23 April 2008

Dog may be seriously ill

Took her to vet hospital today bcs her conjunctivitis was better but she kept literally rubbing her upper eyelid bloody even with the Elizabethan collar and, as it turns out, the muscles on the left side of her head are very atrophied, she has huge depressions where the muscles should be (masseter is practically gone!) and GUESS WHO DIDN'T NOTICE IT AT ALL?? The vet asked "When did this atrophy start?" and the house git replied "What atrophy??" AM AN IDIOT! I cannot believe I didn't see it, she's been wearing the collar and I have been mostly looking at her eye but God, what bleeding git fails to notice something this blatant?? I'm in vet school, FFS!

All her neurological reflexes are normal so the vet thinks thinks it's the 5th nerve, and even that one is only showing motor deficit, not sensory. So we'll x-ray her tympanic bullae (the bone compartment where the middle ear is, with the ossicles) tomorrow bcs she was diagnosed with an ear infection last week. I asked the vet if it could be Horner's since she has ptosis and enophtalmos (droopy upper lid and sunken globe) and a puffy lower lid but she said no bcs there's no miosis (pupils are symmetrical) but I thought Horner doesn't necessarily cause everything at the same time and miosis may be almost undetectable at times and isn't anisocoria affected by room light anyway? BUT WHAT DO I KNOW, obviously nothing. God, IDIOT! The weird thing is, it wasn't there on Friday when she was last seen by a doctor, how can it happen so fast?? I suppose I'm rooting for Horner's bcs that would, in this context, point towards a middle ear infection and not something worse but that doesn't explain the V nerve being affected - or maybe it does, am not so brill with neurology. I am, of course, afraid of a brain tumour but if she had one, which could cause her fits, and considering that the brain can't really be displaced, there would be symptoms by now and she doesn't have any, only the infrequent seizures (3 in a year and a half). And even though only her left ear is affected and that's the only one she's rubbing both her eyes sorely lack tears now (5 mm/min as per STT, should be 15 minimum) - bizarre. Of course, there's all sorts of things that can go wrong neurologically and those are the ones tying my stomach into a knot right now. So I'll drop her off and she'll be an absolute mess bcs she starts shivering the moment she enters the hospital, not only bcs she lived there as a puppy for far too long but also bcs the last few visits have been decidedly unpleasant and I can only imagine what separation anxiety on top of that will do to her, and then she'll be anaesthetised and x-rayed while I sit a few meters away in my fish class, learning how to ID all different fishes IN CASE I'M EVER CALLED TO TESTIFY IN COURT THAT NO, THAT WASN'T REALLY DOVER SOLE, while my dog is all alone and scared and bloody hell I cannot even miss this class bcs I was ill and have to make up for all the practical classes I missed or I'll be forced to take lab exams and shoot me now bcs I don't even know how to cope with the ones I already have, let alone ones where I have to count fin rays and little fishy teeth. I need to find a solution bcs her being alone in the beginning is not even the worst bit, the worst will be when she wakes up and finds herself in that cage again [worst nightmare scenario for her] and I'm not there so she'll fear having been abandoned yet again. I need to find a class whose schedule is compatible to mine so I can swap.

Please keep your fingers crossed for her, she's such a good, sweet dog, everyone loves her. She had such a hard life start, she lived 2 months in a cage at the hospital with a broken, unrepaired leg joint bcs she was a street puppy and the hospital doesn't do pro bono, she's had enough, this must NOT be anything serious, I will not have it.

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PS - Have turned my entire schedule upside down, only took an hour to figure it all out, but if I spread myself over all the 6 groups our year is divided into I will manage to attend all make-up classes, not miss any news ones and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, be with Papoila tomorrow. Oof!

UPDATE: Her tympanic bullae are fine (7 x-rays needed for 2 good ones, never knew it was so hard to x-ray the bloody things!), no sign of otitis anywhere so it's probably an auto-immune reaction, and probably caused by the vaccination on Friday (7 in one and there you go, something's gone wrong). She was briefly examined by the Big Boss himself who happens to be the Neurology expert as well and he too thinks it's something affecting the roots of the trigeminal only. Dog still itchy but artificial tears helping some, and now I'll procure some tennis balls again for physiotherapy. Her head has been photographed and I'll do it every week to see if the atrophy is improving (only possible outcome in my mind), and I also asked the vet is she could take Neurobion and she said it couldn't hurt. The hardest thing was not feeding her last night after the general anaesthesia and holding out water till the evening (we were in hospital from 9 till half 4, I wanted to scream by the time we could finally leave), but she's had some food now and is wagging her tail in the sun. She's still exhausted from yesterday, poor thing, didn't even wake up right away when I walked into the living-room, but she's still a very happy dog and SHE WILL BE FINE BCS I SAY SO. I met a colleague yesterday who had seen her the day bfr pre-diagnosis and she was shocked at that atrophy and said "When did that happen?? You couldn't tell at all when she was wearing the collar!" But that only makes me feel marginally better.

9 furballs:

Udge said...

Well, I am very sorry to hear this. I hope that Papoila is not as ill as you fear, and that you may both be running on the beach again soon.

Anonymous said...

How is she???
Thinking of you both,
V.

JoeinVegas said...

Oh, good luck with the dog, and the fishes.

Tia V said...

Thank you for the update -- I don't understand vet-speak, but it sounds better than the worst we were imagining, so I'll choose to be comforted.

xxoo

Kelley said...

You are a wonderful puppy mummy. Hope she is up and running around happily soon.

José said...

O "Em casa de ferreiro, espeto de pau" não é pejorativo. Ninguém é verdadeiramente profissional em casa.
Claro que a Papoila vai ficar bem!
Bom fds, aproveite o sol.

brooksba said...

Oh! I am so sorry to hear that Papolia is not feeling perfect and I know how scary it can be for you. My thoughts are with you and I hope the atrophy does get better because that's what needs to happen. Thinking of you.

Diana said...

She will certainly be fine because what disease process would dare go against you?

Leischmaniosis? Only her; only you. But it's treatable, yes? It is in humans from what I recall (I've never seen it except the gorey pictures in books.)

Many, many kisses to all of you. What a horrible month.

CarpeDM said...

Thank you for the update. I am now thinking very firm thoughts that she will just be fine and I will watch her frolic on the sand again. And that's now what I am imagining now and laughing about how she blends in with the sand and raced around and around and my God, I miss Portugal.

Lisbon was mentioned on How I Met Your Mother last night. It made me think of you