May 22nd, 2007

Sydney & Sheri

Good and bad Sydney news...

I visited Sydney twice in the hospital today - once during my lunch break, and once after work. Our new vet is wonderful and encourages visits, letting us stay as long as we want in a private room and encouraging us to come back... Since the vet's office is only about 10 minutes away from my work place, I thought it would be nice to spend my lunch hour with Sydney.

What I was really worried about was Sydney not recognizing me... She was so disoriented yesterday that if I went to see her and she didn't know who I was, I'd be devastated. I also didn't want to look into her eyes and see absolutely no sparkle in them like I had the day before - I don't think I could've held it together if I'd seen that.

Thankfully, when they brought her out this afternoon, she immediately wagged her tail when she saw me and tried to jump into my arms. And when I went back after work, she was so excited to see me that her tail almost wagged in circles. :) She was definitely a lot more alert than she was yesterday and I began to see the sparkle in her eyes again. In fact, after speaking with the vet, she said that she was thinking about releasing her today... :)

The bad news... is that our vet thinks that the disorientation from yesterday had to do with liver failure. She explained that even though the test results didn't show high liver values, sometimes the test results are wrong when the liver is so badly damaged that it can't regenerate itself. She thinks that Sydney is in the advanced stages of liver disease. :(

She did say that Sydney appears to have shown positive signs of improvement however, with liver disease, there's always good and bad times. Yesterday was a very serious bad time and she'll probably be okay again for a while, but the vet's concern is that this good time will maybe not be as good or last as long as the other times (because her liver is getting progressively worse) and her bad times might be worse next time.

She also mentioned to me that there's no definitive answer to liver disease. She told me about a dog with liver disease who was having seizures and she really thought that was the end - so she called the family in. They came in and the dog sat up looked at all of them there and wagged his tail - he actually was able to regain his strength and went home a couple of days later and is still living to this day (and that was three years ago.) With the right diet and medication, Sydney's story doesn't necessarily have to have a terribly short ending...

Of course I was disheartened to hear that her liver ailment was still a problem and might get worse, but really... all I wanted was my doggie back - just to see the glimmer of light back in her eyes made a world of difference to me. We can deal with the other stuff as it comes - right now, I'm just thankful Sydney's personality seems to have returned. :)

Even though the vet said that she could go home today, we decided to keep her in the hospital for another night. Both Mark & I felt that an additional night with liquids and antibiotics being administered would help her out when we finally brought her home tomorrow. We're really looking forward to having her home again - the house really seems SO empty without her!

Here are a couple of photos - one taken yesterday when we brought her in and one taken this afternoon when I went to visit her after work. I think it's clear to see that she wasn't herself at all yesterday!

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Sorry this has been such a novel! :( Thank you so much again for all of your good thoughts and prayers for Sydney. It wasn't the best news to receive (at all) but thankfully it seems that some of her personality has returned and she'll get to come with us tomorrow. :)
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