Things got worse, but then got better

More internet silence from my side. More good excuses.

After posting the last post on the woes of my dogs, I received a call from my mother telling me that my dad has prostate cancer.
Last week really wasn’t the greatest week in my life. I estimate that it pretty much rates in the bottom 3.

Serious depression set in by Friday, and so Angie and I decided to skip work and go through to Welkom to visit the parents. This was an excellent decision.

On seeing my dad for the weekend it became clear that he was doing fairly well and the prognosis in general was good (and that they weren’t just saying that over the phone to make me feel better).
He’s going to undergo brachytherapy, which I believe involves inserting radioactive pellets into his prostate, thus transforming my father into Strontium Dad! I wonder whether it’ll give him X-ray eyes?
We know for sure that he won’t be able to sit next to pregnant women or small children for extended periods.
My dad goes radioactive  on 16 November. Please keep him in your thoughts.

Then, on our return from Welkom we went to visit Kelty and he stood up for us. He wasn’t totally cured, but he was now standing! Unfortunately, vomiting and diarrhoea, reminiscent of the Bean dog had set in.
Even so, we were greatly relieved. And today I brought that Kelty home from the hospital. Walking, barking, mildly bouncy. A very happy, healthy fluffy beast.

I’ve reported the issue to the Pedigree petfood people. They seem to be handling things quite well so far. Once the issue is resolved, I’m sure to provide a full report. Today a courier came to collect the suspicious food to be tested for toxins. I’ve been promised feedback on the issue, and possibly even reimbursement of costs.

Hospitalised hound

The promises of a picture of me in Jedi knight mode and extra instalments of that non-linear holiday tale are looking a little empty at the moment. For a change I have a valid excuse.

We took Kelty-dog in to the vet yesterday because he suddenly lost all strength in his hind legs. First he was walking funny, and then he just stopped walking altogether.
We rushed him to the vet whose diagnosis was grim. The vet suspected that one of Kelty’s discs in his back had ruptured, creating a build-up of pressure on his spine. He still had all of his reflexes, they were just quite depressed. His superficial and serious pain receptors were all working. These were good signs, but things could deteriorate fast.
X-rays and an MRI scan were needed and potential spinal surgery could follow. Depending on recovery times, the bill could reach up to R20,000.
Kelty is now competing with Bean for the title of most expensive dog.

Bizarrely the X-rays and MRI scans haven’t indicated what the vet was expecting. This is good because spinal surgery is bad, and spinal surgery will now be avoided.
This is bad because the vet doesn’t know what’s wrong. We are currently waiting for news.

Of course it doesn’t stop there. On top of Kelty developing an undiagnosed nervous/muscular condition, we appear to have inadvertently poisoned both of the dogs.
Bean had been refusing to eat the new batch of Pedigree chunks we bought for her and Kelty. This wasn’t necessarily weird. She’s a fussy little princess and sometimes holds out for chicken breasts or some other tastier faire.
Kelty had been eating them, but hadn’t been finishing the food (which is unusual). He also had developed mild diarrhoea (which has stopped since his admission to the hospital).
Last night we added tasting gravy to Bean’s food and she finally gave in and ate the whole bowl-full.
This morning, at 4:30 we discovered darkly coloured vomit.  She proceeded to vomit another three times between 5:30 and 6:15, at which point we rushed her to the vet.
While at the vet, extreme diarrhoea ensued. It was unpleasant for all people involved.

Bean is back home at the moment, and hopefully doing okay. Needless to say I’ve bought another brand of dog food. Looks like I’ll be phoning the Pedigree customer-care line in due course. I’ll do my best not to take out my fragile emotional state on the call centre person who has had nothing to do with the manufacture of the dog food. I’ll try, but it might be hard.