We knew it was a possibility, but things were going really well. Gypsy's ear had healed up, and - although slightly deformed - was no longer infected or filling up with fluid.
Well, that is, until yesterday.
By this morning, it was swollen. I wasn't overly concerned at first, but it had nearly doubled in size in the time it took me to pick Trevor up from the airport and go to lunch. And the inside of her ear flap had turned a red, angry color. So, since my vet is open on Sundays, I decided to go ahead and make her an appointment for this afternoon. I figured it was better to be safe than sorry. Plus, Trevor was exhausted and I figured it would give him an opportunity to nap before the Mavs game tonight.
Well, the vet was much more concerned than I was. How quickly her ear had filled up was worrisome in itself, but coupled with something else (something that I almost failed to mention) sent her quickly into alarm mode.
See, at approximately two in the morning on Saturday, Gypsy threw up. That in itself isn't that big of a deal (nor is the fact that she has continued to periodically throw up since), but the way she threw up that first time was. When Gypsy gets sick normally, there are several grunt, grunt, grunt noises that signal what is about to happen. She is also always standing up. However, when she threw up on Saturday morning, it was sudden and a bit more Exorcist-like. There was no warning. She wasn't standing up. Gypsy was sleeping in her bed when it occurred, and seemed just as surprised about it as I did. And something else: she literally vomited on herself.
Apparently, that is all very rare.
The vet was concerned because, other than the fact that dogs don't normally throw up that way, it is possible that all Gypsy's symptoms together may be indicative of a far larger problem. Her ear flap swelled back up approximately at same time the vomiting began, as did the early signs of (yet another) an impending ear infection. Individually, none are cause for alarm, but together they suggest that Gypsy is so highly allergic to something that it is causing her body to - literally - attack itself. The vet is the most concerned about Gypsy's esophagus, stomach and thyroid.
It was decided that the vet would immediately drain Gypsy's ear surgically. It had filled back up so quickly, that she was in a fair amount of pain and discomfort. Surgery was the only thing that would relieve that, and keep it from continuing to get worse.
While she was out, I also agreed to let the vet scope her throat, take abdominal and esophageal x-rays and repeat the blood work from Gypsy's annual appointment in March. All this will tell us the extent of any internal damage.
The good news is that the initial x-rays do not suggest anything alarming. The screens have been sent off to an expert, though, and the official results will be back in a few days. As will her blood work. Keep your fingers crossed for some good news. Gypsy could really use some right about now.
In the meantime, Gypsy's left ear has been drained, stitched back together and is now tightly bound to her head so it can heal. This was a slightly different procedure than the one done the first time, and there is no drain. To avoid infection, though, it has to stay bandaged for the foreseeable future. Gypsy goes back in on Tuesday to have the flap cleaned and rebandaged.
For the time being, though, Gypsy looks like a pathetic one-eared flower:
My poor baby.