Evaluating Lexie

Lex prepares for the physical exam. Sadly, she forgot to brush.

After a trip to the vet, we’ve established Lexie is getting old.

To be more specific, she has arthritis in her spine and hind legs, making it difficult for her to get around. When I confessed I was sure I brought it on by adopting an energetic puppy, the vet told me to stop worrying. This had been in the works for some time, and was bound to happen.

I have to remember, my darling Lexie is 14 years old, after all.

It ends up I’m already doing things right. We recently bought dog beds so Lex wouldn’t have to jump up on the couch or in our bed. Immediately, she curled up in the fluffy bed … seemingly relieved that she didn’t have to tax herself to get comfortable. All of this, the vet said, was a step in the right direction.

Lex snoozes in her favorite spot.

The vet prescribed a liquid pain killer/anti-inflammatory, then suggested what amounts to the silver lining in all of this: Lex should eat wet food. This is partly because the pain killer should be eaten on a full stomach, and, well, Lexie is a grazer. I’ve never been able to get her to eat on command. The other reason for the dietary change is because Lex has some weight to gain. Since her life partner Lili died a year ago, she has lost 12 pounds — about a quarter of her weight.

I asked about her dementia, and the vet suggested a medication, but mostly said it would be helpful to reassure Lexie when she’s confused. I can tell the condition is swiftly progressing; my brother and his wife told me upon seeing Lex today that she seemed to look right through them. Sadly, I don’t see this changing.

I asked if Lexie’s overall symptoms were end-of-life indicators. The vet carefully chose her words, but eventually said, yes. They could be. She encouraged me to spend a  lot of time with my pup, and periodically evaluate the road we travel.

I’m guessing some days will be better than others.