Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Yes, it has been miserable

The past week or so we have been coping with one of our dogs:  Jane (the little canine girl in previous post, actually).  After a period of time when she seemed "quiet" which progressed to "something is not right" & then "something is definitely wrong", we learned she had inflammation between her 2nd & 3rd vertebrae.  Unfortunately, in order to learn this she had to be sedated & then manipulated and x-rayed which has certainly increased her pain (& no, I don't regret doing it as she was without a doubt getting worse & she may as well have pain meds sooner rather than later).

As a result, since last Wednesday we (I) have been on little dog watch, 24/7.  I am making sure she eats enough to keep her pills down, drinks enough to keep her kidneys functioning, goes outside at regular intervals, does some walking around every few hours & (& this is harder than you think) making sure she does not feel so good she does more damage because she is as high as a kite. 

Little dogs in general & this little dog in particular are not known for their long term risk assessment.  They can be a lot like red necks that way, actually.  If she feels good enough to jump on a chair & then up onto the counter & then back down to the floor when she gets caught, why shouldn't she do it?  This means I would rather give her little slices of pills (we are down to a 1/4 pill every 3+ hours with one of them), than give her the whole pill & let her feel too good for a little while.

The result is that first thing in the morning here can look a little like that scene in Terms of Endearment.  Janie wakes up feeling stiff, she has to be carried outside without jostling, set down to pee & walk a bit to warm up.  Then she goes back in for breakfast & a pepto (1/2 pill).  The timer goes off in 15 minutes & she gets her anti-inflammatory (1/2 pill) & a pain killer (1/4 pill).  After 50 minutes (yes, we are that precise these days), she gets carried back out so she can have something the close to diarrhea but not quite (caused by the anti-inflammatory & the reason for the pepto).  We will do a few variations on this throughout the day, mostly giving her pain medication in the smallest dose I can manage.  Near bedtime, she will get that second 1/2 of the anti-inflammatory & a nighttime walk around the yard.

This morning we were joined by Lise & Faraday.  Faraday is the tiger kitten in that same picture posted yesterday.  The cats bump noses with her & roll around on the grass with each other & provide a nice distraction, just the reason so many people keep cats.  I am very careful that Jane doesn't feel so good she is able to join them.  After her business was done, we did a few slow orbits & then came back in the house.  She turned her nose up at water & has settled back into the dog bed she spends most of her time in.  Our hope is that once the inflammation comes down-down we can make some better quality of life decisions for her, find a low dosage that will allow her to move more freely, but there is always the possibility we won't be able to & then we will need to make a decision about that.

Yes, it has been miserable.

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