OT - Dog really sick, suffering, very sad situation

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BigLucy
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 413
   Posted 12/6/2009 11:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I've had my dog Harper for 12 years and she is not doing well: blood in urine, incontinent, and trouble walking on her back legs--all began this weekend. Taking her to the vet tomarrow. Really not looking forward to finding out what the problem is. I've already prepared myself and come to the decision that I will not (and can not) spend a lot of money, she's an old dog and the reality is it doesn't make sense. That being said, being pragmatic does nothing to help with the overwhelming sense of loss one has when facing losing a pet. Dogs are wonderful companions (and therapy) and she has been there many a day laying next to me when I haven't been feeling well. You get use to these little creatures living and breathing in the house, I never feel that alone when my dogs are around me. cry

Blessedx8
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 12/7/2009 12:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi BigLucy,

I'm sorry about your dog! We have a 1 year old puppy - and I now completely understand what good companions dogs are, especially to someone who is ill. I hope they can find out what's going on, and it's something easy to treat. Let us know what happens tomorrow.

Take care... --Tina
Pain Issues: Cervical/Thoracic back pain; migraines; carpal tunnel syndrome; widespread joint/muscle pain, nerve pain in hands/arms/feet; I also have Dysautonomia/POTS; CFS/Fibromyalgia; Severe Hypertension; Hypothyroidism; Addison's Disease; Mixed (Obstructive/Central) Sleep Apnea - on Auto BiPap; etc etc

Meds: MS Contin (480mg daily); Dilaudid (8mg/3x day); Actiq (1200 mcgs/1x per day); Soma (3x day); Neurontin; Atenolol; Midodrine; Phenergan/Zofran/Reglan; Effexor and on the list goes...

Future Plans: Intrathecal Pain Pump; already completed trial; awaiting my decision for implantation


PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 12/7/2009 12:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Big Lucy,
I'm so sorry to read about Harper, but I'm hoping maybe it won't be as bad as you're thinking. I do fully understand the money issue - I think you know that. It's something I've thought about as I've contemplated getting another cat, because I know what I spent on my 20 year old to keep him going that long, and I would not be able to do the same now.

Certainly if it's something that's not treatable or reversible, as hard as the decision is, it may in some ways make it clearer for you, and not just about finances. I will be thinking about you and Harper and waiting to read how tomorrow goes.

BTW, I do not consider this off topic at all! Our animals are such solace (which is why I wish I had one right now), and to me they have spirits just like people. There is a true relationship there, and that's never easy to face difficult decisions in relation to a pet we so love, and is so much a part of our life.

I am hoping for a good outcome tomorrow, but whatever happens, we're here.

Hugs,

PaLady

FunnyGurl
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 12/7/2009 4:34 AM (GMT -7)   
My thoughts are with you as u go thru this difficult time with one of your loved ones.
I pray the Vet can fix Harper up and he can bring you many more years of companionship.
 
Good thoughts your way!
rhonda
Humour is always the Best Medicine!
 
Fibromyalgia, DDD, 2 herniated Lumbar discs, OsteoArthritis Lumbar, Migraine, Dysthmic Disorder, Anxiey, Panic Attacks, OsteoArthritis Knee, Carpal Tunnel both hands, Currently Double Depression


bsjaguar
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Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 12/7/2009 4:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Big Lucy, I'll be thinking about you today. I hope there is a curable fix for Harper. Good Luck!!! Alot of have pets that are like family to us so this post is just fine here. My big old Russell cat means the world to me. Let us know what you find out.
---Jag---
 
DDD, osteoarthritis, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3


punchfit
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 12/7/2009 5:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi BigLucy,

I do hope that the vet is able to assist Harper so he can continue to provide the love, support and companionship for as long as possible.
I also hope the vet can provide pain relief to Harper, as it sounds like he is probally experiencing a significant level of discomfort.
Let us know how it goes.
Try and keep your chin- up.
My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

Leisa x

edt
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 773
   Posted 12/7/2009 6:00 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Big Lucy,

My heart goes out to you.....my lab/rotty will be 14 in January.  6 mos. ago she started with the same exact symptoms as yours.  We took her to the Vet and it was an E-Coli Urinary Tract infection.  After 3 courses of Antibiotics and $3000 she still had the infection.  I used to work for a M.D. Homeopath and he recommended D Mannos a natural product $19.  IT WORKED in just a few days!!!!

She was diagnosed at 11mos with Hip Dysplasia and the regular vet wanted to do Hip Replacement...no way!!  So I found a Homeopathic Vet that did acupuncture and body work....I have had her on supplements throughout her life and although she is slowing down, still does very well.  I've been told that Urinary problems occur frequently as our dogs age.

I feel for you and all of us who have animals.  I can't bear the thought of losing her EVER.

I'm hoping it will be an easy problem and Harper is better soon!!! 

XXOO
Patti


BigLucy
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 413
   Posted 12/7/2009 6:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks all for the support. Well, 550. later prognosis is not fatal but not good. Enlarged heart needs daily meds for rest of life, degenerative disc, needing pain meds, possible urinary infection, sample set to lab, starting antibiotics. The vet kept talking about all the possible meds and things needed in the near future for the heart and I'm not sure I can do it--when I eluded to that he looked at me as if I was crazy and it was assumed that I would pay any amount to keep my almost 13 yr old dog alive for as long as possible. Not sure I have the physical/emotional energy for all this, but of coarse, I will keep plucking along as long as I can. I guess I'm feeling a little weary b/c I had a cat several years ago that got sick and after two years of costly and labor intensive treatment, he died anyway (and the last two years were not quality). I wish we could claim our animals as tax deductions, it would help.

Anyway, I guess Harper is officially a new member of the CP family.

SnowyLynne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 1539
   Posted 12/7/2009 6:24 PM (GMT -7)   
We lost our Lab last year he was nearly 17......
We lost my Chiuaha in April she was 9......Now we have a cat & another dog we adopted from the humane society.Can't see life without pets......
SnowyLynne


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 12/7/2009 7:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Big Lucy,
You know, as I alluded to in my other post, there was a time I would have spent neary anything I had on my pets. Now I don't even have the money for my own health. I'm surprised your vet hasn't read any newspapers in the past year to clue him into the fact that there are a lot of people in economic trouble, losing their jobs, their homes, their health, etc. And I'm sure many of these people love their pets, but in my recent visits to the Humane Society I hear over and over that one of the most recent reasons for people surrendering their pets is money. I mean serious stuff like they're being foreclosed on and have to move, or have to move to a place that won't take animals, etc., etc., etc.

I know it's got to be heartwrenching to reach a point where you might have to say "enough", but you are the only one who can decide that. And I hope you can do so without feeling guilty. Maybe you need a new vet who understands more of your (and many others') circumstances. It's not like you don't love htis dog; it's obvious you do. Just like with us humans, some thing you may have to let go, including medications for Harper. Maybe you can find low cost alternatives (something like edt mentioned) or pet medications online for a discount. Every little bit can help, but there is a limit, and I for one understand that.

Maybe you could try talking with your vet, or writing him a letter and explaining what you can and can't do. I can remember "old fashioned" vets that I used to take my animals to, before all the high tech stuff moved into the vet world. Now I'm not against that, but it's not within everyone's range. But these old fashioned vets would kind of use their practice wisodm and intuition and also temper it with reality as to how much to do for a given pet. I think if you can keep Harper out of serious pain, keep him reasonably comfortable, just do that, and when you get to a point that no longer works, then it may be "time".

I wish I could think of something more. Just know I understand.

Hugs - and welcome, Harper!

PaLady

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 12/7/2009 7:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Good evening Lucy! I'm very sorry to hear about Harper going through a tuff time of it. A family pet does indeed become one of our best friends in life. A dog will especially work very hard, to whittle out a special place in our hearts. I would have loved, having a dog as a companion during this time of my life, but with my surgery coming up in Feb, I didn't think I could handle a puppy and the attention they need, with all that energy they have. My wife and I settled on a Kitty....and right now he is a ball of fire! Animals can really surprise you, so we will hope for the best for Harper! You are so right about a pet filling in the gaps of loneliness, and I think they really are aware of when we are not feeling well. Take care my friend, and keep us updated on his prognosis.

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 12/7/2009 8:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm astounded that your vet would do this to you...situations are hard all over the globe and he could've given you a discount...
Sure we love to have our pets with us, but when it gets to much then the vet should've had a heart and listened to you..
try doing a google search, there are places that can help finacially for emergency situations..try getting another
Vet and I'm truly truly very sorry about your beloved pet...you have my sinceere empathy and prayers...
wish I knew what else to says, but this is a hard situation...so very sorry you have to be going thru this...
((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((big lucy)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
hugz
**********************************************
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

********>^..^<********>^..^<********>^..^<********


Chartreux
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Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 12/7/2009 8:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm astounded that your vet would do this to you...situations are hard all over the globe and he could've given you a discount...
Sure we love to have our pets with us, but when it gets to much then the vet should've had a heart and listened to you..
try doing a google search, there are places that can help finacially for emergency situations..try getting another
Vet and I'm truly truly very sorry about your beloved pet...you have my sinceere empathy and prayers...
wish I knew what else to says, but this is a hard situation...so very sorry you have to be going thru this...
((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((big lucy)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
hugz
**********************************************
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

********>^..^<********>^..^<********>^..^<********


privey
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 453
   Posted 12/7/2009 9:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Big Lucy,
One thing I've found over the years is our pets aren't just our pets they become our family members. Each loss tears at our hearts whether they have been with us for 17 year or 1 year. It kills me to think of something happening to my inside boys (cats) and our little ferrel cats outside that we feed. I am so sorry you are having to go through this right now or at any time. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Harper and I hope things get better for you both.

melliflious
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 12/7/2009 11:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Big Lucy, I'm sorry to hear you're going through this. I've had dogs all my life, and know it is hard to watch them suffer. My mother is a veterinarian, and I grew up working at her clinic. I have to say, it sounds like on the scale of things, you and your dog are pretty lucky. One of my mom's specialties is geriatric care, and helping people realize that a 10-12 year old dog is really not that old. We've had large dogs live healthy lives beyond sixteen years, but a large part of that unfortunately is having the finances and a vet with the right mindset. I know it can be really difficult. One thing to maybe look into is pet insurance. I can't recall any of the companies off the top of my head, but I know there are several out there. And although it would be wonderful if the vet took Chartreux's advice and was able to give you a discount, the unfortunate fact is that vets are having a really hard time now too. People are facing this exact situation, being in a place where caring for their pets becomes financially difficult. This means that fees that normally help vets keep their clinics open aren't coming in, and I know my mom is not alone for having had to lay off some staff. Its just not a good time all around. That being said, your vet should have been more considerate :(
I really hope things turn out well for you, and at the very least that you are able to help Harper stay comfortable for the rest of his life. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

Jenna
Pain Issue: Sub-scapular bursitis, scapular dyskinesia, nerve damage down left arm, shoulder and neck
Treatment: PT, Tens Unit, Oxycodone, Diazepan, Hydrocodone-APAP, Tramadol, Voltaren/Duac gel


Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 12/8/2009 8:47 AM (GMT -7)   
sorry that posted twice, I had computer troubles last night...
more hugz and prayers to ya big lucy....
**********************************************
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

********>^..^<********>^..^<********>^..^<********


BigLucy
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 413
   Posted 12/8/2009 10:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, I've calmed way down. Harper's doing fine except she's doing a lot of crate time b/c of her constant urination (hopefully the antibiotics will take effect in 2-3 days). I'll get in the routine of giving Harper her meds at the same time I take mine--it will be a bonding experience for us both. She appears to be having a low pain day, not whimpering/shaking any more--at least someone is doing fine around here. As far as cost for treatment for my dog, I'm financially stable at this point in my life b/c I can still work, BUT, I have been home for several months b/c of a surgery and it's a BIG reminder of the possiblity I may some day not be able to work; I feel guilty for spending money, like I should save everything for the future, in case I cannot work someday. I know, I know, it's for my companion, but vet care is soooooo expensive, the heart and pain medication they put Harper on is going to cost me 75 dollars a month and who knows how many more tests and vet visits all this will require. This reminded me of a friend of mine who several years ago had a cat who had a seizure and the treatment cost my friend six thousand dollars--the cat ended up dying six months later due to diabetes. I remember thinking to myself, "would I pay that much money to save my pet?" I'm not heartless, I'm just a very pragmatic person. On the other hand, I also believe my animals are my responsibility and if I am able I should take care of them as best as I can provide. Oh so dramatic, starting to feel like Shopie's Choice, sheesh.

PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 12/9/2009 12:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Big Lucy,
I'm glad that things for both you and Harper seem to be moving in a more positive direction, but I "hear" you about your fears of the future. I know you're an intelligent woman and I also know you're human; over time you will know what to do, but it sounds like for now you've got the immediate situation managed. Even "bonding" with Harper taking your meds together! That's sweet in its own way.

Maybe spend some time searching the net to see if you can get any of those meds on a discounted basis, and also thinking about what the downside is to not giving all of it. For example, I know you wouldn't want him in pain, but there may be options for that which are less expensive (look at all the options we talk about for us!). But maybe you have some time to think about whether you have any choice about the heart medication. How long will it likely prolong his life, and add to his quality of life? You may not even know those answers, but take it one day at a time.

And remember this is never off topic!

Hugs,

PaLady

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 12/9/2009 8:50 AM (GMT -7)   
    Don't mean to rob the post away from Lucy, but just want to say hi to PaLady....I have been missing you...and actually several of you....well hell....all of you! (CMA) :)

skeye
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 12/9/2009 6:55 PM (GMT -7)   
(((((((Lucy))))))))). It is so unfair that our animals have such short lifespans in comparison to their human companions. They change our lives in so many ways. It is so hard to watch them get older. I'm sorry to hear that Harper's body is starting to give out on her. I don't envy your position at all. How do you put a price tag on love? On a life? I'm sure she knows that you'll do everything you can to help her not to suffer & won't love you any less if there comes a point where you don't have the money to support her. Animals are so smart and intuitive. She'll let you when enough is enough, and she'll let you know when it is okay to let go.

I don't know what specific heart condition Harper has & what medications your vet discussed with you, but if she's in heart failure, you may want to talk to your vet about a medication called vetmedin (if he/she hasn't talked to you about it to begin with). Vetmedin is relatively new in the US, having just been approved a couple of years ago, but it's becoming more widely used. The clinic I work at started using it about a year ago & we've had really good results so far. Just something to think about. Also, look around for better prices on meds. Depending on how pricey your vet is, you may be able to find your dogs meds cheaper from an online pharmacy, or even from a human pharmacy. Your vet can certainly call any script for your dog into a pharmacy as long as it is a medication that is also used in humans. You might also talk about changing her diet & whether or not your vet has the capacity to do routine blood work & urinalysis in the office, rather than sending the samples to the lab (usually much cheaper). Not all vets have the machines necessary to do the blood work, but any clinic should be able to do an in-house urinalysis.You might also consider talking your vet about your money worries. They may be able to help reduce your expenses by giving you discounts or exploring alternative treatment options that are more cost effective. Most vets just want to help & can't stand to see an animal suffering. We've written off costs for treatments or meds on more than one occasion. Those are all the words of wisdom that I can think of at the moment.


I hope you can find a solution that works for everyone, especially Harper. Let us know how she does. I'll add you both to my prayers -- it can't hurt! You'll get through this, keep the faith.

hugs,
Skeye

Post Edited (skeye) : 12/10/2009 10:56:42 AM (GMT-7)


PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 12/10/2009 12:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Big Lucy,
I wonder if there are any clinical trials for new meds, like the one skeye described? Just a thought that occurred to me as I read her post.

Skeye - you're going to make a great vet one day!

PaLady

merrygirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 702
   Posted 12/10/2009 9:39 AM (GMT -7)   
hey there.

i was a former vet tech efore i became disbaled, and based on the info you gave it doesnt sounds serious. sounds like a bladder infection.

some antibiotics, and there is a drug PPA that can help with incontinence. I know the urination in the house is hard, but hopefully that will stop,
hang in there
Chronic Lyme Disease
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PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 12/10/2009 4:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Merrygirl,
Is there a PPA for animals? Just curious.

Thanks,
PaLady

skeye
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 12/10/2009 5:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Palady,

I can answer your question: yes there is a form of ppa for dogs. It is marketed as a drug called Proin. Of course there are other meds that can be used for incontinence too (such as diethylstilbestrol, a form of synthetic estrogen), but Proin works pretty well.

Skye

BigLucy
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 413
   Posted 12/10/2009 10:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I love that the focus is on my dog and not me, it's actually kinda nice not talking/thinking about all my problems for a change. Anyway, very good news. First, I should have said this before, but I kinda get overwhelmed and don't have the energy to write out every detail of what's going on, but when we took Harper into the vets on Monday, she didn't see her regular doc, he was out for a couple days so we say another partner in the practice I'm not familiar with. So I get a call from our regular vet last night, who I've been going to for years and he took a look at the xray and wants me to take Harper off the heart medicine, he believes it's premature and the side effects out way the benefits--yeah! Also, she came back positive for e coli infection and switched the antibiotic at no charge this a.m. and all seems like it's right on track. She still suffers from bad disks/arthritis. Harper's right next to me, laying on an electric blanket in what I would say a dog coma from the snuggly heat (she LOVES the electric blanket, got it just for her). She's pain free today and the constant urination is gone. So today I am at peace, which is all we can hope for.

For all that are curious, she has mitro valve prolapse/heart's enlarged: my vet says there's two schools of thought, proactive (give meds right away) and conservative (wait until multipel sx's occur). My vet is conservative, he want's to wait until she displays a hacking cough and lethargy. Heart meds cause kidney problems so if we can hold off, he believes it will be better. I'm very comfortable with his recommendation. It's so important to have the right vet AND doctor (as we all know). Any thoughts all you vet people?

Woof!
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