitor his condition. I know today’s bill is going to be a huge. I will be surprised to get out of there for less than $500.

Well, I just felt like talking about my dog today. Hopefully, these latest tests will reveal the problem and a suitable treatment will be found.




Draven said...

I hope your doggie will be ok... Its so hard when they are sick they cant really tell ya what hurts...

Manic Witch said...

Oh Hunny...
I'm sending healing energies to her AND you. I hope everything turns out ok.

H.R.M. Queen of the Universe said...

Kudos to you for being such a devoted dog mommy. Most people would have put the dog down because of the inconvienence and expense. I know what you mean about once they are not happy, you suffer with them, and start to wonder about the quality of life.