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Saturday, January 3, 2009

2008 is all over but the cleanup

Friday was a wet, cold, day with too much time between things of interest. Katie the cocka-poo has been having a bit of a renal problem during sleep so we took her in to the vet. Since she also has seizures that seem to be due to a liver shunt problem, we scheduled an appt with the NCSU Vet school to have her evaluated for treatment.

A liver shunt is a growth problem in some animals. Before birth, the waste byproducts that are carried in the bloodstream of the unborn, are passed back to the mother's blood system via the umbilical cord. To facilitate this, much of the blood bypasses the liver by way of one or more arteries that allow the blood to go directly to the placenta.

About the time of birth, these shunts normally close down and force the blood to be processed by the now, well developed liver. Occasionally, these shunts do not close up completely and keep allowing waste carrying blood to bypass the liver and continue circulating in the new born.

The fix is to find where these are, usually with an ultrasound scan and possibly a radiographic CT scan, and then surgically close them off so the liver can do a complete job.

This was probably more than you really wanted to know about Shunts and seizures but we are living it daily so its in here. Seizures are only the tip of the iceberg and if nothing is done, liver and kidney failure will eventually result along with a host of other very unpleasant side effects and discomforts to the animal. We are now pretty sure that this is why we found Katie in a rescue program.

The post Christmas take-down/put away effort happened, also. Normally, our Christmas decorations stay up a long time. Its not unusual to see twinkle lights on in February but this year, DakotR is so kind to us that it takes very few decorations to make it festive looking. I realized after it was over that maybe the reason that we have always left the decorations up is because it has always been such a chore to get started on in the stix and brix house. Here, 15 minutes and the whole job is done and out of sight without any stepladders, extension cords or angst... one more plus for the Full time lifestyle!
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