binary girl: the secret blog



Archive for the ‘doggy/piggy’ Category

puppy getting a transfusion

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

puppy getting a transfusion

Originally uploaded by alibee09

PUP! updates of the day

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

[10:00am] I can’t decide if it’s probably lamer to read about my kids every day or my sick dog. Whatever, <cartman voice>it’s my blog, I do what I want!</cartman voice>

Nicky didn’t end up with a transfusion last night, because he went down to 12 and not 10%. I talked to a new vet who was really great, and told me that usually for normal anemia they transfuse at 20%, and for chronic, 15%. Then he told me that beyond transfusion, there is no a lot of medical evidence of the benefits to the different treatments, spleenectomy included. He also told me about this human globulin thing that we could try but that is crazy expensive (because it’s derived from human plasma). We ultimately decided that, because he’s been at a low percentage for over 24 hours now, we should probably transfuse him again at his next PCV unless it starts rising on its own, and go the “wait and see” route w/r/t how he improves otherwise. Mainly, I feel like he’s been at a low level for long enough that supporting his system is a good idea, even though the other vet was worried that that could inflame the IMHA, because it seems like the increased steroids he is on are suppressing his immuno-response enough that granting him a respite might help him swing upwards faster.

[10:00pm] Nicky has hovered at 12% all day so he’s getting another transfusion right now. He’s responding well, so I’m hoping he doesn’t chew through these cells and actually stays up somewhere relatively normal afterward.

convo about nicky

Monday, May 16th, 2011

[5:30pm] Nicky’s PCV went down to 14% at 7am but was up to 15% at 1pm. The doctor considers him still stable and is thinking he’ll start to go up soon. (Fingers crossed!)

I just had the following conversation with Katie on the phone:

K: Hi mommy! You at puppy doctor?
Me: Yeah, Nicky is laying down. He misses you and Max and Ash and Daddy!
K: Nicky feel icky?
Me: He’s very tired.
K: (to B) Nicky sick so Nicky at puppy doctor!
K: (to me) Nicky feel like poopy!

I laughed. Kids are amusing. :)

[9:15pm] Damnit, Nicky is down to 12.5%. There’s a good chance he’ll need another transfusion tonight. They originally had his next measurement scheduled for 8am but now they’re adding one in at midnight and seeing what happens. Crap, crap, crap.

The first thing Katie said to me when I got home is, “I want see Nicky!”

random weekend tidbits

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Things that I did this weekend that I didn’t expect:

– pulled over twice in the space of two blocks to get a toddler to potty in the car
– told my infant, “You’re not a vet, please don’t try to adjust the IV or O2 settings on this machine.”
– made friends leave my living room until I cleared it from toddler-potty smell
– was licked by Nicky, who is not A Dog That Licks People

We went to a birthday party, and two dinners with friends (userinfojessicala is amazing IRL, let me say), and around all of that I spent a lot of time with Nicky at the vet hospital. Max made friends of all the night staff (and vomited on one, but she was going to be a doula if she didn’t do vet med so she was okay with it). One of the more heartwarming moments for me was when I brought Katie in, when Nicky was particularly lethargic:

K: I want Nicky wake up!
Me: He is awake, honey, he’s just very tired and sick.
K: That why he at puppy doctor!
Me: I wish he would come home.
K: He come home little bit, okay Mommy?

I am bummed out today.

nicky update 2

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

[3 pm] At 3am, Nicky’s PCV had fallen from 24 to 16%. This is somewhat expected if his immune response is still high, so they checked again at noon and found that it had only fallen another percent, to 15, but also that his bone marrow is making new cells and the number of those is increasing. So, that’s positive.

Behavior-wise, he was perkier this morning than last night, but his gums were once again white instead of pink (in line with the drop of the PCV). The fact that he’s staying steady-ish means we don’t yet have to talk about another transfusion or a spleenectomy, but he’s still hanging out in the O2 chamber. I’ll be going back to see him again tonight.

[9:30 pm] His PCV was 16% at 7:30pm (and the notes in his record say it was 16 at noon, which is confusing), which is awesome! His new cell count fell from 6.8 to 6.2, so he’s still having an immune response, but it is waaay better, yay! Now we need him to start rebuilding his counts. Woo!

Also, he licked me, which never happens. I guess he appreciates my visits :)

nicky update

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Yesterday the nurses kept telling me to be prepared for the eventuality that Nicky would be worse today, because we could have gotten him into the vet before he hit rock bottom. Turns out they were right — while they were able to take him for walks this morning, his PCV was 13 at 3am and 10 by 10am. So, they had to give him a transfusion.

(Side note: do you know that they have donor dogs — either those owned by the hospital staff, or primarily greyhounds at donor centers? Totally random.)

I visited him with Max before they started the transfusion and he was sleepy but somewhat responsive. Then we came back a few hours later, during the transfusion, and Katie and I visited him. Katie kept saying, “I want Nicky wake up!” because he was literally barely able to keep his eyes open. :(

The good news is that after the transfusion, his PCV was 24 (normal is 35-50). Now we need to see if his immune response is suppressed enough to let him keep those cells, or if it’ll flare up and attack them. The MRI showed a few non-interesting lumps on his spleen so they’re not thinking spleenectomy, but if he gets worse again they may because that’s where a large part of his immune response lives.

I’m hanging out with him until visiting hours are over with Max. Poor little puip, he has no appetite and is just laying there. :(

the patient

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

the patient

Originally uploaded by alibee09

the cone of shame

Friday, May 13th, 2011

the cone of shame

Originally uploaded by alibee09

Someone has been licking at their IV…

and then there is nicky

Friday, May 13th, 2011

[3:00 pm] This morning was chaos. And in the midst of all that chaos lay one cockapoo, almost 10 years old (in June), who wasn’t pestering me for breakfast or even interacting with us, at all. When I finally realized how odd it was that he wasn’t moving from the rug at the foot of our bed, it was almost time for us to leave for the day. I tried to coerce him to move and it was nothing doing — he was absolutely not moving. I got him halfway down the hall and he sat down and started panting. So, we carried him outside to pee, carried him to the water bowl to get him some water, and then we put him on the sofa to sit (after her refused breakfast). Brandon decided to check on him at lunch in case he was simply just dehydrated or hurting (his hips are at times bothersome).

At lunch, he was worse. Brandon took him to the vet only to get rushed into the ICU (our vet is a vet hospital). They found him extremely anemic — his gums are white, his tongue is pale, and when they did a blood panel his red blood cell count (normally 35-50) was 17. Because his gums were also tinged yellow, they suspected him of having IMHA – Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia. One blood test later found this to be the case; his red blood cells are spherical instead of donut-shaped, indicating that his immune system is attacking them.

Right now he has am 80% chance of recovery. They have him in an O2 cell (which he is not a fan of because he wants the cuddles) and on a saline drip that they will soon be adding steroids to. (The O2 is to super saturate his remaining red blood cells.) He’ll need at least one blood transfusion, if his RBC drops any further or if he faints — the tricky thing about that, however, is infusing him with a new set of red blood cells could cause his immune system to attack those as well and ultimately dump him below 17. He’ll be in the pup hospital for 2-5 days, at least. :(

He DID eat the nomable wet food they put in there, at least.

More updates as they come.

Puppy in O2 chamber

[8:30 pm] Nicky is still stabilized — his red blood cell count is still 17. However, he is MUCH perkier. They’re treating the autoimmune response with steroids (prednisone) and also giving him some antibiotics (doxycycline) in case this is caused by an infection. (He’s also on pepcid to counteract the acidity caused by the antibiotics, and carafate to plug up any possible GI bleeds.) The doc warned me that this could be the “calm before the storm”, however — the real tell is how he’s doing tomorrow.

I brought the vets and nurses cookies to bribe them.

When I go there, the vet on call told me that there’s no way his count could be higher than 17, considering how much fluid they’ve pumped in him — so I guess that’s good. He chowed down some of the chicken and rice I brought (they feed wet food but said I could bring some special things I knew he’d eat to tempt his palate. Dude, Nicky is a vacuum, he’d eat lettuce if I let him.) and was asking for more at the end (they don’t want to give him too much at once, obviously). Now he’s pawing at me in the O2 chamber because he wants to come out.

They might move him to a nasal oxygen system and put him in a run later today, which would be nice, because then he’ll have more room to move. I hope that this is really an improvement and more than a “calm before the storm”, poor pup.

Best use of a toddler chair, puppy division

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Best use of a toddler chair, puppy division

Originally uploaded by alibee09

jackhammering the baby out

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

I worked from home yesterday because we’re having a stem wall installed in our garage. Essentially, the garage is on a slab, and the living room, which was formerly the garage before the old owners expanded the house, is also on a slab, and they are level with each other, meaning that any run-off that comes into the garage could flow naturally towards the living room and do severe water damage. A stem wall goes between the two rooms, next to the connecting wall in the garage, to help that; also, we’re having it installed deep so that we can eventually bolt supports to it when we add a second story. (Now I must pause and imagine the day that we have enough money to do that… when I’m in my 70s…)

Anyway, I didn’t expect the LOUDNESS of the construction, nor the amount of cement dust I’d be inhaling as a result of Brandon accidentally leaving a window near the garage open and dust coming in under the door connecting the garage and the house. It was good that I was there, though, because the dogs were spazzing out for the initial part of the construction (until they got used to it). When I went to get lunch I was talking to the guys who were jackhammering and I pantomimed doing it myself, saying, “Hey, maybe I should try and see if this will shake the baby out.” They laughed. :)

I’ve been having intermittent contractions (and I mean really intermittent; although they’ve picked up, they’re still like, at least an hour apart) but constant BHs since Monday night. So, no news to report. I meant to find out if I was GBS+ at my last appointment but forgot to ask, so I’m going to follow up on that tomorrow; I’ve also been doing a bit of walking because it’s helping me feel better (oddly, considering the amount of pelvic pain I’ve had during this pregnancy). We’re still on the fence about whether or not B will be leaving to go to Colorado for his brother’s wedding on Friday night — we are DEFINITELY playing it by ear, but I think it’ll be determined by whether or not I spontaneously give birth today (meaning we’d be out of the hospital by the time he leaves) and what my OB says tomorrow.

Woot! 38w4

pets and babies

Friday, August 20th, 2010

My pregnancy-induced insomnia has been pretty consistent; usually I either can’t fall asleep, or wake up thanks to being in pain or needing to readjust (I wake up all the time in funny positions, mainly on my back, which makes me wonder how much snoring I’m doing these days… thank goodness B usually sleeps deeply ;) ), and then I just LIE THERE. FOR HOURS.

So last night I was totally sure I’d sleep lots because I was exhausted to the point of barely being able to stand (I had stayed up later than intended watching part of Pillars of the Earth — OMG IAN MCSHANE AS A PRIEST). So I climb in bed and conk out. And who kept me up all night?


I remember when people told me that I would love my kid way more than my dogs and I never agreed with them. Nicky and Ash were (and are, still, to an extent) my kids, and I care for them and love them deeply. I can’t deny, though, that they’ve gotten the short end of the stick w/r/t this baby thing; they may get a thousand times more food (Katie LOVES to feed them, even when we’re telling her to stop throwing her food at them), and she does cuddle and pet them, but they don’t get the attentions from Brandon and I that they used to. In fact, they make us angry WAY more than before; either they bark and wake Katie up, bark and scare her, or actively and remorselessly steal her food and make her burst into tears.

And then, at night … Nicky has started doing things (like insisting that I wake up and physically put him in bed with us, which makes no sense because he can jump into the bed with ease and it’s nigh impossible for me to move in bed without agonizing pain so I can’t easily jump out, pick him up, and throw him back in bed) that are constantly waking me up and making it impossible for me to rest. This was problematic back when K wasn’t sleeping through the night; it was problematic when she was sleeping in our room and their constant restlessness would wake her up (and one of the reasons we never really co-slept — between the dogs and Brandon it’s amazing anyone ever gets any sleep in our bed); and now it’s problematic that my insomnia is in full-swing.

It makes me feel a little guilty. At the same time, I don’t know what to do about it, because the dogs don’t seem to GET it — when Brandon gets seriously angry at them for walking up to her while she’s eating something and fairly yanking it from her grasp, they look contrite for about 2 seconds before they’re hovering over her again. Sometimes I’ll end up putting them outside while she does the wandering snacking thing (which means that they’re standing there, pawing at the glass door, wanting to come back in the entire time), but it’s not always convenient. I have consistently been making an effort to give them lots of attention after K goes to bed, to try to make up for the fact that they’re getting less cuddles nowadays, but at the same time, I wish I could shake them and have a real heart-to-heart about how I need them to behave in order to make our relationship better at this stage. That, or I wish I could hogtie them out in the shed. ;)

excuse me WHAT?

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

I took Nicky in to get his teeth cleaned this morning (breed + dog who doesn’t chew his food = nasty little mouth) and they informed me that my little pupple is coming up on NINE YEARS OF AGE (in June).

This is absolutely stunning to me. I remember bringing him home, with my friend Brian in the passenger seat of my car, holding him in his lap (sigh, I miss Brian). I remember long nights with him when he almost died of bordatella pneumonia, and when he first met Brandon and stole a pot sticker off a plate Brandon erroneously left in his reach. Nicky was jumping around like a little spazzface today in the vet’s office, belying the fact that he’s an old geezer dog.

I have a child who is nine. Granted, he’s furry, but he’s mine.

Sesame Street!

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Sesame Street!

Originally uploaded by alibee09

K: enthralled by Telly and Baby Bear helping Jack B. Nimble. Ash:
enthralled by K’s goldfish.

bye-bye, pigs

Monday, May 11th, 2009

I don’t know if I mentioned it, but I had to give my pigs to a rescue to be adopted out because during pregnancy, I became allergic to their bedding to the point that Brandon had to clean their cage for me (and he disliked the pigs and I promised to never make him do any work for them). Anyway, I checked up with the rescue to find out how they were doing and she responded:

Oh my gosh -thanks for writing. I found the girls a wonderful home and things have been so crazy that I neglected to let you know.

All 3 girls went together to a wonderful family. The mother and daughter were on vacation together. They had been looking for piggies that suited them for a while with no luck. So they set out in their RV on spring vacation determined to find some. They’ve got other rescue animals, including a couple very cute dogs. They’ve had guinea pigs before. The daughter is a very mature 11 year old who is quite natural with piggies.

Anyway, they live in Fresno and stopped at every shelter they could think of and had no luck. They had their computer with them too and so were checking the Internet for piggies. They came across my listing and saw Bacon’s photo and absolutely fell in love. For some reason, they did not see the photos on the separate lisitngs for Snowy and Riblets. They only saw them in the background of Bacon’s photo. They were camping in Gilroy when they saw the photo and writeup of Bacon. They called and immediately wanted to come up but I was already taking off for work. So we exchanged lots of email while I was working. We arranged a meeting and they drove their RV from Gilroy up through our curvy roads to La Honda to meet the girls.

When they came into our house and finally got to see all 3 piggies, the 11 year old absolutely fell for Riblet. Once she had Riblet in her arms, she was in love. The mother was absolutely in love with Bacon and Snowy. The mother had talked with her daughter about your girls’s ages and wanted to make sure she was ok with it. The daughter (Sam) totally understood and really appreciated the girls for who they are.

I was very excited for your girls. I think it’s a great match. I wish they were a little closer (they’re in Fresno) but that was the only thing close to a negative. Both mother and daughter were very excited and you could tell the piggies were going to be family pets that wouldn’t be forgotten and ignored. The mother is a hairdresser so is totally prepared for caring for Bacon’s and Snowy’s extra hair maintenance.

I’m pretty sad about it but glad that some little girl will love my ladies as much as I did.

a rundown of today

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

– I can’t walk at all today. I mean, serious “can barely get down the hallway” pain (although I gritted my teeth through an agonizing walk to lunch). Yay pregnancy!
+ My coworkers do some funny stuff. That’s what happens when smart people abuse technology.
– Ash and Nicky absolutely cannot sleep when their papa is away. It probably didn’t help them that I was out until after 10 last night, but they were rambunctious, unhappy little guys last night.
+ Dinner with Matt and Dina last night; dinner with Andrew and Kristin tonight; BBG event tomorrow night (woo for last minute planning).
+ Friday!

I like it when my lists have more +s than -s.

poor piggledom

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

On our way out the door yesterday morning, Brandon noticed that Riblette (the youngest of my guinea pigs and the only non-Peruvian; she’s a tortoise-shell Abyssinian) had a huge sore on her back. (cut for grossness)

my little runaway

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Brandon’s dad is here because he is going with B and some other friends on The Sheetiron 300 over the weekend. They were outside barbecuing chicken, and came back inside with Ash.

Ten minutes after sitting around Ash runs to the front door and starts snuffling under it, pawing at it, and yowling. I made fun of him because he could obviously hear something outside, but admitted that the snuffling bit was a little “different”, so John opened the door and in pops the face of Nicky.

Apparently B hadn’t closed the fence properly in the back yard and Nicky had been out, exploring the neighborhood. (!) Runaway pup!

crazy weekend++

Monday, April 21st, 2008

The past few days have been a whirlwind.

Thursday: Caroline, or Change. Afterward, I found out that Tapioca Express is open until 11:30pm on most weeknights. While that is awesome in many ways, it’s a teeeeeeny bit far to drive on a whim. I’m currently trying to find a good milk tea joint a little more north. My normal desire for boba is high, but my pregnant desire for boba is almost constant. I seriously could use an IV drip of the stuff (if the pearls would fit into my veins w/o killing me outright).

Friday: Dinner in San Francisco with Sari, her parents, and my parents. Hunan Home’s is a really awesome Chinese restaurant on Jackson St., and apparently my morning sickness has gotten to the point that I can almost eat an entire meal! Granted, it’s half the size of how much I used to eat, but progress is being made. We talked about babies and being pregnant a lot, but it wasn’t the only topic of conversation, which was a relief (as much as I like being the center of attention, it never feels fair to talk about being PG the entire meal when you’re the only one who is enjoying the wonders of it :) It was awesome talking to my parents and Sari’s parents about it, though. I’m also stoked that Sari is moving back to CA next month. :D

Saturday: Seder at the Dina’s parent’s. Having Rachel there was great, and it was fun hearing Dina’s family reminisce about how they used to react to my piercings and hair dye; it’s almost like having another set of parents comment on what I was like growing up. Also, the seder went SUPER fast (and as usual, charoset + maror + matzo = Alison’s favorite dish). Brandon was happy that it wasn’t vegetarian (like the first seder I took him to).

Sunday: We went for a long walk with ye olde pups, then our neighbor across the street had us over for dinner. She made a really nice chicken dish with an awesome salad that helped my avocado cravings, but I could only eat about half of it, which made her worry that I didn’t like it. I’m pretty sure that at some point soon I’ll start packing on the pounds, but since I’ve only gained a few so far, people seem shocked at how big mah belleh is. :D

Today: Justin Currie at Cafe du Nord, woo!!!

Tomorrow: Pup play date!

a good start to the day

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

I opened the front door to get in my car and a good-sized dog ran up and greeted me. “I don’t know you,” I said, “I can’t let you inside. Let’s see where you live.” Her tag had no address but it did have a number, so I called and asked the man who answered if he knew that Chloe was out. He didn’t, but he lived about half a block away and came to get her (although he was right poky about it).

Yay saving puppies in need!

Funnily, she kept running back and forth between our house and the people across the street, who are also dog lovers. She KNEW. :D