Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pray for Shelby...

As many of you know, Shelby is one of my weimaraners that I love like a child. She is 11.5 years old and has had irritable bowel syndrome for years. However, she has had more and more flare ups the past several years which has been causing other health issues. For those who don't want any details - skip to the last paragraph.

We have been very good about taking her to the vet and have actually seen all three vets in the clinic that I was referred to when I first moved to Birmingham. However, they could never treat her other issues since they were unsuccessful in diagnosing the problem. I would repeatedly tell them her symptoms, and all they would do is prescribe a different medication. It was never ending with the medicine, yet we weren't making any headway for her.

The past 6-8 weeks she has had even more problems, where she not only is having problems passing stool, but she has been leaking some blood, and lately stool, uncontrollably. In addition, she has lost over 10 lbs. It upsets her and us terribly. She can't help it though, and we know she is in pain so we can't punish her or really do anything. I took her back to our vet on Monday, and was told they were "at lunch" and to come back in one hour. So I did, and was told once again that they were "taking a late lunch and wouldn't be back for another hour." I was so ticked off and frustrated that I asked them to copy the files because I was switching vets.

I drove immediately over to another clinic where I was seen by a young vet within 10 minutes. Being young I was worried that he would have enough experience to help us, but he was like a Doogie Howser of veterinarians. Though he had her records in front of him, he asked me to start from the beginning with her problems. I went on and on for at least 15 minutes, and then he started asking questions - good questions. Within 25 minutes, he had done a rectal and knew what was causing her problems - polyps right inside her anus. I was thrilled to finally know what was causing her runny, and mostly bloody stools, but so mad to hear that he found out so quickly by doing such a simple thing - a rectal. It absolutely infuriates me thinking how this other vet clinic could have done this 4 years ago and saved Shelby from all of this pain and suffering, but they were just too lazy to think outside the box.

Though we know these polyps have to be removed, we are now awaiting the results of the tissue they took from them to find out if they are cancerous (which should be in another 2-4 days). She also has an appointment Thursday morning with a specialist in town to discuss possible treatments. Unfortunately, the location of these polyps is a major problem. Our vet said that it is typically operated on by breaking the dog's pelvic bone and going in behind the bone to remove them. However, she is an older dog and we aren't sure if that would be the best thing for her. So....we are anxious to hear what the specialist has to say, not to mention, get the results back from the tissue sample.

Needless to say - we have a lot on our plates right now - caring for Shelby, Spencer, and of course little Bennett. Spencer is 5 years younger than Shelby and has been with her since he came home to us. So it was hard on him yesterday, when we left her at the vet last night to have these samples and the other blood work taken. So please pray for all of us, but mainly Shelby and that the news we hear this week is good.


Joy said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. We have a black lab that is 13 years old and on arthritis medicine. We lost our cats that were 18 and 19 years old a few years ago. The cats were Courtney's and slept with her when she was little. You know an animal lover when they have old animals. I pray all goes well!

Our Story... said...

Oh Julie...Needless to say I know how you feel. I will definitely say a prayer. OUr dogs are our family too...it is so tough when they are sick. Also, the whole thing you said about them always being together...Atticus still hasn't gotten over losing Nelli, but he is getting better with a lot of love and affection. Hang in there!!

Courtney & Dave Long said...

Oh, Julie, I hate to hear this. Let us know if we can help in any way. Dave can be a driver, etc. for you while I keep Lawson since we're both home right now.