Thursday, June 16, 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Ever-Growing Dog

I took Frank in to the vet on Friday to weigh him and get his next heartworm pill.  I had thought that by 7 months old his growth would have slowed somewhat.  Yes, I knew he was still growing, but had thought that he was slowing down.  Maybe he still is if we consider his weight gain in percentages rather than direct pounds put on. 

Still, I had not guessed that he would have gained another 5.5lbs in the past month.  That crazy dog is now 29.8lbs!!!  He's definitely going to be a bigger dog than we thought we were adopting.  Seeing as how he's now the top end of what we were hoping for, there's no way he'll be anything BUT larger than expected. 

Going back to some of the adult size estimation equations we hunted out this spring and adding in the latest two weight measurements:

(weight in lbs / age in weeks) * 52 weeks = adult weight in lbs = 51.5lbs
Weight in lbs at 6 months of age / 0.75 = bottom end of adult range = 33.5lbs
Weight in lbs at 6 months of age / 0.60 = top end of adult range = 41.5lbs

I think we can throw the middle one out, since he's got another year or so of growth until he reaches his adult weight and somehow I can imagine him gaining only 3 more pounds.  I'd also LIKE to throw the first one out, but somehow I think I ought to consider it a possibility.  Here's hoping for a 40lb dog!!! 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Oh the EARS!

My dear darling M, we love you to pieces.  We wish we could do better for you.  I hope that we are now on track to resolve your ear issues.  I hope...

This past week, C and I both noticed that our youngest seemed to be minding us less and not noticing when we called her name.  We both found ourselves shouting more in her general direction in hopes of getting her attention.  It was frustrating and frighteningly familiar... very much like her behavior before we had her hearing tested and put her on antibiotics to help clear the fluid in her ears.  We nervously watched as on Wednesday she took a 2 1/2 hour nap without complaint and on Thursday fell asleep on the couch while Daddy went out of the room to get ready to go to the park with the kids.  (See the photographic evidence?)

By this morning, we were both convinced that it was time to call the doctor again.  I called and got an afternoon appointment.  I felt somewhat silly, walking into the office, asking them to check her ears.  Her main symptoms were sleepiness and lack of attentiveness.  They were hardly unusual conditions for a two year old in the middle of a hot summer.  The first nurse looked at me like I was nuts for bringing her in.  I could just hear her thinking, "you're bringing her in because she's not listening to you?  This is a great use of our time."

Needless to say, I was uncertain as to the outcome of our visit.  Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised.  Can you say "pleasant" in regards to a doctor telling you that your child is in fact sick?  Should you?  I think that there are times when it's appropriate to be told there is something wrong with you child.  In this case, I was not only pleased to be assured that yes, Mom and Dad do know best.  The child is not well, despite the fact that anyone else would just say that she was ornery.  I was also pleased with the repsonse of the doctor.

Dr, D is not our normal doctor, but she did such a wonderful job with M!  She brought M right out of her shell and had her sitting on the doctor's lap, listening to her heart in no time.  M allowed her to look in both ears with no complaint.  This is no small feat, mind you.  Not only was Dr. D able to determine that yes, there is fluid behind M's left ear again, but she was quick to take the next steps to resolve M's issues.

"Since there is the issue of her hearing being impaired, I think it's time to talk to an ENT.  She's been impacted already from months of undiagnosed ear infections and I don't want her to lose any more time to this."  She also noted that while removing a child's tonsils and adenoids is no longer a fashionable procedure, in some cases it is warrented in order to prevent issues with weight gain, loss of sleep, and behavior issues for life.  Since M snores up a storm no matter how she's positioned and this could all be playing into her ear infections, it bears having the ENT look at her tonsils and adenoids as well.

I feel.... relieved to have a plan to move forward?  Saddened that M has to face these issues?  Guilty for not pressing for ENT to see her when we got the initial "borderline normal hearing" diagnosis?  Frustrated that she'd been labeled "difficult" for behavior that's not at all surprising in a child who cannot hear well nor express herself properly?