Saturday, 9 February 2013

The Dog's Heart

00:00:00 Posted by Ashley Lister , , , , 8 comments

 By Ashley Lister

 I’m writing this after returning from the vets. We spend a lot of time at the vets. We spend so much time there that the receptionist recognises Tracy’s voice when she makes a call.

Mo, the cat, is the sickliest of our brood. Mo has suffered from a stroke, bladder stones, diabetes and obesity. He’s managed to overcome all of those ailments and, thanks to a good vet, he continues to thrive.

Of the dogs, Mr Giles is the most consistently unwell. He’s a regular visitor to the vets – so much so I’ve begun to suspect he just goes for the thrill of having his temperature taken. Mr Giles has less eyeballs than most dogs, but this doesn’t stop him from living life to the full.

However, this time it was Dru’s turn to visit the vets. Dru has developed a habit of eating paper. She eats wallpaper, post-it notes, tissue paper, copier paper, student homework, money and poetry books.
I have described this as life-threatening behaviour because, if she eats another of my treasured books, I’ve promised to kill her.

After discussing it at length at home, we concluded that it seemed like Dru was either suffering from a dietary deficiency or she was becoming mental. Either way, we both knew that professional help was needed.

The vet was thorough. He took her temperature. He listened to her chest. He discussed her symptoms and we talked our way through the way the condition was presenting itself.

Through the course of the consultation we learnt that Dru has a heart murmur.

It’s not a major heart murmur. On the scale of heart murmurs Dru is scoring one or two on a scale that goes up to six. The vet only mentioned this so we’re aware of the condition and considerate of the fact that she needs to avoid stress and exertion. He wasn’t advocating any treatment other than an awareness of her condition. But it’s still a worry.

So I’m sitting here with a dog on my knee, wondering what she did to deserve this condition and trying to think what I can do to make her feel better.

And, until I can think of something that will make her feel better, I’m feeding her another poetry book.


Lindsay said...

Hope Dru feels better soon Ash.

Wordrabbit said...

Feed her some Wordsworth. I find his work very calming.

Ashley R Lister said...

Thanks Lindsay. x

Ashley R Lister said...

Wordsworth should keep her going. :-)

Lisa McFleeca said...

If she fancies a change from poetry, I have a Val Mc Dermid book that I bet is much tastier than it reads....

Ashley R Lister said...

With regular fiction she's currently working her way through The Curious Incident and Lovely Bones...

And I'll stop there :-)

Ade. I butle said...

That's love Ashley but I can't help wondering why paper and what the correllation is. I had a heart murmer when I was pregnant the first time. Didn't eat paper - but figs and malt. Did the vet check her?

Ashley R Lister said...


The vet's trying her on some meds at the moment and working on the assumption that Dru believes there's a substance in paper that she needs in her diet.

I'm not sure it's related to the heart murmur - hope your heart murmur following pregnancy is an issue that's been resolved.