SUMMARY: Bad heart, bad anal gland.
As I reported here, I've been waiting for this morning when we had an ultrasound and follow-up x-ray scheduled for Tika's heart and lungs.
Meanwhile, she' been licking at her anal area. Since she has a history of anal gland abscesses, I checked when she started licking maybe 3 or 4 weeks ago, saw and felt nothing. Checked again a couple of weeks ago, maybe just before the last agility weekend, I'm pretty sure. Nothing.
Set my alarm for 7 this morning so that I could drop her off at the vet's at 8:00 for the various tests. 5 a.m., bam!, she hits the floor with all four feet and assumes the, you know, "about to poop" position. I rush her out to the yard, where she does that for about half an hour, in between stopping and licking.
I took a look--bright purplish red under there. That can't be good.
In short, we never could get back to sleep, as it was bothering her too much and she kept returning to that position. Clearly in a lot of discomfort.
By the time we got to the vet, lots of bleeding, too. Gads. When it rains...
Anyway, vet *thinks* it's just an abscessed anal gland again. Reason I didn't see anything is because the swelling was all inside this time--possibly all the scar tissue from previous infections was keeping it from showing outwardly. We're *hoping* it's just swelling from the infection and not something worse. Vet had to give her local anesthesia to clean it out, then they kept her longer so that he could do it again a couple of hours later.
But on to primary news: Tika's heart is in very bad shape. If she were a human, she'd at least be looking at valve surgery and isn't far from what would require a heart transplant. How she kept going at all is beyond me. So the other heart medications that we thought maybe we'd add gradually as the need arose--? She's now on them.
They didn't bother with the x-ray to check fluid in the lungs--they sound very clear and the heart is the bigger challenge.
There is no way she's going to be doing any more agility. But, because she's an active and eager dog, I'm not going to keep her from running or chasing a ball or playing tug--but we might try to keep it to a minimum. No more long hikes in the mountains, I'm thinkin'. Although she does like those interesting off-leash explorations.
She's now taking antibiotics for the anal gland and diuretic and 2 other meds for her heart. And my checkbook is down another $1200. Gads.
The vet thinks that the heart could give out at any moment, or she could last a year, or maybe longer. But probably not a lot longer.
She's not even 12 yet! I really had hoped for a longer old age for her, as she's been so active and (generally) healthy. Well, it ain't over till the fat lady sings.
Goal is that she's happy, comfortable, not in pain.
And, right at the moment, she is VERY happy to be home and to be having dinner.