kitchen table math, the sequel: Still here...

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Still here...

Thanks to Palisadesk, Surfer is still with us!

Of course, now he has a tumor the size of a grapefruit on his spleen, so .... it's always something.

I love our vet.

He told me: "As your vet, I have to tell you to remove his spleen. But as a person, I don't think I would."

Then he told me his wife is a vet & she would smack him if she heard him give me that advice because "she whips spleens out of dogs all the time."

Our vet is hugely entertaining. I like that in a vet.

He's also a good soul.

Two days after Thanksgiving, Abby (the Labrador) had a near-death experience. Blood all over the basement floor, emergency room, bladder infection, all of it leading to -- surprise! -- liver failure.

I don't know whether bladder-infection-to-liver-failure is a Thing, and neither did my vet, though I have since heard from the mother of one of C's friends that her own aged dog recently went through the same sequence.

Two Monday's after Thanksgiving, Abby was so sick she looked like the photographs I remember seeing of starving people in Biafra, or in the death camps. One of her liver enzymes was supposed to be 200-ish; that day it was 12,000 and rising. The vet said he'd never seen a number that high.  She was dying.

He kept her in the office all day, on IV fluids and antibiotics. Later on, he told me he'd expected to put her down that day, but by evening she was still alive, and a bit restored.

Which created a new problem: she was still desperately ill and, by rights, needed to spend the night in the hospital. Probably several nights.

The vet called & danced around the problem. He said he would drive into the office in the middle of the night to check on her, but otherwise, if she stayed there, she would be alone.

That's what I call a good soul. He doesn't live close to his office; he has young kids get to school first thing in the morning. Waking up in the middle of the night to check on a possibly dying dog who has already lived longer than the norm for her breed is above and beyond.

I said I'd keep her home overnight & bring her back the next morning.

When I arrived to pick her up, our vet took her down the stairs to the parking lot himself, then pointed out she'd walked them on her own, which she hadn't been able to do that morning.

Then he lifted her into the back of my car. The vet's aide was there, too, standing with us in the parking lot, but the vet lifted her himself.

Abby survived.

She is amazingly restored: chipper, tuned in, and hungry as only a Lab can be. She was no longer eating or drinking

Her poor legs are done for, and she seems awfully thin. She's probably done for, too, but she has a vet who will get up in the middle of the night and drive 20 miles just to look in on an old dog, and that has made all the difference.

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