For years, we've been very good patrons of the V-E-T. First, with Heather and Mr. K's bouts of mysterious illnesses (for which we still don't have answers four years later). Then, we discovered Heather had liposarcoma. Still yet, there were visits to control high liver values, remove benign growths and even a few cases where it turned out I was just a worried Scottie Mom and everything was fine. In all, I've spent thousands on Heather and Mr. K's veterinary care over the years.
Recently, we returned once more to the V-E-T. This time, we were going for annual vaccines, well visits and to consult with a V-E-T about why Heather constantly gnaws at her bottom these days. At a previous visit, we learned there was a small growth and we've kept an eye on it but the problem persists. We've tested for urinary tract infections among other things but have yet to relieve Heather of this issue. So, I turn to you, fellow Scottie Moms and Dads: have your Scotties experienced this?
This latest examination was something of a reality check. As I detailed recent behaviors and small changes I had noticed, it dawned on me that I had an aging gal on my hands. We've known she has a bit of arthritis for a while but haven't had to do anything until now. Heather doesn't enjoy long walks anymore, preferring slow, short steps outside to take care of business and hurry back into the house. She has had trouble with the stairs so we've moved bedrooms to allow easier access to the backyard. I've even invested in a stroller so she can still experience things alongside Mr. K.
I was nervous what the blood test results might uncover. Was it cancer again? A thyroid issue? Something new, different and not so exciting to add to the laundry list of health issues we've overcome? Fortunately, most everything came back beautifully. The thyroid levels were on the higher end of what is considered normal and her liver values are creeping up again. Scottish Terrier ALP values will worsen with age, according to one of the many V-E-T-S we've seen through the years. What was different this time? Her ALT liver value is up...which happens when Cushing's is present.
Years ago, Heather was tested for Cushing's after she recovered from that mysterious illness. Fortunately, test results were negative. This time, I don't have much confidence she'll test negative once more. In fact, even the V-E-T told us that she was certain Heather has developed Cushing's and that she would be very surprised if Heather tests negative once more. Still, I try to remain cautiously optimistic as we wait for the test next week as well as remind myself that Heather has been through so many health issues and has proven time and again that she is a fighter.