Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Yet Another Skruffy Update—Anchorage Ultrasound

Anchorage Veterinary Clinic and Animal Hospital

Yesterday (Monday) our Soldotna Vet, Dr. Meezie Hermansen, was still concerned about one blood result…Skruffy’s Red Blood Cell count has continued to decline, while everything else leveled out and got better.  For instance, her blood sugar is down to 125+, and we reduced her insulin to 2 units from 3 twice per day.  Her White Blood Cell count is coming down, but still high from the the combination of pancreatitis and her still healing anal gland.  She suggested that Skruffy have a high density ultrasound, and the best machine and the best Vet to do it was up in Anchorage at the Anchorage Veterinary Clinic and Animal Hospital, the Vet is Linda Chang, who just happened to graduate from the same Veterinary College in Colorado as Dr. Hermansen, though a few years before her.  (They have a ultrasound machine in Soldotna, but it is not as good for what was needed.)

Soldotna to Anchorage and back

We have been staying at the Diamond M Ranch RV Resort (park), and extended Monday morning for two more days.  It is a 300+ mile round trip to Anchorage, a good 3 hours each way.  We left at 10 am for a 2:30 pm appointment, and stopped for gas at Fred Meyer (30 cent discount due to our rewards card, $2.39 a gallon), and then we stopped by Soldotna Animal Hospital to get our Amazon Package for the blood sugar tester for Skruffy, then we got to Anchorage an hour early.  They got is in right on time, and Dr. Chang did a wonderful job explaining Skruffy’s test results.

Doggie Ultrasound
At left is a typical dog ultrasound.  She showed us Skruffy’s Liver, Gall Bladder, Adrenal Gland, and Spline, and we could barely see the Pancreas…which she said was good, because if you can clearly see it, it is so inflamed that it sticks out more.  She said that what she saw of the Pancreas bore evidence of some problems, but not a chronic condition.  The good news was that there was no sign of any tumors anywhere.  There was no blockage of her digestive tract.  The liver was larger than normal, but that is likely due to pancreatitis, and chronic stage of diabetes that Skruffy was in last week.  She said she could do a biopsy of the liver, but that is dangerous in her condition.  She could do a needle biopsy, but that would only show that small area the needle hit.  She said that there is a rare cancer where the cells spread out in the liver, and capturing one or more of these cells with a needle is like finding a needle in a haystack…and it is a very low probability of Skruffy having that condition.  Her recommendation to Dr. Hermansen is to put Skruffy on a milk thistle type of liver restorer for dogs (prescription), followed up with more blood tests next week.  We hope Dr. Hermansen is in agreement, and if tests next week look better, then we know all we are dealing with is diabetes in the long run.  By Wednesday of next week Skruffy will be done with her antibiotics, and will have been home for 13 days. 

We continually see signs of the “old Skruffy” coming through…like when we were leaving the Clinic in Anchorage today and a Doberman walks in…she gave that Doberman a good barking at.  Now this Doberman could have had Skruffy for lunch…but it just looked at her, she trots out of the place like, “Take That!”  Yep, Skruffy is coming back!

Tomorrow we go back to Fred Meyer for one night, so we can get clothes washed, and groceries bought before we go to Homer on Thursday.  We have reservations for the 1sth through the 5th…but we might check in a day early. 


  1. Thanks for the update:) Sure hope all continues on a positive note.

    1. Now that she is doing better, trying to monitor the blood glucose is our big challenge...hard to prick this precious little one, and to prick her and get no blood just to have to prick again...that is frustrating.

  2. Poor Skruffy, I bet she's wondering when she'll get back to her normal life.

    1. We HOPE she gets back to a semi-normal life...


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