It has been a long time since I updated here and I have started this post several times. Sadly, it only had saved the first three words each time I made a start and so I think put it off longer. I am hoping to get through it. Oh, and I do mostly now write about the animals on their own FaceBook Page The Beasts of Dùn Sgàthan
It's been....rough lately. Last time I updated was about two years ago now, when we got Gráinne and before that when we lost Òrlaith and then before her Cù.Pretty much original posts here are all about the dogs. But sometimes it's just hard to write.
This past winter Sachairi at 15 years old began slowing down. He actually was slowing slightly for awhile, but the changes came more rapidly and he stopped eating. As he always was finicky and would sometimes skip meals, it might have taken us a few days longer to realize than it would the hounds. He was diagnosed with liver disease. We tried to see if we could get it controlled through supplements and medications, we worked to find foods he could eat, but he was dwindling. There was really no chance of surgery or any other solution and putting him through that seemed too much to put him through for what would be nothing. Although you always second guess no matter how much the vets say that and the dog is saying he's ready. He left his body on February 6.
He came into our lives when he was 10, a "private adoption" from someone who loved him dearly and who he loved but who was moving to an island country which did not allow dogs. Perhaps that as another part of him seeming to want to let go of this body. He now can visit her too and has. In those five years he was with us, though, he impacted us greatly. Our mourning was hard, the dogs was too...and the cat, his cat who we also adopted from his old home.
And while we still were trying to come through this loss, we took our three remaining pawed beasts to the vet for their annuals. Because Gleann is now 12 and Gráinne had been presenting some odd symptoms earlier (although she wasn't at the time) we opted to take their suggestion to do a "wellness check" blood work for the two pups. And.....
Gráinne has chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), almost definitely. There are tests we could do to be sure, it might instead be a chronic lymphoma, but it's probably leukemia. But it's not as scary as it seemed at first. Yes, she could go into crisis, she won't live to a ripe old age, but her levels are low and while our regular vet insisted on putting her on Prednisone because she had PREVIOUSLY exibited symptoms (and the vet insists still was....she was not), the oncologist she then sent us to has removed her from it and we'll be checking her levels monthly. She was pretty sick while on the Pred, is doiing fine now. *knockwoodX3* She could have years, she might be helped by chemo if it does go acute, this is, as far as these things go, a pretty good prognosis.
Gleann, however....he's hypercalcemic, reason so far unknown. It may or may not be cancer but even if there is no malignancy this itself can cause kidney failure. He has no obvious symptoms, but like Sach he has never been a big eater, often fussy and skipping meals but now every time he does I end up a bit panicked. The past week he's lethargic....it's also hot and humid....again, sometimes he's just like this. But he has since developed a neurological issue with his face. His eyes, long bad due to an autoimmune thing, no longer close completely when blinking and he has lost muscle on the top of his head. No face droop yet, but it may be early. Always ate oddly, but this might start affecting it. The oncologist our vet sent us to (although she should have sent us to an intern but....) picked up the eyes before muscle atrophy was apparent and noted it might be connected as "things usually are" but how is a puzzle. We have testing started for the hypercalcemia, we have more testing we need to schedule and we need to discuss the combo more with someone at the referral clinic.
Money is a huge problem, of course. But with him not currently in crisis, we really want to see if we can nip this in the bud and reverse it. We also hope to get the further testing to be sure about Gráinne. So we have set up a fundraiser for them and will be applying for a grant we hope comes in time for Gleann. So, you know, if you want to help us out whether with a donation or a share...or both, it would be greatly appreciated.
I am really hoping that my next post will be about good news about the pups. Right now I'm going to do some snuggling until it cools down enough to get out for a romp. Gleann does perk up for woods time.
- What's upon me: sad
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