Many have asked me about what’s happened with Oscar today so I thought I would write this to keep you all informed.

As you might know, I made the decision last week for the vet, a specialist in internal medicine, to carry out a procedure that drained Oscar’s frontal sinuses. He had two holes drilled in the front of his head, the material filling the sinuses analysed. Some have commented on the horrendous photo of him, surrounded by blood, encased in his satellite dish. Let me assure you that neither the vet nor I made this decision lightly and I certainly would never let an inexperienced vet operate on my dear little friend for the purposes of practice, as has been suggested. Whilst Oscar looked very sorry for himself for a while, the wounds were healing up quite nicely.  I even managed to remove his cone of shame this morning to clean it without Oscar scratching himself and damaging his sutures. This was a relief as one of the wounds had been oozing blood and thick fluid until yesterday.

We have, however, noticed a lot of blood round Oscar’s food bowl in the last couple of days. I feed him raw food, so initially we thought that was the source of the blood but this morning there was a lot of it, fresh red blood all around the bowl that obviously hadn’t come from the minced chicken and veg inside it. Then Oscar started to sneeze. Copious amounts of fresh, crimson blood and large clots propelled from his nose around the kitchen. For two hours. You should have seen the blood, though. As soon as I wiped and mopped the floor, the door, the cookery books, the cupboards, there was more spurting from his nose. I was very frightened at this point although Oscar seemed not to be panicking. After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing on the phone I decided to take him back to North Downs Specialist Referrals, where they have his full history and where they are in a position to treat him fully should he need further treatment.

Crista the vet took charge of Oscar immediately we arrived in Bletchingley. Inconveniently, Oscar’s bleeding had subsided almost to non-existence by that point but she has kept him in for observation tonight and possibly for longer.

It is clear that the surgical procedure, which was in any case a long shot, has not improved the condition of Oscar’s nose. Whatever has eaten away at the hard and soft tissue inside the top of his nose is continuing its relentless campaign. As it chomps away, the blood vessels it exposes are ever larger and, when Oscar’s blood pressure is raised at the prospect of his lovely food, the blood gushes out to be sneezed away. There seems no end in sight for this process.

Crista did not, as yet, have the results of the biopsies taken last week and is no nearer to finding the sources of the erosion. She is changing Oscar’s anti-inflammatory drug to one more recently developed for humans in the hope that that will help. She is thinking about Oscar’s case as I type, and consulting surgeons about it. It might be possible to sever the blood supply to Oscar’s poor nose but that is not a simple procedure, it’s not been done often and can result in all sorts of other complications. Other than that, though, we are fast running out of treatment options. From where I sit, still covered in my beloved friend’s blood, things look rather bleak.

I am neither religious nor superstitious but I bought a new, luxurious dog bed and covers with Oscar’s name embroidered on them at about the time he was starting to suffer seriously, and we have booked our first ever weekend away with him at the seaside for next month. I haven’t quite got around to buying a travel crate for him or a new waterproof jacket for me and I wonder if my subconscious is telling me not to plan for the long term.

I’d like to thank all my friends for their kind and loving offers of help and support and their thoughts and prayers. Please don’t call me though, as I’m feeling friable and teary at the moment.  Oscar is obviously aware of how much we all love him. Oh, and he’s not “just a dog.” He really is the friendliest dog in the world.