Sunrise on Thanksgiving morning. View from my front porch.
My black cherry tree. I love fall colors!!
I'm very thankful that Butterball is not as seriously ill as I had worried. I took him in on Tuesday afternoon to the cardiologist for an echocardiagram. It was quite amazing watching his heart and seeing it from all the different sides. Seeing the massive equipment and the care the vet took with Butterball and analyzing the results, it was well worth $450.00. She did not find any adult heartworms on or around his heart. Butterball's heart was normal size. The only thing she did find was a "trivial to mild mitral regurgitation" due to mild degenerative valvular disease. Basically, one of Butterballs valves wasn't closing all the way and a little amount of blood was leaking back into the heart chamber. She said this was very common in animals of Butterball's age (14) and that it is a very slow disease I shouldn't be concerned with. Even if the disease did advance, there is medication for it. But, since he has lost weight and did test positive for having the heartworm antibody, she wants to put him on monthly heartworm preventative. That way, if there are any little baby heartworms still in his blood, the preventative will keep them from becoming adults. She also prescribed a pill, sort of a bronchial dialator(sp?) to help with his occasional mouthbreathing. So, I just have to bring him in to my regular vet for a check up in six months and again to the cardiologist in about a year and a half. All in all, good news. As I was walking out of the cardiologist's office I was thanking her and saying I was relieved the diagnosis wasn't nearly as bad as I had envisioned. She laughed and said "well, you're a woman and women always fear the worse for our loved ones." I think she is right.
Little Figaro (or as I start calling him around this time of year "Figgy Pudding") is such a sweet little thing. He always has a sleepy expression.
Sweet Pea was dianosed with Feline Urinary Syndrome in 2003. It means that his urine is not acidic enough and he develops crystals that block the flow of urine. He has been hospitalized 3 times from 2003 to 2004. Since then I found a wonderful product from Drs. Foster and Smith called, what else, Urinary Acidifier. It is in a paste form that I just put on Sweet Pea's front paw twice a day and he has been symptom-free since 2004! I am VERY thankful for that.
BIG, BIG thing to be thankful for. Maggie the Lone African elephant from the Alaska Zoo was finally transported (by an Air Force Cargo plane) to her new home at the Performing Animal Welfare Society in northern California. She has met all the other elephants (with a fence still dividing them). The caretakers are thrilled with how well Maggie is adapting to her new home. They are taking her out daily for walks up and down hills to build up her muscles before they remove the barriers between her and the other elephants. Elephant greeting can be very physical with a lot of bumping and head butting and they want to make sure Maggie is strong enough to withstand the gregarious greetings from her new elephant family.
Yes, a lot to be thankful for this year.