a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Jake foot update/Remington Suddenly Sick

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Jake foot update/Remington Suddenly Sick

This hasn't been a good month for my dogs.

Jake foot updateJake has been resting--sort of--and he doesnt seem to be bothered by his foot at the moment. Plan is supposed to be 2 weeks of no intense activity (monitored/on leash/in crate) although after 2 days of that I went nuts, so now I just try to keep an eye on him & keep him subdued but he still has free run of the yard; followed by 4 weeks of gradually increasing activity to get back to full level if the foot continues to be pain-free.

He's on glucosamine & that's all at the moment.

Remington became very ill last night. Something like what we saw down at West Valley 2 months ago--no energy or enthusiasm, refusing food, severely dehydrated. He seemed fine in the morning on our walk, although we didn't do anything really active, and he wolfed down his breakfast.

Around 5:00, though, before dinnertime he was quite listless. No interest in practicing agility or even doing tricks, his favorite. Refused regular dinner, took a couple of treats reluctantly, but slurped down the half a jar of babyfood I offered. As the evening progressed, though, he refused all food and drink, and he would stand hunched over, sometimes just standing in the middle of the patio for 15 or 20 minutes at a time looking miserable, sometimes right against my feet (as you might know, he's not a real snuggly dog usually) and standing up, lying down, standing up, lying down, turning around--and when he did lie down for a few minutes at a time, he just whined under his breath with every breath--and he's such a stoic about pain & discomfort, I knew he had to be hurting real bad. His gums looked like he was working on being dehydrated again, as he was in August.

I finally took him in to the emergency room. They gave him fluids and ran some tests. Ruled out gopher poison (which I was afraid he'd encountered while digging yesterday--I don't know what previous owners might have left in the ground). Signs of internal bleeding, though; temperature very low, heart enlarged & probably fluid filled with maybe some unusual mass, heartbeat very rapid, severely dehydrated.

Cardiologist/oncologist have him now. Lots of fluid around his heart, which they're going to drain a little to try to reduce his rapid heartbeat & relieve some of his discomfort from lack of blood/oxygen. Ultrasound this a.m. seems to show a foreign mass on his heart. They're waiting now for the radiologist to come in and do another ultrasound to confirm, and they're going to do various tests on fluids & certain tissues to determine what's going on.

If the doctors' suspicions are confirmed by these additional views & tests, Remington probably has a tumor on or next to his heart, which can probably be relieved for some number of months by chemotherapy but which almost undoubtedly can't be operated on with any better results or removed in any way. Worst case, vet thinks, is maybe he's got only a few months left.

I might be jumping the gun by sending this message now--maybe all the tests will show something benign and easily treated--but emergency room vet & today's vets so far have been anything but encouraging.

Sooooo Remington will not be in class this week and I'm pretty sure I'll be pulling him from the trial this weekend.

So far Tika remains healthy. Jake & she seem worried & subdued this morning, though, with Remington having vanished from the scene.

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