Monday, May 26, 2008

Roller coasters

Well, the Shoofly Gang roller coaster continues. I noticed Monday after we got home from the Bluegrass that Gael seemed a little off. By the evening she was obviously feeling bad, lethargic and not wanting to move around much, gums pale with a tinge of yellow to them, a slight fever and then she refused most of her dinner. I was on the phone first thing tuesday morning with the vet and had her in the office when they opened. She was jaundiced and dehydrated, and they started fluids right away and began trying to figure out what was wrong. Her liver enzymes were literally "off the scale" - the number for her alkaline phosphatase was so high that the machine in the vet's office wouldn't read that high and the blood had to go to another lab. A usual high reading might be something like 200 and Gael's was over 6000. Most of her other lab values were okay, white and red counts normal, etc, just the liver enzymes completely out of whack and she was pretty dehydrated. She spent the day at the regular vet, then i took her to the emergency vet office for overnight care and she stayed there until late wednesday evening. She was feeling a little better after aggressive fluid therapy and antibiotics, her fever was gone and the jaundice cleared up, so she got to come home and sleep curled up in the bed with me. She spent thursday back at the emergency vet getting more IV antibiotics and fluid therapy, an ultrasound (everything looked normal) and having pre- and post-meal bile acid tests (sent out for results). She was feeling pretty normal, bouncy and happy and yapping at the folks at the vet's office. The internal medicine specialist who was running the case felt like she was doing well enough to take on the trip to Dr Ben's trial this weekend, though i wasn't convinced until friday morning, when she seemed to be her normal self and was tossing toys at me. Since there are hookups at this trial site and i knew Gael could hang out in a nice air conditioned camper all weekend, i decided to head on out, with plans to come right back home if she had any sign of not feeling well. About 3.5 hours into the 4 hour drive the internist called with the results of the bile acid tests and the numbers were scary high, as the enzymes had been. Normal pre-fasting on the bile acids test is < 10 and Gael was a 58. Normal post-fasting should be under 20 and Gael was well over 200. The internist said he'd only seen such high values on the enzymes and bile acids test once or twice in his career. He also really didn't know what the heck was going on, said she should be feeling pretty lousy, etc. with those numbers. I was really devastated at this news - i just knew those results would come back okay, or if not okay at least not horrible. I wished i'd gotten the news sooner and had stayed home with Gael, but since we were so close and had already dealt with the horrible holiday traffic, we went on to the trial with the same original plan. And Gael did fine, was perfectly happy sleeping curled up on my lap (or my pillow when i was out of the camper) in the A/C. We took naps between runs and even managed to play a little fetch in the camper and she was happy and upbeat, feeling fine. The current medical plan is to repeat the bloodwork tomorrow and hope the enzymes are coming down, deciding what to do from there, either wait and see if she gets better or needs a surgical biopsy or what. She feels fine, was just sleeping curled up next to me here on the couch and is now rolling around on the floor scratching her back happily. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers and hope for those numbers to start down.

The NC State Trial at Ben and Emily Ousley's was pretty okay. I was distracted saturday, really just popping out to run the dogs and then back to the camper and Gael. The Open dogs and i didn't exactly burn up the trial field. Both ran decent but we couldn't seem to finish out a run for a good score. Sunday was much better in terms of being more focused. Spottie had a terrible run, missed everything. I can't really blame her with all the distraction of the last few days. Her group of sheep ran and ran. It was actually kind of funny even, how "not her day" the run was. I guess she gets to have a bad one now and again. :-) Zac had a really pretty run, very clean, finishing with a 91 and second place out of about 60 dogs. It's too bad saturday was so off, since he ended up only a couple of points out of the double lift finals. Moss ran Nursery friday evening and ran out the full Open length outrun very nicely, one of only a couple of the Nursery dogs to get out without much trouble. Unfortunately one of the 4 sheep doubled back just after the lift and he only brought 3 down the field, but he did it well. Sunday morning's Nursery run was decent as well, nice enough outrun with one redirect, and then i got some course training in with him as he wasn't flanking far enough to really turn the sheep online when asked on the fetch. His drive out was good, then the sheep bolted on the crossdrive, and then on his return leg he gave me that flank i'd schooled. The score wasn't anything but it was good to see him pick up that improved flank. I decided to go ahead and move him up to Ranch instead of running him in ProNovice since he was handling Nursery well enough. I was very, very pleased with his Ranch run. Again it wasn't very high scoring but the pieces are starting to come together. He had a beautiful fetch, giving good pace and flanking far enough to keep the sheep online, his nicest fetch at a trial yet. His drive away was really pretty as well - i got him to pace down more than i've been asking and he really had great contact and hold on his sheep. It was quite pretty in parts and very encouraging for the future.

So that's the latest on us here at Shoofly. Gael and i will be off to the vet first thing tomorrow, hoping for good news.


Luisa said...

I'll hold good thoughts for Gael. Sending healthy mojo your way from California --

P.S. Thanks for the Bluegrass coverage!

Anonymous said...

Hope Gael is on the road to recovery. I think it was probably better that you brought her- so she could be kept unstressed, and with her mommy- which helps. Sounds like Moss ought to be in open. That is SOME dog.

carsonc27545 said...

All of us here are keeping good thoughts for Gael. She is a tuff old gal and I am sure that she will recover just fine.

Zac's second run was one to see. Very, very smooth. Well done Zac Attack!

Julie said...

I'm hoping Gael continues to recover. I know she was foremost in your thoughts all weekend. At least you had a great go with Zac on Sunday and Moss was looking pretty darn good too!

Robin French said...

Thanks everyone. I'm still freaking, wondering if Gael will crash on me, but she's sure feeling good. She was tossing sticks around at the farm tonight and even went swimming. I had to rein her in to keep her from overdoing it.

I was really proud of the boys this weekend!

Anonymous said...

I really hope Gael recovers she's such a sweet dog.