a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Hour-by-hour update/bad and good

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Hour-by-hour update/bad and good

Just spoke to both the night vet and the doctor at South Bay who's taken over for today.

Rem's blood count had actually dropped to 17 last night just before they gave him a transfusion. 37 is normal; he was 36.9 Monday at 10 a.m.; dangerous range is 15-20 depending on how rapidly the dog is losing blood and how well the body is adusting to the lower levels of red blood cells.

Night vet said Rem tolerated the transfusion very well (dogs can actually have bad reactions to it the first time around, too). She also said that the blood type was a perfect match (they have to see what they have on hand before they can do a transfusion). After the transfusion (which I understand takes about 4 hours), the count was 24. (how many sentences with parenthetical notes can I cram into one paragraph?)

Today's vet is going to recheck his blood count a couple of times today to see whether it's dropping again. She did stick a needle into his chest cavity to confirm that the fluid there is blood. She also saw what I mentioned when I took him in Tuesday evening, that his stool looked dark and maybe he had some bleeding in the intestine. I don't know what else one can do to narrow that down if the abdominal xray didn't show anything (but he was also full of #2 at that time, too--).

She also thinks that maybe this means that the cytoxan isn't having a reasonable effect on the tumor and thinks they might want to give him a dose of adriamycin now instead of waiting til Monday; she's going to try to get in touch with the oncologist today to see whether that makes sense. (I didn't ask but I get the impression the oncologist might be trying to be on vacation?)

If he's still losing blood, they might also give him another transfusion.

Soooo they're expecting to keep him all day today and maybe I can bring him home this evening.

Now I'm going to go over and visit with him for a while again.

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