White Dog and the others did not clamor to go along, even though Nilla had been brushed, was leashed and clearly was joining us on an adventure this morning. Our Harmonious Girl did not seem to mind one bit that she was going to the VET, a destination that none of the White Dogs ever volunteers to visit.
It was time for her Wellness Exam. Our 15 year old Nilla Bean is sprightly and without issue. Her health as been so good that this is the first time she was to meet our wonderful Dr. Julia since we became foster failures in our city's Senior Hospice Program.
Nilla is mellow and undemanding. She wants to be in the thick of things and is my office manager as well as Steve's best kitchen help. When Steve serves dinner, it is my Bean Marie leaping like Air Jordan as he carries her bowl to where she eats; then she sits patiently and waits, We were not worried when we left the house.
As we ran through her habits with Dr. Julia we mentioned that our girl's back legs shake when she is stressed or sometimes when she stands. The shaking doesn't make her sit or cause her back end to collapse; nor does she appear to be in pain. We also mentioned that she sleeps so soundly sometimes we think she has a bit of hearing loss.
"This is a very healthy old girl," our vet told us. "I would not have guessed her to be 15. What you are describing seem like old age issues but lets do a complete blood panel and a couple of xrays of her back legs and spine, just so we have them and to make sure."
It is our policy to always do a full blood work up so we have a baseline and making sure there are no hidden issues with her back seemed like a good idea so Nilla went back to the lab.
The Xrays showed what we suspected just due to her age, that she had degeneration of cartilage in her hip and further up on her spine. She deals with it well; has no problems rising from the ground or in lying down. She doesn't move with pain, a limp, or hunched. She LOVES walks. "I suppose you are going to tell her she must quit jumping," I teased our vet. "Yep," and she turned, "Nilla you should not be leaping you are an old girl." "Think that will do the trick?" "Probably not."
We discussed that our girl was already on a joint supplement, probiotic, glucosamine, and a diet rich in fish oils. "Just keep doing what you are...it is working. If you see she is starting to experience arthritis pain, lets start her on a regimen of gabapentin but for now you have a healthy"...Nilla flashed her a heart melting smile..."and happy girl in the army. I don't need to see her until she is due for her shots."
"Let's go home," Nilla pulled toward the door. "I can't wait to tell my brothers and sisters."