Well, theoretically, anyway. After a few days off the IV and a stabilizing CBC, we were able to bring Dex home today. It may be his last time, but he’s here where he belongs, and that’s got to be a huge mental boost. For a dog that is too weak to walk more than 25 feet at a time, he almost sprinted from the parking garage to the elevator. I carried him from the elevator to the front door, where he made very clear that he wanted to be set down so he could walk over the threshold on his own. Stop one: water bowl. Stop two: lift me on the couch, please. It’s so priceless to have him here. I spent two hours on his bed with him at the vet’s this morning, regaling him with tales from Food and Wine magazine, which he did not find terribly interesting, since he managed to doze off more than once. His primary vet for this case suggested that we won’t be able to get him to eat while he’s at the hospital, but we may be able to at home, and the massive psychological boost he’ll get will be well worth it. We were cleared to break him out at 5pm today.
He’s not eaten since last week, but he’ll drink as much as you’ll let him, so he’s getting a honey-water solution to sneak in some calories. Tonight on the couch, he ate a couple pieces of chicken breast (~.5 teaspoons) and a small piece of skirt steak. That’s monumental. Of course, it was skirt steak from a cow that was pasture raised, dry aged, and grass fed, but that’s a small price to pay to see him chew and swallow something.
I wrote before how I suspected a necrotizing enteropathy. With the CBC data we’ve been gathering and the symptoms he’s been exhibiting, we’re unfortunately looking at (perhaps, nothing 100% of course) a necrotizing pancreatitis … his RBC is 20 or 21, not at a level where he needs a transfusion, but still pretty low, his WBC is high (~46,000 if you’re counting), which means an infection, and his pancreatic enzymes have been high … one of them is now normal, but the other remains high. Sorry, I can’t remember if it’s the amylise or lipase that’s high, there’s just been too much happening. Kidney and I think liver functions look normal … that’s a great thing to say for once! The downside here is that if a necrotizing pancreatitis doesn’t respond to treatment, it has a 100% mortality rate … the enzymes begin to digest pretty much everything they come in contact with, including internal organs. In humans they sometimes operate to remove the dying tissue and affect fluid drainage, sometimes leaving large bore catheters to deal with the fluids, but in canines it doesn’t look like this is common. The upside is that this type of thing usually comes with pretty bad pain, and from what we can tell, he isn’t in any pain right now. He’s bloated like a balloon and looks like he’s about to pop, but he’s not exhibiting anything that would lead us to believe he’s in pain. As long as he stays that way, I’ll carry him outside and push him down the street in a red wagon, smiling all the way.
For now, though, I’m happy with him being home, in his spot on the couch, dozing off.