Meet LB, our February Pet of the Month! LB (short for Little Black) is an aged Cocker Spaniel who presented to us because he was drinking more water than he should. Except for significant periodontal disease, he was otherwise doing well. Laboratory evaluation showed that his kidneys were not working as well as they should have been. We hospitalized LB for treatment for his kidneys, but he was having none of it! He pulled his IV out multiple times and we eventually decided that it would be best to treat him at home. LB’s owner gave him fluids at home for a couple of weeks and his kidneys improved somewhat. But there was still his teeth. We anesthetized him and he had to have several teeth extracted. This set his kidneys back some and for a few days, he wasn’t feeling good at all. He eventually rallied and is now feeling pretty good.
So what can we learn from LB? First, is the value of lab work in the diagnosis and management of sick pets. Without the blood tests, we wouldn’t have known about his problems. Second, is that even though LB had some issues with his kidneys, we still were able to anesthetize him and help him with his serious dental problems. Even though it set him back some, in the long run, it has helped to make him more comfortable and to eat better. Many of us are reluctant to anesthetize or do surgery on older pets, and this is understandable, but LB is proof that anesthesia and surgery can be beneficial for older and even sick dogs. Congratulations, LB. We’re glad you’re feeling better.