Monday, September 21, 2009

Long Day

Yesterday was a long day for Ava. And not only was it a bad day for her, but because her mom is such an idiot, it was also a long and horrible night the night before. I have been trying to find stuff to feed Ava that she will like, but will also be high calorie and fattening so she will gain some weight. I found this new dog food from Alpo that was chicken in gravy and I thought - perfect. WRONG. I should have known that would tear up her little system; it was waaaay too rich. So, she spent the night before her hospital visit with horrible diarrhea. I wonder what is wrong with me sometimes. I should know better. We are back to bland boiled chicken and scrambled eggs now.

Anyway, we left the house yesterday about 8:45 a.m. and headed up to Massachusetts. Her appointment was at 11:00 and we got there about a half hour early. The hospital at Tufts University is called the Foster Hospital for Small Animals, and the whole campus is actually very beautiful. Here is the front of the hospital:

We spent the first hour with another doctor, where I had to go over all her history again and explain again what exactly has been going on. Which was okay, since I wanted to make sure that all the vets there thought she probably had the same thing. And when I was done, the new vet said she agreed with the original diagnosis, that it was probably an immune-mediated issue.

She said she would take Ava, put a catheter in her leg and wait for the next available time to get her in for her tests. They had to sedate her for both tests - first to take fluid out of her front two knee joints and second to cut off a small section of her ear so they could do a biopsy.

I handed Ava over (I made them take her blanket so she would have something familiar) and then headed outside to wait. They said it could be five hours! I walked around for a while, and then found a park bench to just wait. I napped for a while (haven't been getting good sleep lately) and read a book.

Finally, they called - she was ready to come home.

We finally got out of there about 5:00 p.m. to head home. My poor baby girl was all bruised and swollen. Her ear was bleeding from the biopsy and her leg was swollen all around this lime green tape they had used to cover where they stuck the catheter. She was very happy to see me, though, and all too excited to get the hell out of there. She slept all the way home.

The doctors said I could take the tape off her leg when I got home, so I did that immediately. It was scaring me, how swollen it was, like the tape was cutting off circulation. You can see how swollen it is here:

And that was just from the catheter. Both front wrist joints are also swollen (but not as badly) from them taking fluid out.

Here is a picture of her ear. You can't really see it that well, but they cut just a little snip from the side to test. It's also all bruised behind her ear, not sure why that is.

We have to double our efforts of watching her now and making her wear the cone so she doesn't lick or scratch her new wounds. She is in more pain now, so I have to give her pain medication more often. I hate drugging her up, but she just sounds miserable.

Unfortunately, we won't get results back from the tests for 3-5 days. Another waiting game. Please just keep your fingers crossed that we will hear something conclusive. If they don't see something major in these tests, I have to drive back up later in the week for an ultrasound and echocardiogram.

On a light note, Jackson is the best dog EVER! Poor boy had to stay cooped up in the house for over 10 hours, and he didn't have one accident! And he was so excited to see us when we got home, but as soon as Ava walked in, he very calmly and sweetly went over to her and started sniffing her. It was like he knew she wasn't feeling well and he needed to be careful with her. He is seriously such a sweet dog.


  1. :(
    Keep us all updated and we'll keep wishing for the best.

  2. Hey Heather,

    That just breaks my heart. Poor little baby! Hang in there.

    Sorry I've been kind of out of touch. We just moved this weekend, so I will write you once we get settled.

    Give Ava our love.

    Sarah & Dug Dug