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Dog Worries

My elder dog is beginning to fail, I think. Over the past year he's had a couple of nasty gastric episodes (in fact he had the first, from which he nearly died, almost exactly a year ago just after my mum's funeral). He lost a lot of weight over the summer, and although he's gained some of it back, he's got that bony old dog look. Lately, he's been getting incontinent, both of bladder and bowels, not dreadfully, but some urgency and added frequency. Also his back legs have been getting weaker. I've started him on chiropractic treatment to help strengthen his legs and ease pressure on bladder and nerves, and he had a treatment yesterday. I was out for dinner last night and came home to find the room near the door where they normally go out filled with diarrhea which had obviously become increasingly bloody (sorry for all the nasty details). He looked very poorly, and went straight to bed without demanding his customary bedtime biscuit - probably for the first time in his life. He had a couple more episodes of diarrhea in the night and at one point fell over and couldn't get up. This morning he didn't want to get out of bed.

I honestly thought it was the end, but when I took him to the vet he had rallied quite a bit and they said his vitals were good. He's had a whole raft of blood tests for kidney and liver functions because of the incontinence, and those are normal. The vet couldn't feel any mass, and he didn't have a fever. So we're treating the symptoms and will wait and see. However. I suspect, and I think the vet suspects, that he has a tumour that they're not feeling or catching in the tests. I'm not paying $400.00 for a test to tell me that, especially as I wouldn't treat it if we found it (Cholmondeley is 13 going on 14 in a breed where the average age is 14). So, I prepare myself as best I can (how can I). And just love him while I still have him.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
noveldevice
Feb. 6th, 2007 02:09 am (UTC)
Oh dear. :( I am sorry to hear this.

My best wishes to him. We had a beardie as a client when I worked at the shop who lived to quite an age and was as charming as could be. His owner set him on fire accidentally when he was about twelve. (Bogart was unharmed, although a haircut to get the singed bits off was neccessary. Story upon request.)
intertext
Feb. 6th, 2007 03:52 am (UTC)
A blazing beardie! What fun :) They are so charming... I knew a beardie named Bogart, too, though I'm sure it wasn't the same one.
noveldevice
Feb. 6th, 2007 04:13 am (UTC)
They really are. Bogart was a smashing old geezer, and the apple of his owner's eye. He was a red and white beardie gone pink with age. His owner's special Christmas turkey recipe included a basting with bourbon in the middle of cooking, and he'd been indulging in the bourbon, so he overbasted a little.

He and Bogie were across the kitchen hanging out when the bourbon caught fire in the oven. The explosion blew the door open and a ten foot blast of fire shot out, catching Bogie's fur on fire. His owner put him out with a kitchen towel. :)

I hope that Cholmondley gives you a surprise and lives a few years longer in splendid health. My friend EMA's English bull terrier lived to fourteen with a tumor on his spleen the size of a grapefruit for the last two years of it, so you never know.
a_d_medievalist
Feb. 6th, 2007 02:25 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm so sorry. I wish I could say something to make it better, but it sounds like you've already accepted that the news might not be that good. I hope you both have some good time left. *hugs*
intertext
Feb. 6th, 2007 03:54 am (UTC)
Thanks :) I just treasure every hour I have left with him.
brinian
Feb. 6th, 2007 06:55 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry. This is how my old Lady dog (AKA the "Nasty Old Bitch") went. Colton is going to be thirteen in exactly one month. His liver values are wonky. I'm worried and fretting about him all the time. The problem is that he's totally neurotic and picks up on my worry!

My thoughts are with you. Please keep us posted so we can give you whatever support you need!
intertext
Feb. 6th, 2007 04:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you. He does seem a little better today, at least the symptoms have settled down somewhat, but he had a very restless night. I was concerned that he might have been in pain... and realize that I'm now facing the point of having to decide when "quality" of life is no longer there. ick. I have felt that with my last dog I waited too long, and don't want to do that again, but on the other hand I don't want to jump the gun, so to speak. It's hard.
oursin
Feb. 6th, 2007 08:28 am (UTC)
Sympathies
intertext
Feb. 6th, 2007 03:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
intertext
Feb. 7th, 2007 04:58 am (UTC)
There's a reason why I used dog or pet ownership as an example of "romantic irony" - "she dwells in beauty, beauty that must die..." Alas that our furry friends are unlikely to outlive us. Thanks for the good thought. Chums does seem to be rallying, so we'll keep our fingers crossed.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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