I’m pretty sure Elly can’t be killed.
I’m not sure if the last few days have been good ones or bad ones for Miss Elinor Grubby Paws or not. So here goes….
About two weeks ago, I noticed that Elly had been losing weight and muscle mass and just generally didn’t seem to feel so good, so I made an appointment for her with her vet, for Monday of this week. A few days before the vet, Elly chewed on a mole on her foot that I hadn’t noticed; in fact, she chewed on it until it bled, and she walked around the kitchen leaving bloody pawprints. The last time Elly chewed on a mole–over four years ago–it turned out to be a skin hemangiosarcoma, so of course I was slightly panicked. It did stop bleeding pretty quickly, after I cleaned it up and painted it with New Skin (liquid bandage).
I took her to see Paige on Monday, and yes, she’d lost weight, and some muscle, and her gums were bleeding, and so we did a blood test. And a fecal. And a urinanalysis. Everything looked great…. except that her platelet count was 10,000. Platelets are needed for blood clotting. Normal numbers for dogs are from 150,000 to 500,000.
Further tests were done: no tick-borne disease. I took her off Metacam in preparation for going on high dosage prednisone to treat the thrombocytopenia (formal name for low platelets).
Which bring us to today, five days later. I took Elly in and Paige and I looked at the cheerful, happy dog (who has lost a bit more weight), whose gums are pink and healthy and not bleeding at all, and we talked about maybe not doing the high-dose prednisone for the immune-mediated thrombocytopenia after all, since maybe that wasn’t what it was. We decided against biopsying the various lumps for the time being, and instead adopted a wait-and-see approach.
But Elly still needs anti-inflammatories of some sort, for her IBD and her hip dysplasia–and because she’s losing weight and muscle–so we’ve put her on a low dose of prednisone to see what happens next.
(For those of you who may not be familiar with Elly’s medical history: at age almost nine, she has inflammatory bowel disease and bilateral hip dysplasia; she had a skin hemangiosarcoma removed four years ago; she had tumors (benign) on her eyelids removed a year ago; she had an episode of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis about a year and a half ago. I’m sure I’ve forgotten something; she’s just not an “easy keeper.” She’s really not at all healthy, but she just keeps on keeping on, surviving one day at a time, with a wonderful happy attitude toward life and all people, including everyone at the vet.)
(And if the concept of a vampire poodle amuses you, there’s an amusing book series available through Amazon for the Kindle: MITZI MAGEE: VAMPIRE POODLE (The Vampire Poodle Mysteries). I’ve only read the first book in the series, but it was funny.)