Thursday, October 20, 2016
A couple of weeks ago, Cali seemed “sick.”
She wasn’t eating on a regular basis, and early in the morning she would vomit bile at least a couple of times a week. Stupidly, I just thought this was a phase she was going through due to her age (15). However, one morning when her stomach “noises” were extremely audible from where I sit at my computer I knew something was seriously amiss.
I have a vet “right around the corner” from my house and I took her there as a walk-in.
Basically, the vet wanted to do every test known in the canine world and presented me with an estimate of $500.00. It’s not that my “best girl” isn’t worth the money (as you’ll later read), but one of the “tests” was for osteoarthritis. Uh, we already KNOW that she has this problem and “knowing the degree” isn’t really going to change the treatment. Since Cali had a “potty accident” as we were checking in, I allowed them to check the stool sample. However, basically she was given a “plethora” of drugs to see if one would work. 🙁
Cali continued to decline and the “walk-in” vet was closed. I called her regular vet and they IMMEDIATELY took her in. Thirty minutes (and a blood test) later, she was diagnosed with pancreatitis. She was swiftly admitted to the hospital and drugs were administered.
Ups and Downs…
One day I came to visit Cali and she seemed “spaced out” and her hind legs weren’t working at all. However, Cali was in a crate and probably stiff. The vet lowered the opiate they were giving her for pain and she was taken on hourly walks. What a difference. For her appetite they gave her an appetite stimulant – it DOES work, but I’m still wishing she would eat more.
Cali came home on Thursday after a five-day vet hospitalization. I don’t EVER use this word, but it’s somewhat of a “miracle.” I was totally expecting the worst and trying to prepare myself.
The vet gave me a copy of this report:
“Cali was hospitalized from 10/1516-10/20/16 for IV fluid and medical management including pain, antibiotic, stomach, and appetite stimulant medications. Her follow-up quantitative pancreatitis test result came back normal; her kidney values are improved, although still elevated.”
(Cali shows that she has stage 2/4 of kidney disease.)
When I went to pick up up this afternoon, the vet tech said there was a complete turnaround in terms of eating. She ate two bowls of “mama’s homemade” chicken and rice!
Not out of the woods yet…
Yesterday, 10/22/16 Cali seems to “crash.” She refused all food and couldn’t stand on her hind legs. I totally freaked out as the vet office was closed. However, I decided to stop giving her:
Buprenex. A synthetic partial opiate, Buprenex acts as an analgesic that is used primarily to help manage and dull pain, such as in pre, during, and post op patients, as well as in cats and dogs with severe chronic pain.
However, toxic as some claims are I still give her the prescribed Rimadyl. I WILL NOT allow her to be in chronic pain even if the drug shortens her lifespan.
Then I did something painful…
On days when Cali wouldn’t eat when hospitalized, they gave her some nourishment with a syringe with food condensed in a blender.
I waited all day, and then decided to go to Wal*Mart and get a small turkey baster and “do the deed.” I mixed her chicken and rice with some no-salt chicken broth in a NutriBullet. I got a big towel, and fed her – crying the whole time.
It was so painful because I remembered my late mother who had senile dementia and lost her swallow reflex who was fed the same way for a short time before a feeding tube was inserted.
Today, Cali went on two short walks and ate homemade chicken in rice in the a.m. and ground beef, rice, and carrots in the p.m. She walked pretty much as usual for her, but didn’t fall over like she did on Saturday.
I have no illusions. Cali is fifteen years old, and our time together is limited and precious. However, I can’t/won’t give up until I’m sure there are no options left.
A little trip…
Mama is going to get her “tango on” and Cali is going with her. We’re going to the Albuquerque Tango Festival this coming Thursday! The festival venue doesn’t allow pets, but we’re staying quite close at the pet friendly Econo Lodge. It’s not fancy, but quite nice with a free yummy breakfast. During the day, it’s about a ten minute walk in Old Town Albuquerque, but I’ll drive over at night. The addition of Cali is $10.00/night. 🙂
I was going to “medically board” Cali, but “we’re better together.”
I know this “may not end well.” However, I’m not giving up until it’s “crystal clear” that Cali is ready to leave.
I’m stubborn that way, my friends…