The girls and I took Lexie to the U of I Veterinary Small Animal Clinic. It was a long day. We left home at 9:30 a.m. and got back home at 7:45 p.m. Here’s what our day looked like.
We arrived for our 11:00 a.m. appointment and were taken back within minutes.
Lexie was examined by a 4th year vet student and a 1st year student who then consulted with the Internal Medicine Vet on staff, Dr. Middleton. About 15 minutes later Dr. Middleton and the student returned with a plan in place. The minute Dr. Middleton began to speak I knew I was going to like her. They wanted to keep Lexie for the day to run a series of tests in hopes of getting a definitive answer to why she hasn’t been eating. The plan was blood work, x-rays, ultra-sound, urinalysis, blood pressure and others that I can’t remember.
After our 20 minute consult with the doctor, the girls and I said bye to Lexie and we were off for an adventure which included pizza, games, playtime at the park and ice cream. We returned to the U of I shortly after 5:00 and waited to find out the results of the tests.
Dr. Middleton came in and said that while there were some concerns on Lexie’s blood work, there was nothing of significant concern and certainly nothing that pin-pointed any problems. The x-rays of her stomach and chest looked good and the other tests were fine as well.
Now onto the bad news. What they saw on the ultra-sound didn’t look good. The lining of Lexie’s stomach is very thick and they could see dark spots on her pancreas. They tried to do a needle biopsy, but were not able to get the sample and were recommending exploratory surgery so they could biopsy her stomach and pancreas. This would also allow them to examine her other organs for any abnormalities.
Dr. Middleton, then said what I really didn’t want to hear. While the biopsy results could be benign, she was deeply concerned and wanted us to know that she doesn’t expect that to be the case. Lexie has lost a significant amount of weight in a short period of time and the ultra sound view doesn’t look good at all.
All my efforts to keep it together failed and I was a mess. How could such a young dog (6 years old) be going through such serious health problems? She is supposed to live 12-14 years. Dr. Middleton was so understanding, but she had to give her recommendations. If we chose against the exploratory surgery her recommendation was to euthanize. I just couldn’t euthanize Lexie without having some answers. What if they are wrong? What if it isn’t as bad as they think? What if it’s something treatable and she can live out her life? For me to say go ahead and euthanize was not even a consideration. I have to know for sure, one way or another.
After telling them to go ahead with the surgery, they went to get Lexie so we could spend some time with her. While we waited I had to explain to Lili and Naomi what was happening. Naomi doesn’t quite comprehend what’s going on. Lili, on the other hand gets it. She understand Lexie is very sick and she understands the plan. She also understands that if they can’t do anything to make Lexie better that we have to let her go.
They brought Lexie to the room and when she saw us I could see the excitement in her eyes. She was sure it was time to go home. Her body is too weak to react with excitement, but she slowly trotted over to us saying, I’m ready to go home now. We spent about 15 minutes with her before they came back with all the surgery paperwork. Once the paperwork was done it was time to say our good-byes. We gave Lexie hugs and pets then parted ways.
The U of I has been very wonderful thru all of this. I received a call from the vet assist this morning letting me know that Lexie did very well last night. They have gotten her rehydrated and she slept most of the night. They were able to get her to eat a little this morning and she went out for a little walk. She is scheduled for surgery at 1:00 today.
About an hour later Dr. Middleton called. Even though they will do the biopsies today, they won’t have the results for about a week. Therefore, she is recommending that Lexie have a G-tube inserted during surgery so they can get nutrition in her post-surgery. Since we don’t know what the outcome will be, we certainly need to do what we can to get her healthier and stronger. They are also having dental come in for a consultation during surgery to make sure there is nothing going on in her mouth that is causing further problems.
Post-surgery, Lexie will be staying at the U of I to be monitored, fed and cared for. We will be in constant contact with them and will hopefully be able to visit Lexie until we know for sure what’s going on.
For now we wait and hope for the best while we prepare for the worst. Sure wish that was easier said than done.