Saturday, June 1, 2024

Infections (and injections)

  With age, Charly battles more infections and for longer.  This is particularly so with urinary tract infections and bladder crystals.  Like other dogs, Charly complains little about pain.  Her behaviour may hint at infection, but it is never obvious.  Sometimes her incontinence may be due to infection, but there will be few or no other indicators.  We have learned to regularly take samples of her urine to be tested just to ensure it’s “clear”.  

Regular testing began a year ago after we discovered that she had a urinary tract infection – a bad one that we had not noticed developing.  And, x-rays revealed crystals in her bladder.  She had demonstrated lower energy, and smelly urine.  Otherwise, there were no other signs.  The testing revealed a very terrible bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics.  The one prescribed was extremely expensive – it drained her account.  The vet assistant gave me a tutorial on subcutaneous injections that were to be administered twice per day, 12 hours apart, for 14 days.  I set alarms.  With the promise of a few urinary-friendly-kibble at the end, Charly participated willingly for about 11 days.  Then, she didn’t.  I had to slightly restrain her body with my legs, and inject small doses in multiple sites to complete the task.  No amount of kibble convinced her this was a good idea.  Finally it was over – as were culinary delights.  

 

Ever since that bout of antibiotics, Charly’s human food intake is extremely curtailed – no more leftover mac ‘n cheese in the pot after my daughter’s lunch thermos is filled every Wednesday.  For posterity and because her big brown eyes turn a ragged-edge wrench into my heart, she still is allowed to lick the empty pot – that seems to satisfy her!  The day Charly doesn’t crowd me in the kitchen…waiting…hoping that I err in pouring some edible treat (read: anything), is the day only the ghost of my old dog remains.

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