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Record My Mind: Banal Records of a Pedestrian Life

Suffering and evil overwhelm me and I stew in my own juice. 

Sunday, December 19, 2004

12/19/2004 01:24:00 am - Blackie's visit to the vet


I brought Blackie to the vet again today. The last visit was 9 days
ago. She's been feeling very lethargic lately, sleeping a lot. Her eyes are still red, the left eye doesn't open fully and she doesn't always finish her food.

The vet said that her legs look better than the last time and after examining her abdomen, recommended an X-ray, which was not taken the last time. The X-ray revealed severe Spondylosis (arthritis of spine) and mottled bones. The mottled appearance of her bones can either be due to a tumour or arthritis.

The X-ray revealed that her bladder was tilted upwards and pressing on her colon. This could be due to scar formation from her being neutered or a tumour. Her bladder pressing on her colon could also be the reason for her constipation. Although I forgot whether Dr. Boon said the X-ray revealed that Blackie had constipation.

Blackie is obviously not well but the tests cannot pinpoint what is exactly wrong. The next step could be to do an ultrasound to further determine whether she does in fact have a tumour. However, Dr. Boon (who was quite cute by the way) had to perform a surgery then and this Boon didn't think an ultrasound was necessary after consulting Dr Boon.

Dr Boon told Boon that the ultrasound scan would be slightly traumatic for Blackie and that as Blackie had to be on her back, she worries that this would exacerbate Blackie's spinal problems. This Boon told Dr Boon that he won't do the ultrasound scan now and that he'll hope that she gets back to her normal self in a couple of weeks so that she doesn't have to undergo the ultrasound scan. Dr. Boon had the same hope as Boon. This Boon decided not to perform the ultrasound scan because this was not a medical emergency; he would not be negligient if he did not let her undergo an ultrasound scan; he did not want to stress Blackie further; or risk her back.

The tumour, if it exists, would be a random factor, i.e. it just happens. The arthritis is due to old age.

Dr Boon prescribed more steroids for Blackie and increased the dosage by 50%, from 1 tablet a day to 1.5 tablets a day. My mum feeds Blackie her medicine faithfully and coaxes her to eat by letting Blackie eat out of her hand and mixing her food with medicine.

We've spent $250 at the vet for this and the last visit. My mum and I took turns paying. I'll be bringing her back to the vet when I return to Singapore from Amsterdam. I bought some snacks for Blackie too. She has been sleeping in every night.

Oh and by the way, Dr Boon said that if Blackie is really 20 years old she's doing very well for a 20 year old dog. 1 dog year is 7 human years, she told me. She also said that Blackie seemed to know when we were done better than us, she got up just before the exact moment Dr Boon and this Boon ended their conversation. I responded that Blackie was a very smart dog, recalling how many times CC and I failed to trick her and instead have her trick us. For the second time, uncontrollably, I felt very proud of Blackie. The first time was when a very sweet looking girl thanked me for letting her pat Blackie.

Other things that happened at the vet's:
I saw a cat being hooked up to what I presumed was life support. A man chanted from a book and seemed to be performing Buddhist/Taoist last rites. I saw Buddhist monk pictures on the bed where the cat was lying on. My sense of the absurd was tempered by my respect for another's grief. I asked myself why it was so absurd to see last rites being performed for animals but not for humans. We don't think animals like cats have an afterlife. But many believe that humans have some kind of afterlife. But if we are animals too (this seems true to me), like cats, and only different in degree but not in kind, then why should we be so privileged to be the only ones among animals to have an afterlife? On the other hand, saying that all animals have an afterlife seems a bit too much. A human corpse seems not much different from an animal carcass.

While taking Blackie to the X-ray room, I also saw a couple grieving over their pet. It's terribly disturbing and sad. I dislike this experience: grieving over the parting from an animal you have grown attached to. I was also reminded of my last pet, which always makes me feel guilty for not doing enough and not doing what should be done. Still, I try not to be affected by the grieving couple because their experience was not mine. All this while Blackie seemed oblivious to the grief around her and was sniffing excitedly at the bags of food on the floor.


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