Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tests and more tests

Terabyte has been eating only a few bites of food per day for over a week, so yesterday I called the vet. This has been on my to-do list for about 3 days, but I kept saying "Maybe she'll eat better today". They actually had an appointment available yesterday so I took her in. She was in fact dehydrated (again) so they inserted sub-cutaneous fluids and said that if she's not hydrated Tuesday that she may need IV-fluids. They said to offer her salt-free chicken broth, gatorade, pedialite, or ice cubes in her water to tempt her to drink more. Discussed with the vet if there were any further tests we could do to check out her gall bladder. Short answer: No, we're at the point where an endoscopy and biopsy of stomach and intestines is the course of action (which is the less invasive form of exploratory surgery). The ultrasound the specialist did showed that absolutely everything looked normal. Vet recommended that we go ahead and just schedule that instead of waiting for her to start vomiting again. If endoscopy comes back normal, then we'll start trying to treat Terabyte as if the chronic cyclical illness is a behavior problem...and try her on doggie xanax. Talked with the vet about thunderstorm fear, and vet said that humans typically train their dog to be afraid of storms. That if the dog shows fear, we cuddle them or give them treats or whatever and thus train them that showing fear will be rewarded. SO last night's storm I ignored Tera's cowering instead of holding her... this will be a hard habit to break.


Gwynne said...

So, are they suggesting that you've trained her to have a monthly cycle that includes vomiting and diarrhea? That sounds absurd. I do hope they are able to resolve her ailments in short order!

Lynellen said...

Gwynne, not in so many words, but yes the vet has several times said that perhaps Terabyte is soooo intuitive/tuned in to me that she gets sick when I get stressed. I don't think there is a good correlation to this though... I've been working at home on my Phd for a month now (which despite the amout of work is MUCH less stressful to me than having a real job AND the phd work) yet Tera got sick on schedule.

They've suggested she get lots and lots of obedience training to make her more confident. I've not done that yet b/c she's so shy that I don't know how she'd ever learn anything in a group setting.

I'm hoping that her illness was a rare rare rare parasite that didn't show up in any of her labs that was killed by this latest round of deworming. Or that its her gallbladder and thick bile, which can be treated with diet or removal.

But yeah, I feel like a horrible doggie mommy if /I/ am the cause of her illness.

Janie said...

You could go to your local Petsmart (if you have one) and just observe the dog training. It's not hard, and once you see how they're motivating with treats, you can pick it up and implement it at home.

Or, you could take her. The trainings are limited as to how many dogs, and it's really a great socialization exercise. My dogs loved it!

Lynellen said...

Janie, thanks for the comment! I probably will go ahead and try a class. I've successfully trained dogs in the past. I've tried doing some training with Tera...but she's a different kind of gal...she is NOT motivated by treats. She wont eat them from my hand. If I drop them too close to me she wont come get them. If I throw them near her with too much velocity she gets scared and shies away. If we do manage to treat her for a behavior, she only allows really short training sessions...about 3 little nibbles of treat before she refuses to do the commanded action and refuses to be treated. So its been unrewarding for ME to try to train her, so I havent been very diligent at it.

Lynellen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear Tera is sick. I wish i had some kind of advice or smart tip to give but I know almost nothing when it comes to veterinary science. I hope she starts feeling better soon!