Meet Oreo

“They motivate us to play, be affectionate, seek adventure and be loyal.”
— Tom Hayden

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This is Oreo, the best dog in the world 🙂  He is probably the best thing that has happened to me – the path I was heading down before I found him was not a good one, but he gave me a purpose and motivation that I’d never had before.

I found Oreo in January of 2008, in a snow storm.  I had never had a dog before and didn’t plan on keeping him, but I couldn’t let him sit out in the highway, so I took him home with me.  I posted ads on Craigslist and in the paper, but no one ever contacted me back or reported him missing.  Within a few days, he had completely stolen my heart.

Oreo is a mutt, and mutts are supposed to have the best health since they theoretially take the best genes from each breed.  Unfortunately for me, no one gave that memo to Oreo.  He was approximately 10 months old when I found him, and has been plagued with anal gland issues and hot spots, a super sensitive stomach, and more recently he has had some pretty big health issues.

July of 2014 I noticed that Oreo seemed to be having a very hard time defecating.  He would go potty like normal, but then would walk and squat, trying to expel more for literally hours if I let him stay out.  I assumed that it was his anal glands acting up again and took him in to have them expressed.  Oreos vet noted that one side of his rectum wall seemed to be weaker than it should be, and suspected a possible perineal hernia.  I scheduled an appointment with a surgeon to have it evaluated, and luckily at that time the surgeon didn’t think it was severe enough to warrant surgery.  And that was the end of that story…until April 2015, when I noticed a giant bulge on the same side of his rectum.  We went back to the specialist, who confirmed that the weakened wall had progressed into a hernia, and Oreo would need surgery to fix it.  It was very puzzling, because typically only un-neutered males would develop perineal hernias, and Oreo was neutered when I found him.  OR SO WE THOUGHT!  On a routine ultrasound prior to his surgery, it was discovered that BOTH of his testicles were retained!  My “neutered” boy was a bilateral cryptorchid!  In addition to fixing his hernia during surgery, they also went into his abdomen to retrieve his testicles and officially have him neutered.  He was under anesthesia for just over 4 hours…possibly the most nerve-wracking 4 hours of my life.  But he pulled through, and did amazing.

With that behind us, I had my fingers crossed that would be the end of our medical adventures.  Boy was I wrong.

August of 2015, Oreo started reverse sneezing..a LOT.  He had done it occasionally in the past, but this was almost constant, and came on very suddenly.  His vet and I assumed that it was related to his mild seasonal allergies, and I tried giving him Benedryl for awhile to see if it would help.  It didn’t, so I just assumed we’d have to ride it out until the first frost of the year to kill off the allergens.  His reverse sneezing continued, very frequently.  In November, he had a bout of reverse sneezing so bad that he started sneezing blood.  I panicked and brought him to the vet, who was able to stop the nosebleed without any problems.  We hoped that it was related to the reverse sneezing and just triggered by irritation, but I was advised that if he had more nosebleeds a CT scan would be recommended.  Oreo went back to his reverse sneezing shortly after, but wasn’t producing any blood, so I started to forget about it.  We tried a round of Temaril P to see if a steroid would help with the sneezing, which seemed to help a little.  He is still on a small dose of it.  Towards the end of January, there was a day that Oreo had yellow discharge from one side of his nose throughout the night.  He was also having discharge from both eyes, but a larger amount from the same side that was having the nasal discharge.  We started a round of Doxycycline to see if it would help, but knew that a CT scan would likely be in our near future.  Two days later, Oreo had bloody discharge from that nostril.  I purchased “Little Noses” to stop the discharge, and an appointment was scheduled with an Internal Medicine specialist to discuss having a CT scan and nasal scope performed.

And that leaves us where we are now.  The specialist appointment is scheduled for this coming Wednesday.  I am pretty terrified.  There is a chance that he could have something that would be easy(ish) to treat, such as nasal mites or a fungal infection.  There’s also a chance that he could have snorted something up his nose that got stuck there.  But there’s also a very real chance that my sweet boy has a nasal tumor.  There’s not much that can be done for those, and average lifespan after diagnosis isn’t very long.  It can be prolonged with things like radiation, which I would do in a heartbeat as long as the pros outweigh the cons.

I’m getting ahead of myself and need to stop looking on Dr. Google until I know for sure what his diagnosis is.  At the moment, he’s acting completely like his normal, happy self.  He may be even extra happy – he doesn’t know why, but he’s getting lots of extra treats and belly rubs lately.  We’re celebrating his 9th birthday on March 1st, and lets just say that he’s going to be one spoiled little boy.

I’ll be back with an update after the specialist consult.  Until next time.. <3

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