October 10, 2014
Earlier in the week when we set up the appointment I talked to Cindy, Dr. Julia's Number One, about Taiko's issues. Last time he was there, Taiko was so uncooperative that the techs needed to use the loop on the bucking and snarling boy before they could even get a muzzle on him. It freaked out the staff and left Taiko a quivering mess for hours after the visit. I did not want a repeat.
We decided that we would give Taiko a tranquilizer about an hour before his appointment, which would give it time to "kick in" before we arrived. So after lunch Tai got an extra treat which contained the pill. By the time we got to Dr. Julia's at 2:30, our boy was so relaxed that I carried him in on my lap. The exam room was already prepped and waiting for us to go right in. I held him and he leaned against me as they took notes and updated information.
It was decided that since we wanted a full blood panel done (we had not done one last year when Taiko first came to us since he had been vetted before flying), as well as x-rays (to determine why our boy has been experiencing weakness in his rear leg) that Dr. Julia would conduct the examination in the back as well and then we would consult and look at results. Lisa, a familiar tech friend, lifted Tai out of my arms. He immediately tried to bite her shoulder, fortunately the tranquilizer greatly reduced his speed and ability to protest. She shifted him to a different position and quickly went to the back where he was muzzled and lay quietly.
As quickly as possible, our boy was returned to us and laid down on the cool tile floor where he promptly fell asleep. Dr. Julia came in and fired up the computer. We looked at x-rays. Taikos hips and back legs and knees are fine. His elbows, however, are a different story. The right front has deteriorated slightly; the left was a worn and misshapen arthritic mess. "No wonder he is so crabby," Dr. Julia said, "I bet this hurts. And his back leg shakes because of the extra stress put on it." For now we agreed that our boy is going on a carprofen regime to manage pain. Based on that effectiveness will will in a couple of weeks try to wean him off some of the dosage or better yet, find a better option.
Just as we finished looking at the images, Lisa brought in the blood results. Thyroid was fine and so was everything else...except,..Dr. Julia looked puzzled...Taiko is slightly anemic. This is new since July when his dental cleaning was done. "What are the side effects of turmeric?" she asked out loud, knowing that all of the WDA gets the spice added to their meals. She ran to her office to look it up and to consult with Cindy, the holistics expert.
"For now let's take him off of both the turmeric and glucosamine," she said when she returned. Taiko was now snoring gently on the floor. "Both CAN sometimes cause anemia, so lets take him off and bring him back in two weeks for a retest."
"Seems counterproductive in a way, doesn't it," I questioned, "to take a dog with arthritis off of the two antiinflamatories?" "I just want to make sure that these aren't the cause, it is probably some fluke but if things are OK in two weeks we'll add glucosamine back and then if all continues stable, the turmeric. Oh, I am also going to put him on a multivitamin."
Steve carried the sleeping boy out to the car and when we got home, placed him on his bed. Our boy was not interested in dinner or his nightly walk. He slept and the WDA kept careful watch to make sure all was well. I whispered to my Tender-Hearted One, "I hope you can feel all the love surrounding you. YoYoMa is lying next to you and watching you breathe...and the others gently touched your furs every time they pass. You are safe now. Rest."