Maggie turned 11 this week. She still has a lovely coat, but now it has a lot of silver in it, especially on her face, belly and the bottoms of her paws.
Buck and I took her to our veterinarian friend, Dr. Chere Ernest, yesterday for a look-see at some moles that have sprouted, a nail clipping, fresh batch of monthly heart-worm preventative chewable tabs, and a discussion of Maggie's encroaching arthritis. We told Chere that Maggie is doing what all smart old dogs do, and taking it a little slower these days when she gets into the car or truck — no more flinging herself upward and landing any which way. We also told Chere about a recent incident where Maggie bumped into Buck's leg with her own right shoulder and cried out as though she were either surprised and scared or in great pain.
Chere examined Maggie carefully, felt of her abdomen, and told us she wanted two x-rays: one of Maggie's right leg and shoulder area and the other of her abdomen. The leg is fine, but the side view showed marked arthritic changes in her spine and an anomaly that will be examined further next week. Maggie's intestines seemed to be "all balled up" (Chere's words), as though something might be pushing on them. Might be nothing. Might be something.
A surgeon came in to take a look at the x-ray and to feel Maggie's abdomen. When he laid his hands on her, she belched, long and loud. We all laughed a little at that, and the surgeon said, "That actually helped quite a lot. Maybe that tightness is just gas."
We'll take Maggie back to stay with Chere for a few hours next Wednesday to make more pictures and do some blood work. Maggie is eating, drinking and everything else normally as always, so we are trying not to fret. I washed all of her various beds today, scrubbed her dishes, and started her on the doggie version of Glucosomine Chondroitin, plus a fish-oil capsule. She appears to be enjoying her privileged character status.
I ran across a post a little while ago called "Maggie Knows." It was first published here on June 4, 2004, a few days before the movers came to move us out of our North Carolina home. I think you'll enjoy it. Click here. Oh, and be sure to click on the photos of Maggie there to get the full effect. . .