Thursday, January 8, 2015

Peri the Pirate

Welcome to 2015, and my first post of the year.

Peri, Pirate Style.
Peri, Pirate Style, courtesy of Panda With Cookie on Etsy!
This entry is about Peri. I've waited quite a while to write about this because I wanted to make sure everything would turn out ok. Since I'm now writing, you can keep reading because it means everything is ok. It's been a long road.

Peri has had 2 major surgeries in the last few months. We noticed something was amiss and took him for consultation with our wonderful veterinary group. Upon exam and labs, we learned what it was, and it was very serious. We had decisions to make, including surgery as an option. Removal of 1 eye was recommended. We thought we'd go for the seeming less invasive choice first which was indeed major surgery but not eye removal.

The first surgery was not a success. The disease was still with him after that surgery, and due to other issues, he was no longer able to fully close his eye. We were advised to give him some time to heal as  hopefully he would be able to close the eye in due course. But, in the interim....

The interim was horrible. He needed several kinds of drops everyday, was on medication to stop any possible infection and forced to wear a cone of bravery, for days and then weeks. We would take that blasted cone off, he hated it so much, and let him rest with us without it as much as possible. But we could not leave him unattended for even a moment without it. After a few weeks, he had about 3 good days, and then bam.... things took an even bigger turn for the worse. He got an ulcerated eye, and that meant even more different kinds of drops and creams.

It was torture, he hated the drops, hated the medication, hated the cone, and of course he ultimately became extremely depressed. It was an awful time. Don't ever think for a moment that it's untrue when I say either of us happy vegans would have traded places with Peri to take his pain away and make him whole. We love him that much. That is what you do for family, but it's not physically possible. If we could've, we would've.

All through this time, we were shuttling him back and forth for follow ups, and even a few house calls were made by our wonderful vets as well. We are so lucky to have Marathon Veterinary Hospital as the professionals for our companion animals.

We had to decide what to do. He had disease remaining, he had an eye that was not functioning due to ulceration, he was in pain and he was depressed.

This decision may seem easy to someone reading this, but trust us, it was a very difficult decision. With guidance from Peri's doctors, we made the decision to move ahead for another surgery to have the eye removed. Back to the hospital, inpatient.

Peri had his surgery and it went incredibly well. We got the pathology back, and he has no disease remaining, they got it all. He had a few difficult days with a few things that required a trip back up and resuturing after the first round of stitches were removed, but after that last round of sutures and coning, he is reborn. All sutures are out, the cone is forever gone, and his fur is even mostly grown in. He is playing, eating, running, jumping. He is sleeping in the sun, he is taking his walks outside on the leash, he is allowing the others to finally groom him again, and he is following us wherever we go demanding his treats, soy milk and hugs.

Peri is back to being the Mayor of Deer Run.

This post doesn't talk about the realities of what we went through for the last few months with him, but he endured a lot. We were with him every step of the way with excellent medical care making the best decisions we thought at every step. We're very sorry he has had to have an eye removed, but as Dr. Mader said "animals are extremely adaptable." And, yes they are. Doctor told us that the surgery to remove the eye would be less difficult for Peri than the initial surgery to save the eye, and indeed he was right about that too. It just seemed like the right thing to do and try to save the vision, save the eye.

On a happy side note.... While Peri was in recovery, I was trolling the internet one day and came upon "Panda With Cookie" which is an AWESOME craft site that makes awesome cruelty free, vegan felted items, including CUSTOMIZED ANIMAL ORNAMENTS!!! With a few clicks of the mouse, and a few emails back and forth, we were amazed that a little vegan felted customized Peri ornament showed up in our mailbox just before Christmas. As you may (or may not) recall, I don't celebrate Christmas, but the other happy vegan does. This year, he was not in spirit with Peri's situation, and didn't even want a tree. Then, magically when the Peri ornament arrived, he was up in the attic rummaging for the little tree we keep, throwing on some lights, (organic!) candy canes, and 1 single ornament.... the little Pirate Peri. The tree was complete, the house seemed happier, and Peri was happy to check the tree (and his artsy version!) out every day like clockwork.

Peri is fine. We're searching for a teeny tiny patch to see how he'll like it, because every pirate rightfully has either a patch or a peg leg. Peri's fur has grown in so the peg leg is gone, so the patch it is!

Peri, sweet Peri. Our little pirate, our sweet sweet pirate.