Lately, I have a new career. Doggy nurse! It's pretty much a full-time job. Too bad it doesn't pay well. Actually, it doesn't pay at all. Sadly, the vet clinic is getting paid plenty! In the last couple of months, four out of our five dogs have made trips, some of them multiple trips, to the vet. I'll start with Teddie's story.
Teddie is 17 1/2 years old. We've actually been seriously doctoring her for the past year. Due to her age, her liver and kidneys are failing, with the liver being most advanced. Because of this, she has no appetite on her own, and requires a daily pill so she will eat, which still isn't much. She's not in pain, she's still a happy girl, but with the medication, we don't have to watch her starve to death. Her heart is strong as can be.
Also due to her age, she has eye problems. One eye has glaucoma, the other eye has an ulcer on the cornea that will not heal. We are told the ulcer is because of her age, her immune system doesn't work well, and her cells don't regenerate. Her eye looks terrible, but it doesn't seem to be bothering her at all. Even though the eye will probably never heal, medication keeps it from getting worse. She has two different eye drops that she gets several times a day, and an antibiotic pill twice a day for her eye.
Also due to her age, she has developed a cough, which is not due to anything like congestive heart failure, but it's sort of a permanent bronchitis, also due to her immune system not working well. As long as she's on a certain antibiotic, the cough is mostly gone. The minute we stop the medication, the cough immediately comes back, and it is very croupy.
Poor Teddie. She gets three pills in the morning, one type of eye drops two or three times per day, and the other eye drops every three to four hours! At night, she gets another pill. Poor dog! I feel terrible for her. I'm always having to do something to her, but she's a pretty good sport and endures. Believe me, this is all to keep her comfy. I know we are getting closer to the end of her life, and if the time comes that she starts to suffer, we will let her go. I won't allow her to be in pain or so sick that she can't enjoy life. Until that time, I will do whatever I can to make her comfortable. As long as she's happy, I'm happy.
|You can see the ring on the eye from the ulcer, and the other eye bulges from the glaucoma. Getting old just stinks!|
The next patient was Sweet Pea. She developed a rather large, squishy lump covering her chest and running down her belly. Thankfully, it is a benign lipoma. It slowly grows, but the vet doesn't want to remove it unless it starts to cause her problems. The surgery would be so extensive and painful for her, that it's just not worth it. Sweet Pea doesn't have any pain or discomfort with this, it just looks and feels icky. I'm so glad there's no medication or treatment she has to go through. It is a strictly "keep an eye on it" type of thing.
|Sweet Pea with her chest tumor. Not easy to see here, it bulges out in front, and you can kind of see how it's starting to look kind of lumpy next to her leg.|
Next up is Pip. Thursday night, Pip crawled under the couch and threw up. It was weird and random, so I thought, but that's what she did. When we pulled the couch out to clean it up, there were at least eight other old barf spots under there. Chad commented that now we knew what she was doing when we weren't home. Ugh! No food in any of the "puddles", just liquid. So, off to the vet we went yesterday. After a thorough exam and a couple of tests, the vet is confident that Pip is making too much stomach acid, and before mealtimes (morning and evening), the excess acid is upsetting her tummy. Thankfully, there's a very easy fix for this problem. Pip now takes Zantac twice a day, and hopefully we won't have anymore vomit surprises!
|Hopefully Zantac will have Pip's tummy feeling all better.|
And last, but certainly not least, is Jack. He was really going to town last night with licking his foot. Poor guy, he's got a split nail on one of his front paws. There was a ridge down that nail, and it split open, clear down to the quick, and was bleeding. Ouch! So after a call to the vet (they know me so well now!), it was time to doctor that toe. Jack HATES having his feet messed with, and gets snappy if you mess with his nails (claw clipping is NOT fun), and he really didn't want me messing with this sore nail. The vet said to clean the toe and claw with betadine (That had to sting!), and fill in the fissure with cornstarch to help stop the bleeding. Next, I had to smear anti-biotic ointment on the toe and around the nail, then bandage the toe and nail. Then we were instructed to put a sock on him and tape it to his leg. Since it's wet outside from melting snow, Jack also gets a bread sack "boot". It will take a few days for the quick to harden and not start to bleed, so this will be how we take care of his toe and nail for awhile.
|Oh, the indignities!|
Jack was not at all happy with any of this operation, and he's a very big and strong boy. To keep him still while I worked on him, Chad had to literally straddle his back (wasn't easy getting Jack to lay down for this), and sit on him to keep an escape from happening. After the Jack rodeo, I thought he'd be trying to get the sock off and be working on the bandage in nothing flat. But that isn't happening! He's leaving everything alone, and didn't even mind wearing his "boot" outside. It's pretty funny though; walking with the sack on his foot, he sounds like he has a flat tire!
|Bet you wish you had such fancy footwear!|
So, if anyone needs me, just look for me at my doggy hospital!