Sunday, November 01, 2009

They're Our Kids After All

With all of the medical issues David and I have, it's no surprise that our animals have inherited some problems. Ha! Just kidding about the inheriting part. Actually, I think it's because I'm a registered vet tech and have a flashing light above my head that draws all of these animals to us. Either way, we've got some kids with some issues.

Viking: Broke his leg, 2 days after acquiring him, by falling off the couch. He continues to have residual issues from his fracture. Not to mention we believe he has a partial cruciate (ACL) tear in that leg too. He can play some mean catch, but don't be surprised if he comes back limping. Doesn't slow him down much though, he just keeps on a goin'.

Natchez: She came to us as a rescue and has a history of eosinophilic granulomas. (basically an inflammatory disease of the skin that has many triggers.) Thankfully it's easily treated and she hasn't had many problems within the past couple years.

Jax: We acquired him from one of my vet hospitals. He had been hit by a car and someone found him and brought him in. He was never claimed and we took him. He suffers from Feline Idiopathic/Interstitial Cystitis. He'll have episodes when you think he has a urinary tract infection due to his frequent visits to the litter box. In actuality, small changes can mean major stress, and stress in cats manifests through the urinary bladder. Speaking from dealing with clients' pets and now my own, this is a confusing and stressful (to the human) diagnosis. You not only have to treat the cat for it's symptoms, but somehow figure out what is causing the stress....sometimes things you can't change. i.e. change in weather, etc. Not to mention, if you don't take care of the problem, it can lead to further problems that can be fatal, such as an obstructed cat (a cat that cannot eliminate it's urine).

Lily: Lily, Lily, Lily.....She was on death's door when she presented to the vet hospital. We didn't think she'd make it through the night, yet she did. Ultimately her owner did not have enough money for treatment so she was abandoned. After a long wait David and I were able to adopt her. As for her problems, to make a long story short, she has Inflammatory Bowel Disease. We spent a couple years, many medications, many diets, and loads of money trying to make her better. And then one day, her life changed forever. We have no idea what happened, but her life turned around. She's on a regular diet and on no daily medications. However, she still has flareups and "bad days" but are easily controlled.

Spencer: We adopted Spencer a year ago. The rescue group saw us coming....he was a race dog, from the track, that mysteriously had a broken pelvis. Needless to say it is believed he didn't actually break his pelvis while running, but was injured through brunt force of a human (possibly for not doing well enough on that track??) When we adopted him he was still on light exercise and within a month we confirmed through x-rays that he was fully healed. As with any other fractures he still has residual discomfort on and off. We thought that would be the end of his problems. Not so fast. Back in early August, after running outside I let Spencer inside to get a drink. I heard a loud noise and ran inside to find him on the floor having a seizure. It lasted a good minute and he recovered. Knowing it was not an emergency I monitored him throughout the weekend and then took him to work Monday to have a full workup performed. Everything checked out fine. I had no worries. As with humans, dogs can be perfectly healthy, have a seizure one time and never again. We marked down the date and continued to watch him. He was doing great until 2 weeks ago....another seizure hit. He had been laying down, attempted to get up, and collapsed into a seizure. David was the only one home so I left work to watch him the rest of the day. Once again, no fears, just didn't want him to be alone. The general rule of thumb is that no medications are needed if there are no more 3 seizures in 3 months time. However given that he had 2 seizures the doctor said that given his age more than likely it is epilepsy. We marked the date, and have continued to watch him. Today, while relaxing in his bed, another seizure hit. So......I'll document another seizure (3 now) and let the doctor know. I'm unsure what the plan will be, but we'll take care of our boy.

As for our newest exotic additions, no problems have reared their heads.....yet.

I never imagined our kids would have the problems that they do, but that's okay, we love them all the same. We're thankful to have them in our lives and hope they're thankful to have us too.

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