Ray’s Health


For the past few months, Ray’s health has been in a steady decline.  He has become more and more anemic.  Because he is Babesia positive, the first step medically was for him to under-go Babesia treatment.  Completed the treatment, and follow up tests showed no live Babesia organisms in his blood. Wonderful, right?  Wrong.  The anemia was no better, in fact it was a little worse.

I took him back to the doctor, telling them there was something that just wasn’t right.  He lacked energy. He had little or no appetite.  He just seemed so very tired.  More testing.  Worse anemia. Every time.

Then Ray suddenly began drinking gallons of water, and peeing excessively.  A dog who rarely even approached his water pail, was now draining it dry.  So back he went to the vet to check for diabetes. Nope.  Blood sugar was normal.  So, we tested for Cushings Disease.  Nope, not Cushings.  A urinalysis showed that he had a high level of protein in his urine, and Dr Mike discovered his blood pressure was very high.  Both of these are signs of failing kidneys.

Ray started medication for high blood pressure.  It was hoped that the meds would help ease the strain on his kidneys and prevent further damage.  He was taken off his familiar dog food and put on a low protein, high quality canned food.  The food is expensive, but Ray likes it and eats it well.

Two weeks later we were back to the clinic for follow up testing to check his blood pressure, urine, and blood.  Results?  Blood pressure still dangerously high, higher level of protein in the urine, and anemia is worse.  An ultrasound showed his spleen to be enlarged with a mass on the end.  Dr. Mike doubled his blood pressure meds, and told me we really needed to think about removing that spleen.

Five days later Ray was vomiting profusely and having massive amounts of nasty, smelly diarrhea.  Back to the clinic we went, on an emergency basis. Ray’s body was unable to tolerate that dose of blood pressure medication.  So the BP med dose was decreased, and we added Pepsid and metranidozole to his medication regime.

Five days after that we had another follow-up visit.  Blood pressure up.  Protein in urine up.  And his anemia was at 22%. No wonder our little guy acted so tired.  He had also suddenly developed issues with his right eye, which required steroid drops.

I was a little apprehensive when the receptionist asked me to wait to talk to the doctor.  And when both Dr Chris and Dr Patti came out, I knew it was serious.  The bottom line is that Ray’s only chance of getting better is to have his spleen removed.  A malfunctioning spleen can cause splintered cells, which become lodged in the kidneys. In many cases, removing the spleen takes away the cause of the anemia, and improves kidney function dramatically.

There is no guarantee that this will help him at all.  But without the surgery, his quality of life will just continue to decrease.  And our little brown dog deserves so much better than that.

In two days, Ray will have surgery to remove that troublesome spleen.  Friday cannot come soon enough. I’m watching him become quieter and weaker every single day.  I am very concerned about the surgery.  I know it’s dangerous.  But it is our one shot to give Ray the type of life that he can enjoy.

Thank goodness I work for an organization that puts a high value on an animal’s life.  We have access to the best possible medical care, at a reasonable cost.  But for something like this, money is the least of our concerns.  Ray’s health and happiness are the only things that matter.

Please keep my family in your thoughts on Friday.  It is going to be a very long and stressful day for Kevin and I.


31 thoughts on “Ray’s Health

  1. I have never had the privilege of meeting Ray in person But there is something about that beautiful little brown dog and his graying muscle but just touches my heart Thinking positive thoughts for him and your family. Thinking positive thoughts for him and your family


  2. Sending positive vibes. My baby had her spleen removed in February then a month later we discovered she had Babesia, so kind of a reverse situation. Any surgery is scary, especially this one, but the recovery was fast and she felt so much better afterwards, energy levels went way up, and the tail was wagging nonstop, so hoping for the same for your Ray!


  3. Miss Chloe and the Utah pack are spinning the prayer wheel for all of you. HUGE hugs, pawsitive energy and a blessing for all the healing hands who will work on Ray.



    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jackie I will definitely be praying for Ray and your family. I have been worried about him for a while since his Babesia flared up the last time. I pray that the spleen removal will go well and will be the answer to our prayers for Ray. So many prayers are bound to help. I have personally experienced the power of prayer when my husband fell 30ft off a roof and broke his neck and back. He is alive and walking today. God is good!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Heartfelt thoughts and prayers sent for Ray and his family. He is loved by so many, including those of us who have never had the privilege of meeting him, but feel that we know him.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh Jackie my pack and I will all be praying for Ray. My last day at BFAS in April he wasn’t feeling well. I’m so sad it’s continued to this. Lots of love from Fargo, ND.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ray had to be stabilized enough so that he could handle the surgery. And his doctors wanted the two most experienced surgeons to handle the job. Our vets are responsible first for the 1700 animals who live at Best Friends. Staff is extremely fortunate to be able to access the Best Friends clinic and we are thankful two such skilled vets will be on hand to work on our boy. Thank you, I have to say that I understand and share your concern.


  8. My thoughts and prayers are with you and with dear little Ray. I hope the surgery on Friday is a huge success and that he mends quickly. Love seeing his precious face here on FB and having you share him with the world. YAYAYAY for ALL the Vicktory dogs, both in doggy heaven and here on earth! Lots of love

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sending nothing but Pawsitive Prayers & Healing Thoughts your way Ray & family. Hoping for the best outcome for this Incredible FurBaby!!! Love from Ohio ( oh & woofs from Samantha)!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Praying so hard for you all and of course for Ray. It is absolutely heart-wrenching/soul crushing watching our babies not feel good. I pray that this surgery is sucessful and that Ray will be on the road to recovery. Poor little guy. Prayers and hugs for all of you. Thank you for sharing your story with us. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

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