Before Chico writes yet another blog post about my condition (he thinks I don’t read his posts), I thought I’d better get a word in. Actually … three words. It’s not good. In fact, based on just how bad it’s been, when they told me I was going to the vet, it had an ominous ring to it.
You humans might not understand what I’m talking about since, with humans, there is no trip to the family doctor you’re not going to return from. In the world of pets, especially when we get old or sick or injured, a trip to the vet can be like a scene from “Dead Man Walking”.
Okay, I’m being a bit morbid, but it’s true. It’s likely that at some point in my future there’ll be a journey to the vet that I won’t return from, or the Strathmore vet that makes house calls will be at our door. It’s just the reality of life as a dog. And it’s okay. We appreciate not being left to suffer endlessly as is sometimes the fate of humans. Not sure why the human species is more compassionate toward its animals than its own kind. But that’s not for a mere dog to sort out.
So, my leg. It’s basically screwed. Worn out. Used up. Damaged beyond rescue. Done. There’s just no sugar coating it. For whatever reason, that one part of my body, my right elbow, had a shorter shelf-life than the rest of me and I seem to have run beyond its best-before date. You know how that thing in the fridge gets a just little fuzzy at first but then starts to smell up the whole fridge? Well, that’s my leg. What I could ignore for a long time is now making it difficult for me to live a normal canine life.
Sucks, right? I know.
But, in my corner, I have Teresa and Nollind, who will do whatever they can to help me live as long and quality a life as possible given the circumstances. The good news is, the trip to the vet today was not a “dead dog walking” scenario (which you’ve probably guessed since I’m writing this blog), but a “what else can we do” visit to a vet they’ve come to respect and trust through her care of our horses over the years. In fact, she was the vet who sorted the horse skin problem from a few years back, when two other vet offices couldn’t figure it out. On top of her experience and her attention to all of the latest research in animal health, she’s a dog person.
The vet spent an hour with us, going over all of the possible solutions and outcomes. Turns out there are no bionic elbows or legs for dogs (damn it), at least none that were discussed, and surgery of any kind isn’t a good option given my age. I’m not sure I’d like the only surgical solution anyway, a fused elbow. Wouldn’t it be difficult to walk with a joint that no longer bends? Ruling out surgery, there was a detailed discussion of medications, dosages, and costs that I pretended to sleep through but didn’t miss a word. My people opted for the “full meal deal” (Yes! I knew they wouldn’t let me down), the equivalent of what the doctor said she’d do if I were hers.
The appointment finished with the tech giving me an IV shot of Legend (a horse medication to be repeated every two weeks) and sent us home with a bag full of medicines and supplements as well as instructions to increase some of my existing medication. At this stage, it seems to be the “throw everything at it and see what sticks” approach, a ten-step program.
I’m good with that. It beats the alternative six ways to Sunday.