Living in an Old People’s Home

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I feel like I'm living in an old people's home.


Beethoven is kid #3. He chose us rather than us choosing him.

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Four of our kids are on medication twice a day. We wrap the medication up in small strips of cheese so that we don't need to shove the medication down their throats and nobody gets defensive although the healthy guys do tend to look on despondently; "where's my treat?".

Him Him has mild arthritis in one of her front knees and gets anti-inflammatories twice a day.

Charlie has a skin ailment on his front left leg which he incessantly licks hence a secondary bacterial infection. He's now on antibiotics and something else (a blue tablet) twice a day to fight the infection from inside, in addition to cleaning with hibiscrub and the application of a cream to fight the infection from the outside.

Beethoven has a slight skin infection so he's on antibiotics twice a day and getting a medicated bath twice a week. In addition, he sprained a joint during a scuffle on the weekend and is on anti-inflammatories for a few days to keep the swelling and pain down.

And then there's Batty. A few weeks ago, we thought he had hip-dysplasia but the xrays didn't show it. We were referred to another vet on Peace Avenue who suspected Cauda Equina. The subsequent MRI seemed to show narrowing of the spinal tunnel but the analysis of the MRI by an overseas professional, and a further hands-on investigation of Batty's joints and muscles seemed to contradict this. We are once again left with the suspicion that he has Tying Up. To put our suspicions to rest once and for all, Batty was put under full anesthesia and samples were taken from several of his hind section muscles to be sent to a lab in Canada. He is now recovering from that ordeal, and getting pain relief tablets, anti-inflammatories and something else.


Batty is kid #4, rescued as a pup the size of my palm from the R.S.P.C.A. (now the S.P.C.A.) who were going to put him to sleep because he was so young that he would need to be hand-fed. Lucky for both of us, I just happened to be there when the Caucasian lady who had discovered him brought him in.

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I insist on being with our kids whenever they need to go under full anesthesia. I want them to be as comfortable as possible. 45 minutes before they go under, they are given a relaxant. Yesterday after getting the relaxant injection, Batty and I walked around the block at a very casual pace. Ten minutes later, we were in the car and Batty was totally out of it. I carried him into the vet's surgical area at 2.30pm and watched as they gave him the full anesthesia injection.

I hate watching them go under because it so closely resembles dying. It reminds me that one day, they will leave us and that's not something I want to dwell on. Nonetheless, I insist on being there whenever they need to be sedated.

Upon returning home yesterday, Batty cried as I tried to lift him out of the car. He was in too much pain. I had to sit down beside him for a few seconds and then coach him out of the car. Once on the ground, he was able to walk for a little but the pain of the biopsy cuts and the drowsy effect of the anesthesia was too much for him. As he stood there unable to move, I bent down, picked him up in my arms and brought him home. He's feeling better now but is still in pain. It will probably be a few days before the pain subsides. If we can find the source of his problem, the pain and cost will be worth it.

Batty's muscle biopsy reports should be available in two weeks. Hopefully, they'll find something, and hopefully, it'll be something treatable. Today, the Typing Up problem evident in horses and dogs is not well understood and no one knows how to treat it, only how to lessen it's affects on the animal.

Batty loves to run. I hope his problem is treatable.