Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘pets

Pain Transfered

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Don’t let this image fool you. Delilah is almost completely back to her old self.

Tuesday, when I got home from work, Delilah was so full of energy that she wouldn’t leave Cyndie alone. After they came in from a walk, Delilah grabbed one of her squeaky toys and begged Cyndie to chase her around the house.

When Cyndie laid down on the bed for a moment, Delilah started repeatedly hopping straight into the air for more attention.

If she has any leftover pain, it wasn’t readily apparent.

Last night I gave her a fraction of a walk, keeping the leash short so she would walk beside me, at my pace. She strained to speed me up the whole way.

Every indication is that she is feeling just fine again.

On the other hand, or I could say, hoof… Cayenne seems to have picked up where Delilah’s pain left off. That mare has suddenly become almost incapacitated over an apparent flare-up of laminitis in her front feet again, particularly the side that hadn’t previously been giving her as much trouble.

It is heartbreaking to watch her struggle to move. I immediately isolated her from having access to grazing in the pastures, closing her into the smaller paddock. It seems like too little, too late, to completely turn the tide for this condition which is proving to be rather chronic for her.

Cyndie said Cayenne didn’t show signs of a problem earlier in the day, so maybe by cutting off her grass-grazing right away, this flare-up can be calmed quickly. I fear it is all part of a trend for Cayenne that may be out of our control to alleviate.

We’ve spent the summer watching George shape her hooves in increments to improve the orientation and provide her some relief, but it is a long, slow process because you can’t trim too much at a time. Now, just when we were hoping to have her beyond this problem, she is showing a turn for the worse.

We’re very happy to have Delilah free of pain, but seeing an extreme discomfort move from one of our animals to another puts a damper on our urge to celebrate our dog’s improvement.

When our animals hurt, it tends to inflict a fair amount of sympathetic pain in us, too.

Ouch.

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Written by johnwhays

October 12, 2017 at 6:00 am

Third Diagnosis

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Finally. After seeing a third veterinarian in the past week at the clinic in River Falls (because they were gracious enough to squeeze her in without an appointment at the end of each day), we have a diagnosis that seems the most logical and believable. Maybe the third time was the charm simply because the first two had ruled out other possibilities. This time, Cyndie came home with antibiotics to treat Delilah’s external yeast infection.

In my uneducated opinion, I’m guessing the back pain was probably referred pain from the infection, but I don’t think that was the prevailing opinion at the clinic. Cyndie seems to feel they saw this latest affliction as occurring in addition to the back problem.

I don’t understand why Delilah would suddenly suffer from these two issues concurrently.

Whatever. I’m not going to fret over it. Now we have another two prescriptions purchased and the dog is going to be spending some time in a cone of shame when Cyndie applies a cream to Delilah’s underside.

One silver lining I saw last night from this predicament Delilah find’s herself in: It significantly curtailed her usual uncontrollable barking toward the scary rumbles of thunder rolling in from the distance. She tried a couple of times, but gave up in short order. I think she was just too uncomfortable to persist.

It led to a bizarre sound that started as a bark and morphed into a yelp.

Just laying quiet appeared to be her preferred coping method.

Thank goodness for that.

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Written by johnwhays

October 3, 2017 at 6:00 am

True Love

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First, let me report that Delilah is no longer emitting as many outbursts of shrill vocalizations of pain as a couple of days ago. Maybe the meds are taking the edge off. However, things are still definitely amiss. We are seeing behaviors that are obvious indications that she is incredibly uncomfortable.

Between moments of normalcy, she is suddenly out of control in reaction to something that even she doesn’t seem to understand. Her behaviors give me the impression she wants to crawl out of her skin. I think, …allergic reaction.  To her meds? Then, she focuses on licking at her groin, which isn’t easy because she still looks like it is hard to move, …like her back is still a problem.

We wondered about maybe a kidney stone?

Of course, it was Sunday, so we have waited until today for our next consultation with the vet. Delilah is managing incredibly well for extended periods of time between her bouts of discomfort, so we decided it wasn’t an emergency situation. We also recorded a video of her weird behavior to show the veterinarian.

Life around the house is relatively normal, with just an odd fraction of the impression that things are not alright. I think Pequenita is aware, but unsure how to respond.

She gave us a good laugh last night while we were laying on our bed. Cyndie always talks about how ‘Nita is totally in love with me, but doesn’t think that much of her. As she often does, Pequenita was laying across my extended legs when Cyndie slid over to lay next to me with her leg across mine.

Pequenita didn’t move a muscle, other than to make sure Cyndie wasn’t touching her.

We started laughing about it after Cyndie pointed out the scene to me, and suddenly our cat turned and gave me a look.

At first, I wondered aloud why she was looking at me. It was Cyndie who was horning in on her love.

Then, in an instant, Cyndie and I came to the same conclusion.

That look seemed to be saying, “Are you going to do something about this intrusion on our space?”

‘Nita didn’t look happy with our outburst of laughing to tears.

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Written by johnwhays

October 2, 2017 at 6:00 am

Sad Face

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We are still waiting for significant signs of improvement in Delilah, but whatever is causing her sharp pain –even though she is simply lying on the floor or in her crate overnight– it appears to be more intense than the drugs she is on.

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Since Cyndie is trained to administer Tellington TTouch, she is offering Delilah more than just the pain killers prescribed by the vet, but our poor dog still finds ways to move that triggers involuntary vocal response of acute discomfort.

That is so too familiar to me and my degenerating discs. We have inquired with the vet about a local dog chiropractor and I’ve been wondering if Delilah would tolerate accupuncture. It helped to ease my discomfort.

There have been a couple of encouraging glimpses of Delilah’s old self appearing, but thus far they are too few and far between to allow us much release from the ongoing stress of knowing an animal in our care is suffering.

I’m looking at this as a way to help me slow down my perception of the ever-faster passing of days. With October looming large and the standing order to keep Delilah completely inactive for two weeks, I’m hoping the days will drag for a while.

It’s not my preferred way to slow down the days, but already it feels like our sad dog has been hurting for far too long. The next two weeks are going to take forever if we can’t let her have her usual luxuriously long walks.

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Written by johnwhays

September 30, 2017 at 8:12 am

Pained Puppy

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Our doggie girl is a hurtin’ unit right now. Unfortunately, we don’t know what happened to cause her all this pain, but she is wincing with a shrill whine with disturbing frequency. Like dogs do, in between the bouts of sharp pain, she acts like all is well and good, but we know better.

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Cyndie took Delilah to the vet last week and their guess-timate of a diagnosis was possible arthritis or bulging disc in her back. They prescribed an anti-inflammatory pain reliever. A few days later, when Delilah woke in extreme pain and was trembling, Cyndie made another trip to the vet.

That visit included a blood test to rule out Lyme disease and ended up with a prescription for muscle relaxants. They still think the problem is in her back. Oh, and they also issued a strict order of total restriction of activity for two weeks. How are we supposed to accomplish that?

Yesterday, Cyndie called me at work and asked me to stop at the vet on my way home to pick up a new pain med. Delilah did not have a good day.

Today, we are hoping for any sign of improvement, because nothing so far seems to be bringing her relief. At this point, the total activity restriction seems like it will cause her more angst than the pain. Poor girl doesn’t understand why she isn’t patrolling the perimeter three times a day anymore.

I think she’s worried some unauthorized intruders might trespass on her turf if she is not on the job doing her regular rounds.

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Written by johnwhays

September 29, 2017 at 6:00 am

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Not Quite

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First of all, I have good news and bad news to report on Dezirea’s progress. The good news is that she is showing interest in eating and behaving much less depressed. The bad news is that she is showing very little, if any progress toward returning to normal manure production. She remains under close supervision, but we have decided on a path of minimal intervention for now.

I caught several frames of activity on the trail cam a couple of nights ago, but the best way I can describe what appeared in the series of images is, the camera captured Predator in invisible stealth mode. It was actually kinda creepy.

It doesn’t show up in a single image, but when a series of multiple images is toggled, the blur of translucent motion is detectable. One possibility is that a deer was moving too fast for the camera speed. I suspect deer because a minute later, the view picked up an extreme closeup of a fraction of the rear flank of what can only have been a deer passing directly in front of the camera.

There aren’t any other animals that size, except for maybe the Predator.

It’s not quite warm enough for the chickens to be given full access to their little courtyard, but in the days ahead, the forecast looks promising. The birds are showing great interest. Cyndie snapped a shot of two of them enjoying the view out their picture window.

Delilah seems even more anxious for them to come out than they are. Lately, there is nothing about her behavior that assures me she understands their protected status in the hierarchy of our domestic animals.

I’m pretty sure she is not quite there.

Just like Dezirea is not quite back to normal health.

We are standing by expectantly, sending love to all our critters for good health and mutual respect.

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Written by johnwhays

May 4, 2017 at 6:00 am

Animal Care

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Caring for our animals is a lot like caring for children, except they will never grow to become self-sufficient and eventually move out and have a life of their own. Do I sound tired?

You know that part of my life where I go off on bike rides because I find time to embark on such a frivolous pursuit? It happens a lot less often after we decided to have pets that require so much care. Luckily, humans tend to fall in love with animals almost as much as they do with their own children, so it ends up being a labor of love.

Of course, when you love people and pets, it is tough to watch them suffer illness. Even though it took almost three days for her to reveal symptoms, Cyndie thinks that Delilah’s current problems have a high likelihood of being the result of her activity while roaming loose on the neighboring properties last Saturday.

Tuesday afternoon, when I got home from work, Cyndie reported two interesting morsels of news: 1) She found the fully intact and well-preserved remains of the infamous goldfish when cleaning debris from our landscape pond. Surreptitiously deposited back in May of 2016, it was only spotted two times over the course of it’s time here. 2) Delilah was suffering from severe diarrhea.

Seconds after they followed me into the house, Delilah vomited on the old Hays family farm rug in the porch. When Cyndie went down to the barn to tend to the horses, she left Delilah in the house to rest. A few minutes later, Delilah came to the chair I was sitting in and looked at me.

I hustled to get her leash and get out the door. She practically pulled me across the driveway and down the slope into the trees and leaves where she experienced the worst canine diarrhea I had ever witnessed. Our doggie was seriously ill with some gastrointestinal disruption.

Tuesday night was one of constant sleep interruptions, and Cyndie described yesterday as producing gradually reducing symptoms. Delilah ate some rice with chicken broth. I took her for a walk after work and saw what we hope was one of the last gasps of an attempt to release the pressure of mostly virtual diarrhea.

I marveled at Delilah’s ability to proceed with the remainder of the walk in her usual mode of inspired curiosity at the world of scents. It was as if the disaster that I just watched playing out in her digestive system had never occurred.

It made the role of loving witness to her suffering that much easier to bear.

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Written by johnwhays

April 6, 2017 at 6:00 am