Hindsight is 20-20. Such a strange saying. What does it mean? I think it means when you learn something valuable that you didn't know before, but if you thought a little harder with the signs you were seeing or feeling or thinking, you probably would have seen this coming.....
Petunia made a trip to S.A.V.E.S. this week for a routine dental cleaning. Her breath was really bad (sorry Petunia but this is true) and she had some tartar built up on her molars. My sister knows from listening to my dad that dental disease can ruin a dogs life. It can cause other diseases such as heart disease because within that gross tartar lives awful bacteria that can get into the bloodstream and begin wreaking havoc on other organs.
Dental disease is the most common disease diagnosed in dogs and cats, with 8 out of 10 dogs aver the age of 3 years inflicted with it.
One of the first things the veterinary staff does at Small Animal Veterinary Emergency Services is run a pre-op (before anesthesia) blood screen. They look at how the organs are functioning, how the blood is clotting, and any abnormalities. Since pets don't just sit there like you humans do with a teeth cleaning, we need anesthesia so we can sleep through the procedure. If our bodies aren't functioning properly, the anesthesia that is administered may not be filtered back out of the body the way it should be if the organ that does the filtering is not working right. What this means to us anesthetized pets is complications in waking up.... something the staff at S.A.V.E.S. never wants to see.
So to make a long story short, Petunia has liver disease. My dad always says routine blood work can save a pet's life by catching diseases before they have a chance to destroy organs. Boy he was so right! Petunia's anesthesia was adjusted for her condition and complications were avoided.
Which comes back to the ole' hindsight being 20-20. Now when we look back at the past few months, Petunia has been vomiting every now and then. She has been drinking tons of water and peeing more often (Polyuria/Polydipsia), and losing weight (which again sorry Petunia but you needed to).
Liver disease can be caused by many things. Dental disease, poisons, breed-specific genetic defects (Bedlingtons and West Highland White Terriers) to name a few.
The liver is pretty resilient. It is the largest organ in the body and it has a huge job filtering all the impurities and byproducts of everyday living out of the body, as well as many other tasks like producing bile to help break down the food consumed.
The cool thing about the liver is every part of it can perform the task, so if some part is injured, the rest will continue to function. It has an amazing ability to recover from injury and it can regenerate new tissue! The cold hard fact of it all is that if you catch this disease early enough your dog can recover and return to near normal liver function. This is incredible, and hopefully my dad has gotten Petunia's condition soon enough and we can reverse any damage that has happened!
I love my dad......