Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Jasmine's IBD: Abdominal Mass (Part III)

Continued from part II


Over time we adjusted and learned to live with Jasmine's belly upsets, fussiness about food and stool problems. What other choice did we have?

If I could go back in time, knowing what I know now, things would had been different.

But back then, since all the visits to a number of different vets didn't bring any solution, we thought that things were the way they were.

It wasn't until we were dealing with a different issue all together when we finally got some answers.

That summer Jasmine injured her hind leg. Again.

It looked the same as the three times before, so we figured that it would go away with restricted exercise as it did in the past.

When we took her to a vet, were always told it was some type of soft tissue injury.

It always did take quite a long time to resolve. But I couldn't bring myself to patiently waiting again. Jasmine still liked her walks, but if she had a choice she’d rather rest instead. That wasn’t like her. Even though we didn't expect a different answer, I insisted that we take her to the vet anyway.

She was diagnosed with a torn cruciate ligament.

We saw an orthopedic specialist who confirmed the diagnosis and TPLO surgery recommended.

I researched the subject until I was blue in a face. Our feeling was that we'd prefer a non-surgical solution if possible. We weighed a lot of options from braces to prolotherapy. When I learned about stem cell therapy, I was sold. Jasmine's vet at the time never heard of it and wasn't eager to learn about it either. We went searching for a vet certified in the procedure to discuss this option.

That's how we found Jasmine's new vet.

He was on board with the idea. He examined Jasmine and wanted to have additional x-rays. He wanted to see her shoulders and hips too. We agreed that he'd take as many additional x-rays as he felt were needed.

While he was doing that, he decided to take advantage of Jasmine being under and do an even more thorough physical exam.

We got a call from his office that he wanted to take more x-rays than originally agreed on.

He wanted to take x-rays of her abdomen. He had felt a mass.

Abdominal mass?! Our hearts sank.

The abdominal x-rays confirmed his suspicion. There was definitely something there showing up as a mass.

We had a long talk with him in his office. Whatever it was, perhaps we caught it early. He suggested blood tests to see where to go from there.

The blood looked good.

He suggested an exploratory surgery as the next step. Take a look what it was in there and take it out if possible. We agreed to do that.

When he opened Jasmine up, there didn't seem to be any tumor but something infiltrating the tissue of the stomach and small intestine. There was enough infiltration that it felt a looked like a mass on the x-rays. He did a biopsy and sent it off to the lab.

We had to wait five days for the results.

If you ever waited for biopsy results, you know that the five days felt like years. We were in shambles. How could this be? What if it really is cancer? What should we do then?

Finally the results came back and it was not cancer!

Instead, it was white blood cells (eosinophils) infiltrating the tissues. Jasmine had Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Eosinophilic gastroenteritis to be more exact. Which was a result of Jasmine's long-term food allergies which never got diagnosed.

Finally we had an explanation to all her digestive problems.

And all it took was five and a half years of vet visits and a busted knee to get it.

Related articles:
Jasmine's IBD: Undiagnosed For Five Years (Part I)
Jasmine's IBD: Life with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Part II)

Why I Dislike Inflammatory Bowel Disease



Do you have a story to share?

Your story can help others, maybe even save a life!

What were the first signs you noticed? How did you dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?

Email me, I'll be happy to hear from you!

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