Nichole had a great post today on the Lapdog blog about the importance of preventive care for our fur kids. I know most of you agree and have regular checkups and do all the other stuff, such as heartworm and flea and tick prevention. Unfortunately there are still pet owners who don't think it's necessary for their animals to see a vet on a regular basis if they aren't showing symptoms of illness. I can assure you that our regular health checks have caught some serious problems before they became unmanageable.We do complete blood work on each dog at least annually.
Fudge is now 8 and is starting to see the doctor every six months, too. It was at his most recent checkup that we discovered a growth on his side that was a form of skin cancer. It was removed and Fudge is 100% again.
Noah and Tess will each be getting dental cleanings and Tess has a benign growth that will be removed at the same time. Prior to each checkup, I make a list of questions and locations of any lumps and bumps so that I don't forget anything. Dr B knows to check my list now to be sure we've covered everything.
We started her on soloxin once a day. All my other dogs have showed improvement very quickly so I watched Bailey closely. After a couple days I noticed that she seemed a little too quiet. After a couple more days, my independent Bailey became very clingy. She wouldn't leave my side and kept nudging me to pet her. I noticed that her eyes looked dull, but I didn't really have anything but a gut feeling that there might be a problem.
First thing Tuesday morning I spoke with Dr B and told him I suspected a reaction to the soloxin. After describing the symptoms we discussed the possibility of an allergic reaction. He said allergic reactions to soloxin are rare and he had a different idea. He thinks that Bailey's body had adjusted to the low hormone levels she was producing and that we overwhelmed her with the full dose. Our plan is to leave her off the meds for a week, then introduce it to her more slowly, 1/4 tablet for three or four days, then 1/2 tablet for three or four days, then 3/4 and finally up to the full dose. If she shows symptoms again, we'll use a different therapy, but for now we're hoping she can adjust and continue with this drug which has worked so well for the others.
After five days off, Bailey is again running and jumping and carrying her bear around with her. She also has a sparkle back in her eyes.
I'm pleased with the working relationship I have with our vet. When I have a worry, he takes the time to listen and explain. He trusts my observations and is willing to work with me to try new therapies for my dogs. Because he sees each dog on a regular basis, he has a pretty good idea of their condition and temperament. Regular checkups can give us more quality time with our pets. Mark your calendars.