Friday, 12 August 2011

Letter from Bella & Mum Lin

Dear Sarah and Paul

I thought I'd send you an update following Bella's visit to the vet
yesterday for stitch removal.

When the nurse and I were running through her general health prior to
her op, I mentioned that she doesn't seem to have the stamina you'd
expect in a 14 month old collie, in that after racing after a toy or
whatever, she has to flop down each time.  Iain, the vet who did her
wibblies, when told of this, gave her good check over and found her
heart rate to be significantly elevated, but given the stressful
situation she was in, wanted to check it again when her stitches were
removed and I was with her.

Her pre sedation blood test was absolutely fine and when he listened
to her heart yesterday he said that was fine too, with a very good
rhythm.  However, when we discussed how she is on exercise, he thinks
she has got some obscure metabolism disorder which stops her muscles
getting the glucose they need for what he calls explosive activity i.e
chasing after toys, birds etc and hence she has to rest her leggies.
She's absolutely fine on steady walks - in fact we did 6 or so miles
this morning on our regular weekly get together with my school friends
- she was tired this afternoon and went to bed instead of helping me
cut the grass, but otherwise OK and we've played hide and seek indoors
this evening.

When Iain described it thus, it all tallied with what I observe in
her.  It's as if her body can't keep up with the demands placed on it
and she has to flop out for a bit.  She's not distressed at all and
not breathless in any way.  He said that she could have tests to
determine exactly what is going on but they are long and drawn out,
involve treadmill exercise and blood tests to eliminate each
condition, one at a time, and at the end of it all they mightn't be
able to offer treatment in any case.  Iain's advice (and I have huge
faith in him as he cared for Cass like she was his own) is to manage
her exercise regime so she isn't faced by 'explosive energy
requirements', in other words long steadily paced walks are good but
toy or any other chasing games should be considerably restricted.  Of
course if there is any worsening of it, then we will think again with
regards to tests etc.

At my age, I wasn't planning on scampering around doing agility or
flyball so the long steady walks suit me well and we have a variety of
places to choose from.  I'm just so thankful, if it is going to be an
ongoing problem she's got, that she's not struggling to earn her keep,
(which she wouldn't be able to do) on a livestock farm, and that she
can do as much or as little as she wants with me.  I was just SO proud
of her yesterday morning when we had a walk along the banks of the
Cut-off channel at Denver.  She was off lead, we came round a bend and
50 yds ahead was a beautiful female roe deer on the path, looking at
us.  I told Bella to 'Wait' and, as she looked at me saying 'Do I
really have to?', the deer took off into the bushes and still B
waited, bless her, despite quivering with anticipation.  Lots of
treats! In fact she shared a custard tart with me at Denver Windmill
tea room!

I love her to bits and she looks so smart without those blooming
wibbly wobblies.  Dear Cass saved my life when my grief overwhelmed me
in the early days and dear Bella has given me my life back.

With love from us both
Bella and Lin xx

PS We're looking forward to another Wiccs walking stint before long.

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