I was writing a blog about pendulums for this month, but with the latest problems Mystic, our four-legged employee, is having, I decided to let you know about her struggles instead. I will complete the pendulum blog later in the month, so watch our website for the post after October 19.
On Monday, September 30, 2013, Mystic couldn’t get up. I put a sling under her belly to help her stand up and support her as she walked in order for her to go outside that morning. Watching her struggle and silently deal with pain made my heart cry.
Mystic ruptured a ligament in her left knee about two month prior to this, so Lynne and I feared that her knee would no longer support her 67 lb. body. Of course, Seeds of Wellness didn’t open that day since we focused all our energy and attention on Mystic. As soon as the doctor’s office opened, I called for the earliest appointment. Getting her into the car was easy, but getting her out was another story.
Several vet techs came to the car to see how they could help Mystic get out without hurting her. Luckily, my Honda Fit’s back seats fold up, which allow Mystic to lie on the floor of the car. Having more room to move around, allowed the vet techs to get the sling under Mystic, lift up her back legs and get her out one of the doors. I laughed to myself as I watched her look behind her body at the sling and vet tech while her front legs moved her forward without her back legs touching the ground. It was obvious that she didn’t know what to make of this situation.
Nervously, Lynne and I sat waiting for the vet. Lynne was sick all night and still not feeling well, so this kept her mind off her own issues. The vet tech put a large black foam cushion down on the floor for Mystic to lie on instead of the slippery tile. During the exam the vet tech tried to hold her down while the doctor manipulated her hips and legs.
Mystic’s pain became obvious when she nipped at the vet tech while struggling to get away. For the first time, Mystic had to be muzzled. I kept my tears back as I watched the vet tech hold her down while the doctor continued to move her back left leg, knee and hip. They lifted her up with the sling to see how much weight she could support, watch her gate as she walked and check her ability to feel her paw placement.
The one thing the doctor knew for sure, the inflammation in Mystic’s left knee and hip didn’t allow her to put any weight on the leg. Mystic’s other back leg didn’t have the strength to completely support her as she stood or walked. Everyone decided to have Mystic stay there for pain treatment and to be evaluated in the morning by her main doctor, who didn’t work on Mondays.
Tuesday morning I received a call from her main doctor. Mystic showed some improvement, but still needed help to stand with the sling and supported when walking long distances. To help Mystic get back on her feet, the vet suggested Adequan injections, to reduce the inflammation and arthritic pain in Mystic’s left hip due to the hip dysplasia. The injections also promote cartilage formation to help increase healing. With Mystic’s limited mobility, continuation of the ice treatments and the Adequan injection, she stayed at the vets another day.
The afternoon phone call came with encouragement. Mystic was walking short distances with no support and improved mobility. She still needed help getting up, however. Her doctor also added Vetri-E.N.S.E.D., a natural herbal supplement for pain, inflammation, mobility and flexibility, to her medication list. This news helps lift my spirit. By now I missed Mystic so much and felt lost without her. Even the store felt empty and lifeless to me.
By Wednesday morning, I couldn’t wait to call the doctor to see if Mystic could come home. I drove there as quickly as possible and felt so much joy in the examination room that I started to cry. They couldn’t bring Mystic in fast enough, and from the other side of the door; I could tell that they were having a hard time holding her back. My heart skipped a beat when I saw one vet tech holding Mystic’s lease while another supported her back legs with the sling. “Oh no, am I doing the right thing?” I asked myself as I knelt down to pet and hug Mystic.
The joy in Mystic’s eyes when she saw me washed all doubts away. The vet’s slippery tile floors made it difficult for her to walk to the car even with the support of the sling. Once in the car, she quickly settled in for the ride.
We arrived at Seeds of Wellness, parked by the door and I prayed that I could get Mystic out of the car. By the time I got to the passenger door, she was already sitting up and waiting for me to open it. Using the sling, I got her easily out of the car, into the store and back by the water dish. Since she was standing without much support from the sling, I removed it and headed out of the store to bring in the rest of the items.
Surprise! I opened the store door and Mystic was looking up at me. She slowly got up to let me into the store and get ready for the day. Our normal routine included going over to the liquor store for treats and the mail. Mystic easily followed me and even tried to run. I took the sling with me in case she needed help and smiled as she received her treats and plenty of love.
I did use the sling to help her up, and we headed back to Seeds of Wellness. The warm weather allowed me to keep the front door open. Mystic quickly laid on the cool sidewalk enjoying the freedom from the vet kennel. I knew she would be fine when I realized she got up and walked over to the liquor store for more treats by herself. I found her behind the counter, lying near the treat bag.
The owner of the liquor store said, “Mystic has us all hoodwinked into thinking she can’t walk. This is her second time in here for treats.”
I didn’t even know she had snuck over there before this because she came back to the front of the store so quickly. Any doubts I had about her quality of life were gone now.
The Adequan shots continue once a week for four weeks. The pain and inflammation medication is taken as needed, which so far means daily. Vetri-E.N.S.E.D is now part of Mystic’s normal medication routine. She continues to get stronger, but the doctor said there will always be a limp and problems with the left leg.
I will continue to do what I can within my financial limitations for Mystic’s quality of life. At 12 years old, I know that Mystic’s health will someday require me to make a decision. Until then, I hope all of you enjoy seeing Mystic at Seeds of Wellness. You may have to go to her to say hello since her main activity now is sleeping.
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