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Today the vet called to tell me the results of Chloe’s internal biopsies from her endoscopy: tonsils, esophagus, stomach, and small intestines.  You see, last Friday we went to the vet AGAIN because Chloe was still having gulping issues after a foxtail was removed from beneath her tongue and another from her tonsils.  I was worried about what came first, the chicken or the egg, type of scenario. Did she eat the grass that had foxtails in it, causing inflammation and leading to pieces stuck in her mouth or did she have some underlying GI issue/disease that led her to eat the grass and the foxtails in the first place?  I was tired of ‘not knowing’, so I wanted to get this issue resolved. So the next step was she  endoscopy. This way the vet could see inside her body and take tissue samples for processing.   She’s been on broad spectrum medications to cover all these potential issues in the meantime.

Turkeys in our driveway. Cute turkeylings!!!

Back to the biopsy update: no sign of disease, cancer or otherwise. Just inflammation.  The vet thinks (and me too) that her internal inflammation (tonsils, esophagus and stomach) are repercussions from ingesting the foxtails.  Chloe was given a steroid shot last Friday, and oh my goodness were the side effects terrible.  She was pacing, panting, peeing herself and still gulping A LOT. Probably didn’t help that the day before, they stuck a camera down her insides and scraped little bits off along the way.  Poor girl. Good thing she has anxiety issues, so I gave her one of her chill pills to calm her down.  Sunday she was much better, no steroid side effects.

Chloe is still painfully gulping at least 25x/day, yes I’m keeping track of it since I can do a lot of thesis work from home. I gave this update to her vet and we started the next step: start Chloe on a short course of oral steroids. Pretty much steroids are the only thing that can reduce the inflammation. But we can’t keep her on them forever because there are long term side effects… I think that she’s had this inflammation and gulping for so long, that she needs something more than just one shot to kick the inflammation’s butt.  I have no doubt its going to take a while to heal regardless.  In the meantime, I’ve been giving her boiled chicken, canned food, brown rice, chicken stock and water in her food.  The liquids to help keep up her hydration and the others because they are mushy.   Until she no longer gulps, she will be on this ‘mushy baby food-like diet’.  The last thing I want is to exacerbate her healing by feeding her dry kibble.  And I’m too lazy to let her dry kibble soak for an hour to get mushy enough to eat.

Chloe’s ‘cuffs’: shaved spots from IV insertion areas. L from first procedure, R from most recent.

Fingers crossed, the oral steroids, mushy food and love will help her heal.  I guess the good thing is that my dog is literally healthy inside and out apart from the inflammation.  But I’ve lost about 10 years of my life between her illness and the 2 deaths in the family. My grandfather’s memorial service will be on Monday and my uncles’ the following Sunday. Please, tell your loved ones that you love them. Give your pooch a huge hug as well. Life is too short.

For your entertainment: Chloe fixated on the turkeys…if we get too close and scare them, Chloe goes NUTS, whining, high pitched barking, falling over trying to ‘sprint’ while I hold her. If I could multitask I would film that to show you how funny she gets. But this will have to do!


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Posted by on July 11th, 2012 at 5:24 pm