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.