Where to begin, where to begin? I think I’ll start with a photo that I took today of my two favorite girls. We took a drive west, to the far end of the reservoir today, where it’s quiet and in 15 minutes you feel like you’re out in the middle of nowhere:
Everybody happy and feeling good. It’s a great photo, if I say so myself. So, with that image firmly in mind, I’ll try to start at the beginning.
A few months ago, in the evening, G went to pick up Peaches and put her on the bed. She (Peaches) started to practically shriek in pain and would not stop, no matter how we comforted her. This led to a trip to the ER vet. By the time he saw her (not a long wait) and examined her thoroughly, including firm palpation all over and around her abdomen, everything seemed back to normal. She didn’t let out one whine as he poked and probed. He also did an ultrasound on her and said he found an “unusual” area in her liver. As with human doctors, sometimes it’s hard to sort out the real information amongst all the what ifs and maybes and probably-s. G opted not to have any further treatment for Peaches at that time, but did call our vet who came out to the house about a week later, did another exam and said she was looking pretty good for her age (somewhere between 11 and 13). Her energy level was good, her appetite, etc. good.
Then, over the past few weeks, she seems to have gotten a little slower, not wanting to walk as long, a bit more skittish around loud noises, a few accidents in the house, but not bad. She had lost some weight, but again, was eating well. So, G took her this weekend to her old vet who had to give up her practice for business reasons but has recently opened a weekend clinic. This doc took blood work and we got the results on Tuesday while we were up in Colorado Springs. Looks like there’s a lot going on with her liver and the vet recommended a visit to a more specialized doc, luckily also in Pueblo. We went this morning.
She called Peaches’ liver “mad”, enzymes very high, losing lots of protein in her urine, so her kidneys may be involved too. She is still eating and drinking well, and today I started making her food with rice, small diced veggies (carrots, zucchini, and green beans) a smaller amount of chicken with chicken stock. I mixed it with about half the amount of dry food that she normally gets and she pushed the bowl across the room trying to get every last molecule.
Bottom line is–we don’t know. The vet was really good about being open to holistic treatment for Peaches. I mentioned milk thistle (good for liver function) and she said I beat her to it. She said what I had fixed for her to eat was what she would have suggested. G found a nutritional supplement online that’s a liquid that contains all the herbal things the vet suggested which is good because lil’ prima dona will NOT swallow pills. She also got a dose of antibiotics for a week, just to see if there was any kind of infection in her liver and also to help her oral germ load since we can’t put her under right now to have her teeth cleaned. We were very clear with the vet that we were both opposed to “heroic measures”, both for philosophical and financial reasons. I wouldn’t want all that stuff done to me; why would I do it to an animal who can’t understand why she’s getting poked and stuck?
And today, we had a lovely, beautiful walk on a gorgeous January day. We’re not looking at time limits, we’re going to focus on quality of life, for Peaches and for us. I’m doing reiki on her. We have a friend who’s made a little MMJ tincture for her, and we’re going to focus on the good things and keeping her happy, comfortable and loved. I think on the whole this is a good thing. It will make us more mindful. I told my daughter so she could let the boys know. We’ve already emphasized to them that Peaches is an “old lady” so they need to be extra gentle with her. The adore her–after all, she’s been the dog at our house since either of them can remember, the one consistent animal of all the pets that have come, gone, disappeared or been left behind in their lives. She’s a great little dog and I know she’ll be with us for quite some time to come. That we don’t know how long is fine. It makes each day a gift. A good lesson and something to think about every day. Thank you, Miss Peaches.