Let’s begin with how this all started for Isabella. At the time we started ‘freaking out’ about Byron, Isabella was not eating very well. One day she would eat normally and the next day she showed no interest in food at all. It was when she started to throw up that we became very concerned and decided needs to see a vet about this.

We had taken her to the same vet as Byron the day before. He did not give the thorough exam that seems so obvious and did nothing more than think she ate something on the sidewalk. Now we are so careful when we walk these pugs. This is NYC. The sidewalks are beyond bad…but more on that later.

After giving him a poop sample, he took a blood test, and sent us home with some pills for anti-nausea and diarrhea. The tests came back a couple of days later and everything was normal. Even the poop sample (remember that).

We came home and just knew there was more going on than her being nauseous. We had that sinking feeling that this was more serious. So if you think something isn’t right, do not hesitate and second guess yourself. You gut is trying to tell you something. Listen to it!

The next day we noticed what looked like bug bites on Izzie’s belly. There were four in all. A thorough exam at the doctors office should have caught that. Right?

So that was the ‘what the f*#k’ moment. We called another vet that a good friend who lived in our building recommended to us (thank you Chad and Hercules).We got an appointment that afternoon for Isabella. That one phone call was the most important phone call that we have ever made.

Upon giving Isabella a thorough exam, and that means spending time looking, poking and asking questions, she took a complete blood workup and another fecal sample was taken. She also said that Izzy had the start of cataracts. What? I was just to a vet! She aspirated the bumps on her belly, took additional tissue sample, x-rays of our little girl’s abdomen.

She said that the blood test will come back in a couple of days and in the mean time to feed her the Hills Canine i/d food for sensitive stomachs. She also gave us Animax ointment to see if they were indeed bites that that would help reduce them. And Famotidine which is like Prevacid to help with the acids in the stomach. We also got probiotics and an antihistamine in case this was allergies. We really thought they were indeed bug bites and she had an allergic reaction to them. Okay, this seemed easy enough.

Two day later we got THE call. The tests came back and Isabella had cancer. Mast Cell tumors were what appeared to look like bug bites just seemed to spring up in the course of a few days. How could this be happening? We felt like someone had sucker punched us in the gut. Between Byron losing his sight and now Izzy with cancer, it was just too overwhelming. We had her at the vet for surgery six days later.

Oh and to top all this off, she also had hookworms. Double what? So that means that this first vet didn’t even run the poop sample we gave him. Our new vet told us “that hookworms can latch onto the pads of the feet and the soft tissue between the toes and burrow into the skin. Dogs may then lick their feet and ingest eggs and larvae or they can simply burrow through the flesh until they reach the intestines.” Among all the other things the pugs WILL be wearing boots every time they go outside from now on.

More updates soon…