Friday, May 23, 2014

Down With the Sickness

I bring you the latest Zora update from within confines of the disease-ridden Archambault household. Our lives have been an intricate medley of doctor/vet appointments, pharmacy runs, medication schedules and long nights for a solid two weeks now. Brody brought home what I thought was Bronchitis and naturally, one sneeze to my face later, I was sick as well. It ended up being either a nasty cold or allergies on crack for the both of us, and thankfully he felt better within a week.

Last Friday night, Zora woke up in the middle of the night trying to hoark something up. This isn't totally uncommon. She loves to gnaw on sticks and whenever she does, like clockwork, between 1 and 4 AM, she will attempt to regurgitate the tree pieces onto my bedroom carpet. Lovely. She let out a couple heaves, nothing came up and then she went back to bed. No biggie.

Saturday night was significantly worse. She spent almost two hours dry heaving and nothing ever came up. I was pretty concerned, but because we had spent all day outside doing yard work, I assumed she had digested some leaves or sticks as she usually does. 

Sunday, she went through spurts of dry heaving and by the evening, she was obviously very weak and sore. I called the emergency after-hours vet number to get her opinion. My super awesome friend Kristen did a pharmacy run for me to pick Zora up some pepcid and I made arrangements to have her at the vet first thing in the morning.

Zora's vitals checked out just fine and the vet didn't see Zora wince from any tenderness around her abdomen. I was concerned about something being caught even though she was eating and going to the bathroom normally, but the vet said it's highly unlikely. Obviously she doesn't know how much of a scavenger Miss Zora is... especially with small plastic kid toys. 

She was given an IV with some anti-vomiting meds. She sat perfectly still the entire time and took turns holding everyone's hands. Bless her furry little heart. The IV created a super gross bulge on her back, but thankfully went away quickly. We went home with some additional meds and high hopes for improvement...

...for both of us. Because I'm an idiot and think I can mentally power through any illness, I let my cold/allergy mess turn into a sinus infection. Go me. My doctor's office screwed up my prescription location, so I laid on the Walmart pharmacy bench for AN HOUR AND 20 MINUTES with a sinus headache that was taking over my brain waiting for those nincompoops to fill my antibiotic. With snot running down my face and no more tissues, a headache squeezing my right eye shut and 2% of a phone battery left... I was clearly only minutes away from going postal. 

One dose of antibiotics was not enough to get me through the day Tuesday, so both Zora and I spent 12 straight hours curled up in bed sleeping off the germies. I started to feel better, but her dry heaving got substantially worse Tuesday and Wednesday night. 

Her kisses are medicinal, right? 

SIDE NOTE... I got the official word on Tuesday that the MRI showed no signs of my pituitary tumor! Yay!!!

So anyways, I had originally scheduled a back-up, just-in-case appointment on Friday morning for x-rays if I didn't see improvement throughout the week. After sitting up with her throughout the night watching her heave and having her completely stop eating Wednesday night, I got her right back into the vet Thursday morning. 

Breaks my heart into a million pieces.

Zora's initial x-rays indicated she had an excessive amount of stomach contents and stool, but no clear obstruction. Blood work indicated a high white blood cell count, but thankfully they were able to rule out Pancreatitis. They thought the heaving might be related to a problem in the esophagus, but because an emergency case was brought in, I had to leave Zora at the vet and return to work.

In the meantime, they ran more x-rays and Zora and found that her lungs looked cloudy. After consulting with numerous other vets, they're certain that it's the source of her problems and narrowed it down to 3 different causes... infection, parasites or cancer. Because of her age, they wanted to be optimistic about ruling out cancer and aggressively planned out treatments to fight both the infection and parasite possibilities. She was given a couple shots with steroids and other heavy duty drugs and I was sent home with additional meds to administer several times a day. 

She was obviously exhausted and worn out Thursday evening from a very long, scary day. We both were. She ate a scrambled egg and we went to bed early. I was woken up at 2:30 AM by Zora smashing her face into my face. Thinking something was wrong, I followed her out into the kitchen where she sat herself in front of the dog food cupboard and stared at me. Finally, a good sign. She ate some dog food and a puppy cookie and went back to sleep with no heaving. 

She hasn't had any heaving episodes since we came back from the vet yesterday. She's eating some dog food, but pretty much inhaling her bland diet of ground beef, scrambled eggs and yogurt. Although a stinker when it comes to taking pills and a few very minor side effects from the meds, Miss Zora is definitely showing signs of improvement!! 

Thank you everyone for your concern and continued prayers!! Miss Zora is so loved! Thank you also to Dr. Sue at the Holland Animal Clinic for taking such good care of my baby and following up with me today on her progress.

Will keep you posted...
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