Blood test results


Lexie in her favorite spot, soaking up the late afternoon sun.

Tonight the vet called to deliver Lexie’s blood test results.

Ordinarily this would be no big deal, but when the actual vet makes the call it’s obvious something heavy hangs in the air.

The good news came first: liver, normal; red and white cells in mid-range, normal.

Then she paused.

The results indicated Lexie’s kidney values are elevated, meaning she is in the early stages of kidney failure. I know this is common in elderly dogs like Lexie. But I also know this officially marks the beginning of the end.

The vet told me I would have to stop giving Lex the Meticam pain killer/anti-inflammatory for her arthritis because it will accelerate the kidney disease. She said I can give it to her for two more days, then only when she’s really in need.

There’s a chance this can be slightly managed through diet, but the vet suggested this was just the beginning of a rough road. She told me to watch for weight loss, lack of appetitie and diarrhea. I’m to make a return visit for more blood tests in eight weeks.

In the meantime, lots of biscuits and doggy kisses.

I detailed Lexie’s dementia symptoms, and how they seem to have progressed in the last couple weeks. My brother and his wife, who are visiting from Florida, have mentioned how different she has been. Most times, Lex looks through them, opting to stare off in space than to engage.

The vet said there is a medication that has proven marginal success. But mostly, she said it is a quality of life issue that I will have to evaluate on my own.

My heart is so heavy weighing all of these things.

Charlie has been the best little brother. He senses something is wrong, and has toned town his rough-and-tumble puppy play. By far, Lex is his favorite part of joining our household. He follows her around, and reveres her like a mother.

This afternoon Charlie has kept busy pulling out all his toys and testing the squeakers.

They all work.

NEXT: Touring Camp Bow Wow: Planning for a vacation when we have a puppy and an aging dog.

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Veterinary adventures


I’ve got worms in my where?!?

Charlie has taken to pooping in the spare bedroom.

The lil’ stinker manages to hold his pee for outside. But on more than one occasion we have discovered presents waiting for us in our back room. So this morning, when he disappeared for exactly 60 seconds, then casually trotted back into the front room, something told me to go check things out.

I looked under the dressing table (he’s scouted that spot before) and all was clear. However, my nose told me otherwise. I scannned the floor, then looked up on the bed. Oh. No.

Not the bed.

Right where the cat usually spreads out in the sun, Charlie had left us a couple of his finest specimens. A friend had told me the best way to deal with this was to grab the dog and the poo, then take them outside to show the dog where to properly make a deposit. So I grabbed Charlie, plopped him up on the bed and prepared to pick up the tootsies to take outside.

Until, the poop moved.

I blinked real hard. Yes. It was definitely moving. I screamed.

Matt ran into the room asking what was wrong. I pointed at the pile of poop, and screamed again.

“Worms!!”

I thought about the massive puppy makeout sessions I had with Charlie, and wondered if his kisses would give me worms, too. I immediately bagged the offending poo in a ziplock and called the vet. After securing a visit, I demanded to know if I could get worms, too. I mean, I had let Charlie lick my face after, ummm, I presume he licked his bum. I know, I know! Why would I do that?!? I had always heard that dog’s mouths are cleaner than humans. I believed the hype, until I got a dog with worms.

After getting a vague answer about my condition (because clearly it was all about me, at this point) I called my personal physician and asked the same question. At first they referred me to a vet, then acquiesced to my pleas and dug up an answer. The succintly told me that I would probably be OK as long as I didn’t eat the poop. Phew. For once, a problem I don’t have.

So Charlie went to the vet. And the bottom line is this:

Worms are no big deal. Really.

I guess it’s common for puppies to get these squiggly white things in their poop. I had no idea. And honestly, I can’t remember the last time I had a puppy. Lex was 1 when I adopted her. The same for Lili. Still, my friends and the vet assured me this is a normal complication. We even received a concerned text from his foster mom, Gail!

The vet checked his vaccination history, and while Charlie had been dewormed once, it was time for another treatment. While we were there, we got his next round of puppy shots.

And we had the vet settle a bet.

When we first saw Charlie’s profile, it said he is a border collie/brittany spaniel mix. I can totally see it. Matt is convinced that Charlie is border collie, but mixed with beagle. And for some reason (mostly I think because of his coloring and his size) a lot of people who meet him instantly ask if he’s a beagle.

So without any hints, or looking at our chart, we asked the vet to give us her opinion. Right away, she said border collie, then she paused. She then offered brittany spaniel or German shorthaired pointer.

Matt and I looked at each other and laughed.

“Definitely, a Heinz 57,” she decided.