An Update on Dax

I'll take a little departure from green blogging today to share an update on our fur baby, Dax.

Dax is the sweetest, most loyal 10-year old Russian Blue. He was adopted as a baby by my fiance, and in our past four years together, he's stolen my heart (and my lap). He's the calm big brother to Milo's insanity. He was also known for being a little chunky...18 pounds over the summer and 16 pounds in November. The weekend after Christmas, we realized something was wrong, as he wasn't eating or drinking anything and had lost three pounds in a month. After a couple days of monitoring him at home, with no improvement, we made a vet appointment while preparing ourselves for the worst.

The diagnosis was liver failure. The vet said it hadn't progressed so far where it couldn't be overcome, and he recommended we insert a feeding tube that would allow Dax to get the nutrients he needed to kickstart his liver to function properly again. If we decided against the tube, Dax would have had about 30 days left.

So, on the second to last day of 2015, we made the tough decision to go for the feeding tube with the hope that it would give him many more years with us, and committed to the work of giving Dax prescription food and medication four times a day. Although at first he slept most of the time, within a few days, we could see Dax's energy and personality creep back in.

The past two and a half months have been a small roller coaster. He had his good days, and he had his bad days. And so did we. We were thrilled when Dax slowly began eating on his own again. We were nervous when he would throw up. We were concerned when he stopped eating his hard food. (It was the flavor we tried that he just didn't like.) So when we switched back to his favorite flavor and watched him eat and eat and eat, we got optimistic. We slowly weaned him off of the tube feedings and made sure he was all set on his own.

Just over a week ago, we decided it was finally time to remove the tube. After two months, it was actually weird to see him without a small orange plastic straw sticking out of his neck bandage. We left the bandage on to ensure the wound healed, and finally, at long last, we removed it this weekend. I'm sure he is thrilled that he can feel air on his neck again!

Dax is now back to normal, save for some fur that still hasn't fully grown back from his tube-insertion shave, and his new slim-and-trim weight. And while he seems to have even more energy than he did before, he still loves to snuggle on the couch and in bed.

I might be breathing a sigh of relief, but I know that we will never feel "in the clear" with Dax for the rest of his life. I'm so hopeful and optimistic that he lives strong for another few years, but we're always going to be monitoring him in the back of our minds, making sure that he is healthy. We know now that seemingly little symptoms can mean something serious.

And I also know that I'll never take his cuddles or meows for granted again. Dax is truly part of our little family. May he crowd my lap while I write many more blog posts over the years.

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