I was at the Vets. at 12:00 sharp yesterday; Luke had an appointment at Southern California Veterinary Specialty Hospital for his abdomen ultrasound. His nerves got the best of him before he was even out of the Xterra. He started to whine and I pretended not to notice, for his sake. He'd been there just a day and a half ago in the middle of the night. It was very different midday; the place was bustling with cats and dogs, coming and going. I'd parked in front of the building where it said "no parking at anytime" so when I entered I asked about the ticket possibility. Yep, I could get a ticket so with the pending big ticket price of the ultrasound I did not want the risk. One of the wonderful techs stepped up to take care of Luke while I ran out and moved the car. He was pulling at the leash the moment I handed him over to her.
I ran as fast as I could; I knew that Luke would be upset without his Momma. When I went in he was behind the reception desk; glued to the window. She tried to pull him away but he wouldn't budge. I tried to call to him but he couldn't hear me with all the commotion; so I belted out "LUKE." He turned enough for her to get him going in the right direction. I couldn't help but smile when he saw me; he leapt up and gave me a good one in the face. He did his happy dance and I held onto his harness; taking his weight so that he didn't wipe out on the floor.
We took a seat and waited; Luke paced and whined. I watched all the dogs and cats coming and going; but you don't really see the cats; you just see the cat cages. There were lots of dogs; each was anxious, some whining, others barking and then there are those who just shutdown. Most dogs are stressed out at the vets. Although Elsa is one of a very few who seem to enjoy going to the vets. It might be that everyone is over the top in love with her and crowds around to get their pet in. She does have a bit of anxiousness since being spayed and left but she still loves the attention.
We were at a specialist/emergency facility that I'd never been to before the ER night. It was the place to go for after hour visits recommended by my regular Vet. facility. So having never had a bad experience there before I chose to go to it when Luke had his episode the other night. The customer care from the moment we walked in had been great so far.
"Luke" the girl called and I gathered my things and headed to the door. Luke had other plans; he was heading to the door that said EXIT. For sanitary reasons the floors are slick which is horrible for a dog like Luke; especially when he is in a state of anxiousness. He slid around trying to get some sort of traction; which is the reason I'd put his good ole fashion harness on. It gave me the ability to take his weight; so his legs could spin around but he wasn't dropping onto the floor. I gently pulled his leash and he followed me back to our room where we waited again.
One of the two specialist Vets. came in and ask a billion questions. Not only did she ask questions, she listened to the answers, nice. We talked a long time about Luke's history and present issues. They would be doing a full abdomen ultrasound so we could rule out any major issues. When we were done she reached out to take Luke to the back. I held his leash and explained how Luke did not like to lay on his back; I told her that he would struggle, so to be careful with his old frail body. He was going to have to lie in a tough type thing; something that he would be fine with once he was in but the getting there he would hate. I also told her that he was left with a stagger from the last episode and to take his weight so he didn't fall. I explained what I felt I needed to and then passed the leash to her. He wasn't going, there was no way he was walking away from his Momma. So I walked to the door with him and then quickly stepped behind the vet and vanished while he continued on.
I walked into the waiting room and was immediately asked the name of my dog. The place was so well run; all the staff knew the whereabouts of every dog. Everyone was on the ball; I was very impressed. There I sat, waiting and wondering. Several dogs came and went; one very rambunctious pit bull who was beyond elated to see her Dad dove all over everyone within diving range. Two grey muzzled dogs came out skittly skatting across the floor to their owners; that they just couldn't get to fast enough. The canine/human bond is an amazing one to witness; not only with our own dogs but others as well. I sat and talked to a woman with a beautiful platinum Golden Retriever. She had cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy. As I watched the dogs and owners I heard a howl/bark; stopping to listen better, I knew, it was Luke.
I finally got the call to go back for the results. "There is a mass on his liver" she explained as she showed me the light areas on his organ. The kidneys, stomach, intestines and spleen (which is where Tilley had the mass that took her was) were good. I held it together as she explained the different sort of masses that it could be. But the only way to know was to aspirate the mass. This meant putting Luke back into the trough and drawing a sample from the mass out with a needle. They use ultrasound to guide them to the mass so that they get a good sample to send off to be tested.
I hated to give the order to do it but we have to know what it is. So off she went to do it all over again and poor Luke would have to struggle once again.
I sat and waited, again.
Yep, he is comfy. :)
Luke is quite comfortable this morning. He slept the entire afternoon and evening last night; he was exhausted and sore from his ordeal. Now all we have to do is wait to hear; then we will know what we are up against and not until then. Hug your dog.