Friday, February 20, 2015

Oh, my bossy little dog.

He's extremely thin, weak, dehydrated and has fluid in his abdomen and possibly his chest.  The only thing that surprised me was the dehydration - he had been drinking water normally as far as I know.

The vet (a new young vet in the practice, who never saw him before) thinks maybe cancer.  They gave him subcutaneous fluids and a B12 shot as well as pain meds, and I have metronidazole to give him to try to settle his gut.  He sipped a tiny amount of water and refused dinner tonight.  He's in his little bed, tucked in with his down-filled blankie, near a crackling fire.  I wish I could say he looks comfortable and content, but he doesn't.

He's weakening by the hour, I swear. Last night he was still excited to eat a few of his favorite vanilla cupcake goldfish after a small but reasonable portion of dinner. Tonight he refused dinner and is oblivious, zoned out in his little bed. That could be the pain shot, of course.

We left with the meds and a half-assed plan to schedule an ultrasound to see what's going on, but now, hours later, I'm able to be a bit more objective.  What would the ultrasound really tell us that we can't already see?  He's not a candidate for surgery if there's a tumor, and at his age and in his frail condition, chemotherapy isn't an option either. If it is cancer, or something else that doesn't respond to medication, we are out of options. We will try the limited options available, and see if they help.

He's had so many ups and downs, so many scares, over the years since his initial lymphangiectasia diagnosis, and I've always said I trusted that he'd tell me when he's had enough.  I think he's telling me that tonight. Now it's up to me to find the strength to listen.

When I left the staff reminded me that they are open tomorrow morning and Sunday afternoon.  I think they are pretty sure they'll see me again this weekend.


Anonymous said...

Poor Murphy! Give him a big hug. You'll know what is best. Love from Montana.

Anonymous said...

The toughest decision we pet owners ever have to make. Be assured all of us Murphy fans are with you and the bossy little dog. The end game remains the same, and he has had a good life with you.
Kimmen (still crying over my Xena girl)

Brenda B said...

Not many dogs make it to 15, especially with the health problems Murphy has had. I only hope that when I get old and sick, someone takes care of me like you have cared for Murphy. My heart is going out to you---

Anonymous said...

The ultrasound - Paul-the-Vet informed me that Brutus (with a 95% certain diagnosis of pancreatic cancer) COULD have exploratory surgery, COULD try Chemo. Chemo would mean Brutus in a vet hospital in Sydney (3 hours from here to the specialist Vet).

As Paul said these things COULD be done, but the real questions was whether they SHOULD be done.

That is the hard decision - Murphy could not tolerate surgery, could not tolerate chemo. So why fuss him around with the ultrasound?

You have given Murphy an amazing extension of his life since his awful diagnosis. Paul said that I was an amazingly good canine palliative care nurse, I think you have bettered my efforts.

Love and hugs,

Gae, in Callala Bay

Anonymous said...

And I can prove I am not a robot - a robot would not be tearing up, typing this.


Ev said...

Hugs to you, Sophie and Murphy. I'm glad you've got a good vet practice for his care.

KatyaR said...

Oh honey, I'm so sorry. Thus breaks my heart. I know you will have the strength to do what needs to be done, but I know it won't be easy. Poor baby.

Karen said...

This is such a heart-breaking time. Praying for you.