Friday, May 30, 2008

One helluva week

Last weekend I went down to visit with Nannie. As many of you know, I think she's having paranoid delusions and things are getting a bit difficult to deal with. It's looking more and more like we won't be able to do the house thing, but I'm really not sure how much longer she can stay where she is--alone. She was all down with coming to live with us, provided she had her own apartment, but she is completely against the assisted living thing. So, I remain stuck. And I grow ever more resentful that I am an only child and only grandchild, thus all of this falls to my aging yet immature shoulders. Amos stayed down there with her though, so I'm hoping he can perk her up and give her something to focus on rather than her "issues."

So I returned home dogless. When I got back on Monday, I heard about Maggie Moo's big weekend with Daddy at the dog park, lots of long walks, and even a bath at the doggie wash. Of course we thought she was exhausted, or just a typical lazy ole hound. But by Tuesday something was definitely amiss. For much of the day she stayed by herself in the bedroom. This is unusual. She peed in the floor two or three times. Okay, an accident in the night or can't hold it until you get home, but this was different, too many times, and never letting me know she needed to go out. And the biggest thing of all--she wouldn't eat dinner. Now THAT'S unheard of. Also, that night her breathing was labored, which is the thing that started worrying me the most.

Wednesday V calls me at work to tell me he's at the vet with her. She hadn't perked up at all and by then had a lot of puss coming from her eyes, so he knew there was some type of infection and took her in to be checked out. I was about to leave work and meet him there when he called and said the vet told him to get her to the e-vet. She had a temp of 105. Okay yeah, panic.

So we rush to Friendship Animal Hospital where they immediately took her back. We waited not so patiently. A tech came out, jotted down the symptoms. Short time later the doc comes out and calls us into a private room. Of course I think this is a bad sign. He said three things concerned him. 1) the high fever; 2) she seemed to have some pain when he pressed on her back; and 3) her stomach felt "full," perhaps like her organs were enlarged. Well given that she just had a grade 2 mast cell tumor removed on April 3, naturally my thoughts turn to cancer, and that it had spread before we got to it. Yes, he admitted, this was a possibility. But he needed to do x-rays and a full blood work up; she needed an IV, and they wanted to monitor her overnight. So we went home, nervous and afraid that she might not be coming home with us again.

V had to go immediately into work, so I was left at the house alone. The boy was at work; Amos was at Nannie's; and Maggie was in the hospital. It was awful. The vet called a short time later and said that the blood work was held up in the lab, but they found something like lacerations all over her back, perhaps from a small animal, he wasn't sure. They'd started her on an IV and she seemed to be doing better. But what was going on with her back? I was told to call the next morning and we could probably bring her home.

Next day. Her temp is down to normal, she's perked up, she'd eaten breakfast, and she was HOWLING. That's the girl I know and love. They had shaved part of her back/rear area and it was covered with these lesions. The vet says it does appear to be some type of allergic inflammation. It could be some very small animal bites, OR it could have come from the inside. She could have rolled around in something like poison ivy or another plant that caused a reaction. Basically, we just don't know. It's a mystery. Here's a crappy phone shot--if anyone has ideas as to what it could be please share!


There is one remaining concern, however, and that is that her liver enzyme levels are elevated. This could be 1) body wide inflammation and detoxing; 2) sludgy liver; or 3) liver cancer. We're going to keep her on benadryl and antibiotics for the next two weeks and then recheck her liver enzymes to hopefully see a decrease. If they remain the same or go up, we'll have to do an ultrasound and possibly a needle aspirate to determine what it is. I'm really thinking it's number 1.

BUT, she's alive and she's getting better. And I think my nerves *might* be getting back to normal. As always, my friends at VFF were extremely supportive and wonderful; sending me lots of supportive messages and phone texts and even virtual cuddles from their puppies. I'd like to say I had some real life friends who were as sweet, but alas, that's not the case. DC people are disappointing as usual.

Whew. So it's been a helluva week. My eyes well up with tears every time I look at Maggie now. I'm so happy she's alive and I don't even want to think of life without her. She's back where she belongs, and being her houndy self.
Maggie Moo

Saturday, May 17, 2008

It's Farmers' Market Time!

Opened last weekend, conveniently at the corner of 14th and U. Here's today's haul.


pink ladies
rainbow chard
buttercrunch lettuce
bok choy
purple bok choy
spring onions
sundried tomato baguette