On a recent Sunday morning, earlier in the month, Bailey woke up and would not eat. Of course, this is not normal dog behavior, especially for Bailey, who likes to get up and eat as soon as possible. She had also been panting hard in the middle of the night and that too, was not right.
We went to see Dr Hakim Hamaci at 24/7 Emergency Vet Clinic, who decided to do bloodwork to see what was going on. The results showed that Bailey’s liver enzymes were elevated and diagnostically speaking, it could point to various problems. He wanted to get an ultrasound done but would have to wait to call his specialist to set up the appointment.
On Monday, I was told his guy could not come until Thursday which for me was unacceptable as we were leaving to go back up North for the summer on Sunday and I did not want to wait.
I found Dr. Larry Scrabis at Estero Animal Hospital and luckily he had a cancellation for Tuesday to do the ultrasound. We went in at 9am on Tuesday and instead he wanted to do a STIMM test, thinking Bailey has Cushings Disease. It’s a simple blood test done in two part, which ultimately cam eout nortmal. The next day we did an ultrasound to rule out a mass or other such horrible things.
We could clearly see her liver was slightly enlarged and even though he thinks she has what is known as Cushing’s Syndrome, it is now two and a half weeks later, we are back in Pennsylvania for the summer and I still do not know if she has Cushing’s. Last week a sample of her blood and urine went off to Michigan State and I will find out sometime this week what the Cortisol test shows. It can only rule out Cushing’s, not rule it in. It is a very tough illness to diagnose, even though Bailey has all the symptoms. It is a very treatable disease, but it has to be diagnosed because you cannot give the drugs to a non-Cushing’s dog.
Dr. Thomas Crago, our vet here, has been very patient is helping and listening to all my woes about Bailey. Although he is not an endocrinologist, he is willing to talk to one at Michigan State to see what to do for Bailey next. So all this has got me thinking about vets and how they just have to know what is ailing a furry child. I too, just have to know when something is wrong. There is a sixth sense that is extremely hightened when you have furry kids. Human kids can say, ouch. I hurt. My Bailey & Safari do not have that option. I must be keenly attuned to their needs at all times, which makes me exceptional, I think. And what is most amazing about vets is that they have to be so many things – a general practioner who has to heal all sorts of body parts which is most admirable.
The other aspect which makes all this so mystifying is that she was a rescue. I do not know her medical history. I do not know anything about her past. Maybe I don’t need to because we can only start from June 20, 2008 when we cme into each other’s lives. I feel like love helps heal everything and if there was ever a dog who was well loved, it is my Bailey girl. I could not adore her more and I will continue to provide her with all the love I have and all the best medical care there is because she deserves it. Together, the vets and I will figure this thing out for her and she will be grateful as she already is, gracing me with as many kisses she has in that big heart of hers.