Home for Irish Setter Lovers Around the World
Thanks for your concern about Scarlett and now that we are out of the woods of the experience let me share in order that you might gain some knowledge from my experience with her. I saw no noticible change in Scarlett's behaviour - she was eating fine, nothing out out of the ordinary. We had gone out one Thursday evening for a walk and when she returned to jump into our van she made a strange sound as if she was hurting. When I went to offer her some water - something she takes immediately after a good run - she showed no interest. She went back and forth from the rear of the van to her front seat and seemed to be acting as if she was restless. Looking back now it seems obvious she was in some distress. We went home and I monitored her that night - with nothing out of the ordinary to my observation. The next morning though she was not showing interest in a walk and her usual demands (barking and stomping for a biscuit) were not made. She also did not make a bee-line for the door and did not go rushing out to run up to the fence to bark at the neighbour dogs (her usual M.).). Obviously she was not her usual self. I made an appointment for the first available visit with the vet and took her in. After an initial look they wanted to do X-rays. When the Dr. came in she told me that there was an abnormality on her spleen and that they recommended an ultra-sound and that she would most likely need to have surgery to have the spleen removed. I was in shock and terrified of losing my little red girl. After consultation with my wife, Elizabeth, and calls to talk to our vet in Louisville, KY (I am living and working in St Louis - 4.5 hours away) who affirmed the best practice to have the addional look before entering with surgery as a "heads-up" and to determine if surgery was an option or if there was something worse that has spread. I rushed Scarlett over to a vet specialist 40 minutes away who took her in and did the ultra-sound. The report confirmed the reality of the abnormality and that nothing else was evident. Recommended immediate surgery which after payment was undertaken. To say that I was in shock and very anxious would be an under-statement. Elizabeth and my step-daughter Meredith left for St Louis and arrived late that night. Scarlett's surgical success was reported by phone call and I was told that we could visit her the next afternoon. We travelled over there and went into a private waiting room. When Scarlett came out of the back she was obviously in better spirit that the previous day and was eager to head for home. I walked her outside and she acted in all ways normal - with an eagerness that is representative of her breed. We had to leave her there until that evening when she came home. She recovered wonderfully and I am thankful that I had the resources to cover the expense and that we had such great vets who knew what they were doing. I was thankful to God when the biopsy report came 10 days later saying that it was benign. So, lessons? Always pay attention to the setter under your care. Listen and look at the animal and see if there is something amiss. Go with your gut and have the dog checked out by a vet when you "suspect" something is out of the norm. Have funds available to pay for surgery... and check to see if animal insurance is best for you and yours.