Flicker’s Lair Blog

Drowning in vets bills

by Heidi on May 7th, 2009
 
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So our rather traumatic April left us with some rather unexpected vets bills and today we carried on in the same theme.

You have likely read about our drama with Aspen, his ‘adventure’, behaviour and recently his progress. A while back we added time for Willow & Aspen to spend together to the daily routine. He still lives mostly as a ‘house dog’ but started spending his afternoons out in the field. We would cable them together so he couldn’t take off again, and let them have some supervised, and later unsupervised time together. We had very happy big white puppies.

Aspen - May 2009

Then we spotted signs that led us to think that Willow was in heat, not wanting little white puppies, all visiting rights were suspended. This means that now when we walk around the property Aspen spends a lot of time trying to scramble under the fence into the field and whining! Willow decided that she was bored, didn’t like our stupid rules and so would punish us by chewing a nasty bare patch in her side! I thought when we made the decision to not have children that we were sparing ourselves from the drama of teenage hormonal tantrums!

We were already planning on taking Zeus to the vets today, so the appointment had to become for two! Poor silly puppy had to get her patches shaved with clippers. There was talk of an Elizabethan collar, but we felt that we would spare her that if we could as we didn’t want to make her the laughing stock of the livestock! She will need to be cleaned twice a day though and is on steroids.

Willow - April 2009

Zeus was the real reason we were planning the visit, he started feeling his age (11 or 12) a while back; in January we were concerned and took him in to the vet, when he was diagnosed with Dog Alzheimer’s.

Over the last few weeks we have seen a quite dramatic deterioration, with him not wanting to come for walks, not being interested in tennis balls, and now with not protecting the house. A man he had never met before was allowed to walk all the way up the path to the front door while Zeus was lying on the front lawn, and Zeus never even lifted his head, and he has stopped barking when the doorbell rings. He has also taken to guarding all of the dog food bowls and not feeling that Winnie or Aspen should have anything. Now Winnie may need to be on a diet, but this wasn’t quite how we were intending.

Zeus - April 2009

Today we were anticipating letting him go, so initially we had been looking to have the vet come to us, but the call out fee was just too much for our current situation. The vet looked him over and feels that he also has Lymphoma, which explains the rapid deterioration, his feeling poorly and his weight loss. She could do tests to confirm and try and treat it with Chemo. Whether we could afford it or not if there was any hope of a meaningful recovery you know we would be doing it, but she feels that even if the course of treatment was successful we would be back in the same places in 6 months or so. And of course there is still the Alzheimer’s.

I have to think about what I would want – painful treatment with no hope of a long term meaningful recovery while slowly losing my cognitive abilities – I would wish that someone would be able to do for me what we can do for Zeus.

That said, the vet did offer us some time. He has a course of steroids which she feels will offer him some relief, and let him spend a last few days/weeks in relative comfort. Perhaps letting him go in a time and way more dignified and natural.

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2 Comments

  1. Poor Zeus. I hope the steroids are providing some relief. Poor Ruis Dair. At least you can get some comfort knowing that he’s thoroughly enjoyed the last few years of his life. * hugs *

    Comment by Kym — May 11, 2009 @ 7:03 am

  2. I thought for a sec. there would be beautiful puppies to be had, bummer.

    Comment by Lala — May 12, 2009 @ 2:51 pm

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