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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Leading up to the Diagnosis

Watson's diagnosis of lymphoma was a few weeks in the making. In late May/early June, I noticed that he was putting on weight around the middle and was panting/breathing more heavily than usual. We'd had a spell of super hot (90+ degree) days so it was possible that he was just being a "fat, old man".

On July 6th, he had his first seizure. I am one of the lucky people who works from home, so Watson has been by my side for two and a half years. He was down the hall in the living room when I heard a weird noise; at the same time, Waldo, our baby basset, sprang up from the dog bed in my office and went marching into the living room. I turned the corner to see Watson in the Sphinx position and obviously seizing. There was big, ropey drool everywhere. I have no idea when the seizure started but I held him for about a minute and a half. Thankfully he didn't lose consciousness but his eyes were blank and staring. It took about two minutes for him to come back, and another 5 minutes or so for him to walk again.

I immediately called Holliston Vet Hospital and Rich and I rushed him there. They took a battery of tests including blood work, urine sample, urine culture, and a check x-ray. We were sent home to watch him and wait for the results.

It was surprising to us that all of his tests came back clear/okay/negative. As the vet put it, "from ears to tail, he's fine." That left the possibility of a mass in his brain, in which case there was nothing we could do. (Well, we could have done more diagnostics but if and when a mass was discovered, his advanced age meant we wouldn't opt for surgical removal anyway.)

Over the next two weeks, Watson developed incontinence that was increasingly worse. Usually he could hold it or knew to signal to us that he needed to go #2. Now was he going in the house and in every room and at all hours of the day and night. That led us to schedule an ultrasound on July 18th to see what may be going on in his abdomen.

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