A couple weeks before we left for Belize, we noticed that Molly was acting funny. Sleepier than usual, and her ears seemed to be bothering her (extra flapping, basically). It wasn't until she stopped eating, though, that we scheduled a vet appointment. I thought it might be another abcessed tooth (Google told me that in severe cases, those could cause ear infections), but for the first time in her life she was also having trouble making it through the night without having to use the bathroom. I was getting up at 3am then 4am then 5am to let her out.
The vet did diagnose her with an ear infection and an additional eye thing and took blood to try and figure out the cause of the other symptoms, but basically said to give her whatever she would eat until the blood results came back.
We gave her grilled chicken and steak and other things doused in beef stock and she was eating much better by the time our trip came around. The ear drops had cleared up her ear infections, too, so we felt good that while she was obviously getting older, she'd probably be back to almost-normal by the time we got back from our trip.
Still, it was a scare, and we spent the first few days of our trip unwinding our nerves from everything that had happened the week before. One kind of hilarious story to share is that you may remember we made some friends during our time in Belize and for whatever reason, we got to talking about pets during one of our first nights gathered around the Portofino bar. We whipped out photos of Molly and gushed over her. We were still a little raw from worry, so we were probably extra gushy. For whatever reason, though, the subject changed and a few days later, back at the bar, we said something about Kyle and our new friends said, "We didn't realize you had a son! You wouldn't stop talking about your dog the other night, so we assumed she was it."
For anyone who worries we don't love our girl enough.
Once we were back, turned out the vet found something concerning in her original blood work and wanted to take more blood and run more tests. Blood work and tests that were not free, of course. Vet bills that started to add up to what our trip to Belize cost. Molly owes us some flight vouchers, FYI.
Eventually, thank everything, we got a diagnosis. Molly's got Addison's disease, which is something very treatable (but also very hard to diagnose without basically eliminating a bunch of other things, hence ALL THOSE PRICEY TESTS) with a once-a-month steroid shot and a daily pill. It's an adrenal deficiency, causing loss of appetite and lethargy and a slew of other things we saw.
Within hours of her first treatment, she was the Molly we'd been missing for a while. She's back to being super obnoxious and needy (that's a good thing, swear it!).
And when she ate all the fries off my plate the other night and I sent her to bed, she loosely translated that into "the comfy bed with all the blankets," which is a very Molly thing to do.