Whenever faced with a tough scenario, diagnosis, or medical issue, I find the waiting to be the best part of that whole process. Where some get anxiety, fear, worry, or freak out, I tend to lean heavily into “we don’t know yet.” It’s my crutch to get to the next phase.
I don’t like to speculate and entertain wild thoughts. The “what if’s” and “can you imagine’s” just stir up emotions and ideas that my have no place in that scenario. “Cross that bridge when we get there,” is my motto. If the answer comes back to warrant a freak out or some tears, then so be it. But let that happen when it gets here.
I spent an hour at the vet today with my boy. We’ve had him since he was 5 months old. He’s now 11. A few days ago, he came off his food. He continued to drink water, but his energy was low and he had an air of depression. Where normally I would have to look under my chair before putting my feet down, or check the side of the bed before getting up, he lay in the hallway and barely moved his eyes as you stepped over him.
We were suspicious of dental issues, but found that hard crunchy treats didn’t slow him down or cause any pain, so ruled it out. Maybe it was a bad batch of food or his tastes have changed? We bought a different brand of softer food and he ate with vigor. Poor guy was just so hungry.
During this time, I kept commenting to my husband that his belly looked bigger than normal. I mean, he was compensating for it when he laid down. His bigger belly lead to a bigger concern that it might be a bigger issue.
By day two of his new food, he stopped eating again. I called the vet.
After some preliminary intake stuff and lots of notes, the doc had an issue he had to address in the next room. He apologized for dumping the words “possible internal bleeding” before leaving, but said he would be back shortly to aspirate his stomach and see what’s what. If he drew blood, then we would have to discuss our options.
Then he left the room.
There is bliss in the waiting. It’s a very distinct moment where everything is still a question and our eyes are clouded over. Truth is on the other side of a door that has yet to be opened.
Then the door opened. The doc was back with the necessary tools to stick my dog’s big stomach and draw out a big answer.
Chewy has internal bleeding. “Most often it’s the spleen,” he said. “There’s a good chance it’s malignant. The most conservative approach would be to give him an ultrasound and see if anything spread to the liver. If it did, there’s no help for him. If it didn’t and it’s the spleen, we can remove it, but if it’s malignant, well you’ll know within a few months.”
We opted for the ultrasound.
They admitted him and now we wait.
Remember what I said about bliss? Yeah, scratch that.