Visiting Dr. Giggleman’s on-campus clinic is always an adventure. Yesterday, I picked an open spot at the end of the room so that B’Elanna wouldn’t have to meet-and-greet a lot of dogs. She prefers to acknowledge another dog’s presence and then move on. Most dogs want to give her the Big Sniff and some dogs want to *gasp!* play with her. She is a fan of neither, so I try to help her out as best I can. We were, however, adjacent to a Doberman who would’ve liked to have had Katie for a snack. Given that, he was actually very well-behaved and only barked at her once. I’m sure that scared the living daylights out of her, but if she has kitty PTSD, she didn’t show it.
I plied her with wet food morsels and B’Elanna with treats while we waited.
When we were finally in the exam room, the Buglet just did not want to come out of her crate. She pulled her “Pepe LePew’s girlfriend” stunt on me. You know how Penelope just turns into a limp dishrag and slips right out of Pepe’s grasp? The technician sort of motioned to me that I should scruff her. “Oh no-no-no!” I said, “she turns into the Tasmanian devil when you do that!” I moved her crate so I could reach in and scoop her out in all her hissing, growling glory. She calmed down when I sat her down on the baby scale. More wet food morsels and she finally stopped growling at me. Sort of.
And then…a horrible racket, the sound of a wild animal about to attack, came from the next room. And of course, Katie freaked out a little bit. B’Elanna and I did, too! There was, actually, a wild animal in the next exam room – a three month old motherless raccoon who was having trouble walking. And was not happy about having his spine adjusted, thank you very much!
After that experience, I figured Katie and B’Elanna would be a piece of cake.
While Dr. G looked at her x-rays, I was reading a wall poster (really, I should bring a book to the vet!) when I turned around and Katie was sitting right at the edge of the table staring at me. That could only mean “more wet food, please!” so of course I obliged, well-trained human that I am. It was encouraging to see her acting like her normal self! Alas, it was not long-lived.
Dr. G wanted me to look at the x-rays with him, so I had to go to another room. I didn’t want to risk Katie jumping off the table and I didn’t want to put her back in her crate – and have to take her out of it again – so I scooped her up and took her with me. Bad idea! She hissed and growled and spit the whole time. Sorry, Dr. G!
Dr. Giggleman only saw one other thing on the x-ray than Dr. Tate did. In addition to severely arthritic knees, she also has an arthritic vertebra. (I was wrong about her pelvis – yay!!)
Otherwise, her spine looked great. It did not, however, feel great. Dr. G explained that while everything looked just fine, when he manually checked her spine, the movement in the vertebrae was not good. He adjusted her from head to tail…and she was pretty darn feisty about it. Fortunately, the good doctor has quick reflexes!
I’ll keep giving her the glucosamine supplements and see if I can get her walking more. Regularly scheduled playtime with Mommy won’t bother her a bit, I’m sure! You can’t reverse arthritis, but supplements and exercise can help. There are all kinds of medications and supplements you can give dogs to help with arthritis pain and inflammation, but most of the drugs and supplements we give dogs are toxic to cats. Even something as innocuous as salmon oil – which I give to the pups – will cause diarrhea if she gets too much. Um…no thanks! Not fun for the human, not fun for the kitty cat.
This morning, Katie’s walking gate is almost normal. She’s meowing and happy. Mission accomplished!
And B’Elanna? She hid under the chairs most of the time we were in the waiting room. In fact, she was hiding under the chair when a lady came over to say hi to her. This girl was there with a friend and was not dog-savvy. Since B’Elanna was under the chair beside me, I couldn’t see her. The girl, who was crouched down in front of B’Elanna extending her hand, looked up at me, “Will she bite?” I hesitated because I didn’t know how to answer that question. It’s been so long since B’Elanna’s bitten anyone, that I forget that she came to me because she had a bite history. “Well, she tried to bite a little girl once…” I said, and about that time, she snapped and the girl jumped back. The girl was very nice about it, admitting it was her fault and that she was just barely nipped. Still, I didn’t manage that situation very well for my dog or the girl. File that under lessons learned.
B’Elanna got her adjustments like a champ, though. I think she tends to do well when doctors or groomers handle her. But I like to think it helped that I was there doling out the treats. This morning, she’s running and jumping and playing and bossing her sisters around. Another mission accomplished!