That’s our elderly, blind Mildred managing to enjoy two beds at once the other morning. We just had to laugh when we saw she had figured out how to stretch herself across both of them at the same time. Mildred had come to us last September from the Spartanburg Humane Society in South Carolina, where she’d been found as a stray and turned into the shelter. Once here, she had appointments with almost all of our veterinary specialists in what we called “Mildred’s Medical Whirlwind.”
That included cataract surgery to restore her vision, but sadly, post-operatively she developed retinal detachments, leaving her blind once again. However, it didn’t affect her spirit at all. To this day, whenever we bring Mildred inside after being outdoors for her potty breaks, she twirls on the floor, spins around, and does a couple of play-bows. It’s just so endearing to see this joy and playfulness in a little blind senior (and one who’s almost completely deaf, by the way!).
But she’s going in for surgery this week. One of the things we discovered during her medical work-up last fall was a biliary mucocele, in which her gallbladder is retaining excess mucus. Our internal medicine specialist at Peak, Dr. Marielle Goossens, has been managing that condition with medications. We periodically do repeat ultrasounds to look for changes in the gallbladder.
Unfortunately, at Mildred’s latest ultrasound a week ago, we found her gallbladder had deteriorated further and it’s now time to have it surgically removed. If we don’t, it can rupture internally and create an immediate, life-threatening danger to her. So our board-certified veterinary surgeon at Peak, Dr. Kurt Schulz, will be doing the operation. Mildred will be in the hospital for a couple of days post-surgery. She can function just fine without a gallbladder, though we will need to continue to closely monitor her liver function.
Needless to say, we’re going to be nervous wrecks until she’s safely out of surgery. Given her advanced age and heart condition (she’s on heart meds, too), there are risks … but we’ve discussed them with Dr. Goossens, and the biggest risk is to do nothing and end up with an emergency situation where it might be too late to help her. So please keep Mildred in your thoughts this week. Thank you!