White Dog was standing at the door watching Steve working on the front steps. He was red from exertion and looking pretty frustrated. She woofed him inside and then came to sit in front of me.
"The front stairs are VERY icy, Momma. Dad has been trying to clear them but they are still not really safe. Both dad and I think you are going to be stuck at home today while we work on clearing the ice and drying the steps so that it won't refreeze."
"But Benson must go to the vet in just an hour," I explained. "I have to be able to go with him."
Benson came and sat next to me. Gently he laid his head against my leg. "Momma, it is not safe for you. Dad and I can go. I will be brave without you. Maybe dad can call you while we are there so you can take part. I don't want you to fall and get hurt." Steve took up his plea. "They will draw blood and take his blood pressure. We won't know anything until the blood work is completed and they always call us about that."
Ever since we so unexpectedly lost Sheena so many years ago when I thought she was just heading off for a day of exams, I am not comfortable sending any of the pups off without going along. It takes me twenty minutes to send him off with good luck and love when YoYoMa runs to Dr. Julia's for his anemia checks. "This is really no different," WD said. The stairs WERE treacherous looking; I sighed and agreed. Steve promised to call from the office and took a page of notes from me as reference for the vet. Then I held Benson wrapped in my arms for many minutes at fill him with my love and concern.
When he called it was to say they had not even taken him to a room but immediately to the Lab where they took Benson's blood pressure (which was perfect) and drew blood. It had taken fifteen minutes and they were on the way home. The vet promised to call with the blood test results.
The doctor called within the hour. I had not expected to hear the results until Monday but they had run the blood in house. She was bubbling with good news.
"You guys are doing a great job with him," she started. We have been doing subcutaneous fluids three times a week for the past month in an effort to increase the filtering power of Benson's compromised kidneys. The blood work was to see if our efforts were having an effect.
Benson's BUN number was down significantly, she said. It had been 71 and was now at 59. (The BUN is a measurement that represents the level of urea in the blood. Urea is considered one of the body's waste products. It is produced when the liver participates in protein metabolism, and it is usually eliminated from the body by the kidneys.) The lowering of the number meant his kidneys were doing a better job of elimination.
The BUN Creatinine ratio was also showing a downward trend, at a slower rate which is typical and is another good sign. This is the ratio that indicates protein loss through the kidneys (not a good thing in general).
"I suggest we continue the fluids," she said with a question in her voice, "providing Benson is accepting it well at home and you are comfortable with giving them." Benson is the world's most patient patient and once he gets past the initial wince of being stuck, he rests quietly under my hand while Steve does the medical monitoring. "Let's not mess with success," I told her. "I know we probably will need to continue this for the rest of his life...and I think he does, too."
I could hear the affirmation in her voice. "He is one VERY lucky boy. Let's check his blood levels again in three months." "Benson is an important part of maintaining his wellness; we are a great team."