Thursday, July 19, 2012

Faith post once again

This entry will be very image heavy with a lot of Faith related images, and some of the dogs around the neighborhood.

Faith is now 9 months old, has been spayed, and gone through several problems sadly...

But first, she did get to play with our next-door neighbor's dog Moe!

He's a mix of a beagle and another dog. Best guess is a Dachshund, but no one is absolutely positive. He's a happy-go-lucky dog that often barks for Faith when she's not out.

They were able to play with each other for awhile in the past, but unable to these days with Faith not feeling as well. In fact, the last time they played, Faith ended up growling at Moe for not backing off after awhile. Moe just doesn't know when to stop.
 That changed a little, however, when Moe stopped playing with Faith, but Yoshi started coming over to play with him. Sadly, I have no pictures of Yoshi yet, but he's been staying over at Moe's while the family went on vacation.

After Faith had two shots she needed, she started to be rather... off for awhile. She generally wasn't as playful and mainly wanted to sleep. She even caught a few fevers to which the vets gave medications for the symptoms, but when it came to finding out what the hell was wrong, they only suggested expensive exploratory options that they weren't sure would even find anything. It's not so much that it was going to be a lot of money, but the fact they generally didn't even have any guesses to what it could be, and therefore wouldn't even be looking for anything in particular.

She eventually got better on her own after a few medications (Mainly a steroid or two). She was soon well enough for her spaying. Faith was predictably out of it for a few days, but got better as the days went on.

We had to keep telling her not to get too excited or to jump up so not to disturb the stitches. Luckily, she did not need to wear a cone of shame, and listened to us as soon as she was ordered.

But then, we found a lump on Faith near her rib cage. During a visit for an eye problem (story below), one of the better vets at the place suggested just to leave it alone, as it didn't meet any criteria of being a cancerous or otherwise life-altering lump.

During this time, Faith went over to my sister's home for an all-day yard sale or some sort of party. Mom, of course, was around too, as she would never just leave Faith over there. I, however, had no interest in going over there, so for the next part, all I know is two different stories.

My sister's roomate has a big dog named Zeus. He's a bulldog and rather huge, but also a sweetheart that likes to play. The problem is, he is also VERY clumsy and like Moe, sometimes doesn't know when to stop.

Sis wanted to introduce Faith to Zeus inside the house, since one time they met didn't end well (Essentially, he caught her off guard and she snapped at him). Mom didn't like that idea, but Sis kept insisting it'll be fine, because she'll be there, as will her roommate. Mom didn't want to be apart of it and stayed outside.

Faith finds a large fallen branch!

Of course this is a bad idea, because my sister has ADD and gets easily distracted. According to my sister, they were introduced and were generally all right with each other after some sniffing. At some point, Faith went on the couch and then-

Mom heard a pain-filled yelp, Sis heard a loud whine. When Sis "looked over" (implying she was not paying attention, but insists she was despite that wording) she saw Faith biting at Zeus in a bit of a rage. Mom came running in, asking what happened.
 Sis believes that Zeus was annoying Faith, so she let out that loud "whine" and started biting at Zeus. Mom told Sis that it sounded like she was in pain, but Sis dismissed that idea, swearing it was just Faith being a bitch.

After that, Faith was mostly laying around, not wanting to do anything. Sis believed she felt guilty or otherwise was wiped out from all the excitement today. Mom wasn't sure so figured she was just tired.
 Faith remained "tired" for a few days, which worried us. Went back to the vets to find out what was wrong, and we find out she has a scratched eye. The vet said it's possible she scratched herself wrong or ran into something sharp, but Mom and I think this is what caused the scene at Sis's party/yard sale thing.

Sis still believes Faith simply scratched herself, but if she did, we would have heard it over here. The vet said it was a very painful wound, she would be unlikely be able to hide her anguish.
 Another thing to note, there is ALWAYS someone with Faith, so the only time that makes sense for when it happens is Faith's encounter with Zeus.

Because we weren't there and have no proof, no one has told Sis what likely happened, mainly because it would probably cause an argument. I, however, will tell her if she starts talking about it to people or tries using it as evidence of something. (Example: "Well Faith did scratch her eye before, maybe she did it again which is why she's acting so out of it.)

I know that's probably petty, but that really pissed me off. Sis really doesn't know when to pay attention. I know it's not completely her fault, but in this example, she never admits to even taking her eyes off Faith.

I told Mom to never let Faith be alone with Sis again. It's not that I don't trust her as a person, but I don't trust her ADD.
Back to the lump... Problem was, it was getting bigger. We got a little paranoid, so Sis suggested taking her to this animal hospital her boyfriend takes his cats.

 Sis and Mom were the ones to go to this animal hospital, so I don't have first hand knowledge. According to Sis, The vet said they could remove the lump but needed Faith to stay overnight. Mom didn't want to have Faith stay overnight, however. It wasn't the cost, though it may have been partly because she would worry too much... the main reason was the vet at the hospital didn't say if the lump was bad or benign.

While playing with a sheet, Faith got tangled in it.
 Apparently, the vet at the place didn't say what the lump could be, didn't have any guesses, just figured the lump was bothering us, so she'd remove it. Mom wanted more info, or at least an idea of what they could be looking for, but the lady wouldn't say anything. Or... if she did, it was very noncommittal. In the end, no surgery was performed, the lump went away on its own, and Faith was generally fine... till the next problem.

 Funny enough, while at the animal hospital, Faith apparently loved all the assistants there, but when it came to the main vet Mom and Sis were dealing with, Faith was rather cold towards her. Probably didn't like what she sensed in the woman.

In fact, the vet was rather taken back by Mom's refusal. She must normally not hear "no" often.
 Some time passed, medication for Faith's eye was working well, and she was feeling much better. She even liked getting the drops in the beginning, because it relieved the pain so much. Towards the end when she felt better, she'd fight with us a little.

Faith even got to play with Moe a little, but only twice more before their playdates were put on hold for a long time.
 It started getting hot out and Faith was getting fevers. When one reached 105, we rushed her to vets. Based on how whever she used to feel wonky in the past that the steroids made her feel better, the good vet said he thinks she has an autoimmune disease.

She was prescribed a medication along with some steroids to help it along. When we picked up the medication, the pharmacy called her "Faith 'Dog' [our last name]" on the bottle, haha!
 She responded well to the medication for a few weeks. Our vet suggested cutting back the doses slightly. Not two days after cutting back, her fever spiked up to 106.

We rushed her back to the vets, and our same guy told us to just go straight to a specialist, giving us a brochure for the place, and sent us off. I called Sis to tell her about this, and she insisted upon coming. I was very grateful for that, as she could comfort Faith while I help Mom with directions.
 Of course, Faith had to get sick on a very hot day, and Mom had to fight with the heat messing with her (due to her MS). We took a 30-45 minute drive to the specialist's place, where a guy who looked very Jewish asked about her information (and I will refer to him as "Mr. Jewish" from now on).

After we described what she's been going through, Mr. Jewish says he needs to take some samples from Faith's joints to see if he can find a problem, but there's a chance nothing will show up. We had to kill a few hours though, as it would take awhile.

 Because we rushed to get Faith to this place, Mom
 and I looked like crap. Sis looked all right since she came from work, though was covered in dog fur.

We went somewhere to eat and went to this small diner who really didn't like the way we looked or something, so shoved us to a corner of the place where no one else was seated. The waitress tried to get our orders very quickly as well, and even our food came rather quickly. They really wanted to get us out! In fact, the waitress came over with the receipt before asking us if we wanted anything else.

 She got rather huffy when we said we wanted a few more things... "Well, i guess I'll get you another check!"

Besides her attitude, we loved the speedy service and seclusion though. After all, we DID look like crap, haha. I suppose this was supposed to be a higher class town/diner but really didn't seem it.
Faith's like "Hay guiz!" Moe is like "Nope, not looking!"

 After wandering in shops and such, the time was up and we returned for Faith. Dr. Jewish said he'd call us tomorrow with any result, but a chance for it to be inconclusive. Instead, he upped Faith's meds, doubling the steroids (Used to be twice a day, now two in morning, two at night). We thanked him and left with Faith.

The tests, of course, were inconclusive, but the steroids really helped her. She was much more active, ate and drank more too! In fact, she is slightly on the tubby side now, these days.

Still, it was good to have her in a happier state despite the increased panting and her needing to lay down a lot. The cool thing is she will knowingly take the medications, seemingly because she realizes they make her feel better... or just trusts us to know best for her?

More recently, however, she got a few fevers, though nothing as high in the past. When we told Dr. Jewish this, he came to the conclusion that perhaps, it isn't auto immune. Unfortunately, we still don't know what these random fevers are, nor does he have any explanations.

We are in the process of weening her off the steroids now, and she's actually been doing pretty well. She might get a little more fatigued at times, depending the weather, but she maintains a mostly happy appearance. Jewish says after we ween her off the steroids, she probably could just take an aspirin a day and be fine enough to keep the fevers away.

We also have to be able to get her to lose weight, though, cause she is packing the pounds due to those steroids (26lbs).

Most recent photo; the light makes it look like she has no neck, haha!

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