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It’s Like Standing in a Batting Cage With Fastballs Flying at Your Head

Coming at us like fastballs aimed at our heads, Lilly’s medical problems continue to mount. On top of last week’s out-of-the-blue blood clot in her right rear leg, we’ve been dealing with more bleeding (due to blood thinners) and, believe it or not TWO not-good things brewing in her lower lip.

After last week’s second veterinary ER run in 2 weeks, Lilly met her new board-certified veterinary internal medicine specialist on Friday. She will now oversee all of Lilly’s non-neurological needs. Essentially, she’ll guide me in managing the many side-effects Lilly’s neurology treatments are having on the rest of Lilly’s body.

blanket 11-4-13There is a price to pay for this fight for Lilly’s life, and its taking its fee from all corners of Lilly’s body (in addition to my budget, which is taking a major beating).

New Worries

Currently, in addition to her primary brain / spinal cord inflammation Lilly has:

  • A blood clot in her leg
  • A new hematoma between her eyes from hitting her head on a table (we think)
  • Another bladder infection
  • A MRSA infection in her lip
  • And, spindle cells in her lip (which may mean a sarcoma, but it may not)

We had a hedgehog who died of spindle cell sarcoma in 2000, so I’m trying not to flip out that the cytology report includes spindle cells.

New Meds

In the last week, we’ve added 3 drugs to her daily routine:

  • Plavix, a blood thinner to (we hope) prevent more clots for the rest of her life
  • Tramadol for the blood clot pain
  • Chloramphenicol, a super-powerful antibiotic for her MRSA infection (which should also take care of her bladder infection)

Since February 2012, Lilly has had somewhat unexplained nosebleeds. The blood thinners have increased their frequency and volume.

Saturday morning, Lilly’s nose bled for about 45 minutes. Saturday night, we lowered her Plavix dose, and we haven’t had that kind of severe bleeding since.

Our internal medicine specialist and I agreed that 1 hour would be the threshold for worry. If Lilly’s nose bleeds consistently for an hour, then I’m to call for help and/or take her to the ER.

Recheck Everything Soon

For now, the plan is to:

  • Monitor Lilly for additional clotting
  • Treat the MRSA infection in her lip and assess later if we need to go digging for a possible sarcoma in the same location (Lilly’s lower lip)
  • Go back in a couple weeks to recheck the clot, lip, and protein-loss levels (which can be false if any infection is present)

Just Keep Swinging …

The analogy of swinging inside a batting cage is helping me cope with the latest onslaught of unexpected medical worries. So, I’ll just be here swinging for the fences.

As for Lilly, other than the scare with all the bleeding Saturday, she actually looks better than she has in a couple of months:

  • Lilly is steady on her feet.
  • She is bright in her face and eyes.
  • She seems fairly comfortable.

In fact, the new internal med vet teased me that I need to spend more time with her other patients. Compared to them, Lilly looks spectacular.


Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Donna - November 7, 2013

Will keep good thoughts coming your way that the spindle cells turn out to be nothing. 🙂
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Anita Oliver - November 5, 2013

Hi – I too had a dog with unexplained nosebleeds for quite some time, in Colorado. Turns out it was related to a tick-borne disease – Ehrlichia. My vet gave my dog 2 courses of antibiotics (I’m sorry, I can’t remember which ones) to combat it. The first course did not entirely work, but after the second course, the nosebleeds stopped.

Jen - November 5, 2013

I think the difference (A difference?) between Lilly and her other patients is you’re still swinging for the fences while other owners are in a huddle relying on their helmets.

And that picture of Lilly is adorable.
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Robin - November 4, 2013

Keep calm and keep on!

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