Last Friday Norma Jean started he meds for bronchitis. She responded almost immediately and she didn't cough all weekend. Then on Tuesday she woke up coughing. It continued thru the day and she had a very bad night, so I called Dr B first thing Wednesday morning. He said to bring her right in and leave her. He'd do a chest xray and set an appointment for the afternoon to pick her up and go over the results.
The good news was that her lungs are clear. There are no tumors or masses and her heart looks great for her age. The bad new is something that looked like little threads running around outside her lungs. He says they are tiny little extensions of her airways that don't belong there. They can be caused by a couple of different conditions.
First is chronic bronchitis caused by seasonal allergies. The airways have become inflamed. The other is necrosis or scarring of the airways caused by age and inflammation. Neither of us want to do invasive testing on Norma Jean due to her age so we're going to treat her with a tapering dose of prednisone for one month. At the end of that time we'll do another xray and compare the two.
If there is improvement in the airways we'll assume that her condition is from her allergies and we'll treat seasonally. If the airways remain the same, we'll assume the condition is from necrosis. Dr B assured me that the condition is treatable and she can live comfortably with it. He also said that from the looks of her internal organs she may have a lot more life left.
So that's where we are. She's not coughing very much today but the prednisone is making her ravenous and she's begging both Rob and me for snacks. This may be a tough month living with a dog that's convinced she's starving.