Friday, December 10, 2010

On The Road/Snowy News

At 6:30 am, I’m headed out for—you’ll never guess—Greenville!  (How many times have I typed that in the last six months!)

If all goes well, this should be my second to last appointment with the plastic surgeon before I start being seen once every six months.  Happy, happy day.

We’re going to be having special house guests this weekend; Sarah and I, especially, are very excited! I’ll fill you in more on that tomorrow.

And lastly, I called Snowy’s vet yesterday, just to keep her informed as to how Snowy is doing and to ask about a few things I didn’t quite understand.  In short, here is what I learned.

Any surgery to remove kidney stones cannot be done locally; the nearest hospitals that can handle that kind of surgery are 2-3 hours away. She said the cost for the last dog they sent for kidney stone removal was ten thousand dollars.  (I almost dropped the phone.)

She had put him on a canned dog food to supplement the dry food he’s already on. (Dry food is especially for urinary issues and was also prescribed by her.) Since he’s already been on a special diet and the stones have returned, I asked her what was the purpose of trying another food-related “treatment.”

She said the canned dog food is designed to make him drink a lot and pee a lot which will, in turn, make his urine less concentrated.  While the food can not actually dissolve the stones, she said all of that fluid going in and out of the kidneys will smooth off the rough edges of the stones, like a river over river rocks. That might accomplish two things:  1) It will keep the jagged edges from rubbing against his kidney wall and causing bleeding  2) Some small pieces may even slough off and be passed through his urine. 

When we take him back in for his 8-hour, follow up appointment next Friday, she won’t be doing another x-ray right then. She’s going to observe him for the day, check his urine (to see if there’s still blood in in) and check his blood work to see if he’s still anemic from blood loss.  Then she’ll send those results to the Veterinary College and see if anyone there has any clues as to whether or not there might be any non-surgical ways to deal with Snowy’s problem. 

She’ll keep him on the high drinking/high peeing diet (wasn’t that such a highly technical description?) for a couple weeks after that and then take more x-rays to see where we stand.

Obviously, we are still at a serious juncture.  And may I just say that nothing can make me go from my “happy place” to tears running down my face any faster than the thought of putting Snowy to sleep.

The vet is not white washing this and saying we’re going to have a wonderful outcome. She just said she’s going to try everything she possibly can and get as many different vets’ advice on it as she can before we have to  make any final decisions.

So that’s the Snowy News for today.  I tell ya, I think Snowy needs his own blog; he’s far more popular than any of the rest of the Smiths!  (smile)

Okay, a road trip awaiteth.  As well as a not-so-pleasant doctor visit.

But first, here’s a picture of who-know-who to keep us all smiling.

IMG_0204

 

16 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Julie Holder said...

Becky - I know what you are going through right now with Snowy. We are traveling down the same road right now with Toasty. He is 17 years old and has a whole list of old age issues. It has gotten to the place this week that he is peeing on the floor twice a day. That is getting really really old. We thought Tuesday night was going to be the end for him but Wed morning he was back to his old self. I hate the thought of putting him to sleep but we cannot continue with him messing up the floor all the time not to mention that he can barely get up and walk anymore. Whew - it is tough. I will pray for you all and ask that you pray for us as we all go through our doggie issues. Have a wonderful Christmas.

Lizz said...

Such a sad time for your family! I feel so sad for all of you and especially for Sarah & Snowy! Sarah probably doesn't even remember not having him. I pray for peace in whatever decisions have to be made and that all of you find peace in the love that little guy brought to your family! Love & Hugs to all of you!

Margie said...

I"m keeping Snowy in my prayers as well as all of you.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Becky, you guys are in my prayers. Dogs are SUCH a gift from God. The only drawback is that they don't live for 70 years or so. We lost our Moondog just before Christmas 4 years ago and it was one of the hardest things I've ever gone thru. I'm praying that God will heal your Snowy and that he'll be around - healthy and spunky - for many more years. God bless. jenny

Tess said...

Would you consider putting up a Paypal button? I would love to help you guys out if it came to that, and I'm sure a lot of your readers would too.

Redeemed1 said...

Aw poor little Snowy. Our dog is so much a part of our family, I would hate to have to even think about some of those decisions. So tough.

Guerrina said...

Oh, I'm so sad to hear about Snowy's return illness. It is SO difficult to make the decision that might be before you. I've been there myself. Will pray!

Anonymous said...

Hi Becky,

I was in Grade 8 when we had to put our 17 year-old cat down. One day she just couldn't breath. It hurt all of us for a long time. I now have 3 more cats. 2 that are 10 years old and 1 5 years. Gracie I bottle feed from 3 week on. I still remember the feeling of having to put our first one down.

Gracie has issues with dydration. One way we have increased her water intake is through the Everflow/Freshflow water systems. They are the things that look like a water fountain, where the water is always flowing and it has a filter on it. Cats and Dogs like fresh water so water in a bowl is not very nice. It might help Snowy drink more water...

Angela

Anonymous said...

I hope for Snowy to feeel much better soon. . My best wishes.
Trine

Lisa L said...

Love you Snowy...I hope your new regimen works.. xx from Hawaii

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment about a paypal button. We could have a "Snowython" -- he is such a joy and I believe that he has many more years as an angel here on earth. Will keep praying for all of you!

MN Mom said...

It occurred to me that humans can have kidney stones blasted to bits with sonic waves (I think), so why can't dogs. Sure would be easier and cheaper, and less painful. I am praying that you are able to keep Snowy with you a lot longer.

Anonymous said...

Praying for you all and Snowy. It is so hard when our beloved pets get older and start having health issues.
Diane in Apex

Anonymous said...

I CONTINUE TO PRAY THAT THE LEMON JUICE WILL WORK...THANK YOU JESUS...

Frapper said...

I do hope and pray that the vet's suggestions will help Snowy to feel better. It's always such a struggle trying to do what is best for our pets, and it doesn't help that it is expensive. Are there any vets that might charge less, or a veterinary college that might be able to help with providing surgery for a lower fee, or advise you on whether dogs can have kidney stones lasered--maybe that would cost less. I'm certainly in favor of the pay-pal button. My prayers are with you, as we, too, have a dog, and know how much they mean to their families.

Anonymous said...

glad Victoria and Sarah had fun celebrating 11 years of friendship! such precious pictures.

guess I already knew your decision about Snowy, but sure am praying you won't have to make it....

mrs pam