White Dog pressed against me. "How did you know, momma?" I could not explain my reasons yesterday for deciding to call Dr. Julia and make an appointment for YoYoMa. He was still under the weather but was eating and drinking and had no fever. But SOMETHING said things weren't right. I suspected a middle ear infection when I made the call.
Today we went to see our beloved vet. Yo was more lethargic than he had been but still ate breakfast, drank water and had treats. I wrote up a quick list of our observations since Tuesday when our boy first exhibited sickies.
Dr. Julia checked him over and asked for blood to be drawn. She was a little puzzled that he had no fever and that his gums were whitish (new since we had looked him over this morning). "It will take about 20 minutes to run the panel," she told us. "Then, depending on what we see, we might run an xray or two because I am hearing some wheezing."
They ushered us back into the exam room. Yo was in my arms. Dr. Julia came in, lips pursed. "Not good, huh?" I said immediately tightening my mental control so as not to upset the baby in my arms.
"He needs a blood transfusion. Stat. His red blood count is at 13%. We're calling a referral over to the specialty hospital because they are the only place in town right now that has blood."
Then she showed us the blood panel. His red blood was off the charts low. His white count elevated. His proteins were off. She added that his heart rate was too fast and that the wheezing was most likely a result of having to work so hard to circulate too little blood. "I would take xrays, but they will just redo them at the hospital, so do them there and be sure they send them to me."
To the shocked questions in my eyes. She said, "the blood does not indicate it is a cancer but of course we can't tell for sure but my instincts tell me that it is most likely an auto-immune disease. They come up without warning out of nowhere sometimes. But lets get some good blood in him and get him stabilized. Monday come in and we will look over everything and start to tackle the infection or white blood count issues. One step at a time. Yo is healthy normally and a strong boy. He is amazing that he is eating, drinking and walking with these numbers."
With that we loaded YoYoMa into the car and drove the 10 minutes to the hospital. We walked in the door and were greeted by a tech. "Is this YoYoMa?" she asked.
He was taken from my arms into the back area and we were escorted to an exam room and told the vet on duty would be with us as soon as she did triage.
Chest and stomach xrays showed clear, mass-free and fluid-free areas...quite pretty actually. "Of course with his full bowels we cannot see that area very well," she said, "So we are not contending with a huge tumor or obstruction.
YoYoMa will spend the night receiving his transfusion and being monitored. If his numbers bounce back up and he is stable, we can bring him home in the late morning. Before leaving we insisted on going back to say "goodnight" and "I love you," to my boy.
I kissed his nose. Like every night. I thanked him for being my partner, my good boy, a wonderful brother, my best friend. Like every night. I kissed him again and ended with "Thank you for being you." Just like every night.
But unlike every night I left him listening to the sound of Steve and I leaving him behind.
"Be well," I whispered. "I will bring you home tomorrow and remember momma ALWAYS keeps her promises."