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Poor Porter

A consult room at the Bacchus Marsh Veterinary Clinic
A consult room at the Bacchus Marsh Veterinary Clinic

A visit to the vet for Porter. She’s a sick little kitty, the vet has taken her away to ultrasound her bladder.

She has been peeing a lot and sometimes containing blood, so we took her up right away.

She ended up staying overnight. Her urine sample was sent off to check for infection and while none was found a diagnosis of Cystitis was given. It’s essentially inflammation of the bladder, a kind of catch-all.

Our cat Porter

All up it cost us $580 to fix the cat, she is on antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. And you can likely imagine how much she doesn’t like having tablets shoved down her throat.

The advice was that she should lose some weight, advice we all hear in this house, well except Edie, our other cat. The cats share a food bowl and it would seem that Porter is eating the lion’s share. Edie on the other hand is super skinny, but she likes it that way, it lets her easily bound over our seven foot high fences.

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Vale Joey

Joey our little black cocker spaniel

We’ve come to the end of a rollercoaster few weeks. Today we said goodbye to Joey our awesome doggin. It’s been a pretty crappy time of late, but we’ve enjoyed the cuddles, the love, and the laughs she provided us through the years.

We got home last night from a short night out and upon entering the house Joey had fainted on the floor, and she wasn’t good after that. Her breathing was laboured and she was clearly distressed unable to settle. We gave her her medication and it didn’t really do anything to improve the situation.

Throughout today she was listless and remained unable to settle or catch her breath properly, her gums were white and she was unsteady on her feet. There were lots of cuddles, we went and got her some super tasty food, hoping it would perk her up, but to no avail.

In the end, we had to do the right thing for Joey, it was one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to do. The vet we saw was amazing. It’s a bit painful that they can’t tell you if they think it’s the right thing. But after we had decided and signed the paperwork, she pretty much said that she thought it was probably the best decision. She said we could have called the specialists and gotten a new dosages for her medications (something she told us beforehand), but she said we’d likely be back again next week.

I’m wiped our emotionally, but will forever be grateful for the time we had with her. She was the best little dog ever. My life is better for having had her be part of it. ❤️

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Flat out like a lizard drinking…

I’m not saying our fat cat is lazy, but she likes to lie down when drinking. She is the queen of leisure. 🤣

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Joey Update

I now understand the term harrowing experience. We had one yesterday with Joey.

When we got up she was lying on her bed with the other doggins, but she was unresponsive when we talked to her. When patted there wasn’t really much reaction, but we could tell she was still breathing. Giving her a little shake, she raised her head a bit… but largely you’d call her reactions listless.

So David rang the vet. We were worried it may already be time to say goodbye. The vet was fully booked, but David got an appointment anyway, clearly the distress about our little black dog opened the way for Sandie to see us.

Then her meds kicked in, and she was more alert. But we went to see Sandie anyway.

We were giving Joey her medication ever 12 hours. And it seemed that at the tail-end of those time periods she was becoming more heavy in her breathing, and more tired. So we were worried.

On the short 10 minute drive we talked about the “what ifs”… it’s a gut wrenching and painful thing to know you’re the ones who have to decide when “it’s time”. All the other pets I’ve ever had have had very definitive end-of-life situations. Joey’s is a degenerative affliction and we have no idea how to gauge it… well not until we finally spoke with Sandie.

We cried on that drive. But we were composed, or so I thought, when entering the vet. Upon our entrance we were greeted and immediately ushered into a consulting room, but not before people commented on how cute Joey is. In a full waiting room she held everyone’s attention, she really is that cute.

Anyway, one of the receptionists came in to tell us Sandie would be with us shortly. She got a soft mat for the stainless steel table and she returned with a form that she put on the counter away from us… and then I started to cry. It was a form giving consent to the vets to euthanise Jo. My name was on it, her name was on it… and I was in that moment living the harrowing experience. I hadn’t realised that David had basically told reception that it might be time when he called them, and that’s how he got the appointment.

Then Sandie came in… and everything changed.

We talked to her about the way Joey had been, we explained that we don’t want Joey to be in pain, we don’t want her to be here just for us, we don’t want to put her through anything that would cause her distress… but we don’t want to let go of her yet. I was cuddling her… I was not in a good way, and neither was David.

Turns out we were thankfully overreacting, Sandie said she saw before her a happy little dog that still had a long way to go before she was ready. She told us the signs to look out for, she said we’d know when it was really time. She also agreed that we could increase Joey’s medication to once every 8 hours rather than every 12, to cover that period where the medication was wearing off.

And she went through the Specialist’s notes with us. The guy we saw when Jo was checked out of the Specialist wasn’t the one who performed her procedures, Amanda, the vet was in another consult when we arrived, and upon going through the notes with Sandie it seems the one who checked us out maybe skimmed them before talking to us, he even kept calling Jo ‘he’, and when he was talking all this dire stuff, I had to correct him. You can’t be telling someone their dog is dying and continually refer to them by the wrong gender, it should maybe have been a sign that he wasn’t familiar with the situation.

The report says that while the scarring in her lungs is extensive, there is still plenty of activity going on. And while her heart is massive (I’m paraphrasing), it is still strong and otherwise healthy. The report actually said that the condition she has will progress over months, and possibly years! Which is very different from the 3-6-12 months we were told when checking Joey out.

Sandie agreed we were likely being hyper-sensitive to every little activity, or lack there of, and every noise that was coming from Jo, and she said we need to check her gums when concerned as this will be the most telltale sign that her breathing is not enough to sustain her longterm. Dulling of the colour, and a slow reaction to return to red when pressed will show that the issue has progressed.

So, great news, well as good as it can get… Joey is still dying, but with the medication she is on, hopefully it will be a long time before we need to make the decision to say goodbye. Which is freaking awesome because I am so not ready, that 40 minutes of distress yesterday wiped me out as the realisation that she might go bashed me about the head.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading my sob-story, and think good thoughts for our little black dog… I want to have her around for a long time to come. I’m off to give her more cuddles, and food, the meds make her hungry, and if any knows her knows she was always hungry before the medication, so now she’s more of an eating machine. 🤦‍♂️

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Doggin Time

I have moved the orange chair back out of the workroom so it can be beside my desk so Joey can spend all the time with me (or me with her).

It’s quite apparent though that I’m no the only one who wants to spend time with her, and she’s quite content with the company she’s keeping.

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Joey

Look at this gorgeous face… I love this dog so freaking much.

My black cocker spaniel Joey

Sadly, at 8 years of age my Joey is dying. After xrays, ultrasounds, and a full-body CT it has been diagnosed that she has advanced pulmonary fibrosis. The vet said were she a human she’d need to go on the transplant list, but we don’t have that for doggins.

We will have 6-12 more months with Joey before her lungs become too scarred to function and we’ll need to say goodbye.

It’s pretty messed up that we have to go through this, but the joy our pets bring to our lives is incalculable. 

Joey will continue to be my companion as we sit on the lounge and watch TV, her across my lap. I’ll continue to sneak her food from my plate when the other dogs aren’t looking, and I’ll continue to hug her with all my might and let her know just how much I love her. And I will have the strength to say goodbye when it’s time and not hold onto her for my own selfish reasons when life is no longer good for her.

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Pets

Like a Fainting Goat

We have to take Joey to the vet… she has become a fainting goat!

Joey has seizures, has for a while, quite rarely. But the last few days in a row, any time she become a little bit excited she faints very briefly.

The seizures, when she has them, knock her around. She completely passes out and everything lets go (ie she pees and poops), it’s not pleasant. It can take her a bit of time to get back up, for her coordination to return, and sometimes a whole day before she’s back to being herself.

These fainting spells though, she’s down, floppy, but comes back pretty quick, she’s not even really losing consciousness. And she’s up and moving quite quickly after as if it never happened.

I half-joke about the fainting goat, cause she doesn’t actually stiffen up and fall over like they do. But it’s becoming too common now. So off to the vet we go.

She better bloody be OK.

Here's a photo of Sammi, Joey, and Bill resting on their dog bed.
Here’s a photo of Sammi, Joey, and Bill resting on their dog bed.
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Pets

Porter in the Tub

Going through some old hard drives and I realised that while I had a photo like this of Edie, I always assumed the one of Porter was too dark to do anything with… but there you go.

Porter in the tub
Back from when she was a kitty in a tub, May 2015.