Bangsiri can see

Bangsiri has been stable for a few months, but she has to go back to the cardiologist every month for millions of stressful tests. Every time the vets take her away from me, I’m afraid she’ll get dropped. Every time, she’s a brave angel and gives me kisses on the subway on our way home.

Bangsiri is back on vegan food after a few setbacks—for about a week in March, I resorted to nonvegan dog/cat food to get her eating again after her pickiness escalated and she missed a dose of medicine. And two weeks ago, almost immediately after a checkup showed no change in her condition, I thought I noticed her getting weaker. She seemed less active, she tilted her head when she walked, and she had no confidence out on walks. Worst of all, she started shivering when she wasn’t cold. I texted the cardiologist and he advised me to bring her in for more tests if it continued—I was worried about kidney failure because that’s one of the risks of the medicine she’s taking.

But they couldn’t find anything wrong with her kidneys or other internal organs, and her heart hadn’t gotten any worse since her checkup. The vet at Diana examined her eyes and said he thought she was blind. He suggested taking her back to Mari for more tests. Bangsiri had her morning medicine at Diana that day, and the vet didn’t have any peanut butter on hand so I felt I had to agree to conventional dog food.

Well, it turns out my angel isn’t blind after all—her eyes are getting older, and they’re changing, but she can still see. Dirty ears may have caused the problem. Whatever it was, she’s back to her old self again—happy, affectionate and puppylike. I guess I shouldn’t smile when she barks at strange kids or at passers-by outside the window, but it’s proof she really can see them.

Kim So Youn, the owner of the vegan online store Noble Shop, recently began importing Benevo Duo—a canned vegan food that is supposed to be suitable for both dogs and cats. We got some this week and so far the kids seem to like it, but I’m still getting used to the change. If I feed too much at once, some of it will go to waste. If I don’t feed enough, they’ll get hungry between meals. (Gemma just knocked over the garbage can to let me know the bowl was empty.) I want to be sure I’m not overfeeding or underfeeding, and I’d like to know the final word on supplements. So I’m considering a consultation with a veterinary nutritionist in the States who is said to be vegan friendly.

As I’ve written before, I’ve done my best to live as vegan a life as possible for more than 20 years. I haven’t been super strict about white sugar, although I prefer other sweeteners. I’ve struggled with wrong information in restaurants. And I really struggle when it comes to the endless list of nonvegan veterinary products that are supposed to benefit my family’s health in some way. Which ones are really unavoidable? I put Bangsiri’s medicine in vegan capsules every day, even though I had to send away for the capsules—but I’m also considering whether to send away for a nonvegan joint support formula. Will it help or is it just one more unnecessary product?

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