Thursday, September 1, 2011

How I Spent the Month of August

Wow! I can’t believe it’s September already!  Can you?

Almost a month ago I promised to show you my latest and greatest Craigslist purchase. 

Well, that was before I started spending so much time during August  with the new veterinarian here in Hooterville.  I’ve been in the office  so much in recent weeks, they recognize me when I walk in the door and I’m on a first name basis with all of the staff.   I feel like the vet and I are BFF’s now.

First, our cat, Bitty, was sick so off to the vet we went.   Bitty made a great first impression on the new vet.  (Not.) 

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Don’t let her cute face fool you.  Miss Congeniality, this cat is  not!   I think they doubled my bill (just kidding… sort of) because she was such a pain to deal with, hissing and spitting and throwing her weight around like she was a several hundred pound wild tiger.  She was so uncooperative, they had to keep her overnight just to get a urine sample from her. 

Jasmin, our old German Shepherd,  just turned 14  at the end of July. 

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She’s been getting periodic acupuncture treatments for the past couple years to help with her arthritis.    I don’t think she would still be with us if it weren’t for the acupuncture treatments.  She loves getting acupunctured and it really does help her mobility.

Jasmin was long overdue for a treatment  because I hadn’t been able to  find a vet close to Hooterville that did acupuncture, until the new vet who treated the cat said she was trained in acupuncture   (yay! ) so  I’ve been taking Jasmin to the vet   1 to 2 times  a week this month for acupuncture . 

Here, (young) Dr. N. is inserting the acupuncture needles.  Unlike Bitty, sweet old Jasmin has quickly become one of Dr. N’s favorite patients!

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Some of the needles are connected to a machine that delivers mild electrical pulses to stimulate the acupuncture points.

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The acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins and often Jasmin will doze off during the treatment because she is so relaxed. 

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Then there’s our problem boy, Bo.  I wrote about some of the trouble he has gotten himself into  here and here

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He’s now developed a condition called Degenerative Myelopathy, an autoimmune disease German Shepherds are prone to.  With DM, the dog’s immune system attacks the central nervous system, particularly the white matter pathways of the spinal cord.  DM has been likened to Multiple Sclerosis in humans.   DM is progressive and there is no cure. 

Due to DM, Bo is  losing the use of his back legs.  Eventually he will be paralyzed.  Sadly, in his case, the disease is progressing so rapidly we can almost see deterioration from one day to the next in his ability to walk.   Acupuncture won’t stop the disease or reverse the damage that has already been done but we are trying it to see if it will slow the progression.  He will be getting acupuncture treatments at least 1 time per week for the foreseeable future.

Then, if that isn’t enough, poor Bo developed a hematoma in the tip of his left ear last week from shaking his head too hard.  The gnats here in Hooterville have been awful and I suspect he broke a blood vessel in the tip of his ear trying to shake  gnats, or perhaps some other type of insect,  that was in or around his ears.

IMG_3556 (2)Bo with a few of his acupuncture needles and his floppy ear with the hematoma.

Apparently, ear hematomas are common but difficult to fix without surgery.  Given his diagnosis of Degenerative Myelopathy, I’m hesitant to have him operated on.  I don’t care if his ear never stands up again—that’s really the least of his problems--so I was looking for a  treatment for the hematoma that was less invasive (and less costly) than surgery.  With the estimated $500-$800 hematoma surgery would cost, we could provide him with a whole lot of acupuncture to hopefully slow the DM and prolong his life.

The vet just got a new laser machine she decided to try using on his  hematoma.  The laser treatment protocol called for using the laser every other day for 4 treatments but unfortunately, it didn’t seem to work in Bo’s case.  The hematoma was getting larger instead of better so on the third visit the decision was made to drain the hematoma during the office visit and then use the laser on his ear.  

After the hematoma was drained and lasered, Dr. N. folded his ear back over his head and bandaged it up.   He was not happy about the bandage at. all.  Within 24 hours he had his ear shaken loose from the bandage and the hematoma started filling up again.  ::sigh::  We will be trying the draining procedure again (and a different bandaging technique)  Friday.

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Needless to say, with all the trips to the vet’s office, I didn’t really get any decorating (or blogging) done in August.   Hopefully, I’ll be back soon to reveal that great Craigslist deal.


Deb said...

Wow...sorry for all this...

eleven-o-one said...

You poor dear. I sort of know how you feel. I spent a great deal at the vets earlier this year with my two cats. One was 14 and the other 11. Unfortunately, they have both passed on now which was a difficult time. It sounds like you are proactively taking great care of your babies. They are very lucky to have you. Decor can wait!

Pink Roses and Teacups said...

Awe, poor Bo and Jasmine. It sounds like you are taking good care of them to make them comfortable. Give them a hug from aunt Debbie!

Cindy said...

Hi Shari,
Sounds like you have been busy, but not in a fun way. Your animals are beautiful and your cat looks so sweet! I know what they can REALLY be like though.
Hopefully we will still get to see your new craigslist find! Next time?
Hugs, Cindy