Most of the extra trips to Baton Rouge that I complained about two posts ago were trips to the vet for Kadi. She'd had blood work done last year that revealed a liver abnormality, and it was time to test her again to see if anything had changed.
This year's blood work showed the same problem as last time -- no better, no worse -- and the vet said that was good news. Apparently, a dog's liver has multiple sections or lobes. When one goes bad, the others "kick it up a notch" to make up the difference. The fact that there's been no change indicates we don't have to worry about any loss of liver function.
The blood work did turn up one new problem: a low thyroid level. I had to take Kadi back for additional testing, which verified that test result, and now she takes thyroid pills twice a day. She didn't seem to feel bad before all the testing, but they tell me this should make her feel better and -- BONUS -- reduce hair loss.
Once all the testing was complete, it was time for dental cleaning. Unlike Butch, who was born with bad breath but good, solid teeth, Kadi has teeth that accumulate plaque at a phenomenal rate. Now, though, she's all fixed up, and her doggy smile is once more beautiful. In addition, she's had the first of two vaccinations that are supposed to inhibit the growth of dental bacteria. (Boy, do I wish they'd come up with a vaccine like that for humans.) We have to go back right after Christmas for the second shot.
All this animal health care is pricey, but times like last night convince me it's money well spent.
Watching the sentimental finale of "Kid Nation," I got into the spirit of the show and began shedding happy tears -- accompanied, of course, by noisy snuffling. I was focused so intently on the TV that it took me a moment to notice that Kadi had climbed onto the sofa and rested her chin on my shoulder. I turned to look at her and found her staring, big-eyed, right into my face. That's when I realized she'd wrapped both front paws around my arm and pulled it close to her body. Bless her heart. That was very nearly as good as any human hug I've ever had.