Saturday, January 15, 2011

Serendipty of a Poop Grass Mass

I am writing this post in hopes that others might see the same symptoms in their own dogs and save themselves agonizing time.

Bogart exhibited an illness on Dec.21st - he had an extremely bad case of explosive diarrhea (literally painting the walls).   subsquently he was quite lame and the lameness travelled from limb to limb.  He was still eating at this point - and not refusing food.  I watched him closely   - he did not have a fever and did improve, so I did not bring him to the vet.  By Dec. 24th he was eating again and no longer had any lameness.

Jan. 4th.  Bogart did not eat his breakfast.  Not a biggie for me, since often a dog will skip a meal.  I had business in town to attend to and returned home around 3 pm.  I found a small puddle of vomit that consisted of just yellow bile on the floor. Again - not a biggie for me, sometimes a dog (or cat) has an upset tummy.

I offered Bogart some food and he ate a small amount, but he was very restless.  Pacing and panting.  This was certainly something that alarmed me - I was thinking bloat.  Apart from pacing and panting, he was not exhibiting any other bloat symptoms, so I just watched him.  At 6 pm he vomited at my feet.  The vomit was just food.  His anxiety subsided after this and he laid down to sleep.  A couple of hours later I offered him some water and a bit of food - he ate a bit, drank a bit and then became restless again.  Around 9-10 pm he vomited again.

He had no fever.  I watched him closely all day Wed.  I would offer him water, he'd lap a bit.  He vomited more on Wed.

I admitted him to hospital on Thursday since it was clear he was not holding down anything, not even water.  He was put on IVs and monitored.  He continued to vomit anything given by mouth while in hospital.

Friday we did an ultrasound that showed he had some kind of mass just south of his stomach (sorry - I don't know the technical terms).   Also, it showed a mass on his spleen.  So - on Friday afternoon - Bogart was prepped for surgery.

The mass in his gut turned out to be just poop and grass.  His intestines were bunched up - why he could not pass this stuff remains a mystery.  The surgeons were able to "milk" the mass up and into the stomach and remove it - so there were no incisions into his intestines - just one into the stomach.  He also underwent a spleenectomy (I am awaiting the pathology report on that mass).

It took about 1 hour before he woke up from the surgery.  I was on pins and needles because he would not wake up.  He was breathing so shallow that he was not blowing off the sedation.  All I could think of was the movie "Coma" at this time.  Finally, he opened his big brown eyes and acknowledged me and I knew that he was awake.

Bogart stayed in the clinic for another 2 days and I brought him home on Monday...but...his incision was not healing.  He was leaking a pink tinged fluid and had a fever of 103.2 F.  I brought him back to the clinic where they swabbed his incision and did cultures as well as a ultrasound to determine if he had fluid building up in his abdomen.  All tests pointed to just normal post leakage and most likely him licking his incision.

And now 1 week 2 days later his incision is looking much better.  There is still a bit of spotting, but, for the most part the incision is dry and the swelling is going down.  Bogart's appetite is increasing and he's once again begging for pets and belly rubs.

Bogart was not amused with having to wear an e-collar and did his best to crash around the house or just sit there and pant....making me feel even more sorry for him.  He is also sporting one of the worst hair cuts ever - it just about killed me to watch his beautiful coat being cut off - but, hey, he can grow another one.

The serendipity of this entire story is that I would never have known he had a mass on his spleen had it not been for this episode.  This poop/grass mass might very well have save his life.  Here's hoping!

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