Meg’s visit across to the vet in Middlewich went as planned. Val and John arrived first thing on Thursday, then Val drove Meg and I over to drop Meg off for her x-rays.
By lunchtime my fingernails had all but disappeared, so I rang up to find out what had gone on. She was in recovery after the scans, but the nurse couldn’t tell me much more , only that she was OK.
We went back at around 4 o’clock to collect her, and I had a good long chat to the vet. The plates show that she has arthritis in both her elbows now, as suspected. And the elevated temperature, cough and lack of appetite seem to be down to some sort of congestion in one of her lungs. The pictures weren’t conclusive, but we’re hoping that it’s pneumonia rather than something more sinister, and she’s now on a broad spectrum of antibiotics in the hopes of clearing it up. To try for a better diagnosis the plates have been sent to a lab that specialises in interpreting the results, and we should now more by the time we go back for a review next Thursday.
I’m taking her off the Tramadol; it’s very effective at managing the arthritic pain but a side effect has her panting a lot. Combined with the lung problem she’s wheezing and struggling to get her breath, so I may go back to the paracetamol-based Pardale V for a few days. I think we need to clear up the infection before concentrating on long-term management of the arthritis. She does seem to be a little brighter today, so the half-dozen antibiotic tablets a day may be having a positive effect. Here’s hoping.
I’d arranged a Tesco delivery at Henhull Bridge for first thing on Friday, expecting to moor there overnight on Thursday. But by the time we’d got Meg back it was dark so we had to make an early start. Luckily it was only 40 minutes away.
Chris and Lesley on Rosie II reversing to turn around at the junction
Another early bird, Martin on the fuel boat Halsall
This northern stretch of the Shroppie, between Chester and Nantwich, was built in 1779. It’s purpose was to connect the salt producing areas around Nantwich to the River Dee, and was built to broad beam dimensions so barges off the river could navigate it. North of Chester and south of Nantwich the connecting waterways are narrow.
This hasn’t happened before – a kingfisher hitching a ride!
Off he goes in a flash of blue.
Tescoman came and went, and we turned around to head back towards Hurleston Junction, mooring for the night just below the locks.
This morning was cool, with a brisk northerly keeping the temperature down. But the sun was shining most of the time. Today’s plan was minimal; up the four locks, fill the water tank and empty the rubbish, then moor up 20 minutes further on. And that’s just what we did.
Into Hurleston Bottom Lock
On the way up
Looking back from the top lock
That’ll do for us, a wide, dry towpath, mooring rings and afternoon sunshine. Perfect for a few days.
Hurleston Locks will be closed from Monday for repairs to Locks 2 and 3, and an inspection of the bottom lock which is getting narrower. So it’ll probably be quiet after tomorrow. We’re booked into Swanley Bridge Marina for three nights towards the end of the week for Meg’s return vet visit and Mag’s review with her doctor up in Yorkshire. Then we’ll be heading through rural Shropshire and into deepest, darkest Wales, where the men are men and the sheep are nervous…
Locks 4, miles 4½