February 2010 Pet of the Month: Whitey

whiteWhitey was born to a neighborhood stray at the place where I used to live. I watched him grow up. He was such a nice friendly guy that when I moved, I couldn’t leave without him. So I took him in, along with one of his half-sisters from a younger litter.

After a few years he started acting lethargic, lost his appetite, stopped eating entirely, and became jaundiced. Dr. Pribil diagnosed hepatic lipidosis, a serious liver condition which is often fatal. The only treatment is artificial feeding. So the Doc installed a gastrostomy tube, through which I could pass food directly into his stomach. For three weeks my life revolved around that tube, four times a day injecting a slurry of prescription food into his stomach to keep him nourished. One day he started eating on his own, the tube was removed, and he was his old self again!

Today, though a “geriatric” fellow at 13 1/2, he is still frisky and affectionate (he is curled up on my lap as I type). My best friend and companion.
– Tom Briggs