Jana’s Fine … For Her Age

I recently had a health scare with Jana. She’s fine, but it was worrisome. Added to a number of recent losses among my friends whose dogs were Jana’s contemporaries and, well, it’s rough.

Jana was in for her semiannual check-up. She gets far better health care than I do, but then again, in human age, she’s nearly 90. I hope I am as healthy, energetic, and playful when I get there!

Anyhow, during a brief ultrasound, the vet saw what looked like a mass on Jana’s spleen. She recommended a more thorough ultrasound and exam. In the days between the checkup and the exam, I had time to Google, ask around, and worry.

I read up on spleen tumors and treatments. None of it sounded good. I thought through the various possible scenarios. I hugged Jana a lot. She hated that.

The exam, I am pleased to say, showed nothing more than some discolored patches on Jana’s spleen. Jana has the heart and lungs of a much younger dog, is at her perfect weight, and has nothing more wrong with her than some (severe) arthritis. Except for the arthritis, she’s in better shape than I am.

But I see signs that she’s more frail. She stumbles sometimes. Has senior moments. Has mornings when she chooses to go back to bed rather than trek to the park. But there are also days that she asks for extra walks and rolls happily in the grass or wants to play tug or catch.

Another sign of her age is anxiety. When she’s anxious, she barks at … well, I can’t figure out what. I think she’s not seeing as well as she used to, and she gets startled more easily. I’ve tried several remedies for her anxiety. Some of them help some of the time. Treatibles are her favorite; she’ll often go into the kitchen, stand in front of the cabinet where I keep them, and bark. Melatonin, a new addition to the lineup, also seems to help. Sometimes a Comfort Zone plug-in helps; sometimes a wrap. If our friend Christina lived closer, she could offer regular Reiki treatments; that would probably help a lot.

Sometimes, though, when she’s agitated, Jana just wants to play. Or even (those who know Jana will know just how rare this is) cuddle! Those are my favorite remedies.

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