Saturday, February 2, 2008

A bad pet week

We are still at the San Jose Elks lodge, for what we hope to be our last night. Tomorrow morning we will drive over to our friends' house for a SuperBowl party (who's playing, again?), and we'll just spend the night on the street there, since we'll probably have a few glasses of wine, and there is really no transit option to get us back here.

Our plan had been to depart directly from there Monday morning for Laguna Seca. However, there is now a fly in that ointment. We have spent the last three days visiting vets, and we are waiting on test results for Monday morning.

Top of the list is our problem child, Opal. She occasionally has colitis, and we feed her a bland diet of rice and cottage cheese when it occurs. She's been having trouble for about a week now, but, on Thursday morning, we discovered some blood in her stool. That prompted an immediate trip to the vet, facilitated by Edith coming down on short notice with the car. A blood panel turned up some bad news -- her anemia is back and worsening.

The regular vet, whom we had used many times when we lived here in San Jose, allowed that she really did not have the diagnostic tools to take things much further, so she referred Opal to a specialist for Friday, where she could get, among other things, another ultrasound.

I had planned to spend some of Friday at the shooting range with a friend, a plan which was quickly eclipsed by adding more very expensive pictures of the inside of the dog to our collection.

The good news was that the ultrasound and further blood work revealed no serious problems with the liver and no obvious tumors of any sort. We are now waiting on pathology to come back for other reasons for the poor red cell count, including a Coombs test. Depending on where that comes out, we may need to have a bone marrow biopsy to see if it is one of the cancers that attacks there.

Just as we were coming to grips with Opal's issues, George started the day out vomiting yesterday morning. We thought it was just something she ate, as cats are wont to do (rubber bands, bugs, etc.), but she continued into the night. When we woke up to five additional spots of bile and mushy cat food this morning, we decided to run her in. (On a positive note, we're really glad we traded the carpet in for our new flooring.) Rather than go to the "usual" vet, we found one in scooter distance here in Willow Glen, and George rode over, in her carrier, on the floorboards of the Metropolitan. X-rays revealed no foreign objects or serious GI dilation, and so she got some anti-emetic and sub-cu fluids and we are monitoring her without food or water for another 24 hours. Angel is having to deal with the fact that the food and water is not out and available for her either, with the resultant complaining from all involved.

We are hoping that, by Monday morning, all will be well with George, and Opal's diagnosis will have proceeded to a point where we are free to leave town. We are itching to be back on the road, and I want to have plenty of time to deal with the oil leaks before we have to be in Death Valley. I should be able to post an update here one way or the other by Monday night or Tuesday morning.


  1. Those of us who live and suffer with our pets can only commiserate with you. We hope everything turns out well for both. -- Jon & Loni

  2. I'm so sorry to hear about Opal and George; best wishes to them and to you (and to Angel). It can be so devastating when a pet is ill.


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