Two and a half years ago shortly after we moved to this area Abbey seemed like she was getting sick. It seemed to be a stomach issue. I will spare you the details, but we brought her in to the vet here. I was less than impressed when their only suggestion was that we should put her on antidepressants. Over those few months we brought her in again and again and they kept giving her antibiotics and sending us on our way without finding the problem. We felt helpless. Pat deployed, and we were left waiting for some new symptom to appear that may help them treat Abbey. When I found out how much weight Abbey had lost during this time I brought her in again and was not leaving without answers. I went over everything with them again, and finally the vet we saw this day listened. She told me that it could be a condition called Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency--EPI. This condition is where her body doesn't produce an enzyme that is needed to breakdown, digest, and absorb her food. Abbey had essentially been starving despite us feeding her. This also explained a lot about her recent behavior during this time period. Abbey tested positive for EPI. Treatment for this condition is an enzyme added to her food. Unfortunately for us it is kind of costly--about $110 every month for the rest of her life just for the medicine. (plus the almost $1000 in vet bills from all the trips to the vet to find this diagnosis) But Abbey is worth it, she is a part of our family, and we love her.
Now Abbey is back at the vet because she seems to be having incontinence issues. Pat brought her in, and obviously Abbey hates going to the vet. We have to muzzle her to bring her in, she still bucks around the room from fear, and often ends up soiling herself. They had to sedate Abbey to run some tests. They told Pat that they suspect that it could be damage to her liver or kidneys. This is very upsetting because damage to these organs is usually irreparable. We are praying that she is okay. She is our only girl. We feel like it was fate that brought her to our home and for that she is a lucky dog. Not everyone would be willing to do what we've done for her. But for us, we aren't doing anything special. We are just taking care of our family member.
We should find out more in the next couple of days. Please send good thoughts Abbey's way. She is a strong, loving dog that has faced too much in her short life. I'll keep everyone updated.