|Update on the Princess of Pee
||[May. 29th, 2008|10:43 am]
Four weeks ago I made a vet appointment for Willow because she was eating, drinking lots of water and vomiting. Often all in one 15 minute session. In desperation, I started feeding homemade food to both hounds (like I have TIME to be cooking for the dogs every couple of days...but if I'm going to use up more time I'd rather do it deboning chickens than picking up dog puke.) Initial vet appointment, especially since the switch to homemade seemed to instantly solve the drinking/puking issue, we were going to take a conservative approach, mild concern over her funky new bunny coat (about 6 months ago she grew in this thick bunny fur, which can be a sign of problems or just a sign of old age, or just a sign of beingWillow), test thyroid function. But my spider senses were on alert, so I made the vet do a geriatric blood panel. Well, on Willow's blood. I'm bossy and my vet is old, but I did NOT force her to draw her own blood.
Which may or may not have been a mistake -- since it showed elevated kidney values. Which meant a repeat visit this week for urine samples and a few more tests to rule out stuff that isn't chronic renal failure. Which are all ruled out. Except an infection, which is unlikely, given her otherwise normal bloodwork, but since she's got a touch of vaginitis, we'll administer antibiotics just in case.
She does drink and pee copiously, ever since she went on all of her chemo drugs and it's never really let up, even post drugs. It's gradually gotten worse, to the point where she can't get through the night without peeing (Thankfully, she's a dear about using her pee pads) and definitely can't go more than 4-6 hours inside without using the pads.
Until a week ago. Ever since we went to that first vet appointment, she has gone the night without peeing. Can make it through the day with only ONE pee pad use.
So what have we got here? The tests show that she's in chronic renal failure -- I might be able to slow it with diet and supplements, but she's on the decline and it's just a matter of time. (Before you rush to console me, she's an 11 year old greyhound who's been battered by immune disorders and the treatments for them -- she's already surpassed her expected lifespan by about 4 years, and I would expect her to be going downhill from something by now)
But for her urine production and drinking to suddenly slow down this dramatically would mean she would be in the end stage of CRF, which would also be accompanied by loss of appetite, lethargy, weight loss. Her appetite has recently gotten better, I have bruises from where she's punched me with that needle nose demanding another dog biscuit and although to see her at faire might make you think she's lethargic, but that's just Willow at Faire.
And if she's in the beginning or middle, then the urine and drinking would still be increasing, not scaling back to normal.
So the only thing consistent here is: Willow continues to baffle the veterinary community. So, is she on her way out? Bouncing back? Experiencing the peaks and valleys of a terminal disease?
Who the hell knows! I consider a 12 year old greyhound terminal -- as in, sometime of the next 2 years the dog will almost certainly die of something. And Willow, having been through what she's been through, I would put at 12-13 years old despite her chronological age of 11. So this isn't unexpected, but I'm sort of tickled that she'll do it in her own inimitable way -- not even close to textbook!