Tuesday, September 13, 2016

If We Don't Hear from the Vet Today, We'll be there First Thing in the Morning: JD's Swelling Keeps Bouncing Back

It's going to be two months since it first started and a month since it's been first treated--JD's swelling keeps bouncing back.

At first, we thought it was a bee sting. Then it was determined it was an infection, probably from a splinter caught in his hard palate. While the splinter (or whatever it was) it's probably long gone, the problem lingers.


It seems like it has been an epidemic of such cases lately.


JD's first course of antibiotics was for seven days, and it seemed to have cleared it up. But a week after the treatment was finished, the swelling returned.

To get a better idea of what's going on, JD got so many radiographs that I'm surprised that he didn't glow in the dark. X-rays of his head. Dental x-rays. Ultrasound.

Imaging didn't show anything.


There was no other choice than to roll with the initial hypothesis and restart the antibiotics. This time, just in case the initial course was too short, he got two weeks worth of them.

Just like before, couple days after we started the treatment the swelling went down. At the end of the first week, his head looked perfectly normal.

We were really hoping that this time it would had been it.


At the end of the second week, like clockwork, the swelling came back. Even though JD was still getting his meds. That really bummed us out.

On Sunday, I was looking at him wondering whether I'm seeing it puffing up a little bit or not. It was very subtle; it could have well been my mind playing tricks. By Monday morning, though, there was no doubt. The swelling was coming back.

I called the vet as soon as they opened.


We needed to figure out what to do now.

JD's treating vet wasn't in the office. The only vet present was not familiar with the case and has not seen JD. She looked at his file, but there wasn't anything in there based on which she could make a conclusive decision. Because the treating vet, as well as our "main" vet, were both supposed to be there the next day, she suggested we'd wait for them. "I'll review this with them first thing in the morning," the vet said.

I was concerned about letting things brew, but I could see the logic.

Since JD wasn't in pain (yet) we agreed on that plan. We also agreed on giving JD an NSAID to control the inflammation and hold him over until something useful can be done. Should things get worse or JD become painful, we'd bring him in. Else we'd wait.

The next morning I was waiting for the call.


I understood that they all need to come in, likely deal with some urgent things, but at some point, they'd do what I was promised - review JD's case and get back to me.

Since it wasn't clear whether we're going to try to go it for some sample, or doing something else that might require sedation, I couldn't give JD his NSAID because I couldn't give him his breakfast should he be sedated. That was on the assumption we were going to be doing something that day.

Time went on. No calls.


I called myself, then, trying to at least figure out what roughly the plan would be and whether I should give JD his medication and breakfast. The tech said that the vet said to go ahead with the medication.

That also meant that they weren't expecting sedating him. Good news or bad?

I stressed that I'd really like to talk to the vet about what we will be doing about the situation.


More time passed. I waited, then called again. Everybody was busy. Then out at lunch. Then busy again. I understand that a veterinary clinic is a busy case. But JD needed attention.

I called Jasmine's vet. If nothing else, I wanted to know what he thought about the situation and what he'd recommend. HE made time for me.  I explained what's been going on. He agreed that the hypothesis is likely correct. If the infection did get in through the mouth, there are many different bacteria present in there, some of which would not respond to the antibiotic he was on.

He suggested, if possible, to try to find the pocket and get a sample. Which what what I was hoping to discuss with JD's treating vet. Then he told me what he'd do if the sample could be taken and what he'd do if pocket couldn't be reached.

His confirmation of the hypothesis and knowing what the plan would be, gave me some peace.


However, I still felt that whatever we would be doing, we should do it that day. And still no call from the vet.

I decided to give it a bit more time and if I still didn't hear from anybody then stick hubby on them. The reason behind it being that his voice is much more authoritative than mine. People generally don't argue with him.

Four o'clock in the afternoon came and went. It was time for hubby to make the call.


Sticking hubby on them might have been overkill. If they thought they didn't like me calling, I'm sure that now they'll be happy to hear MY voice. I actually felt sorry for the person who picked up the phone.

The main gist of the message hubby did manage to get across was, "If we don't hear from the vet today, we'll be there first thing in the morning."


"I don't know if I can get you in," the tech said.
"Then you better make sure the vet calls," was the answer. "Or else I'm there, and I will get to talk to her."

As much as I appreciated their being busy, we were quite frustrated.


Though I'll think twice before sticking hubby on them again. And they will probably think twice before making me do that.

One way or another, it worked. The vet finally called. We discussed whether or not there is a chance of getting some sample from the pocket. Unfortunately, there wasn't.

The next reasonable step would be switching antibiotics. I told her what Jasmine's recommendation was, and we decided to go with that.

JD is going to be on a long term, two antibiotic combination.


Lucky guy. We'll do a two-week trial to see whether they work and if they do, he'll remain on them for four more weeks. Lucky JD.

We really hope that this finally does the trick. Because if it doesn't, then it is CT scan and trying to find and reach the pocket that way. With no guarantee that we actually could get to it.

Fingers crossed that this new treatment finally works for good.


47 comments

  1. Good luck! I can't image how frustrating it was for you! JD is lucky that you're such a doting, caring owner.

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    1. Thank you; really hoping this time it will be the charm.

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  2. Poor JD! I hope the switch in antibiotics does the trick!

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  3. Good luck JD i have my fingers crossed for you guys that this new treatment you got will work for him.

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    1. Thank you; we're really hoping that this will do.

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  4. Prayers for your baby! Nothing more frustrating than not knowing 100% whats wrong with them! Hopefully the abx treatment will help and the swelling will stay away for good!!

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    1. Yes, pretty frustrating. The hypothesis seems correct but so far that wasn't overly helpful.

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  5. We'll keep our paws crossed - that looks uncomfortable and very close to the eye.

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  6. I hope the treatment works for JD. Such a hard thing to go through. Paws crossed for all of you.

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    1. Yeah, it's been dragging out for too long already.

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  7. I hope it works out for you. It's frustrating when the go to is more antibiotics. My vet is very good but they also know me well enough that if they don't get back to me immediately I'm showing up in person ... And no one wants that - especially if I'm frustrated.

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    1. I understand busy. But two days with an ongoing infectious case was too long for me.

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  8. This all sounds so frustrating. I'm sorry that you are having to go through it. Poor JD. I hope that the meds work and that he is back to 100% soon!

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  9. It's always so frustrating when there isn't good communication with the vet!

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    1. The communication is actually pretty good when it does happen. But it took a lot of push to make it happen.

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  10. I hope the new meds help. I know it is frustrating when it takes so long for the vet to get back to you.

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    1. I don't mind waiting when it's something that is in no hurry. But an ongoing infection isn't one of those things.

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  11. I hate the waiting game with vets as it makes me so nervous and praying the new meds will help

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    1. I have perfect understanding that they don't just sit on their hands waiting for my call. But two days to talk to somebody about an ongoing case is too much.

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  12. I would not wait for them if I was worried I would be on the phone! You are patient while being very worried - this is great for you and the pup but never be afraid to speak up.

    I hope all goes well.

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    1. I was on the phone. Just couldn't get the other party on the other end. Until after hubby's scary call :-)

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  13. Prayer for JD. Its always appreciated when vets get back to you with news about your pets progress. Keep at it

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    1. Jasmine's vet, however busy, always made time to get back to me, particularly if there was an ongoing issue.

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  14. Really hope you get to the bottom of this, soon.

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    1. Hopefully the hypothesis is correct and this time the treatment will be a charm.

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  15. I'm so sorry you are going through this. It can be so scary to just wait and wait. I hope you get answers very soon!

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    1. Yes, I think the really shouldn't have let us wait THAT long.

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  16. Yikes. I'd be looking for another vet. How is he doing?

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    1. Yeah, they seemed to be begging to get fired.

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  17. I hope the new combo works. So frustrating and scary. I would be less patient. My vets have always called back quickly, especially if ongoing.

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    1. Very frustrating. So far it seems it's working.

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  18. Poor JD, that looks quite uncomfortable! I'm glad the vet returned the call, but it is a shame you had to wait so long for it! I'm hoping that JD is feeling better soon!

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    1. He seems to be doing well now. So it's just hoping that it sticks this time.

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  19. I would be really frustrated if my veterinarian didn't get back to me when I had an important question, too. I can't blame you one bit for getting snippy with them! Your dog is a part of your family. I hope that things are resolved soon. Sending some prayers your way!

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    1. Yes, I understand they have stuff to deal with but the wait was unexceptably long.

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  20. Gosh, what a roller coaster! I'm so glad you are on a manageable path & everything will soon be well under control. Thinking of you both xx

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    1. Hoping this combo and duration finally does the trick.

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  21. Oh my goodness, poor JD! I know the frustration you're feeling, we've all been there. I'm thinking the Vet from your other Vet's office seems like a more "available" Vet... maybe you should switch to him? Good luck with the new meds, paws crossed for JD.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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    1. I would have never left Jasmine's vet except that we now live 7 hours away.

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  22. Poor JD and poor you. I hope you can get this figured out.

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  23. Yikes! How scary and frustrating! I hope the pup is now on the mend! I totally understand the frustration with lack of communication from the vet's office. That has happened to us in the past and it magnifies the issue at hand! I'm glad you were at least able to develop a game plan with them.

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  24. I'm so glad JD isn't glowing in the dark. Ugh! Sorry you're going through this; him included, poor guy. I hope the new antibiotics knock whatever it is out. My foster dog has been battling a resistant infection for over 6 mos, but it looks like the latest might be doing something. It's so hard to be dependant on the expert and then be at their mercy when they don't get back.

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  25. I hope the treatment goes well. It's incredibly frustrating when the vet gives you the silent treatment!

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    1. Thank you, Amber, it was very frustrating. It's been all worked out now.

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