Yesterday, I spent the entire afternoon (four and half hours) at the Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital. Not a real sexy name, right? I was taking Venus for a consultation with, get this, an Vet of Internal Medicine. Who knew? As we waited to be seen, I scanned the wall of fame of the thirty some doctors employed there. There were cardiologists, radiologists, orthopedists, emergency medicine specialists--This is a real hospital for animals. Since there are a multitude of animal members of my family, well, I am glad this place is just 15 minutes away. But I digress.
I hated taking Venus to this appointment. A couple of weeks ago she had a routine blood test to check her thyroid levels (she takes medicine for that). Her thyroid was fine, but her liver enzymes were up. Our wonderful, wonderful, best ever vetrinarian doctor suggested some more tests, to find out more information. I knew she was concerned because she described an elaborate series of tests if the first test didn't come up with much. This. is. not. good. We agreed to a bile acid test (whatever?) and x-rays. NO TUMORS OR GROWTHS that are visible by Xray. Whew! However, the bile acid test revealed that definitely my angel dog has a malfunctioning liver. So, we were referred to the MVRH to get an ultrasound (better to see INSIDE the liver) and possible needle biopsy. My wonderful wonderful vet said that it could possibly be hepatitis (manageable) but cancer can't be ruled out (because of her age).
This is a dog who is happy and playful, and although 13, is very healthy.
So, Venus and I are waiting for the consult with the Internalist. She is at first nervous (hates those terazzo floors) but she settled in and took a nap. She is really cute right now because we got her shaved so she looks like a puppy or a dog-bear. The doc was great--she looked over the labs while sitting with Venus on the floor rubbing her belly (Venus' belly). She didn't think the liver numbers were that bad, so I was hopeful. She suggested the ultrasound.
They could do it , like then, well in a half an hour. I thought I would just talk to the doctor, and schedule the appointment for a later date. (dang, I don't have ANY reading material at all) So, I consented and signed a paper that estimated the cost for the day would $850 bucks, if they needed to do a biopsy, too. Gulp. Venus might need to get a paper route.
So, the short of what is a long story, is that indeed the ultrasound revealed a sizable tumor. Damn. They did the needle biopsy, and the results are back. But only the doctor can give them to me. I have called and left two messages.