Friday, January 18, 2008

Julie Update & Joop Forever

Julie's latest blood test results showed a rise in red blood cell count from 13 to 14. That's good news, right?

Well yes, but the doctor was quite discouraged. You see, her PCV (packed cell volume) count should have been significantly higher by now. One point isn't enough to hang your hopes on.

There could be a sneaky cancer lurking somewhere unseen that is affecting her bone marrow's ability to generate new red blood cells, or a red blood cell parasite could be the culprit or something that didn't present itself in previous tests.

The doctor recommended we send Julie to a specialist for bone marrow testing and a sonogram. Quite frankly, we can't afford these tests. Even if they found the cause, we've spent all our available funds getting her this far. Julie must either rally on her own using the meds she has or die. It chokes me up.

UPDATE: I guess it is not God's will for Julie to rebound from this life-threatening crisis.

Julie's full blood panel & CBC (complete blood count) results have come back from the lab: PCV is 12.5 (remember that this number should be between 35-55 for normal dogs). There appears to be no bone marrow stimulus; i.e. no evidence of reticulocytes (or "retics" - precursors to red blood cells) being generated.
This is grave, grave news for Julie.

Her liver and kidneys do not appear to be damaged, which is a blessing. The doctors are not prescribing her any more medications and are not recommending a second transfusion. When her current meds run out her stability should deteriorate.
I stumbled across this page as I was processing the above information: All Pets Go to Heaven
[Warning: If you tend to tear up easily, grab the Kleenex box now.]

It reminded me of a riveting photoblog from a few years ago about a Dutch dog named Joop whose owner lovingly chronicled his life in a daily dog log. Joop had a huge following. I sat at my desk and sobbed the day he died. I'm sure I was not alone.

Check out Joops's incredible photos on Flikr, then catch up with his owner Henk's latest pet projects. It's good stuff.

1 comment:

A's Mom said...

I'm so sorry to hear the news. I don't understand why they don't keep her on some sort of steroid. But I guess if the bone marrow isn't doing it's job...

We'll continue to keep all of you in our prayers.