Sunday, July 22, 2012

Let's Not Do This Again

Last Saturday was a good day. Sunday was quiet, which makes it good. Monday was a little disappointing because Kodiak's lesson was cancelled due to weather, but otherwise it was fine. I don't really remember anything about Tuesday, so it must not have been bad. The week went to hell starting Wednesday, though.

I woke up that morning to discover Belle dragging her right rear leg. She couldn't move it at all and her foot was knuckled under. I had an early meeting that morning but I managed to get in touch with the project manager and get my portion pushed back so that I could take her to the vet. Poor Belle was in significant pain from the middle of her back down and had no feeling in her right rear leg. Her pads were warm, though, which indicated that she still had circulation in the leg. The vet took a couple of x-rays and ruled out trauma (hard to get hit by a car when you don't leave the bedroom), a spinal tumor and a ruptured disc. The current thinking is that the problem could be a soft tissue tumor or a slightly damaged disc, neither of which would show up on an x-ray. The vet said that if its a damaged disc, it could take a month for her to get back to normal. And the longer she goes without the use of her leg, the less likely she is to regain full mobility. They gave Belle a shot of steroids to try and reduce any inflammation and sent her home with pain meds. She's been living in the spare room since Wednesday evening, which lets her stay quiet and allows me to monitor her eating, drinking and litter box use.

When we got home Wednesday evening, I discovered that Duncan had some trouble outside. Courtesy of the anti-seizure meds, he can't balance himself properly when he poops which means he occasionally ends up with it on his fur. And then he comes inside and sits down. Wednesday, he apparently sat in several places in the living room and kitchen. If Reyna's behavior was any indication, he also sat on her favorite bed. After cleaning up the mess and getting everyone fed, I decided to blow up my air mattress so I could sleep in the spare room with Belle. Turns out the air mattress had a not-so-slow leak. I ended up sleeping on a pallet of every spread and blanket I could find. Not much padding for a hard wood floor, but I managed to sleep well enough.

Belle wasn't too inclined to come out of her carrier, so she just pulled everything towards her.

Everyone was up early Thursday, as usual. No improvement with Belle's leg, unfortunately, but she was eating, drinking and peeing, which are all good signs. Shortly before I left for work, Reyna decided she wanted to let me scratch her belly. I thought I saw something that looked off, so I got her positioned for a good look at her belly. I couldn't believe it - she had two masses in the exact same spot as all the masses we dealt with last summer and fall. One had already ruptured and had the same type of drainage tract; the other hadn't yet ruptured. I took a couple of pictures and sent them to Dr. L. According to him, we have three options. 1 - Exploratory surgery to see if they can finally find the problem (nope). 2 - Expensive tests to see if they can finally find the problem (nope). 3 - Antibiotics to prevent infection from setting in while the open sores heal (only choice I can afford). Since the vets couldn't find the cause of the masses when they first appeared, I have serious doubts they'd find it this time. So, Reyna gets a month of antibiotics and we all cross our paws and hope these two masses are the only ones.

Thursday evening, I discovered that Duncan had a grand mal seizure shortly before I arrived home. Between the altered behavior and the very large puddle of saliva on the kitchen floor, there's no doubt about it. He made it 28 days this time.

Friday evening, as I was leaving work, I was rear-ended while sitting at a red light. The good part is that the woman who hit me wasn't going fast enough to do much damage to the truck. The bumper is a little scratched up, but not enough to worry about fixing. The way I was sitting when she hit me left me little sore, but again, nothing major. Just the icing on the cake for the week. I decided on the way home that I would go to Wal-Mart Saturday morning (I'd been putting it off all week) and then the house would go on lockdown. I'm more than a little afraid of what's going to happen next.

Rather than try to walk, Belle has been doing a very impressive beached whale impersonation. She'll lay down and then flop herself over or drag herself with her front paws to her food plate or water bowl. The only way I can get her up is by irritating her into trying to get away from me. In her defense, its hard for her to maneuver and if her foot snags on something she can't easily free it. I watched her try to turn around in her litter box a little while ago, and instead of turning she fell because her leg got twisted under her. Its pitiful to watch, but there's not much else I can do. Belle seems to have regained some feeling in the upper part of her leg and I occasionally see her trying to sling the leg around. There's still no feeling in her foot below the heel and the pads have been cool since Thursday night. Its hard to gauge just how uncomfortable she is, but she definitely does not like me checking either back leg. She's been worse about that today (Sunday) than the last couple of days. She's eating less each day and she hasn't pooped since Wednesday evening (an accident in her carrier), neither of which is good.

This shot doesn't show how far Belle's foot knuckles under when she moves, but it gives you an idea. If she can't get it under her, it just sticks out behind her when she stops moving.

I set the room up so that I can keep the door open (I don't like being unable to hear if one of the pups has trouble during the night) and the pups have been fascinated by being so close to one of the cats. Except Kodiak, of course - he's still nervous about being that far down the hall. When I go to sleep, Reyna is guarding the door. When I wake up, its to see Duncan keeping an eye on us.

I don't know what's going to happen with Belle. I do know that I am so very, very ready for this string of bad days to be completely over.


Anonymous said...

Hey babe,
I know you are ready for these bad days to be over. They'll get better....I just don't know when....but I am keeping you and all the furries in my prayers. Here's for a better and calmer week coming up. Love you!!!!
:)Love you, Mom

John said...

Poor babies...sorry about all the heartache this week and yeah, the rear-ending was the icing on the cake. Thankfully there wasn't any significant damage to you or the truck.

Molly The Wally said...

We hope this week is a god one for you. Happy Monday to you all.
Best wishes Molly

Blue said...

What a week! I hope things improve this week.
Tailwags Finn

ra husky said...

Sending all our pawsitive huskerboo vibes,

RA, Isis & NanĂ¼k