May 30, 2009

My Girl

So yesterday was Lottie's annual vet appointment. I had been dreading it because I knew it wasn't going to be good news. She's been limping for a year. Last year we found out she had a slight tear in her knee. She had some pain medicine for a couple weeks and was doing ok. Now, in our new house the steps are bothering her so she is limping a lot. I got a lot of not so good news about my favorite puppy.
* She has a benign tumor on her eyelid. Needs to be removed because it is irritating her eye. Now I know why that eye is red. It could be surgically removed. Not sure of the cost.
* She has a lot of tartar on her teeth, about time for a teeth cleaning. It's been 3 years since her first one. $160ish
* Dr. D isn't sure if the ACL is torn or not because Lottie was resisting his checkup on her leg. She was nervous and wouldn't relax enough for him to be sure. He recommends sedation to find out if it is torn or not. $250
* Blookwork to see if she can handle pain medicine for a couple months to check her liver etc. This would be done once at the beginning and once halfway through to make sure her body was handling it ok. $200
*Treatment options if she has a torn ACL- rehab, nutritional route (anti inflammatory, joint vitamins etc), surgery $2500, 2 months of pain medicine paired with rehab or the nutrition program, or nothing. He said dogs have 4 legs and they really only need 3.
*Poor thing also had an ear infection. Her left ear was super dirty and had an infection and a yeast infection. Had to get drops for that and he recommends ear cleaning solution.

So, a lot to think about. Dr. D is so great because he is very understanding that she is just a dog. Not a human! He did not apply any pressure, said I know you have 3 kids and life is expensive. He was just laying all the options out there for me. I know we don't have to do all of these things. At this point I'm leaning towards pain med, nutritional program, and surgery to remove the benign tumor. Possibly the teeth cleaning. The ACL surgery would allow her to hike, camp, go on walks with us etc but we don't feel that it's an option for us. Too expensive. She'd have to go to another city to have it done due to her size. She's 7 1/2. She just seems like she's aging so quickly.

If you're still reading I feel kind of like the worst pet owner ever. My dog has been having trouble for a while and I haven't done anything about it. I felt really bad. I knew the news wasn't going to be good. Poor thing hasn't had a bath in I don't know how long. At least I got her nails trimmed while we were there because again, I don't know how long it's been since that happened either. I'm sorry Lottie! We love you!


Gayla said...

I know what you are going through. When we found Sadie after being gone for 15 months, she needed about $1500 worth of surgery. We just couldn't afford it. Sometimes there are hard decisions that have to be made.....

Anonymous said...

I know just how you feel. If I were in your shoes again, I don't think I would do the surgery. Lanie has $2000 surgery that didn't work. Even though she can't use her back legs now she is the happiest thing I have ever seen! Lottie knows you love her lots!! You are a good mama.

Patti Money said...

It sounds like you're experiencing a lot of guilt...and that's totally normal and expected. You're a pet owner who loves her dog but has her priorities in order...husband and human children need to come first. You are not the worst pet owner ever. I have no doubt that Lottie gets plenty of love between the five of you and knows that she's an important part of the family. I think your current decision is a good one, and should provide her with a good quality of life for a while. She most likely has at least 3-5 years left in her, maybe even more. It's sad that our furry children have shorter lifespans. They do grow on us, especially when they're our first "baby".