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Hi all, Winston went to the vet this morning because he's been lethargic and showing signs of a UTI. The vet tech noticed his abdomen was swollen and said there's loose fluid in there. They did a full blood panel to check liver and kidneys and other things and I booked a consultation with an internal medicine specialist tomorrow morning for an exam and ultrasound. I know this particular vet tech has a history of overreacting so I'm trying not to get too crazy about it. Does anyone know what this could be?

Winston has been generally unhappy and unwell for months now.  After the surgery I saw a few glimpses of the old Winston but it was rare. I keep thinking with this treatment or that he'll get better.  I want him back so badly, but I'm starting to think I'm not going to get him back. He keeps developing new issues and he just seems so unhappy. The last few days he hasn't even wanted to get up to greet visitors and has had zero interest in toys or play for weeks. He doesn't want to come up the stairs anymore and can't get in or out of the car or on the furniture by himself. 

He's only 11 so technically if I could get him well again he could have another solid 2 or 3 years or so. But it seems more and more that he is giving up.  I'll see what the internist says tomorrow but starting to feel like if I manage to fix this issue I'm just dragging things out for him until the next thing that comes along. :(

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It make n sense to speculate when you have an appointment tomorrow. Until you know what you're dealing with you can't make informed choices. I hope it turns out to be something readily fixed.

I'm so sorry that Winston isn't doing better. I agree, there's no point to imagine what it might be... the brain always goes to the absolute worst possible case, and perhaps that's not it at all. I'm right there with you on the wait and worry though. Katie is doing as well as could possibly be hoped for, but Ava is worrying me sick. She was at the vet today and I'm waiting for lab results myself. The vet isn't sure what is going on. Winston's symptoms sound so much like hers. Just generally listless and uninterested in life. I hope they can fix both of our kids. I will be thinking of you. 

I really think that tomorrow when you have your consultation with the IMS you'll have lots more answers.  Please try not to think of the worst scenario.  It could very well be that they'll diagnose what's going on, treat him, and you'll have your "old Winston" back.  I always tend to feel this way about Murphy who goes from one serious illness to another....but so far with the right care we've gotten him through them all.  I know the day will come when that's not the case, but until then I'm going to try my very best not to always be worrying because then I will really miss lots of carefree special times with him.  I really don't think you're "dragging things out for him"....your giving him more time in this world to know that he is loved and cared for.

I am so sorry Winston is not getting back to his old self.  I hope tomorrow's appointment shows something easily fixable and that he gets better. I will be thinking of you both.

Please keep us posted. I so hope Winston starts to feel better!

I have been thinking about Winston all day!  I know how stressed out you must be and I'm hoping for the best possible outcome!  Hugs!

I too have been thinking about you and Winston today.

Do you have an update for us?

Hi, sorry for the delay in giving an update. The vet tech who was so sure she saw fluid in his belly was full of s***. We took him all the way to Montreal ( a two-hour drive ) and spent hundreds on an appt with an internist and an ultrasound just to find out there was no fluid at all. His extended belly is the result of being on a high dosage of prednisone for so long and the muscle wasting that it's causing so he has no core muscles in his belly to hold his gut in ( ha! I think I have a similar problem :) ).

Winston has a UTI, that is all. He's on antibiotics and we've reduced his prednisone dosage slightly - a gradual weening has been part of the plan all along anyway. 

I'm firing my vet clinic. This isn't the first time the vet and/or techs have made an inappropriate judgment call and they are generally totally disorganized. It's not ideal to start fresh at this stage of Winston's life but I just can't deal with their incompetence anymore. The good news is the clinic we love in Montreal has opened a location here in town and the internist we've been consulting is moving here in January so she can keep treating him. Hoping we can continue to gradually reduce the prednisone and cyclosporine without any relapses of thrombocytopenia.

Winston is just old and slow and I have to accept that he is probably not going to be chasing balls again, but as my boyfriend keeps pointing out, he still eats like a champ and comes to us to collect his cuddles when he feels up to it and so he still wants to be here with us. I'm feeling hopeful again. Thanks for all your supportive comments.

I can't tell you how happy it makes me to read this - not the part where your current vet seemed to overreact, but the part where Winston is okay. 

There are doctors, for dogs and for people who I am not sure how they ever made it through medical school, and then I'm not sure how they continue to practice. Doctors are not all created equal. I think it's so important to find a vet who you are comfortable and confident in. That doesn't mean that they will always get it right. But I think that trust is so important. And if you've lost faith in the one you're currently going to then switching is the right thing to do no matter how old Winston is. 

I hope after a couple days on antibiotics he's feeling much better. And even if he isn't ever what he once was, enjoy your time with him. I bet the new normal can turn out to be pretty great too. 

Even though it was a wasted trip at least it is still something you can manage and I'm so happy to hear that as well as the fact that you will have a new clinic.  On a brighter note, I love hearing (seeing you type) ... My Boyfriend!  I'm such a romantic, I want everyone to have someone special!  

That is awesome news!  I was so worried that you would have to make the most difficult decision ever!  I'm so happy for you and Winston!  Give Winston a hug from me!!!

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