Not a Fan of February (2-18-2015)
It’s been dark days at the Lazy J. For the past five vomit-filled weeks, we have been trying to figure out what is wrong with Scarlett. First we assumed she had eaten something disgusting because, well, she’s Scarlett. The vet agreed. But the vomiting kept up. Other dogs in our area were showing similar symptoms so we next thought she had some sort of bug. Blood tests came back normal. Nausea medicine helped, but only so much. She lost about ten pounds. She was definitely not herself because she wanted to snuggle more than play.
You know she was bad off because we took to letting Scarlett hang out with us in the basement.
I was happy when she got some rest as evidenced by snoring:
Then, on Sunday, 2/8, Scarlett really took a turn. She vomited all her dinner and was salivating/drooly and very lethargic the rest of the evening. I was scared to death. I texted with our vet (we love her). She was out of town. Blast. But, she got us scheduled with a vet in Billings for xrays and ultrasound on Monday. We needed to see what was going on in there. Initial results were not good, but the images were hard for the vet to read with any confidence. When I went in to meet with the vet for results, the look on her face….I lost it…ugly crying and all. She said she would call on a radiologist to review the images. Oh my. After the longest five days, we got decent news from the radiologist. Rather than having cancerous tumors throughout her gut, it looked like Scarlett’s issue was limited to her stomach. Exploratory surgery was the next step.
“Surgery on the dog?” you might say? Well, JR and I always agreed we weren’t going to put a dog, or our wallet, through surgery. But, when our vet said for her own dog, exploratory surgery would be the next step, JR didn’t blink an eye. This was on Valentine’s Day and was the best present Scarlett and I will ever get! If you know JR and his Valentine’s Day history, this is saying something!
Scarlett had surgery in the late afternoon on 2/17. JR was in Bozeman for work on the day of surgery and didn’t get back until 9pm. Talk about a quiet house. And lonely. I kept looking around for Scarlett. I thought about taking the usual afternoon walk, but what is the point without Scarlett along doing her Scarlett things and making me laugh? I worked late to try and keep my mind off of what was happening to her. Finally, finally the vet called around 6:45pm with decent news. Scarlett has “pyloric valve stenosis.” They don’t know what caused it so to be safe they took material for biopsies of her stomach, valve, and liver. But, pyloric valve stenosis is manageable. She’ll have to eat softer food and possibly more, smaller meals throughout the day. Thank goodness I work from home and this is totally doable.
Here comes the hard part – keeping Scarlett calm and still for three weeks of healing! The vet called this hurdle “medically managable – better living through chemicals.” Basically, we’ll keep her drugged up for three weeks. Whatever it takes. She’s going to come out of that fog in three weeks and be like, “What the heck just happened to me?” “Why are you trying to starve me?”
I was Googling for information on Scarlett’s condition and the alternative search suggestions showed “Will Ferrell pyloric valve surgery.” “That’s weird,” I thought. Of course I had to click on it. Do you know who else has had pyloric valve surgery? Will Ferrell. Ahh, the Google searches. Useless information you didn’t need or want. Maybe this will win someone a trivia game someday. Or just waste a little of everyone’s brain space.
Thanks to all who have called and texted your concern for my little Bunny Scarlett. We felt very loved with everyone checking up on her.
Update: I heard from the Billings vet today at lunchtime. Scarlett is recovering like a champ. The vet said you wouldn’t know anything even happened to Scarlett! That’s my girl! All the other dogs were getting their food and the techs said Scarlett was looking at them and wondering what she did to deserve no food! Awww… As long as she keeps down water and some slurry-type food today, I can bring her home on Thursday. Yeah!