July 29, 2017

White Dog agrees that Benson is our unsung Warrior who fights his fight against kidney disease with focus and tenacity. He came to us nearly two years ago in stage 2 of the disease, contracted as a result of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever picked up while living on the streets in the South. THAT tick borne disease almost killed him except he landed in the arms of an amazing rescue who nursed him back to health; but they could not entirely fix the damage done .

Benson has been the most cooperative partner in the fight as we adjusted his diet and limited his access to certain foods that the rest of the WDA loves. He never flinched at having a different menu; in fact his siblings STILL often get jealous over his "specialness."

Kidney disease is not a curable illness; but one can slow the progress if they are regimented. Benson stays stalwart that without complaint or attempts to "cheat." He accepted without question when the time came to start giving him subcutaneous fluids a couple of times a week to aid his kidney filtering. Now it is every night; he lies patiently next to me on the bed as the fluids drip in to ultra-hydrate and ease the task to the kidneys. He even forgives on those nights when he "leaks" and the needle must be repositioned to complete the process.

All of this is timely, in a manner, because Benson saw his vet today. She was the "Second" Vet we took on as a backup to Dr. Julia and she has been seeing some of the health and more straightforward illnesses of the WDA. Now she is leaving the practice she was at; and before she leaves in mid-August we wanted to do a final recap with her so things are in order.  Benson saw Dr. England and she drew blood to do a complete blood panel so that his records are current.

Later, in the afternoon she called with the results. I hate the descriptive "stages" assigned to chronic and catastrophic diseases because it seems in a way to imply closeness to death. Benson is now what is considered very close to "end stage" of kidney disease. Does that mean he is dying in hours? days? weeks? months?  Well, no one can tell for sure, each case is different and each patient progresses through the stages at different speeds (which are not even constant within each individual).

We are doing all what can be done to treat this disease and Benson is putting up a very strong fight. He drinks well. has a stunning appetite most days and all of his other functions are normal. At 11, he is starting to exhibit a little difficulty with cognition but I, too, have moments when I cannot for the life of me remember why I went into a room.

Ben and I had a long talk after my conversation with the vet. He says that while it is nice to have up-to-date- records for whomever looks at them next, HE will let me know when there is cause to worry. He is enjoying life in the White Dog Army to just give up, he says, plus we are all working hard to make sure his body keeps going.

I look over at White Dog who raises her eyebrows to once again confirm HER belief that our Benson of Calm Certitude IS the Confident White Dog...and unsung Warrior.


Brian said...

No doubt about it, happy helps the warrior fight on!

Sue Lunsford said...

Warrior Dog Benson, keep fighting with all of your might!