Well…the (formerly) Fatal Vet Appointment got put off till mid-afternoon, because they had entered the Doomsday Appt in their calendar as the 19th, not today (???????? Not easy getting competent help, is it?). Can you imagine how I would have felt if I’d shown up there at 9 this morning expecting to shove Cassie’s raft out to sea, only to be told wooopsie! come back next week!
At any rate, I took both hounds up there to get their claws clipped at the same time I confer with this vet about Cassie’s fate. Because it’s been almost three months since either of them has had a walk on asphalt and concrete (which keeps their claws sanded down), they both had scimitars sticking out of their toes.
So along about 2:30, it was off to the vet on the northeast side, a little easier drive than the junket to MarvelVet’s and, as I’ve designated her in my mind, an opportunity to confer with a source for a second opinion.
This vet felt Cassie was, of course, on the decline, but not as bad off as the Senior Drama Queen has thought. She thought it was best not to subject the dog to any more treatment, since it seems that Cassie is even more hypersensitive to drugs than her human is. She got her hands on the report from the guy who did the ultrasound, who also works for her practice, and said it indicates the little pooch does have a large growth on her adrenal gland but it probably is not malignant. That notwithstanding, the dog does have Cushing’s disease (a manifestation of the tumor’s interference with the adrenal function). She certainly thought the dog’s days are numbered, but not in the single digits. When I remarked that MarvelVet estimated she has about 3 months, she visibly restrained herself from wincing and then said she does not emit predictions of life expectancy because the risk of being wrong is extremely high.
She also thought it was a positive sign that in Cassie’s ups and downs, the ups tend to return to 9s and even 10s, if for brief periods.
She did a fairly involved inspection of the dog’s joints and concluded that she has arthritis in her hips and shoulders and that probably explains a) her tendency to drag me backward while Ruby drags me forward and b) the episode of obvious pain that occupied several days earlier this week.
They clipped the scimitars off both dogs’ feet. Ruby, still being mostly a puppy at heart, is always effervescent and so if this made a difference to her, it was impossible to discern. Cassie seems A LOT cheered by being able to walk around more comfortably. So presumably those claws’ deforming her gait contributed to her arthritic discomfort. Just now, despite a long car ride, a mildly stressful vet visit, and a long wait in the car while I made a run on the mega-Fry’s at Tatum & Shea, she seems pretty perky (comparatively). She’s barking conversationally, walking around, merrily crapping on the flagstones, and in general appearing to still be alive.
MarvelVet may be right about the 3 months. But that’s a lot different from 3 days…
Tomorrow I’m going to start trying to walk Cassie just a few yards up the block in back; then retrieving Ruby and doing the regular 1-mile walk with her. The vet didn’t think Cassie would ever get back up to a full mile-long junket but thought she might be able to build back up to a block or so. She thought this might help her.
So it goes…