I finally slept. After being up for 18+ hours, I practically melted into my pillow by the time we left the pet hospital and made it home late last night. I tried not to think about the missing Scottie dog at my feet and I cried when I accidentally called Nibbles by Heather's name.
Tomorrow, Heather will undergo surgery to remove her gallbladder - the culprit of all her symptoms. Heather was diagnosed with gallbladder mucocele and the V-E-T at the pet hospital says Heather's gallbladder needs to come out or it will rupture, at which point we would likely need to help her over the Rainbow Bridge if surgery wasn't an option.
It was a difficult decision when determining whether she should have the surgery. I worried about whether it was safe at her age to undergo anesthesia and, of course, the surgery itself. I worried what her recovery would be like. Would she live a relatively normal life, if all went well? What would her diet be like without a gallbladder? Could she still stay on trilostane for Cushing's disease?
The V-E-T said her prognosis looked good, if we were to elect to proceed with surgery. She said age, in this case, was not an issue and that aside from these symptoms, Heather is healthy - especially when you consider how well she is doing on trilostane. (We received the results of the ACTH stimulation retest, by the way, and learned that we won't need to adjust her dosage!)
Encouraged by the V-E-T's positive outlook and after consulting with my sister (who works at a V-E-T's office in North Carolina), I decided it would be wrong of me not to give it a try. I signed additional paperwork and handed over a whopping $4,400 deposit before I went to the visitors' room with family to spend some time with Heather.
That's when I knew I had made the right decision. She was walking with so much more ease. Yes, she was still slow but she wagged her tail at the sight of us and her favorite tiny human. Her nurse told me that Heather was much more alert and that she ate "ravenously" after she had the IV fluids.
Many thanks to everyone for their kind words of encouragement and support throughout this difficult time. I am hopeful that I won't have any more three-dog nights and that Heather will be home with us by the end of the week. Look for an update from us sometime tomorrow after surgery. In the meantime, please keep my sweet girl in your thoughts. Much love, The Scottie Mom.