Lilly Update: What We Know, What We Don’t

We’ve been busy with “hospitalized at home” protocols for Lilly since she came home Friday evening. Much to do, much to worry about, but here is a quick update from Sunday morning (1-27-13).

I’ve not yet had the chance to discuss these findings with our veterinary / neurology team, so I don’t have clarity or context about what all this means.

The headline for Friday’s primary emergency is that Lilly’s bladder had NOT ruptured.

Ultrasound Results

  • Hyperechoic (brighter than normal) and enlarged liver
  • Shadowy gas in wall of urinary bladder wall (emphysematous cystitis) << serious bladder infection that’s off-gassing into the bladder wall
  • Thin adrenal glands
  • Kidneys, GI, lymph nodes – NNL or WNL (Bad hand writing, hard to tell, but my medical pals say it means either Near Normal Limits or Within Normal Limits. So, good news there.)

Blood Test Results

  • Red cell counts and such are either normal or high.
  • White cell counts – some are quite high, some are quite low.
  • 2 of 3 liver function measurements are wildly high.
  • Kidney function measurement is also high.
  • Pancreas function measurement is low.
  • Thyroid function numbers are also low.

Urine Tests / Cultures

Results were not back yet, but they prescribed ZENIQUIN, which is a strong antibiotic used for soft-tissue infections, especially in the bladder. They gave her injections at the hospital Friday, and we’ll continue this med for 14 days … unless the culture comes back and shows another antibiotic would be more effective.


What Makes Me Worry

I suspect these results mean that our current treatment plan (the cytarabine injections, in particular) may be doing Lilly more harm than I realized. It’s one thing to understand that we’re using powerful drugs with consequences. It’s another thing to see those potential consequences in real data. Yes, we’re keeping Lilly’s brain inflammation at bay, but at what cost to the rest of her body?

That’s a question that keeps me up at night.


How is Lilly Doing?

Lilly is tired, but she seems otherwise OK. She is eating and drinking well. She sleeps a lot. She plays a little, if we give her a food toy. She seems bright and happy.

“Hospitalized at home” simply means that we keep a close watch on her, and we don’t let her run around like a wild monkey. Saturday, for example, she slept at my side all day while I worked on knitting her new sweater.

I’m happy to tell you that Lilly’s urine has gone from RED to PINK to BROWN.

Because this infection has greatly weakened her bladder wall, I am NOT expressing her at all for fear of rupturing her bladder. Normally, we cut the pads inside her diaper in 1/2, but because she continues to have super-soaker leaks, we’ve gone to a whole, most-absorbent pad. (Tom bought 2 big packs of the most absorbent ones he could find.)

So for now, it’s status quo …

  • Lilly is fine, right now.
  • We’re giving her lots of love and attention.
  • We’re enjoying quiet, gratitude-soaked days at home.

Oh, and since Lilly neither sheds anymore nor produces new hair, her sad, little pot belly will be naked for a while.

best dog blog, champion of my heart, Lilly with shaved belly

Between work demands and Lilly’s caretaking needs, I may not post again until there is additional news.


17 thoughts on “Lilly Update: What We Know, What We Don’t

  1. February 5, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    I’m rooting for Lilly – as always!
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  2. February 1, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Lily was meant to be in your life for sure, Roxanne. TY for the updates and continued hugs and prayers.
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  3. January 29, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    I’m glad to hear Lilly is in good spirits and that the infection seems to be improving.

    You’re doing a great job giving her what she needs, hang in there.
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  4. January 29, 2013 at 1:47 am

    Good signs that she’s eating and drinking and plays a little. (((hugs)))
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  5. January 28, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Glad to hear the infection at least seems to be subsiding. It’s a tough decision regarding the meds…I hope your vet team can help you make the best decision for Lilly when you speak with them. Sending lots of positive thoughts your way!
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  6. January 28, 2013 at 7:58 am

    So glad that you finally got the diagnosis, bad handwriting and all! Sounds like you’re making some headway. Thoughts and hugs to you all. Lilly is stronger than any dog I know, to have gone through all she has. And you, of course, are amazing.

  7. Sam
    January 28, 2013 at 7:15 am

    From one non-understander of medical terms to another, I feel and share your worries.

    You and Lilly are both in my thoughts while you learn what all this might mean

  8. January 28, 2013 at 7:10 am

    I’m keeping you and Lilly in my thoughts and prayers.
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  9. Lee Anne McAdam
    January 28, 2013 at 7:09 am

    Lots of healing thoughts and prayers to you and Lilly. Paws crossed for good news.

  10. Debra Jones
    January 27, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    I know what NHL is (non-Hogkins Lymphoma), but not heard of NNL…(unless maybe non-neoplastic lymphoma)?

    Keeping you and Lilly in my heart and thoughts-

    1. January 28, 2013 at 7:24 am

      NNL or WNL (Bad hand writing, hard to tell, but my medical pals say it means either Near Normal Limits or Within Normal Limits. So, good news there.)

  11. Lucy Sanders
    January 27, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Thoughts & prayers to you all…I hope the best for Lilly and peace to you all.

    Lucy (Troy, Ohio)

  12. January 27, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Dear ones — sending love and support. You are a smart woman, making the best choices you can, with the help of an equally smart sweetie and with the best information available — and probably each path you might take has known and unknown risks and upsides — be kind to yourself as you proceed, and don’t beat yourself up for not being omniscient….
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  13. January 27, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Sending love, hugs and prayers.

  14. January 27, 2013 at 10:52 am

    So glad to hear that Lilly is bright and happy, and that her urinary tract infection seems to be improved! I know the burden you carry trying to make the best decisions for Lilly is great, but you are doing a wonderful job–no one could do better. I hope that your veterinary team will provide some answers and guidance when you speak to them. Positive thoughts and hugs to you!
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  15. January 27, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Sending lots of love to you, Roxanne and Lilly. Prayers continue for comfort and healing. You are in my thoughts.