Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Square One, Again

Yesterday I spent about 3.5 hours and $550 dollars at the vet specialist for Terabyte. We had a referral to Southpaws, where we saw Dr. Jennifer Gieg. Dr. Gieg was a bit of a surprise. For some reason, I didn't know her full name so I wasn't expecting a woman vet. She's a beautiful, slim, gal with curly auburn hair, a tatoo on the top of her foot, and a pierced tragus - this piercing is through the cartilage chunk just next to the opening of the ear canal. Instead of an exam room with perhaps a hard chair and the exam table, we waited in what I would call a private parlor...two comfy arm chairs, a rug, a nice wood dresser, and a pull-down exam table (like those ironing boards that hang on the wall). Both the vet tech and the vet examined Tera by sitting on the floor with her! Everyone was really sweet, and loved Tera, saying how beautiful she was. Instead of putting Tera on a leash to take her to her ultrasound, they carried her. The vet said that my regular vet had done a great job doing a workup on Tera, testing for all the right things, and that she too was stumped as to the problem. They shaved Tera's belly and did an ultrasound (which came back perfect), prescribed some strong anti-nausea pills and said to bring Tera in when she's as sick as possible so that they can do bloodwork and endoscopy when she's ill. Meanwhile, they will research if maybe there are some hormones or somthing that have a 27 day cycle in dogs. The vet agreed that we are grasping at straws, but here's the straw we're currently examining: The only thing in Tera's bloodwork that is "off" is that she has higher than normal cholesterol, which can be a common Sheltie genetic problem (not food related). Some dogs (its kinda rare) have thickened bile when they have high cholesterol. So its possible that what we've got here is a gall bladder that slowly fills up with thick bile, then spills over every 27 days or so when its full, which makes her sick and then its good to go again for a while. Or maybe Tera has intermitant pancreatitus, which is also rare but possible.

Here's Tera, waiting for the vet.


Gwynne said...

My parents also have a Sheltie and many of Tera's symptoms sound like those of their dog. His problem ultimately turned out to be a ruptured gall bladder (probably the result of too much accumulation of thick bile). Their vet told them it's a common problem in Shelties...maybe related to the high cholesterol problem? I'm only guessing now. I just know that you don't want Tera to end up with a ruptured gall bladder since that can be fatal! Our own Aussie is currently on anti-gunking gall bladder supplements after regular bouts of diarrhea lead to a similar diagnosis. I think your vet is on to something.

And I love seeing Tera sitting in the parlor chair waiting for the vet...what a swweet sight! :-)

Lynellen said...

Thanks so much for the comment, Gwynne. I've done some quick reading on the internet and will email our specialist to mention the stuff I read. Thanks!