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One Little Pup, One Big World Of Possibilities

IMG_6413In any normal circumstance, having a world of possibilities is a good thing, but in our case, it’s really not. Beau had his first ultrasound on Wednesday. We had to fast him all morning until the vet called us, which could have been any time, but it wasn’t until after 3:00. Watching Beau lick his food dish and look at me with sad eyes nearly killed me… of course, he doesn’t know why mommy and daddy “forgot” to feed him.

In the scheme of things, however, this is the least of Beau’s problems.

When we arrived at the vet’s office, I was told that I wouldn’t be able to go in the exam room with him. If you know me and you know Beau, you probably know that I barely leave him; we barely leave each other. Ask our groomers… I stayed and watched every time when he was a pup. I may or may not have cried once (or thrice)… and when I found out the bathing areas were in the back? I bathed him at home before his cut.

Anyway, the tech came out to take my little guy from me and told me his belly would be shaved. I mentally prepared myself for that… but had to fight my tears while he was gone. He doesn’t know why these strangers are taking him away and fiddling with his tummy…

Twenty minutes later, he was returned to me, without any information to go off of. We drove home with a super-shaved abdomen and talked about eating “yummies” the whole five-minute drive. We. Were. Starving.

Later that night, I received a call from our vet. The first thing she said was that his insides looked “perfect.” His liver, kidney, and stomach were all in great shape. No shunts were found. I didn’t know whether to smile or cry… he doesn’t need surgery, but we’re back at square one.

And then some big words were laid down.

Hepatic Microvascular Dysplasia. In short, this is the presence of multiple tiny shunts undetectable by ultrasound that are inside the liver. So now what? Well, we talked meds (potentially five to six pills a day!). We talked diet. We talked life expectancy. We talked for a half an hour about my brave boy, who still doesn’t know that something is wrong with him.

After thinking about it for a day and consulting with an old friend, we decided taking him to an internal medicine specialist would be best.

So what’s next for Beau?

He is having a second ultrasound on Monday (fasting again, I’m already preparing myself) and he will meet his new doctor at Tufts Medical Center on Thursday. From there we will decide the best course of treatment. A liver biopsy may be necessary to diagnose his HMD, but it’s a risky procedure. However, if he does have HMD, diet and medication should be able to keep it in check. There’s a chance he could still have seizures, but they would be less likely if we’re controlling the actual problem (seizures occur when toxins/ammonia aren’t properly filtered — which is what would happen with shunts).

More vet visits. More bloodwork. But most importantly, more snuggles with the best boy in the whole world. A world that happens to be full of possibilities.