Archive for August 24th, 2018

Happy birthday Toni!

Wednesday I took Toni to a new vet, at a different veterinary practice, to get a second opinion about her congestive heart failure.  If you are going to get such a serious diagnosis, that will go with her through life, it seems necessary to get a second opinion. Here’s what, for me, came out of that meeting:

  1. Our current vet is doing all the right things, including giving all the right four meds.
  2. It doesn’t need to be a real expensive process, unless you go to a cardiologist for a second opinion.  That will cost a lot of money and almost certainly gain nothing.  The meds will be expensive.
  3. She’s not going to get better – you need to just keep her comfortable and happy.  This sounded suspicious.
  4. She will probably live another 1-3 years.  Sometimes a dog will live longer, but it’s not common.  I really knew this was bogus.  We don’t want to condemn a person to 1/2/3 years to live (although doctors do it) – why do it with a dog?
  5. The vet had all kinds impressive scientific-sounding things to say, but I mostly couldn’t understand him.kitchen carpet

Thursday, yesterday, we had our previously scheduled follow up with our vet.  Here’s what came out of that meeting with a very impressive vet filling in for our regular person:

  1. “I don’t think we are doing everything right: we’ve got her on eye drops for glaucoma and I think that was mis-diagnosed.  If you take her off of those, there’s one less hassle and a little less money.”  Big sigh of relief.  I’ve been finding it impossible to get those drops in her eyes and mostly quit already.
  2. “You are paying a lot to compound this one med in liquid form.  A pill would be a lot cheaper.  Can you get a pill down her?”  “Before we started her on this exact steroid medicine, she was such a picky eater that there was no reliable way to get a pill down. Now she eats like a hound.”
  3. “You described that over the last three days she actually did get better.  What’s different? Is there a change in her diet?  Is she getting less salt?” “In fact, yes, so many people have told me she needs less salt that in the last few days I’ve been reducing the salty foods.”  “OK, let’s keep it up – maybe she can get better.”
  4. “I wish that other doctor had not told you that 1-3 years business.  Lots of dogs live a long time with congestive heart failure.  We don’t know how long she’s going to last.”  This jibes with what lots of people have told me – that their dog lived a long time with heart disease.
  5. This vet, like our regular person, went out of her way to explain everything to me – and mostly I could understand her.  cookie

Today is Toni’s 10th birthday.  It has felt very festive.  For dinner she had beef eye of round from the Earth Fare deli – probably too salty, but a treat on a special day.  It’s her fourth day of being more perky – she seemed to have a happy day. She may not have another ten years in her, but who knows how many?  If she’s happy and well-loved, that may not only increase her quality of life in the present, but also give her more of a future.



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