Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Tilly Update

We went back to the vet yesterday and saw Tom. I thought it would be a matter of yippee the steroids are working, have some more, but it doesn’t work that way.

To find out for sure what is wrong with Tilly requires a proper biopsy. She reacted badly when she had the minimum dose of sedation so a full anaesthetic would be very risky. And the chances are high that a biopsy wouldn’t be any help anyway.

So first decision – no biopsy. I cannot put her through the risk and the subsequent long stay at the surgery to recover after. Whatever time she has left, I want her to spend at home where she feels safe and happy.

We then had a talk about her quality of life. She is in no pain and is happy enough, sleeping, going for short walks, getting excited when visitors come. We had grandchildren staying from last Friday till yesterday so cuddles weren’t in short supply (and it also stopped me spending hours on the internet searching, obsessing and worrying).

Before any more medication could be issued, she had to have another blood test. Tom phoned later with the result. At her first blood test her liver enzymes were so high, they were off the scale and couldn’t be measured. This time they were very high, but measurable – so they have come down somewhat. Good, yes? The liver support pills are helping.

But – there is always a but – another enzyme has now risen as a result of the steroid. Bad.

She is still jaundiced so Tom has given her Destolit which he hopes will reduce that. He is also hopeful that it will improve her appetite – she went off eating again when the steroid injection ran out. Her protein levels are low too, so she needs more protein.

We are trying her on the Hills i/d which is the same food that Indy had to have 11 years ago when he was so very ill and close to starving to death. It smells and looks far more appetising than the liver diet which she wouldn’t touch (all this food is driving poor Indy mad – he’d eat it like a shot). But does she want to eat it? No. Warmed? No. We are trying to feed her little and often and this morning she had a small bowl of porridge which isn’t ideal, but was all I could tempt her with.

If she’s still not eating tomorrow, I have to start her on steroids.

The best case scenario is that something has damaged Tilly’s liver, but that whatever it was has gone and she now needs support to recover. At the moment all we can do is buy her time and hope it pays off and she comes through.


  1. Thinking of you and Tilly, Teresa.

    Much love.

    Suz XX

  2. Sending you cyber support for Tilly's recovery and your patient nursing.

  3. Sending lots of support to you and Tilly for now and the future.nto

  4. Thank you, Suz, Rosemary and Carol - it really does help knowing there are so many kind people sending positive thoughts xx

  5. Poor Tilly (and you) Good news though that her liver enzyme levels have come down a bit - hope that continues.

  6. Sending love and hope and look after yourself, too, Teresa.

    I have a special tree I call my absent healing tree. Tilly gets a mention twice a day when I and Tim'n' Ted walk past or under it.


  7. Oh massive (((HUGS))) Teresa. Hope Tilly gets better soon. Caroline x

  8. Poor Tilly. Hoping for the best for you. xx

  9. You're doing all you possibly can. Whatever will be, will be. Hoping for the best possible outcome for you all. Hugs Teresa x

  10. Thanks, Patsy x

    That is lovely, thank you, Pat x

    Thank you, Caroline x

    Thank you, Kath x

    Thanks, Diane x

  11. I so hope that Tilly recovers and can't imagine any pet being better nursed and cared for. You are doing the absolute best for her and I'm sure she knows and is hugely comforted by it.

  12. Love and hugs to you and Tilly and many positive vibes. Look after yourself, too, Teresa, as Pat says. xx

  13. I'm still hoping you hear some really good news soon.

  14. Thank you, Joanna, Sue and Keith x

    I was in the depths of despair this morning, couldn't get her to eat a thing then at lunchtime she asked to share my sandwich and wolfed it down! Not ideal food, but better than nothing.

  15. I do hope that she starts eating more very soon. Lots of hugs coming her way....

  16. Everthing crossed for you and Tilly, Teresa. She certainly isn't short of love.

  17. Oh it's so awful when they're not eating. You're just willing them to take a little, always cooking them nice little bits of this and that in the hope that something will tempt them.

    Come on Tilly - got to keep your strength up, dear girl!

  18. Thanks, Frances x

    That's just what I tell her, Joanne! Today she had porridge for breakfast, a few shapes for elevenses (while out enjoying her walk) and white fish for lunch. I was over the moon about the fish :-) At last I feel she's eating "proper" food. Am going to try again with the vet food this afternoon - this is the most she's eaten for weeks x

  19. HOORAY!


    Goodness, the word verification is curingly. Even Blogger is thinking of Tilly!

  20. I've just read your lovely story, Little Brown Dog in WW Issue 9 Fiction Special. It resonates with how you must be feeling right now with Tilly. Your characters really came to life and your love of dogs shone through. Well done.

  21. Thanks, Pat - that word verification thing is spooky x

    Thank you, Maggie, how lovely of you to say. There is a lot of Tilly in that Little Brown Dog x