The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

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Carson_Crazies
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The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby Carson_Crazies » Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:06 am

So I don't really want to post this on facebook, but I found out last week while taking June in to see about a dental that her kidneys are failing. Her numbers are really bad, and she's going in for IV fluids tomorrow morning. I took her in because she was rolling her food around in her mouth and slightly less enthusiastic about eating - I had no idea that she was actually ill. She's made it abundantly clear that she hates any Fromm formula I throw at her, but she's agreed that she'll eat Canidae again. I've started sub-q fluids for June at home in order to give her some extra support until tomorrow. I started to change her diet too, but since she's agreed to eat the Canidae I don't want to mess with it. With the very-bad-start that June had in life I shouldn't be surprised.

By the way... if you've never done sub-q fluids, be prepared to get fluids in your eye. And on the carpet. And in the dog's eye.

I'm very apprehensive about the nutritional conversation that I'm probably about to have with my vet.

To make things harder, Ginger has not been feeling all that great. She appears to me to be having a very minor vestibular issue, but of course because of June I'm now super paranoid that SHE might have kidney problems too... and it wouldn't surprise me at 16 years old. There's also that very nasty metastatic melanoma that I had taken off of her a little over a year ago (worry that it did metasticize). At any rate, last night she barfed up a gush of water and hair... she seems to feel better today! She's such a nasty little carpet licker (naughty beast). If she's still feeling puny tomorrow morning when I take June in I'm going to surprise my vet with a two-for-one special (they're going to love that).

Ginger has just in the last month or so gotten to where her balance isn't good enough to jump up on the couch or bed anymore. But we have an agreement that she's not allowed to get off of the bed at night, so I put her up in her spot. She falls more easily now (has been since her vestibular issue, but is doing so more).

I don't even really have enough words for the amount of worry my heart feels right now. June will be 14 in July, and Ginger just turned 16. I recognize that both of them are WELL into the last years of their natural life spans, but I'm not ready.
Laura & the Crazies:
Nick, Linc, Pia, June, and Ginger
RIP Zippy - January 11, 1994 to April 9, 2012

http://www.crooksandcrazies.blogspot.com

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Re: The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby QBert » Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:52 am

((hugs))
I wish there was anything else I could offer. I'm watching Abby fall apart in front of my eyes and can't do much else for her either, just let her know I care and do anything possible to keep her comfortable and enjoying her life from day to day.

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Re: The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby Carson_Crazies » Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:11 am

(((HUGS))) right back at you. Having old dogs is not for the faint of heart. :(
Laura & the Crazies:
Nick, Linc, Pia, June, and Ginger
RIP Zippy - January 11, 1994 to April 9, 2012

http://www.crooksandcrazies.blogspot.com

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Re: The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby Calypso » Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:26 am

((HUGS)) from me, too. It's hard just watching my one dog go downhill - two is probably twice as heartbreaking.

Any chance June would eat canned food? Even if it's cost prohibitive to feed all canned (Cousteau is supposed to get 5 cans a day!), even a 1/4 of her calories from canned may make her want to eat more and help her kidneys.

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Re: The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby connie » Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:34 am

Yeah, it pretty much sucks a lot of the time. Shiri is 12, with CHF. (We did sub-q fluids for a couple of months, she's off them now but still on a bunch of meds, and she sleeps 80% of the time.) Pip is 16, with a COPD (and she's lost her hearing and most of her vision). This month I took in a 'throwaway' dog, Charlie, who is 12-ish and blind, with some other health issues (possible Cushing's, bladder stone, dental disease) too. One half of my dog time is palliative care/hospice services. And I just know that at some time in the not-so-distant future, they're gonna go like a line of dominoes.

Lots of fingers and paws crossed for June and Ginger. :hmm:

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Re: The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby SherriA » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:56 am

Oh Laura, that sucks :( I know how hard it is watching Oliver wind down; I can't fathom going through that with two at once.

Every day I make time to cuddle with Oliver and tell him how much joy he's brought into my life (I don't mention the frustration and headaches that came along with it!) and how much I love him. I consciously do it every single day, so that when the time comes I don't have anything left unsaid. We're pretty much palliative care only here now; my vet and I agree that there will be no extreme measures and have pretty much even forgone taking blood to see how things stand because it just stresses him out. If we find out he's declining, we're not going to do anything different, so why put him through that? Aging dogs lead to hard decisions about what to do - how much is enough, how much is too much, how much is for you and how much is for the dog.

Sending hugs for you, and ear & butt scritches for June and The Turd.
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Re: The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby JudyL » Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:02 am

Laura and everyone, we're right there with you all. :( Connie, your "line of dominoes" is exactly what I'm feeling too.

Chi and Dixie seem to be holding steady at the moment but Dixie is coughing more, and I'm dreading what her visit to the vet visit this Thursday will reveal. Tipper, mom's dog and Chi's sister, seems healthy but is totally blind and deaf. Because of her vision and mom's balance troubles, Tipper stays in the kitchen and laundry room now. She has not adapted well to the blindness. I carry her outside a couple of times a day and try to play with her, and she seems so happy for it. If she was younger I'd consider the cataract surgery for her, but at almost 16 years of age.... I carry Chi in and out too, more because of her limited vision and I don't want her falling off the ramp or doing somersaults on landing off the steps. Even my baby girl of the group, Cinnabon, will be 12 in a few months. Time flies by, that's for sure.

Hugs to us all and hugs to our little ones.

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Re: The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby Sabine » Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:43 am

I am so sorry to hear that Laura. :( Can I give you a kidney diet to make at home? Would she eat that, do you think?
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Re: The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby Carson_Crazies » Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:59 am

Thanks, y'all. Even through the tears it somehow makes me feel less alone to not be the only one experiencing the "line of dominoes" effect. Part of me still hasn't yet recovered from watching Zippy decline, and he's been gone for a little over two years now.

Sherri, I've been making a special effort to hug Ginger and June extra lately. They don't seem to mind. Ginger sat on my lap for quite a while last night and let me squishy her.

Hugs to all of the ODO humans and old dogs. This sucks major bad.

Sabine, I was thinking I might check in with you about a kidney diet for the Petunia. I don't know if she'll eat it or not, but it's certainly worth a try. Poor dog... she has lost 5 lbs and I didn't even realize it (which makes me feel like the suckiest dog owner EVER). I suspect she's going to turn down whatever kidney stuff they offer her at the vet's office. She won't eat any of the Hills foods (like I/D) more than for a day or two even when she's in normal health.

On the positive side Ginger seems to actually feel some better today. I've got to get some weight back on her too.
Laura & the Crazies:
Nick, Linc, Pia, June, and Ginger
RIP Zippy - January 11, 1994 to April 9, 2012

http://www.crooksandcrazies.blogspot.com

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Re: The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby SherriA » Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:50 pm

Oliver is a testament to Sabine's kidney diets! My vet was preparing me for the worst based on Oliver's blood work and we were both amazed at the improvements in just a couple of weeks on the new diet. he wasn't a believer, was pushing the Hills K/D, but he now that he's seen it with his own eyes he's a believer.

If you can get her to eat it, I'd definitely give it a try. Oliver is about 3 yrs out from diagnosis and, while we've made adjustments during that time as they continue to decline slowly, his kidneys are no longer the biggest health concern with him which is pretty amazing.

ETA: Pepcid helped a lot with appetite for both Oliver and jack (who also had kidney issues towards the end). Their stomachs just weren't "right" in the morning and the improved that a lot.
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Re: The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby Carson_Crazies » Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:58 pm

I'm certainly planning to give it a try! June is on prilosec (I think that's the one) and I've upped Ginger's pepcid dose. I was giving her just the very lowest dose, and intermittently at that. Just yesterday I upped her dose and am making sure to be more religious.

I just mowed the yard, and the dogs had a nice romp, including Ginger and June. It is nice out - and now the dogs are all settling down for a nice nap.
Laura & the Crazies:
Nick, Linc, Pia, June, and Ginger
RIP Zippy - January 11, 1994 to April 9, 2012

http://www.crooksandcrazies.blogspot.com

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Re: The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby Yankee » Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:31 pm

I hope everything works out for the best.

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Re: The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby MaisyPancakes » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:59 am

Sending you hugs and love, Laura! MP's only about 11 but the getting older thing is getting super real here in various ways, and it is totally freaking me out. I love all the ODO dogs and peeps and find comfort in knowing that others care about MP the same way, too.

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Re: The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby emmas_mom » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:02 am

I feel your pain, Laura. As you said, it's not for the faint of heart - especially having multiple old dogs. One of my frustrations is when people don't understand that I can't just go out and leave them for a whole day, or leave them in a kennel or even with a petsitter at my home while I toodle off on some fancy vacation for a couple of weeks. Not Gonna Happen. Those old dogs make my heart swell with love - caring for them is worth every minute, every penny, and every tear.
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Re: The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby Emily » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:09 pm

It does hurt having more than one dog declining. All of mine are close to the same age and I know I will be going through much loss in a short period of time. I've lost (passed away) 4 in 5 years to old age, and the fact that Scottie went missing and has yet to be found (or even sighted) makes 5 dogs in 5 years. It sucks, but the joy they bring makes it all worth it.

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Re: The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby UpwardDog » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:21 pm

Blarrg. It truly sucks. I friend just had to let her ridiculously old bc go this morning. He was from a pretty awful hoarding situation and it was beyond time but it still a big loss.

We estimate Rosie at 11 and Sam at 10 and though they seem ok, they are showing their age and it breaks my heart. Then there is Ben who is like 100 in PBD years. It struck me that in the not too distant future we could be a family of two kids and one little fluffy dog. That would be so sad and so so so weird. Do not want.

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Re: The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby Carson_Crazies » Sat May 03, 2014 5:08 am

Junie is finally home. Her numbers are better but not normal. The real test now is if she can maintain. We have a re-check in two weeks to gauge how she's holding. If her numbers go back up drastically and/or she's feeling bad again by that time then I will have a decision to make about quality of life for her. But if she holds her own between now and then we will "stage" it so to speak. I'm going to keep her on the k/d until then, and if she's not at the very end stages I'm going to switch her over to a diet made by Sabine.

I don't even want to think about that worst case scenario. She's really happy to be home, and the most interesting thing is how happy Ginger is to have her home. The ladies at the vet's office loved her so much they even kept her up in the front with them this week. :love: I lay in the bed last night listening to her snore for about an hour.
Laura & the Crazies:
Nick, Linc, Pia, June, and Ginger
RIP Zippy - January 11, 1994 to April 9, 2012

http://www.crooksandcrazies.blogspot.com

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Re: The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby UpwardDog » Sat May 03, 2014 8:34 am

YAY!! Fingers crossed her numbers stay at a reasonable level.

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Re: The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby SherriA » Sat May 03, 2014 6:57 pm

I've been thinking about sweet Junebug and you. I'm glad the numbers improved, even if they aren't normal. Sending good thoughts for maintenance!
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Re: The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby KathysCotons » Sun May 04, 2014 11:55 am

I got teary eyed reading all these posts. I don't know what's worse - losing them young or losing them old. We have been through both and both are excruciating, but I know that bond just gets tighter and tighter as the years roll by. My sister-in-law just had her 15 yr old miniature schnauzer put down on Wednesday. She is just crushed. My two are 7 and 5 so if they live a normal life-span we have several years left, but you just never know. Sam died with Pancreatitis at age 3 and now Pistol has it age 7. They came from the same breeder. Thinking of all you gals with the seniors. Just hope you don't let the fear of what might be coming prevent you from enjoying the present moment with them.

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Re: The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby JudyL » Sun May 04, 2014 12:43 pm

Oh my, Kathy, no. I know you are worried right now and please don't think I'm making light of Pistol's pancreatitis, but your dogs are small and the breed has a lifespan that generally last into their mid-teens. Pistol is about middle aged and Pappy is still a young dog. Even with the pancreatitis you are battling, you should enjoy their company for many more years to come. Look at what my Chi and Dixie have been through, and they are still happy and enjoying life as teenagers.

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Re: The Old Dogs are Breaking My Heart

Postby KathysCotons » Sun May 04, 2014 5:03 pm

Thanks Judy! Yes I know - Cotons do have an ave. expectancy of 15. It was just such a shock when we lost our Sam at 3 when he had seemed so healthy and then went so fast. That's why when they said pancreatitis on Friday, it just struck fear in my heart. Pistol is doing better this evening. He ate and then he actually played with Pappy for a couple of minutes earlier. He didn't last long and is back on the sofa now, but he seems to be resting comfortably. I am believing he is going to be fine. I'm so glad you still have your babies. :)


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