Thursday, February 16, 2017

Abdominal Ultrasound

Today Molly had her abdominal ultrasound at the oncologist's office.   The ultrasound was not done by a sonographer or a tech, it was done by a veterinary radiologist.   We were looking for any signs of cancer in the abdomen, as well as any enlargement of lymph nodes.

Another morning without breakfast!   Molly thinks this is getting old.   She also thinks that veterinary care is getting old too.   I was surprised to be invited back both for the shaving of Molly's abdomen, as well as holding the tooth-end of Molly for the entire ultrasound.   Her nervous behavior has earned her a "red flag" in the charting system at the oncologist office - she will be muzzled and I will be present for all of her care.   I am not offended, Molly is a powerful animal.   Animals who are anxious and afraid can bite, even if they are generally friendly dogs.  

We went into the back, and I placed the muzzle on Molly and then we clipped her harness onto the wall.   I petted her and talked to her while the techs shaved both sides of her abdomen.   The muzzle was a bit too small and Molly was trying to get it off of her face.   She was shaking while she was being shaved.   I comforted her as best as I could - my sharpest tool for Molly-calming was not available.   Food.   If Molly is paid well, she is happy to comply with any kind of handling, even anal gland expression and rectal examinations.

We switched to a larger muzzle.  For the ultrasound, Molly did not want to get up on the (low) exam table.   Normally she loves doing things like that, but I can understand her reluctance.   I lifted her up.   The radiologist explained to me how I needed to hold Molly.   She was going to roll her onto her side and my job was to hold her head so that she did not hurt herself.   When we got her onto her side, the radiologist explained to me that the foreleg closest to the table was the leg the dog will use to get up.   She said my job was to control that leg - if Molly tried to get it underneath of her, I needed to hold it straight.  I felt so awkward - I tried my best to hold Molly correctly.

I told the radiologist and the tech all about Molly's agility career, and about how much she loves Barn Hunt.   They had not heard of Barn Hunt before so I explained the sport to them.    I am so grateful that Molly can still enjoy Barn Hunt and scent work through all of this.   Before long, the ultrasound was over and the radiologist told me the good news: everything looks great!   Molly had a little bit of extra fluid in her abdomen, but that could be due to anxiety.   Molly had plenty of that.   Also, her stomach was growling during the entire ultrasound.

The oncologist was due to speak with us formally about the ultrasound results, but in the mean time I took Molly out to the car and let her at long last have her breakfast.   She ate it in record time!   We returned inside and Molly jumped up on the wooden bench in the waiting room and sat there the whole time I talked to the oncologist, the whole time I paid the bill.   She wasn't budging for another stinking shave-down, rectal exam, ultrasound, needle stick or whatever else you foolish humans have in mind!  She made two other owners who were waiting with their dogs smile and laugh, the way she stayed right on that bench and stared at me.   One of the other owners remarked on how tuned in Molly is with me.   It was true, she was gazing at me with Ein-like focus and love.   Probably thinking, "Get me the hell out of here, woman!"

After we left, I went to the McDonalds drive through and got Molly a double cheeseburger.   We went to the park and I threw her chuckit ball for her, healing stitches be damned.   We went for about a half mile walk and Molly trotted along with her ball in her mouth the entire time.   When we returned to the car I loaded her into her crate with the burger and we headed home.

After about 30 minutes of travelling, we passed a Petsmart.   I thought, "Why not?"   Molly loves to sniff everything in the store and get petted by the people there (and they usually can't resist giving her treats.)   No particular PetSmart, they're all the same - good sniffing and dog loving employees.

Next stop is MCT removal surgery and biopsy on Monday (sigh.   Poor Molly.) and continuing to wait on the lab results.   We will meet with the oncologist when the results from all of that are completed.   Looking forwards to a weekend in the 60s here with some hiking and agility (Perri has a trial and Molly will get to come along and visit with her fans.) and no vet visits!! 

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