Luckily for the Human, it had agreed to host a dear friend and cat for an hour or so, while hordes of Realtors swarmed through their house, which they’re putting up for sale. They didn’t want to be there, and they surely did not want their cat there, while a bunch of strangers cavorted around the place. So the wife went to the beauty parlor and the hubby and kitty came over to the Funny Farm.
This provided a therapeutic break for the Human. I really needed some company this morning. The damn computer was working hard to thwart me at every turn — had a helluva time trying to catch up with the gerjillion tasks running late, and whenever I did manage to get something more or less posted, it invariably went up wrong, so I had to delete stuff and try to dork with it to get it to do what it was supposed to do and UGHHHH! I hate that kind of thing under the best of conditions, but when with even a small degree of extra stress, it drives me CRAZY!
And there was plenty of extra stress. Cassie the Corgi seemed even sicker than usual. She had a hard time eating the food I put in front of her. And when I smushed some dog food around her morning pill to get it down her, Ruby pounced and grabbed it.
Honestly, I do not know which dog swallowed the pill, but I’m pretty sure it was Ruby.
So this means that every time I have to medicate Cassie, I’ll have to lock Ruby behind a door in another room. One more fun hassle to make life grand.
Things went downhill from there. Mostly in the computer department.
Enfin, with the cat and the guest here, the dogs were locked up in the back bedroom. Good place for ’em!
When I returned from delivering my friend home and released the hounds, strangely enough Cassie seemed much more perky.
This morning I’d have said she was pounding on Death’s Door. Five hours later, she trots into the backyard, chases Ruby a short way across their racetrack, and appears to have lost the limp.
Yes. A limp is a symptom of disseminated Valley Fever, so as you can imagine the fact that for the past few days she has barely been able to hobble up the hall has been making me crazy. Yet another of the many things to make one crazy.
But she limps all the time. She’s always limped off and on, ever since I got her 10 years ago. Just not this badly.
Maybe it’s not from whatever is ailing her, but maybe she was injured. I have to lift her both on and off the bed. It’s possible I accidentally twisted her or kinked something, unknowing, and maybe that’s why she was limping. Or maybe Ruby gave her a whack when I wasn’t looking. WhatEVER. For a brief shining moment, she’s been limp-free.
In about 40 minutes, I’ve got to start yet another long trek toward Scottsdale, this time to visit the vet my son uses. I want a second opinion about the Valley fever theory. Several second opinions to address several concerns:
To wit: Can we please get empirical proof that this dog really has Valley fever before putting her on a drug that’s clearly making her sick and then proposing to keep her on it for six months to a year? Or more?
The dog came down with a cough at the time some sort of respiratory infection was epidemic. The cough improved when treated with antibiotics and a cough suppressant, but it persisted longer than expected. Is it not possible that it took her longer to get over a viral bug because, for godsake, she’s 12 years old! She is an elderly dog. Like an elderly human, she may not recover from infections at the speed of light. Is it not reasonable to suspect that the elevated neutrocil and monocyte values might reflect an ordinary viral respiratory infection, not Valley fever? Might the congestion Dr. B saw on the X-ray be pneumonia or bronchitis, rather than Valley fever?
Does it really make sense to dose a 12-year-old dog with a drug that makes her sick, and to keep her on it past her normal life span? Seriously?
Damn it! I hate to be one of those patients. But my innate skepticism just will not go away.
And my innate skepticism has served me exceptionally well in the past. One might even call it, say, a kind of survival mechanism.