Monday, October 22, 2012

Its Been A Long Six Weeks

That mass on Reyna's belly that was nearly gone when I posted last? It went away. And then it came back with a vengeance. It was barely visible the morning of September 12. By the evening of the 13th it had gone from nothing to a huge mass to a giant hole in Reyna's belly. It didn't behave like any of the masses she's had before. I actually intended to post about it and include some photos but never dug up the motivation to do it. We had an appointment with Dr. L already scheduled for the 15th - the first thing he said when he saw it was "Oh, crap!" Never a good thing to hear from the vet... The second thing he said was "You need to go to the vet school." So we did.

Reyna ended up having a CT scan done at the vet school. They were so bewildered by what was happening with her belly that they had Internal Medicine, Orthopedics, Radiology, Soft Tissue Surgery, Dermatology and Neurology (a vet on rotation) all examining her and looking at the scans. All they really determined was that the drainage tract goes from her belly straight towards her hip implant. Unfortunately, the artifact from the implant made it impossible to see where the drainage tract stopped. The implant looked good, so they don't think its the problem. They do think its possible that all of this could be caused by a piece of suture, one of the wires around her femur, or some random foreign body. The major concern is infection getting in through the drainage tract and causing trouble with the implant. Their recommendation is exploratory surgery when there's another active mass. They would follow the drainage tract to wherever it goes and hope to find the piece of whatever that's causing the problem. They did admit that its also possible they might never find the cause, no matter how hard they look. Isn't that reassuring? I'm holding on to the hope that this was the last mass and that the reason it was so different from all the others is that whatever caused all this trouble has finally worked its way out of Reyna's body.

While Reyna was dealing with her drama, Duncan was having his own issues. He had the two seizures after I got home from my trip, and then 19 days later, another seizure. Interestingly enough, Kodiak actually alerted me to this one. I was in bed and almost asleep when I heard Kodiak give one sharp, deep bark. I've never heard him bark quite like that before. When I got to the living room, Duncan was in the midst of a grand mal. He was on the rug, so its a good bet that I never would have heard him. Unfortunately, he had another one the next day, giving him two within 16 hours. He made it 21 days after that. This past Friday, Duncan had three grand mal seizures within 20 hours. Kodiak alerted me to the one that happened just after midnight. I'm so glad Kodiak has turned into Duncan's seizure-alert dog. These were particularly hard on Duncan - he didn't really get back to normal until today. He had a lot of trouble walking over the weekend, running into walls and furniture, not really in control of his back end. Sunday, he woke me up at 4am screaming at the living room wall. I have no idea what brought that on, but it certainly increased my level of worry. Duncan has an appointment with a neurologist at the vet school next Monday. Hopefully something useful will come of that.

To add to the fun, Kodiak pretty much lost his mind this weekend, thanks to the stress of Duncan's seizures. He spent Friday evening flipping between cute and Cujo. He went after both Reyna and Duncan several times during the evening and even growled at me twice. Interestingly enough, he didn't try to bother Duncan during the last seizure. Mixed in with the bad moments were "I'm sorry I'm psychotic" cuddles. He was calmer Saturday morning, but I could tell that it wouldn't take much to push him over the edge. Sunday wasn't much better, which meant we didn't get to go to the herding trial that I'd really been looking forward to. He's done well tonight, only threatening to go after Reyna once, which I shut down pretty quickly. If Duncan can stay seizure-free for a few days, Kodiak should be back to his normal mildly-psychotic self soon. I really never thought Reyna would be the sane dog of the bunch....

Some good critter news - Belle has regained most of the use of her back leg. She still has spots with no feeling, but she's walking almost normally - the foot isn't dragging and the toes aren't knuckling under. No idea why the improvement suddenly happened after nearly three months, but I'll take it.

On the human side of things, I was offered the position that I interviewed for right before I went to New Jersey. I started on October 8. Finally, a permanent job with full benefits and paid time off. To make it even better, its only 11 minutes from my house via back roads. I don't have to sit in traffic any more and a week of work only takes a quarter of a tank of gas.

I think that covers all the important stuff that's happened lately. If I think of something else, I'll be back...


Anonymous said...

You are the strongest person I know when it comes to pet care. I would have given up on Belle months ago and boy would I have been wrong. Sorry about the health related cycles for the dogs but again you manage to stay focused, deal with the issues and give them the best care ever. So glad for you and the new job deserve any and all breaks. Mary B.

Anonymous said...

That's DO deserve any and all breaks!!!!!
:)Love, Mom

FiveSibesMom said...

Congrats on the job! So sorry both of your babies are having such a hard time...I hope you get some good and helpful news from the vet school. Will be thinking of you and hoping for some positive news. Stay strong and sending you all positive vibes.