Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.

Missing my dog today

It’s awfully quiet around the house today. Though Sidney doesn’t bark much, I keep listening for the clicks of her claws on the linoleum or her chain hitting the side of her food dish.

Sidney’s having surgery today to remove two growths — one from chronic inflammation and one a benign tumor. We recently sought out a second opinion after the regular vet’s office suspected Cushing’s disease. Some quick research revealed Cushing’s is common among older dogs.

We were skeptical, however, because the vet had never even seen Sidney, only blood work. So, being like good parents’, we sought another opinion. The second vet said Sidney did not display the usual characteristics of a Cushingoid dog — pot-belly, sway back — but said a particular enzyme, another tell-tale sign, was elevated. I asked if a particular supplement she took would have increased the enzyme level, but learned that the supplement is used to decrease enzyme production.

Sidney is also a thirsty dog and has trouble getting up onto the bed. And, recently, she’s started to lose a bit of fur in random places. All are potential signs of Cushing’s. Though some of those symptoms could be attributed to her thyroid, her recent blood work showed her levels were fine and we were to continue at the current dosage of her soloxine.

The vet suggested either waiting and keeping an eye on Sidney or to proceed with testing for Cushing’s. While conducting the physical, however, she found a couple of growths. She suggested testing tissue samples before moving onto looking for a Cushing’s diagnosis. If any were cancerous, we would need to discuss other measures before tackling potential endrocrine issues.

Luckily, the tumors were benign and we scheduled the pup for surgery. Allowing the growths to become larger would make it more difficult to remove in the future. We still need to decide on whether to test for Cushing’s. If the test(s) comes back positive and we start Sidney on a new regimen, she may experience some side effects. The vet said many dogs have trouble tolerating the drugs.

Right now, we’re waiting to bring Sid home this evening and planning to pamper her while she heals. I’m afraid she’ll be sent home with a cone around her neck. That’ll just be insult to injury since we couldn’t give her breakfast this morning.

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