June 23rd 2007 8:49 pm
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This past Monday, Mom took me to a special place referred by our vet to find out why I've been struggling a bit when I walk and why I cry when I'm being carried, especially since I've always loved to be carried in the past. I think most of my friends know how I hate getting in the car and being in the carrier but I had to go.
The place I went to was Veterinary Surgical Associates (VSA) in Campbell, CA. If you go to this site and click on the Campbell location where there is a picture of the reception area, you will understand how my Mom felt as soon as she walked through their doors! My appointment was with Dr. Strubel, who specializes in internal medicine, but they also have orthopedic surgeons which is good so that they can confer with each other as necessary. The first thing my Mom noticed when we walked into the exam room was the flat-screen computer monitor attached to the wall. She had not seen that before in any of the vet offices or animal hospitals that she's ever been to.
Dr. Strubel seemed really nice even though I was crying and trying to find a place to hide, but I was cooperative and nice. She had all of my medical records and talked to Mom about what's been going on with me. Then they did a full exam, plus a body x-ray and numerous tests. My blood and urine levels are normal as well as my bladder, liver, and kidneys. However, we looked at my x-rays on the computer monitor and they showed that I have an immune-mediated erosive joint disease in my wrists and hocks and it has been eating away my bones in those areas. I'm not contagious, there's no concern that I have cancer, and even if I can't be cured, the right combination of meds can help control the disease and make me feel more comfortable. But I wasn't given any meds after this visit because they recommended that I go back on Thursday for a joint tap before they prescribe anything. I sure was glad to go home and a few of my brothers and sisters must have missed me because I got alot of head licks from them.
Thursday came too soon. More crying by me and I was starving. I had to be asleep for the joint tap so I couldn't eat that morning. Mom took the day off and we arrived a half hour early because she wanted to try to calm me down before they did the procedure. When she mentioned that to the receptionist, she asked if we wanted to go in the "quiet room". Sure! It was a nicely decorated room with upholstered furniture and magazines. I got to come out of the carrier and just layed down next to Mom for awhile but then I had to be taken away. It was a long day but Dr. Strubel said I did really well. I was really wired after the procedure and very vocal. I just wanted to go home. This time, I was sent home with anti-inflammatory meds and antibiotics. Once again, as soon as I got home, I was welcomed and given lots of licks by my brothers and sisters. Then I ate because I was starving.
On Friday, Dr. Strubel called with preliminary results that showed I don't have bacteria in my joints but I definitely have inflammation. We will get the rest of the results on the culture early next week so that they can ensure that I get all the meds I need. Then I will feel better and then should eat more because I'll want to get up more. What I am taking now is fine and actually, I've been going up and down the stairs more the last couple of days to go back and forth to my favorite napping spots.
I will be okay. I may have more arthritis issues as I get older, but we'll deal with those when the time comes.