It seems to be tradition by now that every once in awhile, I fall off the bandwagon completely when it comes to blogging. I’m learning that summer is my incredibly busy season – less time for blogging, more time for training and showing. Winter, although sometimes busier with lessons, gives me more time after work for art and other things. And still…I’ve slacked on updating you all!
Therefore, I had big plans for a series of posts to catch on everything that’s happened since my last post (i.e. Pony Cup in July…yikes!), and to usher in the New Year with my 2018 goals.
And then, life happened. And I’ve gotta ask for help.
A few months ago, Avery was having more and more trouble getting around. I took him to the vet, and he was diagnosed with a ruptured cruciate ligament, arthritis, and hip displaysia – and so, he went from averaging 11 miles per day with me at the barn, to being limited to the tack room or staying at home. With this increased rest and some anti-inflammatory meds, I saw a lot of improvement.
Then, about a week ago, he got sick very suddenly. One minute, I checked on him in the tackroom, and then next minute, he was vomiting, lethargic, had a droopy eye, and was acting neurologic to the point where he lost control of his bowels and couldn’t use his hind legs. Of course, it was the weekend – so, off to the emergency vet we went.
Once there, the vet advised fluids (since he was dehydrated by this point), bloodwork, and a whole host of diagnostics to figure out what was going on. She said that we were most likely dealing with two separate issues: a stomach/gut thing and a neurologic thing. I opted to take one step at a time, starting with bloodwork – which came back normal.
For peace of mind, Avery stayed overnight with the vet, where they could monitor him properly, keep him on fluids, and be on hand in case he got worse. The next day, I asked for an ultrasound of his abdomen to see we could find any answers there – preparing myself for the worst.
After a long, stressful day of waiting, the vet called and said that the ultrasound was clear, Avery was doing well, and I could come pick him up.
Since then, he’s been mostly normal. His balance is slightly worse than before, and I’ve noticed he has less control of his hind legs. But he’s back on his regular diet and as happy as ever.
From here, my regular vet has advised that he continue to be on restricted activity for another week. At that point, we’ll check in with her again. We still don’t have answers, though, so she suggests chest and back x-rays, because those are the areas most likely to be related to any possible nerve problems, etc. I might not ever figure out what caused the vomiting, but the neurologic symptoms could be explained by something as simple as a pinched nerve, or something as scary as a tumor or spinal disease. And, because we live in Vermont, we’ll be covering all our bases with Lyme/heartworm tests as well.
When all is said and done, I’m looking at $1400+ of vet bills – money I just don’t have. Fortunately, I was able to qualify for Care Credit, so I have a little bit of extra time to come up with funds. My goal is to pay the whole bill off within 3 months, because that’s how long I have before I need to start paying interest.
I can’t imagine life without this little dog, and I hope to be able to find some answers, if possible. While I am feeling good about his situation right now, I’m also realistic. I don’t know how old he is, but he’s at least 9, and I have no idea of his history before I got him. I know that surgery isn’t an option for me, if it should come to that. But in the meantime, I would like to give him the best care possible, and I believe that the first step is to figure out as much as I can about what might be bothering him. It’s the least I can do for such a selfless, devoted, adorable little dog.
Now that you have the background story, here’s where I’m going with this. I have until January 23rd (when classes start again) to fit in as many commissions as possible, and during that time, I want to hold an art sale. If you’ve been thinking about ordering a digital cartoon, t-shirt, notecards, etc – it’s all 10%-25% off. Plus, I’ve restructured things a bit, so there’s something to fit every budget.
The sale will last until January 23rd, and during that time, the first 5 people to order the cartoon/t-shirt combo with code “ILoveAvery” will receive an additional 10% off. Please, if you’ve considered ordering, let this be a sign. 😉 And if the Christmas holiday has left you broke and unable to do any extra shopping (totally understandable!), I’d love it if you would share this post with a little message to spread the word and encourage others to check it out.
If you would like cards to go with your art (or to order cards of my art that you’ve purchased previously), please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or message me on Facebook.
- 10 large greeting cards, $25, free shipping
- 20 small notecards, $25, free shipping
(And I promise to keep you posted on how Avery is doing)