We were still reeling from the shock of losing Lou and Tristan within such a short time, when we found ourselves back in the veterinarian’s office…. not just once, but every week. First it was Hubble, our senior flame-point Siamese, who lost his appetite and was diagnosed with pancreatitis. After several rounds of medication, we’re happy to report that the Mayor of the Cat House has bounced back and is doing well. Our Treeing Walker Coonhound Dolly, developed a bad rash, which turned out to just be bug bites that cleared up on their own — thank goodness. Then it was Katarina, our seal-point Siamese, who began throwing up and feeling nauseous. Happily, a course of antibiotics had an immediate effect and she was also back to her normal self within a few days.
However, this was not the end of our frantic calls and mad dashes to the vet’s office. Following is an update on several members of our four-legged family that we wanted to share with you. For all the joy our animals bring, one of the most difficult aspects of animal care is dealing with the reality of the inevitable transition when they cross the rainbow bridge. We are committed to providing quality medical care and all the love and support we can give for our beloved friends. We choose to focus on the blessing of their time with us. As always, your kind thoughts are much appreciated!
We have some sad news to share: Marta has been given only a short time to live due to heart/liver failure. Several of us had noticed that she seemed a little off, but not enough to register alarm. And then her belly began to look bloated, so we headed straight to the Sheep Meadow Animal Hospital. Dr. Patterson advised us that this was probably serious. The test results showed no sign of cancer or infection. We are so sad to report that the fluid retention is the result of Marta’s heart or liver beginning to fail. Marta is on medication to help manage the fluid retention and we are all showering her with love and affection. Marta is still eating and drinking – directly from the tap, of course! She soaks up all the pets and cuddles with lots of purring. We want her to feel as comfortable as possible and to know that she’s loved and supported as she approaches her transition.
Jeb is our 15-year old foster. He has the wonderful personality of a lab, always jovial and up for a game of fetch in the yard. A few weeks ago, he stopped eating, so we rushed him to Sheep Meadow Animal Hospital, where blood tests revealed a high white blood cell count and elevated liver enzymes. Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses were negative. Jeb was proscribed two antibiotics and showed marked improvement within days, back to eating and drinking and chasing the ball.
A few weeks later, he developed a slight limp in his front left leg, which got worse over time instead of better. We were back at the vet for his follow up and to investigate the limp… and received the shocking news that our sweet Jeb has bone cancer. He has developed a tumor in his left shoulder, which is causing the limp. There are not many options for treating bone cancer and at his advanced age, we do not want to put him through a leg amputation. Jeb is on daily medication to mange the pain and he maintains a truly impressive attitude. Despite eating and drinking well and receiving a regular supply of treats, Jeb is no longer able to maintain a healthy weight. It has been heartbreaking to see him grow thinner and thinner. However, nothing will ever diminish his joy in playing fetch, so now we throw the ball just a few feet away so that he can revel in the fun of his favorite pastime without having to run far. We count ourselves lucky to have this time with our sweet boy as he nears his transition.
Barn Manager Denise Elmendorf had noticed that April was not shedding out normally when the season changed to warmer temperatures. April has also been experiencing a lot of itchiness. The Equine Clinic at Oakencroft ruled out lice or mites, but the allergy tests revealed a lot of elements to which April is sensitive, including wheat and oats. Further tests also confirmed that April has Cushings Disease, a disorder of the pituitary gland that is common in senior horses. We are working to modify her diet to low-starch and eliminate any allergens. We’ve started her on Prascend and Chasteberry, which helps support her system. While we are sad about the diagnosis, we’re pleased to share that April is doing well, happily grazing with her herd and enjoying back rubs from friends.
Theo is our senior kitty and reigning champion of #tongueouttuesday on Instagram. Sweet, goofy, and cuddly, Theo wins the hearts of all who meet him. Theo always follows founder Susan Bandy around while she’s completing morning chores, so we knew something was amiss the day he did not get up from his bed to greet Susan or help her with chores. We were at the vet’s office that afternoon, where Theo was treated with antibiotics. The blood test revealed a thyroid issue, which is why he had been feeling so lethargic. He’s is now on a daily thyroid medication and we will continue to monitor his health closely. We’re happy to report that Theo is back in good form, purring and drooling while he makes sure Susan does a good job cleaning those litter boxes and topping off the food bowls!