He's had a rough last week, and I've been trying to gather my thoughts for this (once again) long overdue post.
Since my last writing, he has been to the clinic twice (photo, left from his visit with Dr. Wendy on the 24th) , with a third appointment scheduled for tomorrow. Guinness had been doing pretty well, and then once again took a down turn. He suddenly lost a bunch of weight, and became less active. I brought him in as a semi-emergency appointment with Dr. Tom on Saturday the 22nd, and he was checked over to make sure there wasn't something critically wrong. Luckily his heart, lungs and checks for anything really urgent and horrible were normal. I also had an appointment scheduled for that Monday for deeper tests, including a chest xray. That also came out good, and I am relieved that he still has clear lungs. Guinness was put on antibiotics to cover the bases for any potential infection that wasn't showing itself, and also was put on a high protein diet to help put some weight back on him (let me tell you, Guinness has been thrilled about that part of it).
Monday we went to see Dr. Wendy, and he had a second blood draw, several xrays and a urinalysis. While his blood counts are still out of whack, his chest xray is still coming back clear, which is very happy news. A second antibiotic was added because of some other symptoms that were appearing (one of which was very bad breath and strong urine odor). We also added an omega-3 suppliment to his diet, which are in the form of little treats that Guinness can't get enough of. Once again, heart, lungs etc. look good. All of his vitals were still looking good, and nothing is standing out as to why he's feeling so poopy.
On Saturday night, I became much more worried about him. His stomach appeared to be really enlarged, and he looked very uncomfortable. I stayed up with him very late making sure he was ok, bringing him water, helping him outside several times, and even putting a cool washcloth on his belly to cool him down (he seems to get hot at night, and pants a lot, whether due to heat, or just not feeling right). Finally, he settled down and got comfortable, and I was able to make the decision not to pack him into a car and whisk him off to be checked. Sunday morning he seemed to be feeling a little better, though still not his usual self.
As of yesterday, 10 days after being on antibiotics to see if he responded (if there was a drastic improvement, it would seem to signal that it is an infection causing his downturn), he is still pretty low key, and is having a hard time getting himself off the floor unassisted. He will be going back tomorrow, and we will be discussing what to do about future chemotherapy treatments (he's definitely not been feeling well enough to get them so that's been taken off the plate entirely for the moment), switching up his diet again (he's on a diet of puppy food and home cooked ground beef to eliminate as much grains from his diet as possible as cancer feeds on grains, but can't reproduce in fat) as the ground beef may be a source of stomach irritation (he may be moved to cooked chicken...let me just tell you again, Guinness is a happy camper over all this, he exists to eat!) and also changing up his pain medication to make sure we support his left leg so that he can become more mobile.
That's where we're at right now. I am happy to be able to report that me brining a muffin upstairs a bit ago was enough temptation for him to get off the kitchen floor and call to me from the bottom step to bring him up here with me...again, not something he's been doing lately, so it makes me happy to have my puppy at my side while I compose this.
See the muffin? Or, actually, the muffin paper...the muffin is long gone, he just hasn't been shown the evidence yet. Guinness still has his eye on it.
I have to add here that after visiting the Animal Clinic of Chardon so frequently, it's like walking into a home full of friends and family. I'm getting to know the staff one by one, and it's really comforting to be under the care of such a great team. Wendy, Tom, and all of the rest at ACOC (Jodi, Rebecca, Kim, Terri, Bitsy, Amanda, Marie, Jessi and Joyce, and Dr. Jessica, I hope I'm not forgetting anyone!) thank you so much.
More to follow after tomorrow's appointment . . . in the meantime, we're still hanging in there!