Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Note From Joey and Maggie: Joey's Follow-Up Vet Visit

Your 'Long and Short of it All' hosts Maggie and Joey relax on the porch, Tuesday evening, September 14, 2010

Joey continues to recover very well following his recent surgery and the complications which ensued.  Today was his follow-up visit with his Internist, as it has been nearly 2 weeks since he was discharged from the doggy ICU, and he was due for his second monthly shot of DOCP, a drug which he must now have for the rest of his life because he doesn't have any adrenal glands.
When we walked into the Veterinary Referral Center for the 1 PM appointment, all the ladies behind the front desk got excited - "JOEY!!  Joey's here!"  They filed out one by one to get on the ground and greet him, and he responded with lots of tail wags.  One cute gal said to Dad "Did you get your phone reminder about Joey's appointment?  That was me yelling in the background at the top of my lungs that Joey was coming to visit!"   We were ushered into an examination room like VIP's when the veterinarian's assistant came in and said "I saw Joey's name on the list today and told the doctor that I get to be the person to take his case.  I had to see my Joey again, I missed him!"  She carried him away to get his weight, and also took him for a short visit to all his friends in the ICU before coming back to the exam room.  He weighs 20 pounds now, up two pounds since he was discharged.  His normal weight is 22 or 23 pounds. 
His Internist, Dr. Mordecai, came in the room, all smiles to see Joey looking so well.  Joey hid behind Dad's legs and didn't really want to come out from behind them to see the doctor.  Another vet tech came in the room to say hello, and Joey tried to escape out the door.  "Not again, they're not keeping me this time," he must have thought.  The good doctor sat on the floor with us to examine Joey which made him feel a little more comfortable. 
He got his last dose of Plavix this morning, the anti-platelet medication he was on for his pulmonary embolism.  It wasn't used to really treat the PE, but to prevent any other clots from lodging onto it if they were to break loose from either his incision or where his central catheter was placed in his jugular. 
The vet also discussed an oral medication instead of the DOCP shot for his Addison's Disease, but the vet warned "if you were to miss a dose, you'd really be in trouble."  Dad chose to keep him on the shot until things are a little more under control and to think about the oral medication later.  So, he got his second DOCP shot.  He will require electrolyte monitoring in 11 days, and again when it is time for the next shot so the dosage can be titrated if necessary.  Essentially the shot regulates the amount of potassium and sodium electrolytes  in Joey's system, and based on those levels, the drug is titrated up or down.
Dad also asked about the daily prednisone and the risk of ulcers - should Joey be on Pepcid or something for his stomach?  The vet didn't think so - the prednisone is supplying what the adrenal glands would normally produce, so it shouldn't be an issue.
Then Dad asked about the surgery-induced pancreatitis - is pancreatitis going to be a lifelong problem for Joey?  Again, the vet didn't think so - "We know that the surgery caused the pancreatitis, he should be able to go back on his normal diet in a month or so."
Dr. Mordecai carried Joey out to draw some blood to check his electrolytes.  As the door closed, Joey's eyes stared intently at Dad as if to say "please don't leave me here again."  Poor fella.  All of his labs came back normal, with a lower sodium and higher potassium - still within normal ranges, but these values are expected with an Addisonian Dog.
The good doctor doesn't want to see Joey again until December so that he can get an ultrasound and see how his "gallbladder sludge" is doing, and to see if the ursodiol he is taking is helping to reduce it.  His DOCP shots and titration can take place with his regular vet.
And with that, we were off to the exit - Joey prancing through the halls of the hospital as if he owned the place - head held high and tail wagging hard - much to the delight of the visitors and staff.  Dad was proud of his handsome boy.

38 comments:

curator said...

Well lots of love and healing thoughts! Go get em Joey! Eat good food and get good rest, and as for the rest of the family, love and support to you from us over here at the Museum.

Jolyn7 said...

a healthy dog is a happie one. glad Joey is feeling that way... :)

From Jolyn & Jed

angie said...

yay joey! you're a superstar!!

Anonymous said...

The last several days have been fraught with unhappy news here. Some happy news about Joey is nice to read.

Jablana said...

rally happy to hear such good news! theres a tail waging next to my feet while we read this! Lea send her prince Joey baskets of kisses!:*

Anonymous said...

JoEy!!!!!!!!!

Ya a better than an average doxie! Such stamina you have! Such good humans you have! Such good docs you have!

Congrats on the good report!

It's back to 'normal' for you now and your humans. We, of the Kearley dog pack, are so glad to read this amazing story, a positive one, of such an amazing dog who refused to give up (as did his humans).

H/T/C

jam said...

Woof! Woof! Woof! great news joey. schnitzel; winnie; wilbur; and i did the happy dance. keep up the good work. lots of love and tail wags.

Jerry S. said...

It's not just your Dad, Joey. ALL of us are proud of you. And, you see, even the people who stick needles in you and tubes up your poor itchy schnozz just can't help but love you.

Paul said...

What a nice start to our Wednesday! Sending wiggles and wags and best wishes your way.

Paul and Poncho

Jayne and Annie said...

Hello to Joey, Maggie and Dad!! What a relief to hear that Joey is continuing to recover nicely!! And what a joy to hear about his follow-up dr. vist!! I could just picture everyone's excitement to see you Joey, looking so very much better!! It is easy to see why they all fell in love with you - what an amazing little doxie you are, and what a wonderful and devoted Dad you have!! Thank you Dad, for the update - you are all still in my prayers and will continue to be. Love to you all, Jayne and Annie

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful news! Joey, you look great. That is so great that the vet staff were so excited to see Joey. Certainly can understand Joey's nervousness about going back. Great job Joey's Dad. Hope life is getting back to normal.

Anonymous said...

Joey, you look fabulous! I think your wonderful black spots are darker and full of strength once again- you can beat anything! Take it easy on poor ol' Dad, though- he will remember this alot longer than you will! love ya- Annie

masstransit said...

We're all proud of him too!

Anonymous said...

Way to go Joey!!!! We are so happy for you,Dad and Maggie that your happy family is getting back to normal (well almost). We are sending happy vibes to ya all today. Love from Quebec Canada

Oscar and Hans said...

Great update Joey! Keep up the good work!

PS we hate it when Mom leaves us at the vet, too.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic news---we're so excited for you! We wish we had your secret for gaining weight--Allie is in dire need to gain a pound!

Hugs and tail wags, Kate n Allie

Shar, Sawyer, and Abby said...

A happy ending.....the best kind!

After all you have been through, Joey, you deserve it.

Podgirl said...

Way to go Joey baby! Keep getting better and stronger and soon you and Maggie can have your very first spa day in your new jacuzzi.

Your pal

Schatzi (my Mom helped me type this)

Edith said...

Joey! Joey! Joey! You are looking downright handsome! Awesome! Mom and I are so happy for you, Maggie, and your dad!

Woof!
Edith Ann Dogette

Anne said...

YEA Joey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can't tell you how much excitement I feel for you and your Dad that your visit was sooo GOOD!!!!!! i am holding back the tears, cause it's such a relief to hear you are doing even better than the last report. And, gosh, darn it, your pix with ms. maggie are the CUTEST. I wish my doxies could pose like that!!!! LOTS of hugs, doggie kisses and off the wall tail wags to you Mister!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

love,
Roxie Lou, Coco Beane and Auntie Annie Em

Alicia said...

HOO-RAY!!! Such wonderful news,and the dogs look terrific. A long road but y'all are off to a strong start. Happy day!
You can do it, Joey!!

Eucritta said...

Joey! So nice to see you with bright eyes again!

Cynthia (Geneva's mom) said...

Yay! This is continued great news. We are so glad to hear how well you're doing, Joey!

Bludog said...

Joey looks GREAT in the pictures. You would never know what he'd been through (and put you through! ;-)

We had a dog that was on a low dose of Prednisone for life, and we never had any problems - so it really should be OK.

Kim said...

YAYYYYYYYY! What a great report from the Dr.! Thanks for your through, detailed explanation, Dad for all of your fans! Maggie and Joey, you are looking just gorgeous. What fabulous pics!

Linda said...

What a great report! The staff out there must enjoy seeing "their" Joey back to his regular handsome happy self! Must be exciting for them also to see such a positive outcome from such a difficult surgery. We are breathing a sigh of relief and hope Joey continues to feel better every day. What a remarkable dog and the most amazing doxie dad ever! Hugs to all!
Linda, Frankie and Maggie

kalyxcorn said...

Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Joey -- you look great!! What wonderful news that you're continuing to recover so well. Dad Carson, what a great dog-parent you are (and Maggie is such a good sister)! This blog post made our day.

Nelly, Minnie, Kirby, Henry and Mom Lyn

Peejums said...

I'm so glad to hear that the little guy's doing well! Whew—it was the worst kind of nail-biter for a while there. (Now I know that you said you didn't want to ask for donations, but I'm also aware that there are plenty of us regular readers who'd be happy to contribute—even if only a little can be spared—toward the huge expenses that his superb vet care surely cost his doting guardians.) Anyway, keep on keepin' on, Joey!

And on another note, thanks for reminding me of Concrete Blonde's "Joey" in your post from several weeks back. I hadn't heard it since high school and I'd completely forgotten it, but I've been singing it on and off ever since then!

Milo said...

So wonderful to here things are going well for Joey! He deserves it! Keep up the good healing Joey!

Anonymous said...

It's my b-day today - and this great news has made my happy day even more happy!!! Leo and Hogan from the beach were so happy to hear that Joey is feeling so much better!! He looks wonderful -- yeah!!! I'm so happy for all of you.

Mary Anne said...

Joey!!! You're back to your good ol' self!!! You're looking fantastic!! It's so great to hear you are winning the battle!! Your dad and your vets did an amazing job caring for you! We continue to pray for your continued recovery!

Your buddy,
Kona

Lexi said...

Joey

We are very glad that your feeling so much better.

Lex and Bismarch

Jayne and AnnieBelle said...

Hello, Joey, Maggie and Dad! Hope you are all doing well, and that little Joey is continuing to make progress each new day. An excellent idea someone had - where and how can I make a donation to help with Joey's vet. expenses?? Have been wanting to do this and am glad someone brought it up - and there are probably others who love Joey and his family and would like very much to help. Please consider this, Carson. Love, Jayne and AnnieBelle

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful picture of brother and sister. Sweet Joey, we are so happy you are home with Maggie and Dad.

Love and tail wags from SC,
Faith, Tigger and Petie (and their mother)

Ruby and Penny said...

Hey handsome Joey. Glad you are doing so well.
Love Ruby & Penny

Nahlah said...

Yay! we are glad to hear it.

Anonymous said...

Can't stop smiling after reading this post! I'm so happy to hear that Joey is feeling much better, and that his follow-up appointment went so well. Sounds like he was the star of the hospital!

I'm sure things are still a little chaotic as your whole household adjusts to new medication routines and Joey continues to recover, but I'm hoping that you are able to do some relaxing now that he is officially on the mend. I've said it before, but it bears repeating, Joey (and Miss Maggie too, of course) are both so lucky to have such a wonderful dad.

With all our best wishes and lots of huge smiles,

Becky and Michael in Israel

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