Wellness: I had the mobile vet come to our home this week to meet and examine all the animals. I was not happy with the first vet I had chosen here, but I am delighted with this one (AND she gave us written support during our fight with council to end the use of the gas box and offered her services to council at a very nominal fee, to provide lethal injections - for cats, not counselors though I rather wish the latter - on site at animal control). She favours a holistic approach to canine health (in fact she also has training in canine physiotherapy), which is in line with my preferences. And she was thorough and affordable. For those who know my dogs, or who have met them through this blog, here's the rundown:
Sadie: nothing new with this girl. I recently had blood work done on her and her hyperthyroidism is well in hand, as is her weight, etc. At about ten years of age, she's my youngest and generally the healthiest.
Charley: At twelve and a half, I thought Charley's slowing down was just age. However, an exam revealed considerable muscle-wasting in her hind end - strange given our increase in walking and hiking over the past six months. Her spine shows some problems near the sacrum, and possible scoliosis. We are going to try her with some acupuncture and possibly an underwater treadmill at a canine wellness centre near here. Her behaviour has also changed recently, which may be indicative of living with pain. Nothing specific - just a sense of neediness and sadness about her.
Belle: The Princess, at about 14, had some lumps I was concerned about. We aspirated two, which turned out to be fatty tissue. She has some other smaller ones we will monitor, and she has a large cyst-like lump that has been growing but is not attached to anything (ie, it is in or just under the skin), which we will also monitor since putting the Princess under anesthetic at her age could be more risky than leaving it be. She has gained weight and her coat has become really thick - far from the sparsely coated, skinny little thing I first met two years ago. She does have some coughing episodes that might indicate some acid reflux, but her lungs sound healthy and her heart is strong.
Oliver: Oh, Oli, my poor confused little man! Oliver is fifteen and a half, deaf, pronounced cataracts (and likely very visually impaired), and has canine cognitive disorder (the doggy equivalent of alzheimers). In many ways he has been deteriorating quickly over the past couple of months, and has frequent panic attacks, but we think it is due to increasing loss of vision compounded by the confusion of the move, renos, and shortening daylight (darkness is very problematic for dogs with canine cognitive disorder AND for those with cataracts). Ironically, he is also in great shape physically - heart, lungs, joints, etc. are all sound. I have reached the point where I now crate him at night, confine him when I need to go out, and take him into the back yard only on leash when it is dark. He still does his happy dance every day. His health problems are ones that simply require careful management of his environment.
All the dogs will be started on Recovery SA instead of their present glucosamine hydrochlorate supplements, to see if that helps provide a greater sense of wellness and mobility for them.
Allie: Allie declined to be examined, and she hissed, growled and clawed at the vet. She's a healthy, indoor eight year old cat and I have no concerns about her, so we didn't push the issue. Little brat.
Wishful Thinking: I am hoping, hoping, hoping for an end to the endless rain - both for Else's sake as she will be petsitting my crew while I go to the mainland for a few days to help move Hearts on Noses, and for the sake of those of us working to move piggies, ready pens, haul horse supplies, and generally get the sanctuary in working order on its new property. The forecast doesn't look great - let's hope the weather forecasters are wrong, wrong, wrong!!!
(photo by Red Dog Photography)
I'll be on the mainland from early Saturday to Wednesday, mostly without internet connection, so this will likely be the last blog post until next Thursday (unless it stops raining long enough to take pictures tomorrow!). I'm looking forward to seeing several old friends, including meeting my blog-friend Black Jack's Carol (and Bill) for the first time as they will be coming to help with the sanctuary move. And I'll take an afternoon off to go visit my mom, and to see my Emma. Coming home, I'll be picking up a dog to transport to a rescue here. And so I'm wishing for good weather, good travel, good ferries, good times. Good night!