White Dog and the others understood a little break in yesterday's festivities as we took Nuka to see Dr. Julia. Another White Dog has been having yet another bout with pancreatitus and while we saw improvement we were still concerned.
Earlier in the week, via phone, Dr. Julia had prescribed a drug to stop our girl's miserable diarrhea, which was working, but her bottom was still VERY raw and swollen. She still was insistent on being helped to eat but had stepped up from the rice gruel to thinned baby food. Thank dog she continued to drink water, lapping it up with gusto. But her walking was wobbly and she was only able to manage short bursts before tumbling to the ground or corkscrewing her body into a heap.
At Dr. Julia's office, the good news was that her enzyme levels were nearly normal. But that did not account for her unwillingness to eat more than life sustaining amounts of the blandest of foods...and certainly she has no interest in either kibble or the homemade meals Steve prepares for the White Dog Army. The major concern is that since her major attack early in the year Nuka has lost half of her body weight. At 11.7lbs she is bones with the barest of skin.
"We have to get some weight on this girl," Dr. Julia said in exasperation. "But we must be careful not to trigger either her pancreatitus or her allergies in the process. Whatever she will eat give her, pet nutritionists forgive me, if it is cookies use them to get her to eat more baby food. Duck jerky is lowfat so it won't trigger an attack but just be sure not to overdo and cause her to get loose."
She held Nuka's face in her hands and looked into her eyes. "I know you miss Quinn but he would not want you to give up and stop eating. If you help us, we can get you feeling good again." Then she looked at us. "Love her. Push her as hard as you can but don't cross the line and make her fearful. We have to get her to gain some weight."
We also talked about Nuka's walking issues. Coral has been doing massage therapy and Another White Dogs back legs are strong. But our girl has been holding her head down, nose nearly touching the floor and her neck is tight to the point of no flexibility. Coral has been working on that, too, but progress is temporary at best. Dr. Julia called up Nuka's x-rays and looked closely. "There are two vertebrae that appear fused which will limit some mobility but the neck seems to be muscular. Let's put her on a muscle relaxant over the weekend. It probably won't help her walking but if you notice that her neck has more range of motion that will be a start for us. Call me on Monday and let me know." She gave my shoulder a squeeze. "Follow your instincts. She trusts you and knows you love her."
Back home, we carried Nuka back into the waiting paws of the WDA. They nuzzled their love and concern. "Hey," WD announced looking pointedly at her sister, "Shouldn't Nuka get a pumpkin cookie for her vet visit bravery?" Puff moved forward to claim a prize too, but was stopped by White Dog's look. She wagged at Nuka and followed Steve into the kitchen to bring one out for her sister.