Tag Archives: veterinarian

Could have been worse…

Maybe this is an age thing, but I think I’ve always loved definitive answers. Even back in my younger days, I thought “no” was a great answer, because it allowed me to forge ahead. It’s that hemming and hawing that drives me crazy.

Maybe this is why I hated the submission process when I was trying to attract traditional publishers. The old, “No response means no” thing does not work for me. No is fine, but tell me that so I can move on.

Today it is about something very different, but I find myself in the same circumstance. To explain it, this photo will help.

That’s a picture of Frankie’s right wrist. I spotted the lump a month ago. Then I did some research. This is what bone cancer looks like, only it isn’t. Bone cancer is one of the worst things that can happen to a dog. They amputate, then the dog fades slowly, and dies anyway.

When we took Otto for his vaccinations, I showed this to Dr. Sessions. She felt it, and asked some questions. She did not think it would turn out to be bone cancer, but thought she should X-ray it to be sure.

Her positive thoughts were that Frankie is only two. She’s extremely active, and bone cancer hurts.

We decided we will not put Frankie through all that. Bulldogs don’t do well on three legs like other dogs can. If she’s happy, we’d let her be happy as long as possible.

We’re not wealthy by a long shot, so we have to budget for these things. We scrimped this pay period so we could get this done. Whatever it is, it is not bone related. This thing is hard as a rock, but has nothing to do with the bone.

I looked at the images myself, and there isn’t even a shadow of a cyst, tumor, or anything. A smart blogger would have had an X-ray image for you.

She wants us to biopsy it anyway. The idea was to watch it for growth or leakage, but we ought to biopsy it to be safe. This means more budgeting, but we’ll get to it.

So it’s a positive outcome, but not a definitive one. It looks like her natural wrist to me, but the lump is not matched on her left side. Could be a birth defect, I suppose.

In other news, I haven’t accomplished much. Frankie has been occupying most of my mental space. Work has also been crazy this week. I owe an author friend some promotion and will try to get to that tomorrow.


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A small update

I’m still not getting anything done. That stresses me out, but life comes up sometimes and we have to deal with it.

Frankie is on the mend. I was at the vet before the sun came up for her ultrasound. The ultrasound is kind of a mixed bag, because there is a chance of no answer at all. The missing part of a toy is either hard rubber or plastic and that rarely shows up on an ultrasound. There are other symptoms that can show up during the procedure.

Our vet was training on the ultrasound, or he was updating his skills, something to that effect. He said he would only charge us about 60% of normal if they could look at Frankie as part of this. That’s a bonus for us right now. I also had the expertise of the trainer to go along with our own vet.

The results: They did not spot the piece of the toy. This is not definitive. The device could have missed it because of its makeup. That leaves us with exploratory surgery, or watching and waiting.

The doctor said they saw no lesions, no hot spots, gas pockets, or anything else that would indicate a foreign body. He recommended the watch and wait method. This drives me nuts, because I like real answers. We discussed the likelihood of this thing passing into her bowel. It is 2.5 to 3 inches long, so it would have to line up perfectly before it could move on. He said he’s removed objects that were in the stomach for six weeks or more.

I asked about the possibility of it digesting, at least in part. He said it would not, but it might lose the bright pink color, or even become softer like old gum. That might make it easier to pass. Or… it isn’t there at all. The only thing we know is she was chewing on the toy and the piece is unaccounted for. For all we know, Otto could have swallowed it, and as big as he is it would likely pass.

Here’s my thought tonight: It isn’t there. However, I wouldn’t like to have an emergency situation while we are out camping a hundred miles from town either.

The aspiration pneumonia happened. Frankie was like a bear rug for a couple of days. She barfed up a piece of cloth about five days ago, something like the tag off a tee-shirt. It’s possible she aspirated some of this, and caused the bigger problem. She got an injection for that yesterday and we brought home some pills for her. Today, she is not her old self, but she is happy and animated. (She’s normally bat-shit crazy, and climbs on the back of furniture like a monkey. I expect my monkey child to be back tomorrow.)

We simply need to be better pet owners than we have been. Frankie is limited to her ball for brief periods and a few Nylabones that she can only get tiny slivers off of. We aren’t ready to turn the whole house into a white-room, but that’s about what she needs.

I was sick all day yesterday too. My nose ran all day, I had chills, aches and pain. I actually went to bed about 7:30 and don’t regret it all. I feel better today.

Some of this put me behind on Lisa Burton interviews. I now have two complete ones to schedule, but it won’t slow down my guests at all. I’ll just have to schedule two of them on Saturday instead of one. Eventually, I’ll get some new words of fiction down.

Back to the paycheck job tomorrow.


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Dialing it in

Today was one of those days. It all started in the middle of the night when Frankie, our bulldog, decided to be sick. About two weeks ago, she decided to swallow a piece of a toy. I know the risks, and this is serious stuff. There is a watching phase, but there can also be an emergency phase. She’s been her normal crazy self this whole time, until last night.

We’ve been on poop patrol for weeks, and no sign of this chunk of toy. Last night she took a tough turn. She tried to vomit, but it didn’t do much more than make her pass out. This has to do with the bulldog breathing system being all squooshed together. We got to the emergency vet sometime after midnight.

A pile of x-rays later, and no determination of anything, they told us to take her home. She spent the rest of the night panting and staring off into space. This morning we ran her to our regular vet. They kept her, did more x-rays, and I have to take her back for an ultrasound tomorrow.

They really can’t see things like plastic or rubber on an x-ray, and there is a pretty good chance it won’t show up on an ultrasound either. The punch line is that the ultrasound will confirm the need for a surgery, or the need for exploratory surgery. Seems like surgery is the end result in either case.

Right now we are hemorrhaging money, and there is no end in sight. I transferred what we had in savings to cover the costs today. Payday isn’t until Friday.

We were also afraid Frankie aspirated something from last night, and one x-ray seems to confirm some of that. They gave her some medicine.

So for today, I had to call in to the office. Sleep deprivation is no way to get work finished. Not to mention the need to run Frankie 20 miles one way through heavy traffic. The emergency vet is only half that far, but there is no traffic at midnight.

I surfed through a few blogs, and hit a few like buttons. My heart wasn’t in it, so I’m sorry if I didn’t leave a comment.

My regular day off is tomorrow, so that worry is off my list.


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A change in plans

Today, I was supposed to knock out a couple of my beta reports in anticipation of finishing tomorrow. We also wanted to go to town together. We had a generic list like most weekends. The other idea was to maybe have beer and pizza tonight.

That isn't what happened. Some good, some not good.

Otto woke up in the middle of the night and sat alone in the bathroom. I discovered him when I had to pee about 3:30. This isn't like him. The girls got up when I moved around, and this means everyone has to go outside.

Otto went to the bathroom too, and I thought maybe that's what he needed. At dawn, he seemed to be pretty sore and depressed. He refused to eat or drink.

My wife decided to do her grocery shopping and we could assess how he felt when she got home.

I decided to tackle my beta edits in force. I did more than I intended, because they changed my wife's shift again, and now she's off tomorrow. I only have one left to work through, and it will take a couple of hours. This is the good part.

Our veterinarian is open seven days per week. This saves us from going to one of those emergency centers. Of course we had to take the puppies too.

Turns out Otto ate more of those pecans than we thought. One X-ray, a pancreatitis test, and an office visit later, and he has an impaction. The doctor showed us the X-ray. It's all the way at the end, and she is certain it will pass. The impaction is causing pain, because he was born with two fused vertebra and another one that is half sized. This is a result of breeding for the bulldog's curly tail.

She gave us some pain killers to give him, and said after they kick in to take him for a walk. Also to try giving him water. He refused water, but went for some chicken noodle soup. He managed a mediocre poop when we walked him.

The doctor said he's going to have pain problems when he's older and to keep an eye on him. Never one to take something at face value, I did some research of my own. It says if your bulldog reaches nine months without a problem, he probably isn't going to have one. It also said the spine deformaties are more common in screw tailed breeds and aren't usually an issue.

I, on the other hand still can't keep food inside for more than an hour. I feel fine otherwise.

The puppies were pretty popular at the vets, and they got free bandanas out of the deal.

Some good stuff, my beta edits moved forward more than I thought. I may not get to the final one this weekend, and completion was the main goal. I'll take what I can get and be happy with it.

I think we're going to ban pecans from our house. All my dogs liked nuts and never had any problems before. They weren't given unsupervised access to all they could eat, including the shells.

We have tickets to Wonder Woman tomorrow, and even have someone who can watch the puppies. It may be all the date-night we can muster. Tonight, we're watching John Wick 2 on blu ray. It isn't date night, but it's the best we can manage.


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