Monday, December 6, 2010

Health Care Crisis

These past several weeks we have been having a sort of health care crisis
here at the farm. 
You know it's a crisis when the dogs take more medications than the humans!

But, such is life with aging canines.

With the adoption of our 15 year old Hickory this summer,
we inherited obesity, bad teeth, and a myriad of eye problems.
Then a couple of weeks ago Hickory began to decline rapidly.
Following a tick bite, she became very ill.
So, we put her on doxycycline to treat Lymes disease,
in case that was what had made her ill.
Within a few days she was back to her chipper old self.
Yesterday, I noticed a bubble on the cornea of her eye.
She already has cataracts, and most likely glaucoma.
I put ointment in her eyes several times each day.
I imagine she will eventually be blind.
For now, though, she is happy
and accompanies me to the barn each day,
riding shotgun in the gator.

Sadie is our 7 year old Bernese Mountain Dog.
She had a cancerous tumor a couple of years ago,
so we monitor her closely.
This summer it was apparent that she was gaining weight.
A blood test showed that she was hypo thyroid.
So, twice a day she received her thyroid medicine.
Recently, she has had urinary frequency,
so now we are giving her antibiotics twice daily for a
urinary tract infection.
She also takes arthritis medication each day,
without which she walks with a limp.

Maddie, our 5 year old Newfoundland began wetting her doggie bed
at night recently.
Doctor Becky (Hubbs' sister and our vet) told us that in large
breeds such as her, senile incontinence is a common problem.
Now Maddie takes a medication twice a day
to improve her bladder tone.
It seems to be working.

"Vit-e-yum time" is medication time.
The dogs love this time because they take their pills coated
in peanut butter.
Yummy, yummy treats!

Those of us who love having dogs in our lives eventually realize that
those beloved friends are with us such a precious short time.
We watch them grow from puppies, through adolescence, into adulthood
and eventually into old age....much more quickly than we would like.

It is a difficult thing to watch your best friends begin to fail.
We do what we can to keep them happy and comfortable,
knowing that in the end we will have to say goodbye to them.

We do whatever we can to love and care for these precious souls
who give so much in return, and pray that we can keep them
in our lives for as long as possible.

I must admit, if it weren't for the love and care of Dr. Becky,
we would not be able to have all of the critters that make our
lives so much richer!


  1. Oh, boy, I can relate to this post! Our little McDuff got sick this summer with lyme disease. He's doing good now, though, and goes for his 6 mo blood test in Jan, we're hoping everything is good. We also lived through cancer with our previous dog (he was 5) he had lymphoma, and it was a very difficult time ... I can still hardly stand the smell of peanut butter ...

    My philosopy is spoil and love them while you have them! They are so precious to us!

    I love reading about all your animals ... thank you for sharing them with us!


  2. What a touching post this morning! I cried as I read it, as we had to have my daughter's lab, Gus, put down 3 weeks ago, so I definitely relate. Our dogs' huge hearts leave just as huge a hole in our hearts when we say goodbye. To have pets in your life is one of God's greatest blessings! Love and hugs to everyone at Bee Haven Acres!

  3. It is so sad to see your loving friends having a tough time. It is even harder realizing that they will leave in the near future. I struggle with this too, although Dash is only 5. Their time with us is so short. But we love and enjoy them enough to make their lives as comfortable as possible. And I can't but think, they are happier for it! They love us so!

  4. My husband's co-worker has a dog with epilepsy. It runs around $300 per month just for the medications. I think that her dog has other medical problems as well.

  5. I just love animals. I can't imagine how boring life would be with out them. They are such joyous creatures. They say that people who love animals are more loving and caring people in general.

  6. I always told my kids....don't marry someone who doesn't like dogs....I just don't trust people who don't love dogs!

  7. Can't imagine having to take all of that doggie illness to a vet..$$$..That's the main reason that I have no more animals even though I would truly love to have another kitty...It's very sad to watch them age...I've been very lucky to have always had cats and dogs that just died of old age suddenly...and life goes on :)

  8. I'd like to send out a big hug and ear scratch to Hickory. I am not a little dog person. I like 'em big and drooly, but that scruffy little pup has really warmed my heart, and yours as well from the loving posts you share. I wish all aging dogs could have such wonderful homes to enjoy.

  9. I have fallen in love all over again with this mornings post! You are so right- don't trust a single person who doesn't love dogs! Give then all a hug for me!!!

  10. A loving vet is invaluable! Your dogs are lucky to have you, as you are lucky to have them.

  11. Oh Bev,
    I hear ya....
    our little old Ms Beasley is in declining health. At 18 years old she has been my 'little pest' and I would not have it any other way.
    Our furbabies have all been rescues/strays('cept Peekie)and have lived pampered lives with us....from feathered to fur (& 1 Iguana)we have loved them all!
    Hugz to your furbabies from us & hugs you you all for being such loving, caring pet parents.


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