Why Dogs and Food?

Why Dogs and Food?

It's simple. Write about what you love. And what is better than dogs and food? If you are anything like me - and millions of other people - you will relate to and understand the unwavering love I have for my dogs and my passion for cooking - and eating - great food. I hope you will enjoy reading about my day to day experiences with good food and a couple of very special dogs.

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Thursday, August 02, 2012

Henry Goes to the Doctor

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France

Taking one's dog to the Vet for his routine shots and check-up is one thing.  Taking one's dog to the Vet when he needs an x-ray to determine how far gone his hips are and at the same time finding out that his liver has shrunk and is probably due to a side effect from the pain killers you have been giving him over the past couple of years, is another.

Henry has always had funky hips.  We called him "Lead Butt" when he was just a couple of months old because his back end seemed to weigh a ton.  We'd lift him up on the couch (a habit that has forever kept  him on the furniture) and he always seemed to take a little extra effort when lifting his butt off the ground.  Later, we would find out his hip joints were out of whack and he had arthritis on his backbone.  He also had low thyroid function and was gaining weight which was putting additional pressure on his joints.  So, we put him on a diet, fed him thyroid pills and helped him get more exercise. He lost 27 pounds (and still hs a little more to lose.)  He had a tendency to limp after a good, long walk or after a good, long nap.  Still, he was a happy boy. I started feeding him Glucosamine tablets and Glucosamine treats and eventually, started him on Rimadyl - a doggie painkiller.  He needed it every day. He started to have more energy and seemed to be pain-free.  He was doing great.

Unfortunately, after a check-up and a blood test, the doc noticed his liver enzymes were on the rise and the asked me to cut back on the pain pills.  So I did.  Finally, I stopped them altogether.  But Henry started limping again and had such difficulty getting up from the floor that we knew we had to start a new treatment.  He is now going into the doctor twice a week for Adequan shots to help reduce the inflammation in his joints and reduce the pain.  After 4 weeks of this twice-a-week treatment, we will learn to do it ourselves and administer the shot once a month.  There are also other treatment options - laser therapy and hip-replacement surgery.  We are having consultations about all the available non-liver-hurting options to determine which one will be the most beneficial to Henry.  Even if we have to eat Top Ramen for awhile in order to afford the operation (if that is determined to be the best option), then so be it.  It shall be done.
He is, after all, our baby boy.

Henry - always smiling.
We want to keep it that way.

We are waiting to hear the results of Henry's ultrasound to understand the condition of his liver.  It's killing me.

Post Note:  Henry had a mass on his liver and  biopsy which turned out to be benign, thank goodness.  We are giving him shots of Adequan and laser therapy treatments for his joint pain so hopefully he is on his way to feeling better.  He is being such a trooper throughout this.  We love our darling boy.


Unknown said...

Oh Liz! Henry is so adorable! Our pets are just like our children, aren’t they? When they hurt we hurt. I will keep positive thoughts for all of you!

Liz Berry said...

Thanks, Colette. We have not yet heard back on his biopsy results and it is a difficult wait. Yes, they are like our children and our heart breaks when they are in pain. He gets a lot of love as he deserves.

kkshaw47 said...

Hi Darling:

We will pray that your dear Henry will be ok. Oh it is so hard. They have the best vets in CA too!

We will pray that he will feel better soon.

Krissy and Finney xo

Liz Berry said...

Thanks Krissy and Finney! Henry has NO cancer so that is a blessing and we are elated. Now we will focus on managing his the pain in his hips. He's such a trooper with all his meds and treatments. What a darling boy he is.

Susan Campisi said...

Oh, Liz. That is heart-wrenching. So sorry you've been going through this and so sorry I'm late. Poor Henry. He's lucky he has such a great mom.

Liz Berry said...

Yeah, it is. Henry is my love. And it has been killing me to see him in pain and not able to get up. I bought a harness to help lift him up and Brian built a ramp off the back deck so he doesn't have to use the stairs. Gotta keep trying everything we can!

Thanks for you sweet words.

Carolynn Anctil said...

Animals are amazing patients. Poor Henry. I'm sorry to hear he's having to endure this pain & suffering and glad that you're providing him with all the help you can. Such a lucky dog to be with such a loving family.