In my post about my day off last Friday, I said that I took Minnie to the vet for a checkup and the vet, in return, took all my money. I didn't give you much details. But now, let's back up a little (pun intended - just wait, you'll see). I didn't make an appointment for Minnie. I just showed up and asked if someone could check her out and luckily, they said they could. Once in our little room, the vet tech asked, "What seems to be the problem?" "Well," I said, "we're having bathroom issues. There seems to be a lot of licking going on, but not a lot of going, if you will." There were lots of nods and mmhmms and oks from the vet tech as she wrote everything down. "Anything else?" "Yes," I said. "She's also such a grandma." Yep, those were the technical terms I used. "A grandma?" asked the vet tech. "Yes, she is soooo slooooow and just taking her outside takes forever. It takes ten minutes just to get to the corner of our block!"
The vet tech finished with her notes and left to get the vet. When he arrived, we went over the same questions ("A grandma?") while he poked and prodded her. Eventually, he stood up and said he was going to get some supplies and would be right back. A minute later he was back with an assistant so he could check out Minnie's condition. I won't say exactly what he did, but I will say it involved a glove, some gooey stuff, and is what I imagine to be one of the worst job duties of a vet. The vet confirmed that there was a lot of stuff in there, and that Minnie was a little backed up (there's the pun!). He also mentioned that her back was still hurting her (an ongoing issue, she is a dachshund afterall) and that it probably hurt her to use the bathroom.
Long story short, Minnie spent the afternoon at the vet's office getting cleaned out. She also got a shot of pain medicine in her back and they did blood work to send off to the lab. When I picked her up, I was handed a bag full of pills to take home with us. That's why I said she was now an official pill head.
The weekend was great. We followed our pill schedule to a T, and one neighbor even commented that she seemed to be moving around much better. Yay!
Fast forward to yesterday (Tuesday) when I received a follow-up call from the vet.
Vet Tech: I've got good news and bad news. Me: Ok... Vet Tech: The good news is Minnie has problems with her thyroid. Me: Wait, that's good news? Vet Tech: Yes! It explains so much. And it's fixable. Me: Ok...then what's the bad news? Vet Tech: She also has problems with her liver enzymes.
So there's the short and sweet version of our exchange. At the encouragement of the vet tech, I got online and researched Minnie's condition, hypothyroidism. Here are some of the symptoms I found:
(I read a lot of different articles and don't remember where I read what, so I'm about to list some things without citing sources. English teachers, look away!)
- Sluggish-ness (check!)
- Frequent napping (check!)
- Lack of interest in play (check!)
- Tiring out on long walks (see Grandma comments above)
- Dry skin (yep)
- Weight gain (Um, have you seen
It's like whoever came up with these symptoms really knew Minnie and was talking about her! This weekend, I made the comment to Doc, "Remember when Minnie's tail used to have long hair on it? Now it just kinda looks like a rat's tail or something." And whaddaya know, one of the articles listed "rat's tail" as a symptom. I kid you not - they used the same description I had just used. Crazy! I also read that hypothyroidism is an inherited disease. I'm pretty sure my grandmother had thyroid issues, so maybe that's where Minnie gets it from...
Anyway, like the vet tech said in her phone call, this is good news because all of these symptoms can be "fixed" with a thyroid supplement. Minnie will take a pill twice a day probably for the rest of her life. Every article I read said we should be able to see a dramatic difference in about two weeks. She'll get her spunk back and could even lose weight! It will probably take more like four weeks for her dandruff to clear up.
About those liver enzymes...I didn't do as much research on this. All I know is that "normal" is a 70 and Minnie is at 296. Yowzer. At the vet yesterday, I picked up the thyroid supplement along with pills for her liver. She'll take this medicine once a day for a month. I'll take her back to the vet in two weeks so they can test to make sure her levels are getting better.
With the addition of the two new medicines, Minnie's section of the counter now looks like this:
As you can see, I had to label all the medicines with instructions. Some of them have to be on an empty stomach - one an hour before she eats, one 15 minutes before she eats. Some just get taken at night, others just in the morning, and some get taken twice a day. The pill in the tupperware on the left smells horrible, but Minnie thinks it's the tastiest thing ever. The orange one in the top right corner has to be given with a syringe. We call it her kool-aid and she licks it out of the syringe just as fast as she can. The pills we wrap up in cheese. This morning she figured out how to spit the pill out and eat just the cheese.
I started writing this post this morning and it was supposed to end here. But, as it is, the story goes on...
Today (Wednesday), I had to run home for lunch to meet the carpet cleaner guy who was finally returning our rug (spots are still there, boo). I opened the kennel and Minnie b a r e l y creeped out. Right outside her kennel, she had an accident. Times two. Then she moved under the kitchen table and just stood there with her head down. She wouldn't move at all, and wouldn't even look at me. I didn't scold her for her accidents because I could tell she didn't feel good. The carpet cleaner guy rang the doorbell and she didn't make a sound. Not a peep. And the whole time he was there unwrapping the rug and rolling it out, she never moved an inch. This is all very unlike her, so I called the vet and told them what was going on. The vet advised me to only give her the thyroid medicine tonight, nothing else, and that they'd call back in the morning to see how she was doing. I discovered later that she had also had an accident in her kennel. Poor thing. I cleaned up her messes and threw her bed in the washing machine. When I left to go back to work, I put her in our half bath with a bunch of towels to lay on. Who knows what I'll come home to. I plan on leaving early to check on her.
Phew! Long story. So that's where we are now. I'm assuming she's just way drugged up and hopefully it will wear off soon. I guess only time will tell. Poor, poor Minnie.