Dexter has been admitted to the hospital for tonight and probably tomorrow night as well. The free fluid in his abdomen, though NOT CANCEROUS (A-friggin-MEN!), had increased to a point where the bloating was causing him enough distress that we needed to get it drained. He weighed 50 pounds last Saturday … and 55 pounds today … all without eating much of anything. Basically, the fluids he ingests are ending up in his abdominal cavity, leaving him dehydrated, and since his motility issues won’t let him eat much, malnourished as well. Think about having an extra 10% of your body weight sloshing around in your belly and you’ll get an idea how uncomfortable it would be.
Tonight, he’s on a drip to deliver drugs, fluids, and nourishment, in order to get the stomach and intestinal tract healed, kick start his kidneys, and tell his pancreas to calm down and start acting normally. I’m going to ask them to add metronidazole tomorrow morning, I have a hunch that he’s experiencing a rare (for North America, anyway) disease called CNE (clostridial necrotizing enteritis), or a related illness that can be a precursor to CNE. I had his fecal cultured and know that he had (has?) a strain of clostridia in there, and we had him on metronidazole for that, but it may be that he wasn’t absorbing the oral dose and this stuff has been multiplying relatively unchecked.
But small victories, anyway, he’s getting fluid, meds, and nutrition, and they have him in a small pen in an area adjacent to the main surgery suite, so he’ll have plenty of activity to keep him entertained. Just to make sure I’m living up to my end of the promise (Remember? He keeps fighting, and I make sure it’s worth it.), I dropped off his goose squeaky toy (sans head, since he tore that off minutes after first receiving it), a blanket belonging to his faithful and courageous companion Sophie, and my “Arnold’s” hoodie, which we alternate sleeping in (me) or on (him) every couple nights.