Thanks all for your compliments and thank-you for sharing in Millie's life.
Just a quick update:
Millie went to the vet today. This is really respite care with a dog her age
in her condition, but I wanted to see if I could manage some of her symptoms
better, especially her worsening incontinence. She also has a soft mass near
the base of her tail which is about the size of an orange. Doesn't seem to
be bothering her at all and vet is not concerned. We drew a senior panel
bloodwork and to both our surprise, all came back normal-kidneys, liver,
thyroid, no evidence of diabetes or infection. She also says she has no
reflexes in her back feet, which now turn under all the time when she walks,
so she thinks she has DM as well as the hip dysplasia and arthritis, and
that may be contributing to the incontinence. She's concerned about her
weight and can't explain why she's so thin when she eats so well-she's only
46 pounds, and her bloodwork didn't give any clues. Her stools are normal.
In the end, we're trying meds to help with the incontinence, but if that
fails, thankfully I'm set up to just deal with it.
She also said she was surprised that her skin is in such great shape, with
no sores anywhere on her body in lieu of the incontinence and mobility
issues, and she asked me what I do with her to keep her from developing
sores on her body because most of her clients can't get past the point that
I'm at with Millie. I told her that I groom her once per week, support her
with top notch bedding, provide highest nutrition, and keep her moving every
single day, to keep the blood flowing for healthy tissue. She's not a dog
that lays in a corner all day. I'm sure genetics also plays a role as
despite how frail she looks, she's really pretty tough! I also explained the
system I've developed for keeping her/our environment clean of urine, as I'm
sure the average person's house isn't set up to handle an incontinent dog,
so I'm very fortunate that way.
She also felt that if she were in any pain at all, it's probably not much,
based mostly on her spirit. So many people feel that I'm not doing her
justice by keeping her going, so that was reassuring for me to hear. Her
words were, "she's in terrible physical shape but mentally she's doing
wonderful." When she called this evening she asked for the website address
to her photo journal because she wanted to see the life she is living at her
age. I like this vet, she seems pretty invested in her patients.
Anyway, that's the scoop. I think Millie's going to be around for a good
while yet. Here are a few more photos I came across today although they go
back a bit.
"Hey Matsi, I may be old but I'm not blind!"
"Here you go Millie, a backup bone in case she tries that again."
"Is Millie going trick or treatin' too Melissa?"
"Hey, Millie, there's nothing for dogs in there!"
"I'll love you forever, Millie, just don't touch my candy, ok?"
March 1, 2008
Well, it's been six weeks since we last posted. I've learned a lot about DM
since then and have gotten some really good advice along the way on how to
cope with some of the related issues. Sometimes though, we're just winging
(I've also learned that some can develop fatal bladder infections,
understandably, and in looking back, now I wonder if Chewbacca may have had
DM as I always thought his death was caused by a bladder infection, and he
did have a lot of the same symptoms as Millie.)
"After my last visit with the vet, a stool sample showed I had a simple case
"I'm STILL loving my breakfast in bed, but now I've actually GAINED 4 pounds
in a month, probably more by now!"
"They used to call me skinny Millie, now they call me pudgy Millie, can you
"Valentine's Day was a real head trip when my hairdresser sent me home with
a bright red chump magnet."
"Pickings are slim at this age, lots of men loaded with lots of potential,
"But I'm quite content to sit here on my bench with my little kitty
"And to have fun snowdays with my best friend, Melissa."
"We really know how to have a good time together."
"I can't get over how much I'm still enjoying life, despite my physical
"Speaking of challenges, guess what, just today I started WALKING again!"
"Melissa had no idea until I called her outside, and then..."
"She was BLOWN AWAY!"
"And couldn't wait to take me on my first walk down the driveway."
"Did you hear that world, I can walk again!"
"How can a dog with so many challenges be so happy in life?"
"Simple. I was given a chance."
"Seniors count. Find one and love one."
Millie's New Cart