We received Cooper's blood test results and he has Cushing's Disease. Dr Forman said that there are two treatment options: surgery or medication.
Surgery would be complex and involves removing the adrenal gland. The vet believes the mass on the adrenal gland is cancerous. Removing it would stop the spread of cancer and should cause Cooper's hormone levels to return to normal. Our concern is that this is major surgery and Coop is 10 years old.
Medication could control the Cushing's symptoms. However the cancer would continue to grow and spread over time. The "good" news is that adrenal cancer is slow to spread.
Our regular vet, Dr Duffy, is on vacation until July 5. We will discuss Cooper's situation with Dr Duffy when he returns and then make a decision on how to proceed.
I rescued this bulb when the new walkway was installed. In its old location, the deer would eat most, if not all, the buds. I tucked the bulb in a corner between the edge of the house and the stone wall and hoped for the best.
As the spring days passed, the buds grew bigger. Frequent deer sightings, in the front yard, made me doubt this plants survival.
When I came home tonight, the lily was in full bloom. Isn't it beautiful ?
When Jeff and Cooper got home from the Cornell Vet Clinic, there was a box waiting at the door. The box was from one of our favorite people, Linda F. Linda had read that Cooper was not feeling well and had sent a get well gift.
The box was full of dog treats, squeaky toys and Lindt chocolates (for Jeff and I). The dog treats looked so tasty, I was tempted to try one. Cooper and Otis gobbled up the treats. I gave Coop one of the squeaky toys and he raced around the house squeaking it as he ran. I have not seen Coop that happy, in a while.
A few minutes later, Cooper began to tear the toy apart to get to the squeaker. Stuffing is now sprinkled around the house. Thank you Linda, for cheering all of us up!
With Cooper being ill, he is getting the majority of our attention. Otis has noticed this and is jealous. To get attention, Otis is again running around the house with towels, socks and shoes in his mouth. Otis rarely stays in the office when I work at home. Today, he did NOT leave my side all day.
Poor Otis does not understand what is happening.
I did see a spark of the old Coop, on our afternoon walk when he tried to chase after a chipmunk.
My personal philosophy is that birthday's are sacred. Jeff and I took a vacation day from work with plans to spend my birthday relaxing. I never imagined that we would spend the entire day in the vet's office.
Cooper had been skipping meals over the past few days, but we were not worried. Missing occasional meals is something that both dogs do. When Coop did not wake us up at 5:15 am, I was pleasantly surprised. However, when Coop had to be coaxed to go out for his morning walk, I knew something was wrong. Coop came in from his walk and immediately curled up on the kitchen carpet, not wanting to move. Scrambled eggs could not tempt Cooper to eat.
That evening, Coop's back legs gave out when he was trying to squat and he struggled to walk up the stairs. Even though the house was cool, Coop stretched out panting heavily. We decided that Cooper needed to see the vet. We thought that Coop was having joint pain and pain killers would fix the problem.
We called Norwalk Vet Hospital at 7:30 am and got an appointment with Dr Schwartzreich. The vet was concerned that this is the second time in 3 months Cooper was ill. He ordered blood tests and x-rays. The blood tests showed low red cell count, high white cell count and low platelets. The x-ray showed an enlarged liver. The vet said 2 possibilities were an infection or cancer. An immediate abdomen ultra sound was prescribed to further diagnose Cooper.
Our vet could not perform the ultrasound, so we visited the newly opened Cornell University Veterinary Specialists in Stamford, CT. The Cornell Doctors are specialists and there is an emergency room for trauma. Dr Foreman, an internist, examined Cooper. Coop's belly was shaved and an ultrasound performed. The ultrasound showed that Cooper's liver was enlarged, but no sign of cancer. Coop's spleen and kidneys were healthy. The test showed that Cooper has a greatly enlarged adrenal gland due to a tumor. The Dr suspects Cushing's disease. It is not known if the tumor is cancerous. To confirm Cushing's a blood test is needed. However, this cannot be done until Cooper is stabilized (eating, off medications) for 2 -3 weeks. Cooper was also shown to have a stomach ulcer.
We left with a large bag of medication and were told to call back in 24 hours, if Coop still refused to eat. Cooper is now on pain medication, appetite stimulants, Pepcid (to control stomach acid) and antibiotics. We are hoping that Cooper will feel better over the next few days. We will then test for Cushing's and determine our next steps.
I hope this is not a sign of how my new birthday year will go!
We spent the day at South Street Seaport in NYC. It was a cloudy day, which kept the temperature cool, perfect for wandering the city.
We attended Bodies The Exhibition. This is a fascinating exhibit of the human body. Bodies have been dissected and preserved with polymers, so they do not decay. I never realized how small yet strong our bones are (4 times stronger than steel). The exhibit shows the different systems, muscles, and organs in the human body. I was amazed at seeing all the arteries, veins and capillaries that create the circulatory system. Seeing how our organs and bones fit together perfectly was truly amazing. Comparing a healthy lung vs a smoker's lung should be enough to get any smoker to quit. I would highly recommend spending the 2 hours it takes to tour the exhibit.
There are many shops and restaurants at the Seaport. We ate at Johnny Rocket's (great burgers and shakes) and sat outside watching the crowds of people wander by. Christmas in NY had hundreds of Christmas ornaments, but I resisted the temptation to buy one.
On the way back to Grand Central, we walked by Ground Zero. We could not see much because the fencing around the site is covered with fabric. However, we could see that trees have been planted for the memorial and the buildings are growing taller.
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Cooper loves to spend time outside on the deck. When Coop kept running into the kitchen, I assumed he wanted to go soak up some sun.
I went into the kitchen and opened the back door. I then realized that Coop was not behind me. Coop was standing next to the kitchen counter with his nose raised, pointing at his food bowl. Coop had not wanted to eat his breakfast. I had put his bowl on the counter, so that Otis would not eat it.
It was now 1:00 pm and Cooper was hungry. I put the bowl down and Coop quickly ate all his kibble. Dogs may not be able to talk, but they certainly can communicate.
I was on a conference call when the doorbell rang. Coop and Otis charged down the stairs and ran to the front door, barking as they went.
I raced to the door with phone in hand and saw a delivery man holding a Happy Birthday balloon and a red box. I managed to push Coop to the side and opened the door. The delivery was from Edible Arrangements. Since Otis could not get around me, he decided to squeeze between my legs. I put the phone to my shoulder, grabbed the box with one hand and tried to push Oti back with the other.
The man said it is ok if they come out, I like dogs. I said, if they get out they may not come back. The man was holding a proof of delivery form in his hand. I asked if I needed to sign for this. The man was nice and said, you have your hands full (literally), I can do that. He then shut the door, while I held Otis back.
I saw the man laughing as he walked back to his car. Looking back at the crazy scene, I am laughing too. So much for 6 weeks of good citizen/meet and greet training!
The box was full of giant chocolate covered strawberries. Once my phone call ended, I ate one. It was DELICIOUS! A big thank you to my LI family for the wonderful gift.
When we walked the dogs this morning, I saw the turtle heading towards the driveway. Cooper and Otis spotted the turtle and began to bark. The turtle turned around and walked surprisingly quickly back into the pond.
I am wondering if the turtle is still interested in nesting near the walkway. I hope not, as I do not want the new landscaping ruined. Seeing the turtle twice in a few days makes me wonder.....
Otis is a big dog and not very light on his feet. When I walk Otis, he follows slowly behind Cooper, sniffing every blade of grass. However, Otis becomes a different dog when he is off leash.
Jeff was with Otis in the back yard. I was walking up the driveway. I was almost to the top of the drive, when I heard a noise behind me. I turned around and there was Otis running full out, quickly closing the distance between us. The sun was shining, Oti's coat was gleaming and I could see his muscles ripple as he ran.
Otis has never looked more beautiful. As I watched Otis run, I was amazed by just how graceful he was. Otis caught up with me and wagged his tail, as if to say, got you! Jeff and I were now at opposite ends of the driveway. Otis saw Jeff and raced off towards him. Otis was unbelievably happy to be running free on a beautiful morning. I could not help but smile.
With Jeff out of town, our Westport family invited me to dinner and a show. Dinner was at Bogey's in Westport. Bogey's is a casual restaurant with a menu ranging from salads, sandwiches, steak and seafood. Both the food and service were good.
The play was Sabrina Fair at the Westport Community Theatre, in the basement of the Westport Town Hall. I had never been to the WCT before. The theatre is fairly small and there is not a bad seat in the house. We had second row, center stage seats. The start of the show was a little rocky with audio and lighting issues. However, these were resolved and the play was delightful. If you would like to see live theatre at reasonable prices, consider going to the WCT.
We attended the Norwalk Community Chorale Golden Celebration spring concert. The chorale has been putting on free Christmas and Spring concerts for 50 years. This fabulous concert lasted for 2 hours.
I was very impressed by the range of music that was presented. Songs from Les Miserables, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, The Wizard of Oz, and Phantom of the Opera rang throughout the concert hall.
One of my favorite parts of the concert was when veterans were asked to stand and be recognized for their service to our country. The Battle Hymn of the Republic was then sung in honor of all those who have fought or are fighting to protect the USA.
For the Chorale to learn so many songs and perform them perfectly, they must have spent significant time practicing. At the end of the concert, I cheered long and loud for all the members who brought a beautiful night of music to Norwalk.
I am starting to wonder if the raccoon plays tennis. I always leave tennis balls on the deck for the dogs to play with. I have noticed that over the past few days the balls are disappearing.
At first I thought the dogs were bringing the balls into the house with them. However, I have not found extra balls in the basement or upstairs. I thought perhaps the balls had fallen off the deck, but they are not in the yard.
I can't imagine anyone wanting a chewed tennis ball, but then again you never know.