Friday, December 5, 2008

Noelle Update

Brian and I have literally been on an emotional roller coaster the last three days. On Wednesday night we picked her up from our Vet as planned so we could take her to the Emergency Vet overnight. She had to be carried out by the Vet Techs. It was heartbreaking. We had to go through an entirely new intake process at the Emergency Vet. Long story short, Noelle wasn't doing well. Her kidney values were bad (suggesting renal failure). They were going to pump her with IV fluids for the next 48 hours to check her progress. When we went to say good night to her she was alert. She was giving us kisses and wagging her tail.

Yesterday she was doing well, but her kidney values weren't improving. We were very happy to hear that she went on a walk (supported by a sling under her back legs) and she ate some food. Brian went to the Vet and spent 2 hours with her. She wasn't giving any kisses and seemed drained and unhappy.

This morning we got a call. They said that Noelle's counts hadn't improved and that she had a bloody loose stool. This is indicative of kidney failure. They said that her GI system was probably shutting down and that her body was starting to go naturally. I left work. My mom came and watched the kids. We got things together to take to make her comfortable. We went to the Vet to spend time with her and talk to the Vet before we made the decision. The first Vet (the one that was there when she was admitted) came in and gave us the doomsday scenario she'd given Brian on the phone. If she were in our position, she's euthanize. But it's our decision, so we stayed with our dog to spend more time with her.

She was in a fantastic mood. She was lifting her head up, wagging her tail and giving kisses constantly. We were in a bad state, we couldn't do this to her when she was so mentally alert. Then our Vet called. The emergency Vet had called and told her what was going on and she was on her way to say good bye to Noelle. What can I say? People love our dog. She can make anyone happy. The Vet Tech came in and told us what was going on and said that we should make a decision, but that she could draw blood one more time to get the kidney values. We wanted to have that done one more time, just to make sure that there was no improvement.

Our Vet came in and talked to us. She had us stand Noelle up to judge her stability. She went and waited for their new Vet (the old one had gone off duty) to talk to her before she came in to discuss Noelle's situation. She wasn't able to get the Vet alone. The New One told us that Noelle needed a blood transfusion. We thought she'd had one the night she was admitted, but she hadn't. She also said that the bloody stool could be indicative of anything, including the stress of being in an unfamiliar place. This changed everything! If Noelle hadn't had a blood transfusion then of course her red cell counts were going to be low. If her red cell blood counts were low, she wouldn't be active because she has no energy.

At this point, our Vet gave the New Vet a semi- "talking to" about the fact that she hadn't been able to talk to anyone there since Noelle had been admitted. She gave her opinion as Noelle's Primary Care Veterinarian (I don't know if there is such a thing, but honestly, that's what she is). The New Vet gave her opinion. We should give Noelle a blood transfusion and see how she does before we do anything else. They'll also do a blood clotting test. If her blood is clotting and the blood transfusion doesn't help, then there is nothing we can do. If it does help then hopefully she'll go back to old Noelle (minus the pain medicine) and we'll give her subcutaneous fluids everyday. At least then we get six more months.

Right now we're waiting to find out what's going on. But Noelle is a fighter, and we're hoping we get good news. We've already said good bye to her twice, and I'm hoping we don't have to do it again.

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