life with dogs

Monday

So today I took King to the vet’s for an ultrasound.

Good news: nothing leapt out and said “Houston, we have a problem.” Liver appeared okay. Possible cyst on one of his kidneys–vet wasn’t too concerned. Bladder appeared okay. Gall bladder was partially filled with what was described as “sludge,” thickened bile, which the vet said probably resembled sand in water.

Iffy news: a half-inch wide darkened area on the spleen.

For now, we’ll treat the gallbladder–King’s on ursodiol, a med that will dissolve the sludge. In a few weeks, we will redo his bloodwork and see if the liver enzymes have lowered. Fingers crossed that’s the answer.

As for the spleen…spleen cancer is a possibility, especially in older, large-breed dogs like my guy. We may redo the ultrasound in a few weeks to check if the thing has gotten any bigger. Depending on the result, we may biopsy. Not looking forward to the prospect of King going under the knife. But spleen cancer isn’t often diagnosed in an early stage, so we would have to press the advantage if we have it.

King was a good puppy during the testing. He did receive a mild sedative, but even so he could have been twitchy and he wasn’t. The tech said that he lay perfectly still, and she didn’t need any help holding him.

He ate a good dinner. He’s sleeping now.

Tomorrow, it will be four years that the Mickster went in for an ultrasound as preparation for pancreatitis treatment. The vets found tumors in his liver and bladder. They gave him a few weeks, and he lasted six days.

Which was why the prospect of this ultrasound made me a little edgy.

But it looks like we may have options, room to maneuver. Nothing is definite–it could be nothing. We have some time.

comments

  1. User Kristine Smith Post author

    You think? Now I’m worried about King’s spleen. I googled. Maybe I shouldn’t have, but I did. Definitely something to keep an eye on, even if it isn’t a crisis now.

    I am glad that the test is over and we that may have a better idea as to what is going on.

  2. Jenny

    Liver would have been worse. They can live without a spleen if they have to. Definitely monitor and bx if needed, but there are many benign things it could be.

    1. User Kristine Smith Post author

      heh–I managed to work it out in context, but thanks for the confirm.

      I’m glad to hear that there are many benign possibilities. Google results seemed to lean toward the likelihood of malignancy. My vet has King’s ultrasound from ’07, and she was going to compare to see if there were any big differences.

      The ultrasound vet said that he wished owners would have dogs–and I assume cats, too–undergo a baseline u-sound at the age of 6 yo or so. Like a baseline mammogram–good to have something to compare with.

      Today, King was hopping. He’s slower in the morning, but that’s been going on for a while, and I blame advancing age. But his appetite is pretty much back to normal, and I am able to feed him a couple of his old foods. Snuck one of his old joint treats in with the new brand, and gave him three doses of the cranberry w/ gut bugs to help his GI tract recover from 3 weeks of antibiotics.

      This has been a rough 6 weeks. Hoping for easier sledding from here on.

      1. Jenny

        I feel the ultrasonographer’s pain. We’re just starting to get owners used to the idea of yearly bloodwork, though. Screening ultrasounds might be a tough sell at the moment.

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