July 14, 2007

My dog could be on House

So I've mentioned Jack is in the hospital. This is day 6 of his stay. They're still trying to figure out what's going on. You may be getting tired of hearing about this, but I'm just finding it kind of facinating.

First let me tell you this is not your usual vet. We got referred to a special vet hospital; I never even knew places like this existed. In the lobby(!) there's a board listing all the departments and specialists: Oncology - Drs. such-and-such and such-and-such. Radiology: Drs. so-on and so-on. It goes on like this for the better part of a wall, like those boards in medical center buildings. There must be a couple hundred people working there including all the techs and other staff. There are often 20 or more people in the waiting room; many waiting to get their pets into triage(!) so they can be admitted, others just visiting, like us.

Jack has a team of five doctors trying to figure out what his problem is. They called us yesterday after rounds(!). They gathered at his crate and discussed his symptoms and postulated theories. Because this is a teaching hospital(!), with a strong intern program(!), they are very excited to have a patient like Jack. They get to look into all sorts of weird and rare conditions that the interns aren't likely to see again in their training. One of the doctors on Jack's team did her internship on a fungal infection affecting the digestive tract and suspects this may be the cause. This would be fantastic news because it could be treated easily with a one-shot cure.

Other possibilities are inflamatory bowel disease, which could be either of a type treated primarily by a change in diet and a Pepcid a day for life, or of another type treated by a course of steroids for life. Either way, we're excited these possibilities include a "for the rest of his life" mention. A less likely cause is parasitic. When he was rescued almost four years ago we were told he was "full of worms." Of course he went through all the usual deworming before we adopted him and routinely since so this doesn't seem as likely, but it would be another easily resolved scenario. A dark horse possibility is Cancer, either lymphoma or carcinoma (will be goggling the difference), but since previous biopsies have found no evidence this is less likely.

The main thing is we're excited to have all these people looking into every possible cause so we can get him well and not have to do this again in another six months this time. We're pretty hopeful that the veterinary version of the Dr. House team will figure something out. In the meantime, he's still there because he still needs to be on an IV, but we're hoping to bring him home tonight or tomorrow. We'll probably still be waiting for answers into next week, but it will be so great to have him home. Thanks for all the well-wishes.

12 comments:

KarenO said...

I'm so glad he's getting the care and attention he does - they will find the answer sometime! I just cringe when I think of the bill for all this, it must be terribly expensive, but in my opinion well worth it!

twirl said...

Aww... I hope they figure out how to help Jack. Maybe all the extra people working/thinking/studying him will be to his advantage.

Thinking "for the rest of his life" thoughts for you guys!

Becks said...

Ahh bless him, he is so adorable! I hope he gets home this weekend with his Mum and Dad and they find they can treat him really easily.

K77 said...

Jack is too darn cute! I hope they figure out what's wrong and are able to fix it post haste.

Bumble said...

Poor little doglet, I hope Dr. House can find out whats going on really soon. But glad you have him home with you.

My Reality said...

I hope the rest of Jack's life is a long one.

Baby Blues said...

Sounds like Jack is in good hands. Hope he gets well and goes home soon!

Reproductive Jeans said...

Hope Jack can come home soon--I hate when our lab is sick, or shes not around--we love her like a child! Hope hes better soon!!

Sticky Bun said...

I'm so glad that he's getting such wonderful care and attention! And I hope that it's something easily treatable and that you have many more years with Jack. :-)

megan said...

hope jack is home safe and sound!

Kate said...

I loved all of the parenthetical exclamation points in this post. The clinic does sound impressive, and if anyone can find and treat Jack's issue, it would be them, right? Hope you have your sweet puppy home soon.

AshPash said...

I hope Jack is better soon. We have a dog and understand the relationship with a canine! Thanks for checking in on me...I have never heard of the thirst symptom and am glad to know someone else has experienced it!