Saturday, September 28, 2013

Maisy's Home! (Again)

On Wednesday afternoon, we got the results of Maisy's spinal tap and adjusted her medications. One of the things we did was increase her steroid dose. I was warned that one of the side effects would be an increased need to urinate, so when she asked to go out frequently on Thursday morning, I didn't think much of it. But on Thursday afternoon, we noticed that she wasn't actually going every time she squatted. Then she started to squat every thirty seconds, no matter where she was (including in the house, and she is very well housetrained).

I took her to the ER, where an x-ray showed that her bladder was huge, indicating a blockage. They weren't sure what was blocking her since they didn't see any stones, but did a therapeutic cysto (they stuck a needle through her abdomen and into her bladder in order to remove the urine that way). Yesterday they did an abdominal ultrasound and found several small and one large stone (approximately 7mm, which is about the size of a pinky fingernail, I think).

A lithotripsy was performed. This is a non-surgical procedure where they put a small video camera up her vagina and then used a laser to break up the stones. Then they did a combination of stone basketing (not really sure what this is- Dr. Google isn't very helpful!) and urohydropropulsion (a urinary flushing technique) to remove the smaller bits.

Lab analysis showed that the stones were struvite, which is the best kind a dog can have. Struvites are usually the result of an infection, especially staph infections. As you may remember, Maisy was found to have a UTI caused by staph when she was in the ICU a few weeks ago.

Originally, they planned to keep Maisy overnight, but she recovered from the anesthesia quickly and they felt she would be “more comfortable” at home. When I picked her up, I found out what that meant- apparently any time someone came near her, she would snap at them. She was brought out to me in an e-collar with bright red stickers on it that said “CAUTION: MAY BITE.” Poor Maisy. I really don't blame her (I would feel bitey, too!). Oddly, on her discharge paperwork, they said “She is a very sweet girl and we really enjoyed working with her.” Ha.

The plan going forward: She will continue the steroid treatment for the inflammatory disease of her spinal cord, and we're adding in antibiotics for a couple weeks and pain meds as needed. She was also sent home on a prescription diet and orders to follow it strictly. Maybe it was just trigger stacking, but this was the first time I actually cried throughout all of Maisy's health woes this month. And oh, how I sobbed on the phone with friends. I didn't realize how important  it is to me to be able to share junk food with her.

Anyway, Maisy is home and doing well, or at least, as well as she can considering the circumstances. She's very, very tired, but when she's awake she's happy and playful. I am so glad she's here with me. I have no idea what the future looks like, and only a small idea of how it might change, but she's here, and for that I am grateful.

Finally, I just wanted to answer some of the questions I've been getting:

Is this related to the inflammatory disease of her spinal cord?
It's highly unlikely. More than likely, it's just some seriously bad luck. The thing is, Maisy has had recurrent UTIs her entire life (including a previous scare a few years back), so this was bound to happen at some point.

Why didn't they catch this when she was in the ICU before?
I don't know, but I don't think it's because they missed something. They did all the diagnostics they should have. She had two UAs/UCs, and a ton of x-rays. The x-rays she had on Thursday night didn't show the stones, either.

Have you considered a raw diet/supplements?
Maisy was actually on a raw diet before all this started and we used supplements (cranberry, fish oil, and probiotics, mostly, although we'd run out a few months back and I hadn't gotten around to starting them again because money has been tight). When things settle down in a few months (and I have the money again), I'm going to schedule an appointment with the nutritionist at the U to discuss diet again. Although I believe in the prescription diets, I also hate them. I don't think there's any actual meat in the one Maisy's on.

Speaking of money...
Have I mentioned how grateful I am for all of you? To date, I have spent $6,957.77 on Maisy's health care this month alone. There will be more bills to come (neither issue is resolved at this point), but hopefully they will be smaller. I have received $4,444.03 in donations, so I only have to pay $2,513.74 out of pocket. This is still more than what's in my emergency savings, so I'm in the market for a third job. Even so, I cannot even express how thankful I am for everyone who has supported Maisy and I in the past month. I'm not sure what I would have done without your financial assistance.

If you're local, please consider signing up for one of my reactive dog classes to help me pay the bills! I also do private lessons. Email me for more info about either one. I have a class starting next Friday for easily distracted sport dogs and/or mildly reactive dogs that isn't full yet!

I also make and sell quilts and weighted blankets. The weighted blankets are great for people with sensory processing disorder (also autism, insomnia, anxiety, etc.). The shipping for quilts isn't bad, but for the weighted blankets, it gets expensive. Email me for info and pricing. 

1 comment:

Chris and Mike said...

Hang in there, Crystal and Maisy! Lots of us are rooting for you. Still waiting for you to move to Boise so we CAN take one of your classes...just sayin'...