Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Emergency Vet Visit

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!

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