Just hours after I posted here on the blog Thursday night about James getting better, he took a turn for the worse. His abdomen was really contracting and he was almost moaning in pain when it would happen. He was even panting – and James rarely pants. We knew he was in pain and we weren’t sure this was connected to his anal gland. It was after dinner, so we had to drive an hour into town for the emergency vet.
Thankfully we did. The vet took James back and did bloodwork. James was bleeding internally and he had 0 platelets to stop the bleeding. They did more X-rays and the vet didn’t see any blood pooling so she thought the bleeding was in his intestines. They needed to put James on an IV right away to get him fluids, prednisone and a chemo drug that helps make more platelets. We had no idea how serious this was going to be – and James ended up needing to spend the night. We were completely heartbroken. I couldn’t stop crying – I was just in shock. Chris drove us back and we tried to get some sleep.
The emergency vet is only open at night and on the weekends. It was Thursday night. There is a specialist that uses the office during the day and he happens to be a specialist on internal medicine. The doctor said this specialist was only going to be in for a half day on Friday and he wasn’t taking any new appointments. She was going to talk to him in the morning and see if he would make an exception. She told us to be there at 6:30am because either James needed to be released and sent to a new vet in town that could take care of him during the day or maybe, just maybe, he could be seen by the specialist.
We headed home and I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I was so upset. So I just lay in bed and prayed that James would make some platelets and that Chris would get some sleep.
We arrived back at the vet at 6am. The same doctor was still there and she said James had a pretty good night. He was comfortable and on fluids. But he still had 0 platelets. And she had good news – the specialist would see us. This was AMAZING because James didn’t need to switch to a new office across town. The specialist did an ultrasound and James’ spleen was enlarged. He also saw some black spots he didn’t like. J’s lymph nodes were also enlarged. So he was going to run a bunch of tests. It was a Friday so things would get sent to be tested right away, but we weren’t going to have any answers until Monday.
Chris left me at the vet and he headed back to get some work done. The good thing was since this emergency vet was closed on Friday during the day (except the few appointments the specialist had) that meant I could use this consultation room they had with a couch. I was able to get some sleep while waiting for James to get tests. They would bring him in and let me visit him for a little bit, too. James couldn’t come home Friday night, so he stayed at the vet again for the night.
Saturday morning at 6am my phone rang with good news: J’s platelet count was up to 10,000! But he needed at least 50,000 to come home. So we went and spent most of the day with him. It was harder to do because the emergency vet was busy with other emergencies. But we would take J outside to get some fresh air and we put his car bed down for him to sit and watch the birds. By Saturday night, his platelet count still wasn’t at 50,000. So we had to go home alone again.
But Sunday morning, my phone again rang at 6am and J’s platelet count was 56,000! Yay!!!! We needed permission from the specialist for James to be discharged. They were worried because his red blood cell numbers had dropped. But he was on an IV so they could be diluted. At 10am I heard from the specialist and he said yes, James could come home. We raced to pick him up!
He has been sleeping all day. I’m sure he didn’t get much sleep while in the doggie ICU. The vets and techs all said he was such a sweet boy and he would always watch the different cases that were happening in front of his cage.
We will be talking to the specialist this week to find out what all of the results are from the testing. We will also do another CBC blood test later this week to make sure things are looking okay. We have a few ideas of what could have caused all of this but we just need to see what all of the tests day. Keep little James in your prayers. He had a rough weekend! But he is home and comfortable now.