Chairman Bao is a Shih Tzu. We travel a lot. I drive. He watches. We've logged at least 10,000 miles and he's never once said, Sweetheart, don't you think you should stop and ask someone?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Bao had another pericardial effusion last week. It just came out of nowhere -- and again, no one knows why this is happening.

So now he's got to have surgery. But not heart surgery. The pericardial effusion is idiopathic -- a fifty dollar word that means "we don't know what's causing it". (The one thing we do know is that it's got nothing to do with his mitral valve problems) My friend Jeanne has a background in medical technology and she thinks Bao's chronic perineal hernia might be what's causing the problem. In an attempt to avoid surgery we've been managing it with stool softeners, but Bao still can't push everything out so there's always "poop in the loop" -- and that can't be healthy, says Jeanne. Maybe he's got an infection or an inflamation, and that's what's causing the fluid to accumulate around his heart.

So I asked the cardiologist. Of course, this was the first he'd heard about the hernia. (He's been focussing on the other end) But when he examined Bao, he was appalled. Apparently, the damned thing has become much, much bigger. It's life-threatening, said the cardiologist. If it becomes necrotic, Bao will die. Repairing the hernia, said the cardiologist, must be our first priority. Although he doesn't think it's what's causing the pericardial effusions, he is also unwilling to rule it out. But either way, it's got to be fixed.

The surgery itself isn't complicated, and the surgeon will be a board-certified, veterinary surgeon. There will also be a specialist anaesthesiologist, and a cardiologist standing by. It should be okay.

We're meeting with the surgeon on Thursday. Surgery will probably be before Easter.

I'm not in my usual state of panic. Maybe I'm just exhausted. At the moment, Bao is fine. All we can do at this point is enjoy each hour of each day.

I'm thinking we might just spend the rest of the afternoon by the pool.

2 Comments:

Blogger Lacy said...

woofs, poor little guy...hope his surgery goes good and he gets better soon...

b safe,
rocky

4:11 PM

 
Blogger Dogwalk said...

I'm always thinking about you and Bao! I know where you're coming from. Scratch his ears for me.

2:35 PM

 

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