Sunday, November 22, 2009

Concerning Fritz...

Yesterday got really busy, sorry. Landlady is here for the weekend and so are some other stakeholders. M got our weekender neighbor S to help reality-check some plumbing issues on the Dome. W had arranged to return four of our new batteries to the manufacturer. B the stakeholder brought a digital hydrometer which we all had to play with once we'd disconnected and removed the misbehaving batteries. Then once we'd delivered the batteries for shipping, B rented a truck and we helped move some heavy stuff out of their storage unit and onto the truck. Then we partied for a bit, and then M, B and I went to the cabin and finished the roof (pix to follow.) Then we went home and move some heavy stuff out of the barn and into B's rented truck. Then we went to town and shared a loverly meal and didn't get home till well after seven. Busy day, in a series of busy days.

I didn't want to say anything about Fritz here until I'd taken him to the vet and discussed the findings with Landlady. He's her dog, after all, and I didn't know whether to call and worry her before I knew something more concrete, or to keep it to myself until then. I chose the latter which may have been the wrong choice, but it's the one I made.

Anyway: Our story so far. Fritz has become more and more listless over the past several days. He was pretty clearly dropping weight. His joints were bothering him, which worried me because if the glucosamine stopped working I wouldn't know what to do. Then he had a disastrous fall, for no apparent reason, off a bed he's slept on 10,000 times. Then while walking with him I began to notice that he seemed ... asymmetrical somehow. One side of his ribcage stuck out more than the other, but when I felt along him I couldn't detect anything and it didn't seem to cause him any discomfort. That changed overnight into a cereal-bowl-sized lump on his side, and simultaneously he - and you'd have to know the dogs to understand how shocking this was - started turning his nose up at snackies. The dogs are conditioned to go nuts at Snacky Time: It just isn't natural for him not to want to eat his canned food and everybody else's too. It scared the hell out of me.

So two days ago W and I took him to the vet. He has dropped 15 pounds since his ear surgery. He had a 103+ fever, and the lump on his side was a blood-filled hematoma. The vet wanted to know if he could have been kicked by a large animal: As inactive as he's been, that isn't possible. He's never off the property without me, and we haven't encountered any horses or elk. If, as the vet believes, the hematoma was caused by an injury, the only thing I've got is that he injured himself when he fell off the bed. The vet sent samples off for blood work, and we won't know anything from that for at least a week. He used the "Big-C" word.

When you don't know what the disease is, you treat the symptoms. Fritz got big shots of antibiotics and steroids, and I came home with handfuls of pills. Now we're in wait-and-watch mode. The good news is that he got his appetite at least partially back yesterday and plowed through an entire can of dog food. I'll be spoiling him rotten with that stuff for a while.

I don't even have Magnus' headstone planted yet. I can't lose Fritz so soon.

1 comment:

C.M. said...

Oh sooooo sorry to hear how Fritz is doing. I hope it isn't the big c word. But that huge sac of blood kinda seems very reminiscent of his ear problem.

Take care and we will be thinking of you and your pack.