I am so very happy that my lovely little Poppy is back home safe and sound. I was so terribly worried that she would be diagnosed with something ghastly but I am very lucky that it is not the case.
The last two days have been really horrible as Poppy had to go into North Downs Specialist Referrals. I cannot believe that I have never been to this referral centre and then within one month I have to take two dogs there.
I briefly mentioned in my post about Niamh and her reaction to the Advocate that Poppy was unwell. She has been coughing on and off for a while and it got worse so we knew it was time to get it investigated.
I had convinced myself that it was a heart cough but my vet said it wasn't the case as her heart appeared very good under physical examination. Nico decided to treat the obvious things such as lung worm and chronic infection by putting Poppy on a course of Panacur and antibiotics. Neither made any difference and she continued to cough. Poppy then had a conscious x-ray and we tried a different course of antibiotics and steroids. The x-ray looked good nothing horrible or obviously causing her cough. The result of the steroids and new antibiotics was no change. Poppy had lost her appetite on occasion so we also did a urine test. That just showed us that she had excellent kidney function for a dog of her age. So Nico decided it was time to refer her to NDSR. He said they would most likely do an endoscopy, more x-rays and possibly a lung wash.
A couple of days after we stopped the steroids and the antibiotics finished and her appointment at NDSR had been confirmed the coughing stopped. I spoke with Nico and between us we decided that we would cancel the appointment as no point in putting Poppy through any kind of procedure if the coughing had gone away. Two days later it returned but worse and she had one bad night of wheezing. The coughing is always worse at night but she had started to have a few coughing sessions during the day as well. I really wished I had not cancelled that appointment. I had it reinstated but had to wait for a week and so she was booked in on Monday 8th March.
We took her in yesterday and had an hour long consultation with Myra Forster-van Hijfte who is a European specialist in internal medicine. She was so lovely with Poppy who just wandered round the consulting room looking for biscuits which is what she gets at Nico's practice. Obviously she couldn't have any here as she hadn't been allowed anything to eat since the night before in case she had to have the GA. We had to answer loads of questions and then Poppy had a physical examination. Myra was most concerned about a tenderness in Poppy's abdomen. Of course that got me really worried that it was something awful. She talked us through her approach and we agreed to have CT scans done rather than x-rays as they would give a better picture of anything unusual going on. Then we had to leave and it was awful but Poppy trotted off with Myra and didn't even look back!
The plan was that she would have ultra-sound on her first day in and then today she would go under GA and have the CT scans, endoscopy and lung wash. At some point during the various tests they discovered that Poppy had an inch long piece of her left tonsil torn and it is highly likely that this has been causing irritation and making her cough to try to get rid of the obstruction. We have absolutely no idea how this has happened. We never throw sticks for our dogs but maybe she ran onto something or ate something who knows.
So they operated on her tonsil and removed the flap. She has a dissolving stitch and has to have a soft diet for at least a week. But she is ok and there is nothing horrible going on. In fact Myra commented that for a little dog of almost 13 (her birthday is 6 April) she is in remarkable condition. All her internal organs are not only sound but in amazing conditions for her age. She believes the tenderness in her abdomen is due to a benign polyp which is unremarkable for a dog of her age and nothing to worry about. This polyp was clearly visible on the CT scans.
I fretted all night and all morning and we eventually got the call after lunch today to say that she was recovering and that all being well I could collect her after 4.00 pm. We had to ring at 4.00 pm to make sure they were happy for her to leave and we got the OK so I zoomed over and had her home by 5.30 pm.
She trotted into the sitting room and picked up a toy. During the course of the evening she has worked her way round three sofas and five dog beds and is currently curled up on her cushion.
I am so happy to have my dear sweet Poppy back home with me. I love her so much. I know Andy will be thrilled to see her when he gets back from training this evening. He kindly offered to take all the classes so I could be with Poppy.
Here she is back home, safe and sound. My lovely sweet little dog.