Friday, January 29, 2010

Vet visit

Cooper had his yearly exam last weekend. I am happy to report that Cooper lost 4 pounds and is now a svelte 26 pound shiba. The vet said he can afford to lose another pound or two so he's still on a diet. Otherwise, that was the only good news I got from the vet. Well, besides the fact that he's still heartworm free, free of parasites, and doesn't have giardia or whatever it's called.
His blood work revealed that he has some toxins in his blood from his kidneys and livers not functioning properly. I haven't gotten him to the vet again for another test, but they're recommending I get another echocardiogram done on him to see if it's his heart murmur that's causing the changes in his kidneys and liver. They're not too worried about his kidneys at this point; they think he was just dehydrated at the time they took his blood. As of now, there's no way I can afford an echocardiogram.
So I have to take him to the vet again and get more bloodwork done to see if there are any changes; both good or bad. The animal hospital I take him to is one of the nicer ones in Denver, very expensive and in all honesty, over-priced considering I only talk to vet for 5 minutes and the vet techs for about 10. I wish there were cheaper animal hospitals by where I live but unfortunately, living in downtown, I have very few options. They just make me feel guilty when I decline certain tests done on Cooper when I know he doesn't need it or something.
Which makes me think, Cooper's been acting exactly the same, if anything he has more energy and actually wants to play more now that he's lost some weight. His quality of life doesn't seem to be any different, and he doesn't act/look like he's in any kind of pain. I really wonder how important getting another echocardiogram/additional blood tests are because I really feel like the vet hospital milks the money from their customers while giving back semi-shoddy care. I know as a pet owner you take on the responsibility of a pet regardless of how much it can cost you. You should be financially stable enough to provide the pet with basic care of food, shelter, and vet visits. It's emergency procedures or illnesses that really take a toll and unfortunately, Cooper would be denied insurance because of his pre-existing genetic defect.
I know that if Cooper has renal failure (and heaven forbid that happens) I would not get him dialysis. It wouldn't be worth the hundreds of dollars on getting that kind of treatment for him. I love him to death, but come on, there's a line to be drawn at some point. If he has cancer in the future or even now, I don't think I would treat it. I feel like that makes me a bad dog owner but really, is the quality of life for Cooper going to be worth the hundreds to thousands of dollars in treatment when he's going to be scared and miserable getting that treatment? It's really for our own selfish needs to make a pet suffer through treatment because we're the ones who are too afraid of letting go.
I want him to be happy. I want him to be pain free and since he can't talk and tell me when he hurts, I'm going to have to make that judgement in the end. I'm willing to get more bloodwork and monitor the liver situation, but if the vet recommends surgery or anything like that, I'm going to have to politely decline and and make sure Cooper is as comfortable he can be.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dog sitting, again.

Since David and Mitch are in Argentina, lucky bitches, I'm watching Mitch's dogs while they're away. David's mom offered to watch Leila and I want to thank her from the bottom of my heart because I would die if I had to walk and take care of 4 dogs; 2 of which have way too much energy.
Bentley is a whippet, still kind of in that gawky teenage stage in life but sweet and cute as a button. The two absolute worse things about him is 1. He pulls too hard on his leash and while he has a martingale collar, he still chokes himself almost to death and 2. Whenever he sees you, he pees. He's so gosh darn excited that he pisses all over himself and everything around him while he jumps for joy; peeing all over you. Gross.
Izzie is a retired greyhound. I'm not quite sure how old she is; I think she's 8 or something. She's a senior dog but has a lot of energy and pep in her which I guess is good. The worst thing about her is that she poops and pees when she feels like it regardless of how long it's been since you took her out. I had to clean up after her twice and it's not fun at all. And she doesn't even pee when I take her out so I think she's peeing on the carpet and I just can't tell or something.
The nice thing about Bentley is that he's a cuddle bug. He just wants to sit in your lap and love you. And he likes to give kisses which I don't accept because he eats poop. Izzie walks really, really well on a leash and never pulls or zoom down the stairs. She likes to walk by your side or maybe a foot in front of you but she always looks at me while we walk. It's kinda creepy.
Anyway, as sweet as they are, and they really are sweet dogs, watching them makes me appreciate Cooper that much more. I love how he can hold his pee and poop until I take him out. I love how I can read his body language so I know what he's feeling. I love that he doesn't piss all over me when I come home, whether it's because he likes me or is mad at me. I love my little Choo Choo and I am so glad that he's my dog.