About two weeks ago, it became clear that Emmett was having that problem again.
The problem with his… erm… peep.
That same day, his oncologist called to say that she needed some updated blood work to authorize his chemo refill, so we trundled off to the vet to have the CBC done, along with the swab for his chronic man problem.
Typically, his blood tests go like this: Front desk gal gushes all over him, he hops on the scale but wags too much to get a solid read on his weight, the tech takes him back to draw blood, the vet gives the thumbs up, we’re out the door. Fifteen minutes. Twenty if there’s extra gushing.
So, when the vet sat down and started a physical exam, we knew something was wrong.
His platelets tanked. They weren’t in the terrifying zone where they can bleed out from spontaneous hemorrhaging, but he was just north of that number. By this time, because we had an evening appointment, Purdue’s oncology department was closed for the night. So, our local vet sent us home with instructions to keep him on restriction: no exercise, no being around unknown dogs, etc. A bleed would be very bad. She’ll call in the AM…
His incredible oncologist called first thing the next day and went over the details. His platelet count had to recover–though sometimes it never does in long-term chemo patients. So, we stopped his chemo that day and planned a CDC recheck in one week.
A week later, his numbers were a smidge higher but not high enough to be safe.
So, he’s off chemo. The risks of the bleeding far outweigh the risks of tumor growth at this point.
Now we wait.
They’ll recheck his platelet count in early January, then he goes up to Purdue for a full workup mid-January.
In the meantime, she said it’s cool for him to take a short meander around the block since he loves it so much, but no running (ha!! Emmett running?!?!) and no rough play. The bleeding risk is too great. It’s not like he and Cooper play all that rough, but they do sometimes plod around and bash into each other, so we’re having to keep an eye on Coop, too.
All stressful stuff.
Luckily, the penis infection is clearing up. 😀
Aging is not easy.
But, he’s doing it with grace. I mean, he had his manpart swabbed–for the millionth time–and blood drawn every six weeks for the last two years, and he STILL loves the vet tech. He adores the vet’s office, even the oncology ward at Purdue!
He is nothing but happy. Full of joy and life and love.
His new challenge is winter. We got our first round of snow and ice, and it sent us for a bit of a tailspin. The ToeGrips that have served him so well for so long were no match to the slick and snowy deck and yard.
He kept falling, which is incredibly dangerous on top of the platelet issue. What if he bashed his chin or got a cut or bruise?
So, now he has boots! They’re aahhhhhmazing. He’s been almost entirely slide-free since we got them.
“This is so humiliating…”
And, yeah, that’s Cooper wearing a double-layer fleece because this morning was -4 degrees, and he flat-out refuses to go outside unless he’s bundled up. John’s been joking that he should find a way to knit some kind of full-body/snuggy-type thing for the little bean.
Anyway, between the struggles with the arthritis in his spine, loss of muscle mass, penis infections, platelet counts, and so on… this aging business is no joke.
But, man, he’s happy. He’s so full of joy and excitement, no matter what, no matter how many times he gets his peep swabbed. And that’s all you can ask for, right?
Well, that and an improved platelet count…