Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Riley is really sick.

Really sick. Darrell asked me to take him to the vet today because of some swelling in his neck, as well as obviously not feeling well. I figured it was just a cold that he'd get over - not a big thing.

I'm so glad Darrell had me take him. It's not a cold. Far from it.

I totally expected the vet to look him over, tell me it's an upper respiratory infection, here's some meds, yada yada. Instead, he listed to Riley's heart for a few minutes (which was hard since Riley's breathing is labored), checked him over, and then told me that he wants to admit Riley for xrays, bloodwork, fecal testing, who knows what else.  I felt like I'd been run over by a bus.

He threw out words like possible cancer, lung deflation, cardiomyopathy (heart failure), pneumonia.

I held it together until I got to the front desk, then started crying. I know it's a different situation, but I can't help by think back to Kiwi, the cutie pie black kitten we adopted in South Carolina that died ten days later. I called Darrell in the car in the parking lot. He didn't answer, so I planned to drive to his work. I knew he wasn't teaching, and would probably be able to talk with me. On my way over, I noticed his truck in our driveway (we live just off the main road through town). Thank goodness.

I went in, without Riley of course, and Darrell asked me where he was. I couldn't talk and freaked Darrell out. Finally I calmed down enough to tell him what was going on.

It came from nowhere, ya know? He's been 'fine'... We've only had him for six week - up until three days ago, he seemed 'normal'. At least as normal as he's been since we got him. Turns out that he's not 'fine' or 'normal' at all.

I thought he was just out of shape. No, he's got 50% lung capacity, which is why he was getting tired so fast. I thought he just breathed faster. No, he's got something wrong, pushing on his lungs, or maybe there's fluid in there, or something. I thought he just had a cold!

The vet called back just before 2. He says the bloodwork is fine - no viscosity issues, no abnormal readings. It's not heartworm or lyme. And the other stuff shows it's most likely his heart or he has a tumor. The vet asked if he could do an ultrasound on his heart, and if he could insert a tube to drain off some of the fluid in his chest cavity - both to relieve some pressure off of Riley's lungs, but also to see what type of fluid it is.

And that's where we are now. The clinic closes in about two hours - I'm expecting a call sometime before then.

We're so attached to this dog already. I know it's only been six weeks, but when you plan to have a pet in your family for the rest of it's life, you get attached, ya know? I just hope we're still talking YEARS of the rest of his life. Still too early to plan anything. It depends on what's wrong.

Darrell and I have been 'what-if'ing any of the possible scenarios, but really there's nothing to plan or decide until we know what the situation is.  I just told the boys that Riley's at the vet.  They haven't asked anything further.

I'm not mad at the rescue organization - there's no way they could have known. But the vet says that there's no way that Riley is only three years old. He's getting five or six. We wouldn't have adopted him if we'd known that. This is the exact situation we were trying to avoid. We wanted a young dog so that we weren't dealing with this kind of thing for many many years. Instead, six weeks later, here we are. It is what it is, and we'll deal with it, but I'm.... what, mad? I don't know. Certainly disappointed, devastated, sad. And yeah, a little bit mad.

We love him, that's for sure. This totally sucks.

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