Leaf’s Close Call
As with many people reading this newsletter, when your beloved pet becomes ill, everything that took up time and space and seemed to be so very important is pushed to the background. All your focus goes to how to help your pet heal.
Last week was like that with Leaf. He was sick dog. He barely ate and when he did, he couldn’t keep the food down. Among other symptoms he showed signs of lethargy, depression, and physical pain. He would look at us with his wide-open, innocent, childlike black eyes as if to ask, “What is happening?”
After phone calls to the veterinarian, we thought he might have eaten something that didn’t agree with him. He likes to sample the rich cat food and this time, we thought he might have managed to do that without our knowledge. Something had caused his bodily functions to close down, and he was bleeding. We took him to the vet for tests.
Normally, Leaf is not a dog who likes visiting the vet. In the past, with his annual checkups, he let it be known he can’t tolerate being touched all over his body. Vet visits are always stressful with Leaf not cooperating, especially after the exam begins. Trying to get a blood sample has proven to be an impossibility. Normally Linda tries to keep eye contact with him, and Allen stands nearby so Leaf will be reassured.
This visit to the vet was different from EVERY other time. Clearly, Leaf knew he was in trouble. He had so much pain around his middle section. Without hesitation he walked into the lobby, sat quietly, and waited for his appointment without any attempts to head for the front door.
A vet tech escorted us to the examining room. With no prompting but with painful effort, Leaf jumped up on the examining table. He appeared to be exhausted after the exertion. He spread out on the table with all four legs going in different directions and waited for the vet.
The vet examined Leaf and took blood and other samples for tests. Leaf handled this level of invasion like a trooper. This time, he didn’t object to being probed even as we worried about his pain level, since we knew how much he was hurting.
Soon, the vet returned to the examining room with the test results. She told us that Leaf has pancreatitis. We’re still trying to understand what this means and have read the literature the vet provided about it. It’s clear that this is a serious, life-threatening condition. He could have died from this attack.
With a restricted diet, he’ll stay with us for what we hope will be a very long life. For now, we’re not leaving him alone for any extended periods of time and making sure he gets plenty of rest and liquids.
Those of you, who have been through this type of experience, know the feeling of dreading that you’ll get the worst news. Sometimes, you (and we) have heard the test results for our beloved pets and felt as if the world was collapsing. This time, for us, thank God, Leaf is still with us.
When have you taken a roller coaster ride of emotions with a sick pet?
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