Our cold and damp weather reminds me of cold winter days in south Texas. Because of high humidity, a mid-forty temperature ‘down there’ feels just as cold as below freezing temperatures do here in central Oklahoma. This holds true even when a frigid wind whips down the plain. But no matter where, I am chilled to the bone by a cold damp day.
Today we took Max to a veterinary emergency clinic. Laying on the cold floor of the waiting room, Max too was chilled to the bone. His chills sent me out to the car to retrieve a comfy old afghan for Max to lay on. Our mild-manner poodle boy has been listless and limp for the last thirty-six hours. Just like a baby, the health of this particular dog goes down fast and usually, bounces back just as fast. But not so this time.
Usually it’s me that makes the call that it’s time for the vet. Even when raising children, my husband rarely thought the kids were sick enough to take to the pediatrician. But today, like a good wife, I planted the seed that it might be vet time for Max. When I gave my husband a choice to wait or make the call, he chose to wait. An hour later, I pulled out the seed a second time, this time leaving less room for choice. In talking it over, we discovered my husband had misunderstood me the first time; he thought we were waiting for a call from our regular vet. Lord have mercy. Will my husband and I ever communicate well?
The scary news on Max is that after blood and urine work, the on-call vet doesn’t know the source of Max’s illness. What they do know is that Max is dehydrated and that the blood test seems to point to kidney disease. An ultrasound may reveal the cause, but the doctor advised us to wait until Max is hydrated before running the test. So we left our sad poodle boy to the experts for an overnight stay, to see if they can make Max all well again.
This dog of ours has faced and overcome so many health issues in his young life. And I wonder, as my eyes tear up, if Max can fight off another claim on his precious life. In the quiet of the waiting room, I noticed that my husband was no longer reading his book. When I ask him to share his thoughts, I find that he too is trying to wrap his mind around the diagnosis called kidney disease and wondering where this will take us. And Max.
But no matter where, I am chilled to the bone at the scary words ‘kidney disease’ and the mere thought of losing this poodle boy of ours. On this point, my husband and I are of one mind. No words are needed.
Oh, this story tears at my heart. I love our animals, who make their way into our homes and spirits very nearly as close as people do. We have a dog, Henry, which we rescued from the Humane Society. He has epilepsy, unbeknownst to us, and every month has terrible seizures. But, we’re glad he can live with us where we can take care of him. We also have two kitties; never being a cat person before, I find myself sweeping up their fur with nary a complaint. They are so dear to me.
All this to say, I hope your Max fares well. I hope they find what is distressing him, and that they have a way to help you all cope. Blessings on Max, you and your husband.
Oh, dear. And so quickly after that wonderful post about your doggie “trinity”, to have to face this. I’ve never had to leave my beloved kitty overnight at the vet ~ the thought of that alone is terrifying to me ~ let alone being made to do it in the midst of anxiety about serious disease.
What I do know is what you know ~ that vets are generally caring and darned good medical practitioners. As a matter of fact, during an unhappy relationship with one of mom’s previous doctors, we agreed that a vet might be preferable to an MD. And had it not been for an especially caring and skilled vet, the fox squirrel’s death from cardiomyopathy would have come far sooner. (How do I know a squirrel suffered from cardiomyopathy, you ask. Well, a teeny-tiny echocardiogram, of course. Sigh. The things we do. But I raised him from no-fur-and-eyes-closed, and had him for eight years.)
We’ll hope that hydration will lead to more accurate tests and a sure diagnosis ~ preferably not as serious as kidney disease.
Thanks for taking time out to leave your kind words and gentle story of a fox squirrel whose heart you attended to. I love that story. And so will my sister when I share it.
I think Max is going to be okay. The diagnosis is Addison’s — he’ll be on a mild dose of Prednisone for the rest of his life. And THIS is good news, compared to the other alternatives that where whirling in my mind yesterday.
And yes. I agree 100 percent with your sentiments on vets and doctors. If my dad’s nursing home doc could be as half as good as Max’s vet, Dad would be receiving excellent care.