Sick Dog

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Sick Dog

Post by Stu »

Something to share with the members here - and I would welcome your thoughts, comments and experiences.

We have a small shaggy dog who is 11-years old. About a month ago, he had what appeared to be a fit and since then, his health has declined massively. He lost all energy, was unable to eat, could barely walk for more than a few yards without sitting down. After a number of visits to the vet with various (wrong) diagnoses of epilepsy and severe arthritis, it was evident that his stomach had swollen and he was x-rayed. Fluid was found (ascites) and so an ECG was done to check his heart rhythm. We were told that his pulse was extremely slow and that the rhythm of his heart was such that he definitely had a blockage. This was extremely dangerous and he had, according to the vet, no chance of making any kind of recovery. He might survive for a few
days at best, but he would rapidly deteriorate and perhaps it would be kinder to have him put down. We considered that, but decided we would take him home and see how things went and we would bring him back if we thought he was suffering too much. That was ten days ago. Since then, he has very slowly, but unarguably, improved. Today, we took him for a walk of one-hour's duration. Mostly, he is slow on the walks and needs periodic rests and he did today. However, on today's walk he was able to run freely in a field and play with another dog - and we don't have to stop for him more than a couple of times for ten seconds or so to catch his breath. He came home, had a pork steak dinner, and jumped on the sofa to chill out. He clearly has some quality of life, even if he is frail and way below his previous healthy state.

I suspect that the original episode he experienced was not a fit, but a heart attack and that he is now making a slow, and what will be at best a partial, recovery, and that we might have been right to not take the vet's advice to have him put down.
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Re: Sick Dog

Post by r.m.anderson »

Something toxic he ate causing the temporary bloated swollen stomach issue ?
Something not visible on an X-ray ?

My vet takes X-rays -but- sends them out for further study at the University of Minnesota Vet school
for a second opinion view confirmation.

My dog is now coming up on 14 years and showing the age of a 90 year old human -
quality of life issues are now becoming a concern - so far so good -

Good Luck to you beating perhaps a misdiagnosis ?
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Re: Sick Dog

Post by denimini »

Sounds like there is some quality of life. If his tail wags; keep him going.
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Re: Sick Dog

Post by Spirou003 »

I had a similar situation 4 years ago with my 16 years old cat, that's very sad to live. The only advice I can get you, is:
- enjoy the time you can have with him (obviously)
- discuss with him about what's happening (he might understand some things. Not as deep as us, but a bit)
- don't think at what you will have to do if his health deteriores too much until it's the case (anyway, you're not even sure it's really his end now)

For the second point, I'm convinced that's true because the day following the evening on which I told my cat to continue his efforts only for him but not for me because I will survive his death, he died just after our daily morning hug. A bit like "thank you for all, I can rest in peace now". And then, I was luckily not confronted to the case of too bad health and what should I do with that.

Ah, maybe one last: follow your heart ;)
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Re: Sick Dog

Post by oldsalt1 »

Over the years I have had to put a couple of pets down. It is never easy.

With out trying to describe it you have to look at the dog and determine what quality of life he has. And make a decision as to what to do from there.

Like i said it ain't easy.
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Re: Sick Dog

Post by crfriend »

Geez, Stu, that's rotten news. As others have commented, follow your heart and do what you believe is best for the little guy. Cherish him now, and remember him fondly when he's gone.
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Re: Sick Dog

Post by Shilo »

Our 14 year old GSD collapsed while playing in the back. We took him to the vet who diagnosed a weak heart probably with a blockage. He told us it was a matter of a couple of months. That was two years ago.
I have recently started him on glucosamine for the arthritis. The other day he chased a squirrel. Realistically I know he doesn’t have that long left, but that’s the deal we make when we take them on. Good luck with your dog and I hope you give each other joy for a good while to come
Last edited by Shilo on Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sick Dog

Post by Freedomforall »

Hawkins (3).jpg
We have five dogs currently. We had 8 at one point. Three of them died in the last two years. One of them was having hip problems and needed a hip replacement. I had researched all weekend and found a hospital to take him to the following week. He was outside for his usual walk around the fenced yard on Sunday morning. I looked out the window to check on him and saw him collapse. We rushed him to the vet. They said he had a mass in his stomach and suspected cancer. They had only done brief diagnostic testing and nothing was concrete. I felt pressured by what they said and his age being 14. I made the decision to put him to sleep. The instant his eyes closed, I got sick and had to leave the room. It still hurts to this day. Our other two dogs died naturally, although they both had cancer. They still survived longer than the vet said they would. I think sometimes vets make calls because they subconsciously calculate a pets age into the picture.

If you think he had a heart attack I would suggest fish oil for him. We stopped feeding commercial dog food years ago and have seen a significant in the overall health of our dogs. We feed raw meat and something we call glop. Glop is a mixture of quinoa, cauliflower, peas, green beans, beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, apple cider vinegar, molasses, apples, blueberries, oats, chickpeas, and chia seeds. We put all this in a blender and they love it. I usually make enough to last two weeks at a time.
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Re: Sick Dog

Post by Stu »

Thanks for all the comments, experiences and suggestions - I am grateful to everyone who has contributed. If our dog deteriorates, then we will have to make an unpleasant decision, but I maintain my optimism that he has stabilised and will continue to get better incrementally. This is especially important right now because we are relocating to the UK in less than three weeks and that involves a lengthy drive across Europe and two, overnight sea crossings. Fortunately, he is well catered for, with a large, comfortable dog container in our Land Rover and special dog-friendly cabins on the boats, and he weighs just 22 pounds, so he can be carried where necessary if he struggles to walk. Once in the UK, he will be fine as we have a huge and secure garden where he will be able to wander to his heart's content.

In the past, we have had larger dogs - Great Danes. They have a beautiful temperament and they are easy dogs to keep because they are placid. Unfortunately, they are short-lived as a rule, although our last one reached almost 12-years. I can't imagine living without a dog.
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Re: Sick Dog

Post by Fred in Skirts »

Freedomforall wrote: We feed raw meat and something we call glop. Glop is a mixture of quinoa, cauliflower, peas, green beans, beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, apple cider vinegar, molasses, apples, blueberries, oats, chickpeas, and chia seeds. We put all this in a blender and they love it. I usually make enough to last two weeks at a time.
Wow! That sounds delicious I think it would work wonders with any meat as a complete meal.. Even for humans... :lol:
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