Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Animal Woes - Part 2

Animal Woes - Part 2

All the while that Fall was using up one of her 9 lives, other things were going on.  When she came home from the vet after her long stay, Arbez, Kevin's other cat threw up a lot and decided she was done eating forever.  This is a worry for a cat that is 15.

We weren't too worried, at first.  It has happened before, and then she eats in a few hours.  It was different, this time.  We ended up at the store--trying to find something, anything that she would eat.  We brought home chicken and cheese.

She ate a lot of chicken and a little cheese.  The next day, she didn't want either.  Kevin tried different types of cat foods.  Nothing appealed to her.  Sometimes she would eat a little; getting our hopes up, and then refuse the same food next time.

We suspected her urinary tract infection from December might have returned, so he was able to get a sample and got it to the vet.  She did have an infection.  They gave her a pill he could give her to calm her down so he could bring her in, in couple of days.  Before that happened, she did start eating again--this time voraciously.  She wanted to eat constantly.  In the meantime, we were trying to get Fall to eat her special food.  Fall preferred the food Arbez was eating.  It was chaos, and Kevin was losing his mind.

When he did get Arbez to the vet, her lab work was showing that she not only had the infection, but her kidneys weren't doing so well, either.  The first step was to get her on antibiotics.

Somewhere in there, I noticed my dog, Maggie, was drinking more.  I started to pay attention to her water consumption.  Each day, it went up.  Then, the accidents began.  I brought her to the vet.  The preliminary urinalysis at their lab showed no urinary tract infection.  It was looking more serious.  They sent her urine off to the lab with blood work.  Everything was leaning towards kidney disease or Cushings.  Ugh.  She was drinking 11 cups of water a day, and she is only a 36 pound dog.

While I was there, I made an appointment for my cat, Thunder.  It was time for his geriatric check up.

The next day, Ellen called in a panic.  Her older horse, Ranger, was colicking!  She called the vet who said she would be there in a couple of hours.  An hour later, Ellen called to tell me he seemed better.  By the time the vet got there, he was normal.  Our vet decided to treat him, just the same.  She found that way inside, he had hard stool.  In his stool, there was a lot of undigested hay.  Ranger's age, which we don't know, caught up with him.  His teeth weren't chewing his hay well enough.  Ellen caught a minor colic, but she may have been able to prevent a major one.  He is now getting a change in diet with less hay, more hay cubes and an increase in grain.  He seems much perkier since the change.

Two days later, I brought Thunder in for his appointment.  Everything looked good, but he had lost a little weight.  They took blood to send to the lab.  They did have Maggie's labwork back.  She had an infection after all!!!  Her urine was just too diluted for the vet's equipment.  She is now on antibiotics and I get up every 2 hourse to let her out at night.  She is learning to use a litter box.

A couple days later, Thunder's blood work came in.  He is doing great for a 12-year-old cat.  Now, we are waiting for Maggie's and Arbez's anitbiotics to take affect.  Everyone is eating.

What a month it has been.

Animal Woes - Part 1

Animal Woes - Part 1

Oh what a trying month it has been for our animals!

It all started on Labor Day.  (It always seems like the emergencies fall on the holidays.)  Kevin called me first thing in the morning to tell me that something was wrong with his cat, Fall.  (Fall as in an October colored calico that he got in October, 12 years ago.)  She was throwing up and could only walk by balancing herself along the wall.

I told him to get her to the emergency clinic right away.  This was serious.

A few hours later, he called me to tell me she had kidney disease and heart failure.  He put the vet on the line to explain it.  I had a cat with kidney disease, and I know it can be managed.  The vet explained that kidney disease is treated by adding fluids and heart disease is treated by removing them.  Because of this and the fact that her blood work was so bad, the prognosis was terrible.  Kevin asked for their honesty, and they said it would be best to put her to sleep.

This was devastating to both of us.  Fall is the nicest cat I have ever met.  I love her like my own.

Kevin called me back a few minutes later.  The vet tech said he didn't have to do it right away.  She would still be all right for a few days if he wanted to take her home.  That way, we could spend a little more time with her and I could say goodbye.  She wouldn't eat or drink, but she wouldn't be suffering.

They pumped her up with some Sub-Q fluids and sent her home.  We spent a very sad evening with her.  She mostly just laid there.  She did use the litter box a few times, but we could see she could still barely walk.  She did seem comfortable, so we just talked to her and told her how much we loved her.  I told her that I loved her so much that if love alone could save her, she would be just fine.

The next day, Kevin was going to take her to the vet for her final visit.  I went to the barn.  Ellen and I were riding down the hill when Kevin called me on my phone.  I braced myself for the bad news.  He told me he didn't take her.  She was walking normal and drinking water.  He came out to ride, and then I went to his house to see her.  She was so much better!

We decided on a new plan.  He made an appointment with his regular vet.  The earliest he could get her there was in 2 days.  Instead of saying goodbye, he would have an examination to see how she is, first.

That evening, she started to eat cat treats!  She was purring and moving about.

I went with him when he took her to the vet.  They did a urinalysis and compared it to the one at the emergency vet clinic.  It showed that she dramatically improved just from the fluids.  There was no longer any sign of heart trouble.  They suggested keeping her for a few days, pumping her up with IV fluids and seeing how she did.

It was a long 2 days, but we got back our Fall.  They gave her special food for kidneys and said to come back in a few weeks for more testing.  

She didn't really like the food, but she ate enough of it to keep going.  When Kevin took her back, her blood work came out even better than it was when she left them.  It really should have actually gotten worse, not better.  She was nearly normal!  She didn't need us to give her fluids.  She just needed a kidney diet--which she didn't really like.

A few days later, Kevin went to the vet with a package of cat treats--threatening to feed her them just to get her to eat.  They came back with a different type of food.  It was a dry food.  We took it home--and were so happy to see that both of his cats loved it!!!

We are going to have our Fall for a little while longer!!!

My love for her did save her.  It was because I love her so much that Kevin brought her home to spend one last evening for us.  Since then, we have had quite a few evenings with her, and we hope to have many more.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Cole Train


Handsome Starry D.

Nothing to Write About?

As the month nears the end, it occurs to me that I didn't have anything to write about.  The rides have been fun, but there has been nothing of note that happened.  Has it reached that point in my writing career?

I should no better.  Fate wouldn't have that--not where horses are involved.

Just when I was losing hope that I would have something to inspire me, everything changed.

I went for a ride with Kevin on Starry.  Both horses had the previous day off.  Cole had the day off because he got a new set of shoes.  Needless to say, they were feeling rather frisky.

We were trotting down the trail with Kevin in the lead.  I felt Cole start to bunch up, and yelled out a warning to Kevin.  He stopped his horse, Starry.  Right as I yelled, and loud motorcycle went by.  That was just the excuse Cole was looking for!  He took off running.  I wanted to stop him before I reached Starry, so I bent him a little bit to slow him down and then asked him to stop.  He slammed on his brakes so suddenly I just could not stay on him.

As I lost my balance, I wrapped my arms around his neck.  Cole then lowered his neck, and when I finally lost my grip, I was only a few feet from the ground.  I didn't get hurt at all.  Poor Kevin saw the whole thing, and he was just traumatized.

In retrospect, I should have asked Cole to trot instead of to stop.  He only did what I asked him to do.  This has nearly happened a couple of times before, so I should have known better.  Cole has quite a stop.  It was only made worse because he had new shoes--with better grip.  At least no one got hurt.  Kevin couldn't stop talking about it.  He was so upset.  I was just relieved.

The rest of the ride was ordinary.  They were still frisky, but we were able to contain them.

Just 2 days later, I was out riding with Kevin on Starry and Ellen on Dante.  It was a great ride.  On the way home, we were crossing the final river.  Kevin was already across on the other side.  Ellen and I had finished crossing.  I started up the river bank.

Next thing I knew, Cole was running at least 100 miles per hour up the bank.  At the top, we have to turn right or left.  Cole didn't seem to plan to do either direction.  We were headed straight for a tree.  I asked him to turn to the right.  Ever obedient, he did, but we were still going 100 miles per hour.  He made the turn, but I didn't.  He missed the tree, but I didn't.  I slid right off his side, into the tree and then to the ground.

As I was going through the air, the only thing I could think of was, "I can't believe this is happening, again."

I was immediately on my feet.  This time, I could feel the bruises, but I knew immediately that I wasn't seriously hurt.

Poor Kevin.  He was traumatized.  He finally stopped talking about the first fall.  He had a whole new fall to talk about.

Starry was far enough away that he barely reacted.  Dante saw Cole running up the bank, and he turned and trotted away a few steps away from him.

Ellen told me she heard a branch falling behind us.  I am so glad there was a reason for his behavior.  I didn't hear it, but Cole must have.  He may have even seen it with his amazing peripheral vision.  It may have even fell in the river.  Ellen didn't hear it fall.  I forgave him.  No one was seriously hurt.

Sometimes I go years without falling.  This is the third time this year.  Remember, we fell in the river earlier in the summer.  I hope I am done with it for a while.  Falling is just part of riding, though.  That is why I wear a helmet.

I hope I don't have anything to write about next month...