Five Hundred Twenty Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes.
How do you measure a year in a life?
The past few weeks have been chaotic around our house and the holidays had nothing to do with the craziness. Our story begins last Monday (December 10th) with a visit to our veterinarian for Miss Sophie our little girl cat. We noticed over the weekend that Sophie has suddenly lost a lot of weight. She was looking boney when she is normally a bit chunky. Our vet examined her and decided to do a panel of blood tests. Tuesday night our doctor called and let us know that her liver numbers were extremely high and gave us a laundry list of illnesses that could be causing such readings. Wednesday Sophie was back in the vet’s office for an ultrasound on her tummy to get a better idea of what was going on with her liver. That afternoon she was diagnosed with Cholangiohepatitis as well as bladder stones 🙁 . Cholangiohepatitis is the most common cause of liver disease in cats. It is basically the inflammation of the liver and bile ducts.
We decided to try and treat her at home with antibiotics but take her back into the doctors office for IV fluids. So Sophie spent all day Thursday and Friday hanging out with the staff at Banfield Pet Hospital (formally Annie’s Animal Clinic) while we had the privilege of pushing pills down her throat at home – now thats a good time 🙂 . Unfortunately on Friday Dr. Schneider took another blood sample and Sophie’s number were not going down. She recommended that Sophie be hospitalized. So from our regular vet office we took Sophie over to Colorado Veterinary Specialists & Animal ER to be admitted. Sophie ended up spending three days there on IV fluids, being force fed and given antibiotic injections plus having her blood tested every day 🙁 .
We were able to bring Sophie home this Monday night (December 17th for those of you keeping track). Her liver numbers were slightly down but she was not out of the woods yet. The rest of the week was more of the same except at home. Rounds of four different medications plus forced feeding. On Friday (December 21st) I took Sophie back to her regular doctor for another blood test to recheck her numbers. Unfortunately her numbers were back up. The doctor added another medicine to the plethora of other meds in addition to having “the talk ” with me. You know “the talk” – the one that they tell you to consider humanly euthanizing your pet. I hate “the talk”.
You might be asking yourselves – Why am I telling you all of this? Well in the middle of all of this we were supposed to go to New York on a family trip. Our plan was to leave Sunday and return on Thursday. Everything was all planned. Airline tickets bought, hotel reserved, sightseeing passed purchased and pet sitter booked. On Saturday we had to make the tough decision to cancel our trip and stay home with Sophie. To say that was an easy decision would be lying. I love my pets and truly would do anything for them but I really wanted to go to New York for Christmas. We will go another time of course but it won’t be at Christmas and this year I really needed this time away. After cancelling everything, I spent the day in an incredibly foul mood – Sorry Kerry and Harrison. I know that cancelling was the right decision and Sophie is our first concern.
In the process of all of this health drama someone made the comment about not putting out the money or effort to care for an ailing pet. That all of this trouble isn’t worth it for an animal. I know that this comes up all the time when you have pets but it never fails to take be back a bit. How do you decided when enough is enough. What is the monetary amount that your pets life is worth? Is the amount $100.00 or $1000.00 or $10,000.00? Each of us have to make that decision ourselves but I have never understood how anyone can see a loving pet as disposable. I understand that everyone has a financial limit that they can take on – like do you put a 14 year old dog on chemotherapy? Probably not. But when we make a financial decision based on convenience, that seems wrong. When a faithful friend starts to have incontinent issues do we just say “put them down” because we don’t want to clean up after them? Do I put my feline friend “to sleep” because her hepatitis is messing up my vacation plans? What value do we put on a life furry or not? There is no real answer to these questions because everyone views life differently. All of the doctor visits this past few weeks have just placed this on my heart as I pray to God to heal Sophie from this disease. I will get off of my soap box now and I apologize for my rant please take no offense.
We have another appointment with the doctor next week. At that time they will check her over and take more blood. As if this writing she seems to have turned a corner in a positive way. She still is on four medications but is finally eating on her own 🙂 . That is huge! We continue to pray and have hope for Sophie’s full recovery.