Saturday, November 16, 2013

Spent the Whole Day with Vets

Brett and I rode Mufasa and Winston after breakfast so their muscles would be relaxed before the vet arrived to give them their fall vaccinations.  Both horses were forward and fun in the cold morning air.  We had just enough time to ride, put the horses away and clean our tack before the vet and his assistant pulled up the driveway.  Jackson went first and got thumbs up for his overall health.  He could stand to lose a few pounds but his IR is well controlled with diet so I don't need to give him meds over the winter.  We will reassess in the spring when the grass turns green. Flash was next.  He didn't even need the cookie given after each shot, but he ate them anyway.  Winston is usually a basket case with new vets or dentists.  He hates needles and he hates strangers at his girth.  This vet took his time, showed Winston the shot and did a trial run: a pinch on the neck followed by a cookie.  Next it was a pinch, the shot, and more cookies.  Winston was a champ.  Mufasa got the most attention.  He was fine with the needles but not so sure about the vaccine that went up his nose.  Dr. Mike was concerned about the quarter crack on his front hoof and thought it might be contributing to his being slightly off behind.  We took Mufasa to the round pen and Dr Mike watched him go.  He suggested trimming Mufasa's front to relieve pressure which might allow the crack to grow out.  It takes a year to grow out a hoof so Mufasa might be out of work for awhile.  He suggested talking to our farrier and beginning the process over the winter, when it is wet and cold and not good riding weather anyway.  By spring, we'll know if it is working.  The donkeys were last to receive their vaccines.  They typically try to run away from the vet but they were both love bugs today.

I asked him to take a look at Sedona and give me his thoughts, even though he isn't a small animal vet.  He said she is way too skinny and recommended taking her in.  He thought it might be a parasite from something she ate.

As soon as his truck disappeared down the driveway, Brett lifted Sedona into the back of his pickup truck.  I climbed in the back with her (shhhh, don't tell) and we drove the two blocks to the vet clinic.  Sedona stood on her wobbling legs and stuck her nose into the wind.  Brett parked and lifted her out, she walked slowly in by my side and laid at my feet while we waited our turn in the waiting room.  There were other dogs, and cats, but she didn't care.  She just wanted to lie down.  The vet sat on the floor with Sedona and poked and prodded.  She suggested a total blood work up to determine if her liver or kidneys were failing.  What I had interpreted as depression and being tired was actually pain.  Sedona was in a lot of pain.  While we waited for the lab work to be completed, Sedona slept on the floor of the exam room.  Her blood work came back normal.  No kidney or liver failure, no thyroid issues, no parasite, no infection.  Just pain.  Some of you know where this is going.  Sedona may be in pain from severe arthritis but, more likely, she has cancer.  We can do x-rays and ultrasounds to determine what kind and where but it won't change the outcome.  We aren't going to go down the chemo road with an old dog who has lived a good, full life.  We have pain medication and we will do our best to control the pain.  She is going on a diet of "whatever she will eat" -- outside of bacon and gravy.  She can have eggs, chicken, beef, cheese.  The goal is to control her pain and entice her to eat.  When we can't do that, we will let her go.  We are hoping she can last a good while longer but we are also realistic and know that our wishes may not come true.

A huge thank you to everyone who left comments.  Your support means the world to me.  CrazySheepLady: I am going to try a people food diet but will keep your suggestion in mind.  For the people who offered opinions, it did not offend me in the least.


16 comments:

  1. Sadly I sooo identify with you. Sent one of our guys (16 1/2 years old) over the bridge this week. While it's paining me horribly, I know it was his time. Like you I had to make sure he got to see "his boy" first. Prayers to you all.

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  2. poor sedona. i am glad you can attempt to stem her pain and keep her appetite going. i am glad you took her to the vet, too, so you know what you're dealing with.

    i hope mufasa's hoof can be trimmed to re-grow to mend the split. always something...

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  3. I am very sorry to hear about Sedona. I hope that you can find a way to manage her pain an have some more time with her.

    Regarding Mufasa, I have had tremendous results growing out quarter cracks (and several other major hoof problems)using Equi-casts. Combined with dental impression mold, the improvements are even faster. A shoe can be nailed to the bottom of the cast and you can continue riding throughout the process. In fact, the exercise stimulates even faster growth. I generally see major improvement in weeks rather than months. Making sure that all of his minerals are truly balanced will help immensely as well. I would be happy to talk with you about it if you are interested, you can reach me at aerissana at gmail.

    Best wishes good luck to all of you.

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  4. Poor Sedona, she's such a sweet girl. I hope contoling her pain will help her eat and she will be with you for a while longer.

    My Murphy who is eleven yrs. is on pain meds for his pain. He can hardly walk anymore but we are doing the best we can for him.

    It's what we do when we love our friends. Hang in there.

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  5. My heart goes out to you! Sedona reminds me of my beautiful Sam, whom I had to let go too soon also, and I hate the thought of you having to face the same heartbreak. I hope the pain meds can make precious Sedona comfortable again for a good while, but when they cannot, I hope that knowing you are doing the right thing at the right time for her will give you strength. My best wishes for you all.

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  6. What a day.sounds like you were given a lot of information. I have cooked for our dogs before...would boil beef, chicken or turkey legs and added boiled rice and green beans or carrots, made a big batch and froze half of it. They also liked cottage cheese or scrambled eggs mixed in with their dry food. Just do the best you can and continue to love her to pieces. Big hugs to all of you...this is not easy.

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  7. I hope the pain meds works and you can keep her comfortable long enough to see her Girl. It's a tough time. Keep in mind what a great life she had.

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  8. We have one on double pain meds too, and a decision to make in the next two weeks, so my heart goes out to you for the beautiful Sedona.

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  9. I hope you can get her weight back up and keep her comfortable on the pain meds for a while longer. I'm so sorry it's cancer. :(

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  10. She is so loved. And you are right about not making it worse with chemo. My heart is still aching for you all.

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  11. Sedona is lucky to have such a loving family.

    I am surprised the vet would make such a big deal about a quarter crack. Is it really long? I would think that a shorter trim cycle and a strong bevel would clear that up. Maybe there is an infection causing the crack to persist.

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  12. We are with you Sedona hugs hugs hugs

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  13. your post reminded me so much of when I lost my old dog about 5 years ago. She broke my heart. I'm so sorry for you and Sedona but I think that she is in excellent hands.

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  14. I'm going through the same thing with my 14 yr old Aussie. He's on meds, and on the same diet. I cook for him, and he usually eats it up. He also still goes on a walk with me almost every day, not as far nor as fast as we used to do 10 years ago. I've love him every single day of his life.

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Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.