Friday, March 06, 2015

Update Post-Vet Visit

SUMMARY: Anemic.

Yes, Tika's breathing is labored as I noticed at home particularly last night. But the doc says that her lungs sound clear, despite still having a lot of fluid in her abdomen. Means that probably the right side of her heart is doing worse that the left side, because the left side more likely causes fluid in the lungs.

Her heart rate is much better than it has been in recent visits--I said that's probably because she's out in the car having the vet check her instead of in the office.

No, there's no sign of infection in her mouth--in some ways, darn it, as we could have thrown antibiotics at it.

When he took her inside for a blood draw and brought her back out immediately, he said that she was very good and probably the sedation contributed--I said, there is no sedation, I didn't give her a pill this time, that's all her deteriorating health.

Yes, her gums are pale. OMG they're almost white this morning; last night they looked pale to me, but not white.  So--very anemic.

And now, back home, I'm realizing that I'm recognizing the symptoms of anemia from when Rem had his cancer and it would rupture and start bleeding out. Lethargy, staggering when trying to walk after first standing up, lying there and looking around as if in a fog.

So we're doing a blood test. It might give us something useful. For example, if her organs are closing down, then that could cause the anemia and there's not much that we can do--it's been a long time coming.

But if all it shows is that she's anemic, we're back to the question of--how much testing do we do to figure out what exactly is causing it? On a 14-year-old dog with congestive heart failure who has outlived her predicted lifespan by two years?

But also, how quickly will the results come in, and will it be too late by then?

Vet says that he looks particularly at four things: Can the dog eat, drink, pee, and poop on their own or with minimal help from me? Then they might not be done yet. But it's becoming an observational game, I think, as in, is her quality of life good?

She has yet to miss greeting me at the garage door when I get home (except when she's been somewhere where she couldn't hear it.) That includes last night, even after not wanting to eat much, not wanting to walk much, and mostly just lying there. One of the other dogs bumped into her, though, and she droopped to the ground-- but, still, she was there.

I'm not sure whether that's enough. As of yesterday, she hasn't wanted to come up the steps to the couch where I spend most of my home time now, so she's a bit isolated--although she was always pretty independent and often spent her time outside or in another room anyway.

Soooooo,waiting for blood test results, some of which might be available this evening.

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