It's been a rough week for us. Last Thursday we left home to spend the weekend with my niece and nephew while my sister was away. We had to pack everything Wednesday night because when we left Thursday morning at 6am we wouldn't be coming home again until Sunday. Holly would come with us, of course. It was -33C that morning as we packed the car and headed to my sister's house. We dropped Holly off and went to work and then I had a hair appointment after work. It was around 6pm by the time we got back there. When we did get back I noticed that Holly just wasn't herself. She was shaking and panting and we thought she might have an upset tummy. We tried to get her to play but she just wanted to lay around and she kept sticking her butt up in the air.
Friday night she was still acting strange and we called the vet. They couldn't get us in then but said we could bring her by on Saturday morning. She still wouldn't play and was still shaking and panting. Saturday morning she seemed a little better so we decided not to take her to the vet. She's had these bouts of shaking before and we always thought she had a sore belly. This time we wondered if she was having some anxiety about being away from home. She really doesn't like change. All our renovations seem to put her into a spin and lately she's just one big ball of nerves.
Saturday we went curling and by the time we got home she seemed to be feeling better. On Sunday afternoon we packed up and were getting ready to head home when I saw her chewing on something. This is where the story may be a little graphic. Sorry. I reached to see what she was chewing on and it looked like a piece of liver was in the corner of her mouth. I touched it and it seemed to be attached and then it went back into her mouth as she swallowed it. My fingertips were tinged red where I'd touched "the thing". I had gone out to a bar with some friends the night before so I was feeling tired and a little zombieish *waves @ Zombs* when this happened and I was almost hesitant to tell Dusterboy.
On the way home Holly was really freaky. She doesn't like going in the car much these days and it seems that longer trips really freak her out. She was pacing and panting and shaking until I finally put her on the floor and tried to ignore her. I've been reading that you shouldn't react to your dog when they're scared. If you do, you just confirm that there's something to be afraid of.
I told Dusterboy about "the thing" on the way home and told him it kind of looked like liver and was about the size of my thumb. She settled down Sunday night and seemed to be okay most of the week but still not completely herself. She was eating and drinking and playing a little but not 100%.
Yesterday morning she started to hack around 5:30am and "the thing" poked out again. Of course, Dusterboy didn't see it but when he took her out for her pee she threw up blood. We called the emergency line and they told us to bring her in. I was totally freaked out and cried most of the way to town. I dropped Dusterboy off at work and then took her to the hospital. While we were admitting her she threw up a large amount of blood and "the thing" appeared again. Again, only I saw it.
They told me to call by noon if I didn't hear from them. I went in to work but I was a basket case. My eyes were red, puffy and sore from all the crying. I called after lunch and the vet told me that he had no idea what "the thing" was but suggested it might be a blot clot. He said that Holly had some type of ulcer in her stomach and that was causing the blood. They started her on two different meds and wanted to keep her until 6:30pm to keep and eye on her.
We discussed possible causes and I told him about how stressed she is all the time. She shakes during thunder, she shakes when the power goes off and then again when it comes back on. She shakes when a camera flashes. She shakes for firecrackers and loud noises. She shakes in the car. It's getting ridiculous. She's afraid of everything! I asked about something to settle her down and he said he'd get me something to try when necessary. I don't want her on it all the time, just when necessary. Holly now has her own special doggie downers. Too bad the vet couldn't give me some.
We picked her up and paid the bill - $414 - and talked more to the vet. He said she was fine all day and didn't throw up anymore. He said to call if "the thing" appeared again and to call in on Monday to let him know how she was making out. She was very calm on the way home. I think she was pretty wiped out from her day at the hospital.
This morning we gave her the meds and she started hacking and "the thing" came out again. I couldn't believe that Dusterboy still hasn't seen it. I'm having friggen' nightmares about this and he still hasn't seen it once. It's so disturbing. I called the vet again and he said the only other option is to sedate her and try looking down her throat to see what it is. They don't have a scope at their hospital ($3o,000 to buy one) so sedating her would be the only option. That would cost more money but I'm really disturbed by "the thing". He suggested we see how the weekend goes before we decide.
Tonight I'm sitting here with my baby girl curled up at my feet. Every half hour or so I give her a little cuddle and tell her Mommy loves her. I can't even think about losing her. All week I've been saying I'm never getting another dog. Then last night at the vet's there was this 8 wk old little puppy that we were playing with and it reminded me of Holly when she was a baby and my position softened a little. Now I'm going to say that I'm never going to look at another puppy because that leads to wanting one.
I'm so worried about my baby girl...