A few weeks ago Design Sponge showcased many of the DS blogger pets, explaining that those cats and dogs continually kept their caretakers company as they blogged away the day in their home offices. It was really cute, and fun looking at bloggers adorable animals, but brought up the fact that these pets are more than just animals–they’re friends.
Today my dog and friend, Daphne, was diagnosed with Addison’s disease. It is hopefully a positive end after a difficult, roller coaster ride during past few weeks. Daphne has been strong, and patient with multiple trips to the vet, several nights of overnight hospital stays with an IV, and bouts of not eating or drinking.
It started a few weeks ago, after a (what seemed like a minor) head injury led to Daphne to act abnormally–she was lethargic, not eating, and not relishing her walks in the same way. We took her into the vet, had several tests run, and she came home. She completely stopped eating the next day, and hid out behind her dog house. Brentan and I were worried she wouldn’t make it. But we brought her back to the vet, who immediately put her on an IV and steroids and antibiotics. She was there for three days, and they ran more tests, including xrays, urine, and blood.
She made a near miraculous recovery and came home.
Daphne was fine for about a week. But then she stopped eating again. We took her back and the vet suggested an ultrasound done by a specialist. This is when he brought up Addison’s disease, and also the possibility of a tumor, or problems with the pancreas. We couldn’t refuse the $650 ultrasound with the promise of a diagnosis. We wanted Daphne to be back to herself, jumping at the prospect of food, pulling ahead of us as she went for her walk, and running around off leash at the park. The specialist, as well as a few other vets, said Addison’s. Today, her test came back today positive.
While Addison’s can be deadly if untreated it is luckily easily treatable. She’ll need regular injections and careful stress monitoring, but it is so exciting at the prospect of getting my dog back. I’m sure there will be more struggles with this but is nice to have a diagnosis.
I hope your pets and friends and families are well and stay well, but if the worst happens and a pet needs care, here’s what I’ve learned:
- Dedicate savings for emergency pet care. In the end, the whole process for Daphne will cost over $3,000. I’m not sure what ongoing medicine will cost. If Brentan and I did not have money in the bank for this situation, I would have been torn up inside. You don’t want to be in a situation when care is available for your dying pet and you don’t have the money to pay for it. If you can’t save, buy pet insurance.
- Don’t hesitate to go to the vet. Yes, you know your pet best, and can do research online, but a vet can bring up scenarios and treatments that you don’t know about. If you’re in doubt, call the vet! When you meet with her, mention anything and everything out of the ordinary
- But don’t hesitate to question the vet about the tests and treatments they offer. Our vet was quick to try every test possible, and frankly, we couldn’t afford everything. He wanted to be thorough, but we needed to know what could wait and what couldn’t. Ask what is the most pressing, the most important, and understand why and how they diagnose and treat as they go.
- Find a vet and clinic you trust. Our vet called us at night, in the morning, and was available on our schedule. We asked questions and he always had a good answer. And Daphne wasn’t scared of him, like she was of all the previous vets she met. In addition to a good vet, we trusted the vet techs at the clinic. They got to know Daphne, and would give us updates whenever we stopped by. They hand fed her. They sat with her. They were the best surrogate owners we could ask for, and I thank them so much.
I hope Daphne’s coming home tonight, and I hope the rest of this process goes smoothly.
Give your dog or cat (or bird or iguana) an extra treat or belly rub for me today. You won’t want to miss it when you can’t.
Here’s to being such a trooper, Daphne!