Last Friday was one of the worst days of my life. It was the first day of the worst week of my life. On the advice of our regular vet, we took Roxy to see an internal medicine specialist, and after an ultrasound, she told us that Roxy has end-stage liver disease and, to quote the vet, “her time is short.” We hoped she’d be able to give us some idea of just how short after we got some test results (due the end of this week). We spent the rest of Friday totally devastated and looking for ways to baby her. We cancelled the kennel reservation for her for Christmas; she’s coming with us. We bought low protein dog food and dog treats. She’s taking more medication than ever, and because her paws are all screwed up (the pads are cracked and dry), we’re massaging her feet daily with this ultra-vaseline stuff called Bag Balm (so called because it was originally developed for farmers to use on cow udders). We spent all week wondering just how bad her liver disease is and how much longer Roxy might have. She didn’t seem to be in pain, and the medicine appeared to be helping her, at least a little. She doesn’t move away when I sit down next to her on the floor (like she used to). Is that because she’s more willing to let me stay close? Or because it’s too difficult for her to get up and move? I nearly broke down in Wegmans while picking out low protein dog treats. It was a horrible week.
This morning, we finally got the phone call from the vet with Roxy’s test results (part of them, anyway). Surprise! Turns out Roxy’s liver is functioning normally. That’s great news! I mean, it really is, REALLY, but did we have to go through all of that? It’s too soon to say she’s out of the woods entirely, but her days are no longer numbered (not any more than any other 9-year-old epileptic dog). Her paws are still in bad shape, her liver enzymes are still a little high, she’s still a little anemic, and we haven’t gotten the thyroid test results back yet. BUT. Her liver has not failed. It may have some issues, but it’s functioning NORMALLY. She doesn’t need to be on a low-protein diet. SHE’S OKAY. But that vet needs to be more careful about what she tells people.
(I’m still going to baby Roxy. She needs babying.)