This is modified very slightly from an email I sent to the Seeing Eye staff member who spoke with me about Meg's health recently.
We are not any closer to finding out what the trouble is with Meg. Her blood
tests were normal. She stayed overnight and did a urine sample on Saturday
morning to check kidney function, and this was normal as well. He said there
was only one thing that was abnormal, and I didn't write it down. He's calling Purdue for a
consult and mentioned checking her adrenal function.
I remember him mentioning the word Addison's Disease. Elli had Addison's disease... That may be worth noting because I have been saying over
and over that Meghan is acting like Elli was acting at age 9. Elli's
Addison's was diagnosed later, after her retirement. I'm trying to track down the info. It doesn't really matter--Meg and Elli aren't related; but the similar symptoms are very striking to me. I didn't
worry about Elli at the time since she was retired. I assumed that retirement
was a natural thing because of her age. Meg is still interested in working,
and retirement is a road I would prefer not to pursue. According to my reading, there are treatment options for Addison's. Whether or not I could afford them is the important question.
My vet does not really understand guidework, and this makes it very hard to
describe her symptoms. Most of the changes I am seeing are just unusual
behaviors (meaning unusual for Meg) and lack of spunk. He's talking about calling in a behaviorist,
which makes me feel like he thinks Meg is being defiant. That doesn't seem
to be the solution we need... When she's perky, her behavior is wonderful
and she responds well to voice corrections--and really needs very few of
those. However, she is often very sniffy and pokey, unusually curious about
what's around us where she was formerly dead on with wherever we wanted to
go, and this doesn't respond to corrections whereas the occasional sniff
when she's perky responds quite nicely to a correction. She has started
things like eating out of the cat box... I know it's a normal dog thing, but
it's not Meghan. In a group of dogs, she lays in the floor with a bone and
the other dogs tromp all over her. She used to be the ring leader. I can get
up and walk across a room and never have to give her the "rest" command because she
doesn't even wake up to realize I've moved--I have to jerk on her a few
times to wake her up. This is just not my dog, and I really don't think this can properly be called
behavioral issues. I'm accustomed to a dog that is very alert and task-oriented, and the number of comments I'm hearing about her being off-task, not very attentive, not trained very well, etc, is increasing exponentially.