Saturday, September 19, 2009

Specialists, Emergency Rooms, and Deja Vu

Well, we've had quite a tumultuous few days. I took Ava in to the vet on Wednesday because she started declining again. She had lost more weight and was walking around so gingerly, seeming to be in pain all the time. One of my iggy friends mentioned Lyme's disease, so I looked it up. She had all the symptoms, so I was pretty convinced she had it - possibly caused from her vaccination in May. I had the vet test for it and no such luck. (You know it has to be bad when you are actually hoping for Lyme's disease.)

Our vet was at a loss, so he referred us to Tufts Hospital for Small Animals in North Grafton, Massachusetts. They are a veterinary hospital filled with specialists. We went up there on Thursday, through Emergency (on our vet's recommendation).

After a lot of talking and explanation of her symptoms, the vets there came up with a preliminary diagnosis - immune-mediated polyarthritis. They think that when she originally got the sores on her ears, her body went haywire and started attacking her own body as opposed to her sores. Her joints are inflamed, making it hard for her to walk around, and the immune disorder is causing her ears not to heal.

She had a lot of poking and prodding that day, and eventually got tired of it and snapped at the vet. They had to dig through three boxes to find a muzzle small enough for her, so I present our little Hannibal Lector:

Sad, huh? They sent her home with pain medication and scheduled a follow-up appointment for Monday. I have to take her back (unfortunately, Joe will be working) and get the really expensive tests done to confirm the diagnosis.

After all this, I'm just hoping everything is confirmed on Monday so we can start with the treatment. From my research, it looks like treatment will be Prednizone (a steroid) and she may have to take it the rest of her life. BUT she should go back to the spunky little girl I've missed so much these last couple of months.

So this post is not all bad, I wanted to share some super adorable pictures of the kids lounging around on the couch. (This is where we have been spending much of our time these days.)

Keep sending good thoughts, please! Thank you!

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