I should be researching and following the news out of Syria so I can package it into some semi-intelligent blog post about what is happening in Syria and how that probably relates to Iran and other matters, but, my dog.

I did name this blog “Bikinis in Iran”, and that is entirely inspired by my Mother who was born and raised there before the revolution when you could literally wear bikinis. In Iran.

That doesn’t mean every entry has to have the slightest thing to do with any of that though, so I’m going to discuss a Lhasa Apso named Shiloh who is basically like a kid to me. She’s the reason I’m not very up to snuff on the latest happenings around the world, so if we’re really stretching it, then it’s totally related content.

Back in Fall, she was acting very anxious, and pacing and I could tell something was wrong, so I took her to the emergency vet at about midnight. We had a long wait, and she seemed to be doing so fine on my lap in the waiting room, that I felt pretty stupid for bringing her, but luckily I stayed. They ran some blood work and it turns out two of her liver enzymes were very elevated.

We took her to consult with an internal medicine specialist at the same hospital, and they put her on two different medications and sent us home, telling us to recheck in about a month. We repeated that process a few times, and at one point her levels had come down pretty nicely. We also did an ultrasound and other tests just to rule out a few things.

It had all initially been related to a small scale recall of her specialty food brand, which is not a commercial kibble, but freshly-made food using human ingredients. Tainted green beans, they said, were the problem and some dogs became ill with Listeria.

I took her off of that food, and cooked for her myself instead, and gradually, her levels were a lot better.

So, the other week, I fully expected to get good news when we took her for another re-check. Her levels had gone back up a small bit, despite the medications so they encouraged us to have a liver biopsy performed.

She had that done today, on what just also happened to be my birthday, so no cake was happening. I hate my birthday anyway, but wasn’t in the mood to even pretend to celebrate aging while my girl was in the hospital. She had the biopsy, but has to stay there until tomorrow and I’m up late tonight checking in with them over the phone and doing that thing where you worry.

They say she’s doing well as can be expected just after a procedure, but it was laparoscopic, which means a few small incisions on her belly, so she’s on pain medications and fluids for time now. If she continues doing well, she can come home tomorrow afternoon, then I’ll be busy hovering over her to prevent any bleeding or stress and generally babying her like I always do anyway.

In the past, I had a small dog boutique business named for her, and she was a very special gift from a very special person who is no longer with us, so she’s kind of extra important to me. Her biopsy results won’t be in for 3-7 days depending where they choose to send them, and I’m not looking forward to all that waiting.

They suspect it is some form of chronic hepatitis that we can hopefully manage with steroids, so that would be a comparatively good outcome, all alternatives considered. I still hate to think of her on a bunch of nasty medications long term, but if we have to do that, then we will.

I don’t have some big audience here, but I would love to hear from anyone whose dog has had elevated liver values, hepatitis, or any liver problems in general. If you’ve successfully managed to treat it and your dog is reasonably healthy, then I’d especially love to hear about it.

For now, all I can do is wait and worry, but also try to think good thoughts and hope for some decent news.

My poor baby. = (

– Rachel

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