Thursday, October 25, 2012

19-Week Progress Report (But Who's Counting?)

I feel like I haven’t been keeping up with this blog very well lately, but I assure you I have a legitimate reason.  The last couple of weeks have been super busy with a To-Do list for my photography business a mile long.  Then, to make matters worse, last week there was a fire in the building where my studio is located, which set off the sprinkler system, but only in MY studio!  So, the firemen and building staff had to take EVERYTHING out of my studio in order to vacuum the water from the carpet and set up industrial fans for a few days to dry everything out.  Luckily, my studio lights and equipment were not destroyed, and the damage to my backdrops, props, and furniture appears to be minimal.  However, I am now left with one hellacious mess to clean up, the electrical system in my studio and hallway are messed up, and I have a wedding consultation scheduled at my studio tomorrow after I get off work!  
My disasterous photography studio

Anyway, enough about my ongoing saga of terrible luck; allow me to update you about Margot instead!  She turned 19 weeks-old yesterday, although I swore I would stop counting the weeks now that she’s past that 16-week milestone.  Haha!  I do have several things to report today, though:

Margot has unfortunately tested positive for von Willebrand disease.  For those of you who don’t know, Dobermans are prone to this blood disease, which inhibits their clotting ability.  When we found out that Margot was old enough to be spayed, I requested she have a von Willebrand Factor test performed first, because the reason why Lexie almost died during her enucleation procedure this past summer was due to the fact that the vets couldn’t stop the bleeding.   Margot’s vWD test ended up costing me $160, which was kind of a shock, but now that we know for sure that Margot has this blood disorder, I know that it was money well spent.

So, what does this mean for poor Margot?  Well, first and foremost, she’s OKAY.  Dogs with vWD lead perfectly normal lives, and their condition only becomes an issue whenever they require any type of surgery or have some type of injury with moderate to severe bleeding.  For example, Margot received her first wound when she was around 8 or 9 weeks-old, which was a small scrape to her nose that bled just enough to create a little scab.  Obviously, having vWD was not an issue in that case.  However, now that we know that Margot has this clotting disorder, before she is spayed she will need to be pre-treated with a certain drug prior to her surgery that will build up her clotting factors, and there is another medication that the Dr. Ellis will order to have on-hand during Margot’s surgery that will help stop the bleeding if it becomes an issue.   Had I not had Margot tested for von Willebrand prior to getting her spayed, we probably would have found out the hard way, and perhaps even too late, that she had this disease.  

19 weeks-old!
Unfortunately, because of this news, Justin and I have decided to postpone Margot’s spaying procedure, which was previously scheduled to take place tomorrow.   It was going to be difficult enough for us to be able to afford the surgery, and now, with the addition of also needing pre-treatment drugs and yet another type of medication to have on-hand during the procedure, I have a feeling that it will probably end up costing an extra couple hundred dollars, which we simply cannot afford right now.  Mind you, I didn’t ask Dr. Ellis how much the vWD medications will cost, but I’d be willing to bet that my guess of a couple hundred dollars is pretty accurate.   I’m a little disappointed about postponing Margot’s spaying procedure, but at least it’s not CRUCIAL that she be spayed right away.  As long as she has the procedure done within the next year, I’ll be happy, and I’m sure we’ll be able to better afford it at some point within that amount of time. 

In other news, I’m very happy to report that Margot has only had one accident in the house over the past week or so!  Not only that, but I also think she’s starting to understand the concept of telling us when she has to use the bathroom so that we can let her out.  On more than one occasion, I’ve gotten up to check on her after she’s gone into the kitchen, and I’ve found her just standing by the kitchen door waiting for me.  In the past, she would have just peed as soon as she saw that the kitchen door was shut, so this is definitely a great improvement!   She’s also had fewer accidents in her crate, although that still happens more frequently than I would like.  I tend to blame myself and Justin, though, whenever she uses the bathroom in her crate because usually it only happens if she ate/drank a little later than usual the night before and/or we forgot to let her outside before putting her to bed.   BAD pet owners!  BAD!

Margot, Lilly (airborne), and Archer

As far as developmental milestones go, I actually have a new one to report.  I have officially heard Margot’s “grown up bark” on more than one occasion, but only when she’s playing at the dog park.  She has yet to bark when she’s at home, but I’m not exactly complaining.  I’ve heard that once a Dobe discovers his/her bark, it can be a little annoying for a while.  So, as far as I’m concerned, Margot can just save all those barks for the dog park.

Speaking of the dog park, I cannot even begin to tell you what a wonderful experience it has been for Margot, me, and Justin.  Almost every day that it’s been nice outside, I’ve taken Margot to the dog park after I’ve gotten home from work, then Justin has driven straight there after he has gotten off work, and we’ve stayed until dark just watching Margot and all of the other dogs play.  It’s been so much fun getting to know all of the other dogs and their owners.  So far, Margot’s BFF’s are a couple of boy dogs named Cody and Archer, but she’s also good friends with Lilly and Miko.  Margot, Archer, Cody, and Miko are all about the same age, and it’s been so cute watching them grow so fond of each other.  I think that they’re really going to miss each other during the winter. 


  1. To further complicate the von Willebrand's issue, there's "affected" and "clinically affected". An "affected" dog may never present symptoms, though a "clinically affected" dog will need the measures such as you describe (which I thought was as simple as having plasma on hand, but I have no firsthand experience with vWD. I was under the impression, however, that the VetGen test was only $75, but checking now on the site, it's $140.

  2. I'm glad you brought that up, Jen, because I forgot to mention that Margot is "clinically affected." It sucks, but at least we know. :-/