There’s really no easy way to say this so I’ll just come out with it.
It’s a serious a sick.
He’s been sick for awhile now and while I’ve shared a few of the things that have been going on with him, there’s more to it.
He’s been having on and off vomiting and diarrhea and most recently he had a condition called pitting edema.
Edema is basically the swelling of a certain area. Edema happens when there is a leak in the small blood cells and it flows into nearby tissues. The fluid builds up and the tissues swell. It’s the body’s normal response to injury or inflammation.
Pitting edema is when you press on the swollen tissue and it makes a temporarily dent, but then fills back up.
Pitting edema is normally localized to certain areas like the limbs. chest and it can be due to many different medical conditions such as an allergic reaction to something like a bug bite, heart failure, an obstruction in the lymphatic system, infection and several other causes.
When Leroy first had the pitted edema a few months ago, it was pretty bad and I’ll be honest, I missed the first signs of it.
I knew something wasn’t right with him, but I was looking at other causes. By the time we noticed the edema it was bad.
I had first noticed it on his scrotum and then on his right rear leg, which was double the size it is normally. We took him to the vet the very next morning and found that the edema was covering his entire right side, including both ears. He also had an extreme case of projectile diarrhea.
The vet picked up on the pitting edema immediately but had never seen it presented on a dog’s entire right side before, normally it’s more localized to one specific area.
Of course. Leave it to one of my dogs to get something out of the ordinary.
He discussed the common causes of this condition with me which were an allergic reaction, congestive heart failure and a lymphatic condition.
Heart failure was immediately ruled out. We know Leroy’s got a big strong heart.
The next logical thing was an allergic reaction so Leroy was put on a round of steroids and antihistamines.
I’m not a fan of steroids at all, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do, so we did.
The steroids began working in a few days and the edema slowly began to go down. Eventually it was all gone, expect for around the chest. That was a scary time because there was so much fluid around his chest at one point in time, that we were concerned a lung would collapse, but thankfully that did not happen.
After the fluid went down around the chest, all was good.
Of course, the damn steroids took a tool on Leroy, but he soon was back to normal…..for a few weeks at least and then the edema and diarrhea began came back so he went back on a very low dose of steroids and the edema went away.
And then it came back.
That’s not a good sign and that pretty much rules out an allergic reaction, unless of course, Leroy keeps getting bit by the same bug over and over again.
Right now, the swelling isn’t nearly as bad as it was the first time and from what I can tell it’s only on the pinna of his ears, but I question if his stomach is starting to swell.
So today we are off to the vet to begin testing.
We’ll start by ruling things out.
Fecal testing, bloodwork and urinalysis are on the books for today.
Most likely, that’s not going to show much. I mean, I would love if it did, but chances are it won’t so that will mean that we will have to move onto more invasive testing.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a mess because I totally am.
My hands will be sweaty driving to the vet this afternoon and my stomach will most definitely be in knots.
It is what it is and we’ll do what needs to be done to figure this out and get Leroy back on track, if a track can be gotten back on, which I pray to God it can.
I’ll update when we know more and if you have a chance today, please send Mr. Leroy some good vibes.
p.s. Normally I like to keep our Monday posts fun and up beat but I just thought you should know what’s going on.