This is a post to let my wonderful new WordPress friends, that I haven’t abandoned my blog, or stopped reading all theirs.
The last six weeks or so have been very…challenging, let’s say, in my world.
You see, I’ve had to deal with a couple of depressing and slightly scary medical appointments. Finances have been much like playing a game of Russian roulette. And two of our three senior furbabies have been taking up most of my limited energy, as well as depleting our funds at an insane rate.
We have one kitty, a black and white tuxedo & Siamese mix, who turns 20 years old this coming Mother’s Day. She is in the final stages of renal failure, scrawny as hell these days, and has very recently had two suspected mini-strokes.
I really thought when I took her to the vet a couple of weeks ago, that she would not be coming home again. But tiny though she is, Sheera is one tough little lady! The vet was actually shocked both about how good she does look (for her age), and how well her latest test results came out. Apparently, she rarely sees cats this old that are looking, or doing, so good!
I trust my vet’s office and their team of doctor’s implicitly, so it was with a huge sigh of relief to hear this one tell that no, the time to say goodbye had definitely not come. Yes, the tests results show that Sheera’s kidneys have gotten worse, but that was no surprise. The other test results though, were amazingly good ones! That was a surprise, and very pleasant one at that!
We’ve had Sheera on prescription renal formula wet food for years, since she was diagnosed at 16 during a routine geriatric check-up. Last fall, pain meds were added for arthritis. And now, new a two new meds have been added, along with real tuna mixed into her wet food, have been added to increase her appetite.
And I think it’s working… She’s eating more than she has in a long time, and I think she may even have put on an ounce or two!
And then there’s our nearly 13 year old black Lab, Keiko. She has been on pain meds for well over a year now, to help with her arthritis. Unfortunately, we ran out at them at same time we had to bring Sheera in (unplanned emergency visit), and it had been over the one year mark since she (Keiko) had seen a doctor. As Keiko’s meds are by prescription, out vet’s office can not legally renew them after the year mark is up.
In January of 2013, Keiko had dual surgery to remove a few large benign lumps that had gotten so big they were getting in her way and causing discomfort. She also had an abscessed tooth removed, have a couple of holes sewn shut from surrounding teeth we didn’t know she had lost, and the rest cleaned.
That was Keiko’s fourth surgery, the first when she was spayed, the 2nd at a year old when she literally ate her bed (!), and the third when she was five and had a cancerous lump removed from her haunch. Imagine my panic when the benign, age related lumps started visibly showing several years later!
(We had also lost our previous lab to an aggressive form of cancer that we fought for two years. So I do tend to freak-out when I find lumps on any of our furballs.)
Keiko’s check-up went fairy well…but the doctor did find a large, previously unknown, lump hiding in her groin area. Given that she has several known internal and external known-to-be benign cysts – some slow-growing, others not so slow-growing – her age, general state of health and how badly she emotionally coped with her last surgery, the vet advised us to just watch it.
It’s the same vet that did her surgery and fell completely in love with her! We are going to assume – at the her advice – that the new discovered lump is benign like all the others, given the above info and other factors I won’t go into here.
So basically, overall, Keiko’s check-up went well. But it was yet another reminder that as Labs go, she’s getting quite old. Her and Sheera both. I know we won’t have either too much longer. Despite having already out-lived two estimated timelines, Sheera’s time might be as little as a few months. Possibly less and possibly more, but I know her state of health can turn on a dime. For that matter, so could Keiko’s.
This is, of course to be expected given their advanced years, but it’s still very upsetting and depressing. 😦
Between the costs of the vet visits, tests, prescription food for both animals – Keiko has been on prescription food for years due to skin allergies – and four different prescriptions in total for both of them, plus a months worth of flea meds for all three animals…all at the same time, has put an enormous financial strain on us.
Especially since hubby has only been working again for a couple of months, after three months of no income for him at all. (Yeah, beginning of last December, completely out of the blue, he was laid-off. That’s the 2nd Xmas in a row it’s happened.)
I should point out, in all due fairness to our wonderful veterinarian practice, that they have been exceedingly kind and generous with us. We’ve been with them 15 years now and they have allowed us to put no less than three expensive dog and cat surgeries on a payment system. As our bill is already quite high due to repeated and unexpected loss of income in the last two years, ergo we have not been able to finish (yet) paying off the dog’s last surgery.
The doctors and staff truly love animals and will do everything in their power to assist pet parents in providing the best possible care for every animal they see. Even if it means referring you somewhere else, and they are pretty great about free phone advice. They also do not push expensive meds if cheaper, as effective one are available in pharmacies or elsewhere.
Oh, and the third senior furbaby I mentioned? His name is Aries, and he’s a chubby, bratty, 14 year old, black and white tuxedo and also a Siamese mix. We’ve recently put him on the same wet food as Sheera and switched their kibble to the same formula in dry. Pricey, but we are hoping it helps to keep his kidneys in good shape for a long time to come!
Anyway, as you might guess, the stress of all this has been overwhelming me and blogging fell by the wayside.
But I haven’t quit and hope to get back into a writing groove soon!