ABOUT MY ILLNESS
Things were seemingly great! I was about 6 weeks into my obedience course, and I vomited one night and stopped eating. I took 2 weeks off from working while mom nursed me back to feeling better. It took a little while, but I eventually seemed to be feeling my usual, peppy self.
Then, one night mom noticed my tummy was really bloated. She called Dr. Besancon after hours, and they both assumed I snuck into my dog food storage. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, and my tummy continued to be bloated.
Mom couldn’t wait until Monday for me to be seen and took me to a clinic that was open on Saturdays. That doctor confirmed there was fluid in my abdomen and mentioned a bunch of scary things to mom, including heart failure.
Mom followed up with Dr. Besancon who ordered a series of diagnostic tests; bloodwork, x-rays, and CT scan. My bloodwork indicated my liver isn’t functioning properly. Dr. Besancon told mom it could be a congenital liver shunt, but additional costly tests were needed. Together, they decided to treat me with medication to see how I respond before looking toward possible surgery.
On Thursday 6/20/2019, I had 4400 mL drained off me. The next day, I was not myself and refused to eat. Mom brought me to see the Dr. and my exam didn’t indicate anything particularly abnormal given my history. I was given a steroid injection and an appetite stimulant. I only picked at my food all weekend, so mom brought me back on Monday morning.
In talking with the Dr. mom learned that if I indeed have a liver shunt, my prognosis is not good without surgery. While my symptoms could be managed medically, my quality of life would continue to sharply decline as my body started to fail me. Plasma transfusions could not only help prolong my life but could also help me maintain a good quality of life. However, surgery would be my best bet for a longer, healthier life.
Though we still don’t have all the answers, mom promised me she would do whatever she can to save my life, even if it includes asking friends, family, and strangers to help her do so!