Monday, 28 September 2015

A day out at Fitzpatrick Referrals

After a good nights rest, Blue was to attend Fitzpatrick Referrals in Godalming Surrey, where he would have a 10:00am appointment, to assess the possible cause of his recent ill health.

We made good time, and was amazed how busy this practice had become since our last visit, over 7 years ago. 

The Practice were aware of Blue's misgivings and affliction towards vets, so I waited in the car with Blue, until Sue came out with "Ricardo"who would be assigned Blue as his patient.

We got Blue out of the car, so that he could be seen walking. Blue did not disappoint, making it clear his feelings on vets, but we all expected that reaction, so no big fuss from us or Ricardo.

Blue was walked up and down the road a few times, it was evident that there was something not right, so we headed into the consultancy room to begin to work through the prognosis. The usual barking and gesturing ensued, Ricardo thought perhaps Blue might calm down, but after a while it became evident, a physical exam needed a different strategy.

So after some cunning handling and an element of more of us than Blue, the desired sedative was put in, this would enable the closer physical examination, in most dogs, but not Blue. After giving the sedative time to work, Ricardo returned to the room, only to be greeted by a barking gesturing Blue, time for some more, stronger sedative.

A further period of time elapsed, and the same again, but there was a "Plan C" Blue was going to be anaesthetised, so a member of staff came in to assist, four of us against one Blue, the odds finally came down on our side. Soon enough Blue had succumbed to the sedative sufficient for a physical check, shaved leg, catheter fitted, and anaesthetised.

Gently he was lowered onto a large sling to be carried out of the room, to have his checks done.

That was what happened, the reason it happened is because, through our telling about the accident the previous week, the abnormal behaviour and the history of Blue, Ricardo had heard and seen enough to agree that in this instance only an MRI scan could show what is going on inside of Blue, if there is any damage from the accident or something else. It was very important for that physical exam, because images only show what is there, these need to be seen as part of the picture not the only consideration. 

We were informed a couple of hours later that a CT scan would be also required, which we had agreed to, this along with the blood test to check for Degenerative Myelopathy ( a generic disorder of the spinal cord) they were leaving no stone unturned.

Around six hours after arriving, we were called in to discuss the findings, again along with what we had said, and what was shown up, the picture was still unclear.

Firstly we were shown the MRI images, which showed a number of areas where Blues spine is pressing on his discs and spinal cord, including a degeneration of his original area of spinal surgery. Ricardo explained that if that was all there was, we may be talking of possible surgery, however there was a further complication, this was the reason for the CT scan to be carried out. 

Within the MRI scan an abnormality had shown up around one of Blue's kidneys, this was shown to us on the scanned images. It was large enough to be putting pressure on organs or the spine possibly, however as a mass it did not show any signs of blood flow, reducing the likelihood of a tumour or similar. It was as yet unknown, but could be the result of a bleed or discharge of some fluid, as a direct result of the accident.

We have agreed to give Blue complete crate rest for the next four weeks, then he will return to have a further CT scan carried out to see if the mass in his abdomen is shrinking or doing anything else, the result of that scan may prompt the requirement for a biopsy of the fluid.

We settled our bill at reception, and eagerly awaited Blue, not sure he knew where he was or what had been going on, but he sure seemed eager to be back with us, we put him in the car and drove home.

Less than two hours later, the poor little mite is sleeping off his big day out.