My pick for Blog of the Week this week is Tales and Tails! It's a blog about the adventures of three beautiful greyhounds. I love the stories of their adventures and all of the pictures! So head on over and check them out!
I do have a little Bess update and I have to apologize ahead of time. This is obviously a topic that takes up the majority of my focus right now and it's hard to concentrate on much else until I know for sure that she is doing better. So bear with me. The blog will get back to normal, but I need for my little girl to be better so that I'm a little less preoccupied.
We had our appointment with our vet today at 3pm. Our vet read over what the emergency clinic faxed over and did a general exam. Bess did some of the coughing and wheezing that she's been doing and just generally looked like she felt like crap. We went over the medication that the vet had prescribed. I'm going to try and not get too pissy in this post, but it would appear that our little trip to the ER was really a waste of time and money. We definitely got more out of our time with our vet today than what we got Sunday night. As it turns out, the antibiotic that Bess was prescribed, cephalexin, is used to treat staph infections. Not any sort of infection that could potentially be pneumonia related. I'm not familiar with that antibiotic so I wasn't away of it's total lack of strength. The normal protocol for treating dogs with pneumonia and specifically aspiration pneumonia is to put them on at least two antibiotics if not three. Since you don't know what's in there, you kind of need to hit it with some heavy duty stuff to nuke what it is. Even after speaking on the phone with the emergency vet on Monday when he let us know that their radiologist though she had aspiration pneumonia, he didn't say ANYTHING about changing her medication. All he mentioned was getting some chest x-rays done to confirm and highly recommended a trans tracheal wash. Which happens to be something they only do when the ailment isn't responding to any antibiotics. On top of that, he prescribed too low of a dose of the weak antibiotic. In a nut shell, we paid for x-rays that only ruled out pyometra and we paid for antibiotics that are ineffective and we are no longer using. Oh yeah, and wasted four and a half hours of our time. Thanks dude!
Anyhow, Bess got her chest x-rays done and once the vet put them up on the light thingy to show me I could immediately see where the problem was. Her entire right lung was white. We should have been able to see through it. The x-rays have been sent off to the radiologist to get a final reading, but Bess possibly has a collapsed right lung. Her left lung definitely has signs of pneumonia in it, but her right lung is pretty bad. The fact that one lung is more drastically affected than the other is what leads to the diagnosis of aspiration pneumonia versus just pneumonia. Essentially she inhaled some foreign body into her lung and it has resulted in pneumonia. We'll find out for sure later on tomorrow what the diagnosis is, but that's what it's looking like.
While we were there, Bess got some fluids. She can be a difficult dog to keep well hydrated outside of the house even on a hot day, but when she's not feeling well (and her "antibiotics" aren't doing anything for her), it's even harder to get her to drink. We definitely don't need her being dehydrated on top of everything else!
Bess' meds have also been changed and she is now on Baytril (which is holy cow expensive!) and amoxicillin (sp?) (of course I could just look this up on her meds sheet, but that's all the way downstairs!) for the next 21 days. She'll go in for another chest x-ray in 7-10 days to make sure that she's responding to the medication.
On the up side, she does seem to be starting to feel better. We got home too late for me to leave with Heffner to agility class, so I took him out for a run instead. When we got back, Bess came to great us at the front door and seemed to be in really good spirits.:) That was very encouraging! The other part of her treatment is doing copage (again, I'm not sure I'm spelling that correctly) patting and then taking her for brisk walks. The reasoning behind this is that we want to break up the gunk that's clogging up her lungs and get her to cough and expel it. However, when I took her out for her brisk walk, she didn't cough once. This is a huge change from yesterday and earlier today where she couldn't be upright without coughing and wheezing. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. On the one hand, it's nice to not hear her hacking up a lung. On the other hand, we want her to hack up the gunk IN her lungs. I'll ask our vet tomorrow.
The big thing now is to get Bess eating. She's still refusing food and hasn't eaten anything since yesterday morning. I'm going to pick up some other stuff at the store tomorrow and hopefully I'll find something that she's interested in. If she doesn't eat anything in the next 24-48 hours, she'll get hospitalized for observation and so that they can get food into her any way that's necessary.
And just in case you're wondering, yes, this is adding up very quickly. But nothing in the world could replace Bess. So that's what credit cards are for!