My husband has always said that if animals have special needs, they will find us. Pretty much true, and that’s okay with us. Bodhi came to us about four months ago as a dog born blind, but it’s beginning to look like he might have other special needs. He’s been leaking urine for a while now, which is highly unusual for a four year-old male dog.

Bodhi on porch_0005_edited-1

His blood work is perfect. Spot on all the way down the list. His urine, however, is a different story, with way less specific gravity than it should have. That means his urine isn’t concentrating, and that combined with his excessive drinking, and the fact that he can’t make it through four hours without peeing on himself, leave us with a couple possibilities. Cushings, and a form of diabetes that apparently doesn’t show up in the blood, and for which there is no test. We’re testing for Cushings next Tuesday, and if it isn’t that, the specific kind of diabetes that is suspected is a kind that is a diagnosis by exclusion. Meaning if he doesn’t have the Cushings, we will probably assume the diabetes, treat for that, and see what happens.

Having managed the various problems of elderly dogs for the last few years, we were kind of looking forward to a few years of not doing that, but whatever will be, will be. Aside from the fact that the poor guy is leaking, and has to wear a belly band for now, he’s happy and healthy and full of life. So we’ll just see what’s up and go from there.

In the meantime, Thomas continues to slide and I am deeply conflicted about whether we should continue or not. One of the test factors for making a decision about euthanasia or not is whether or not he can do the things he has always loved to do. Mostly, he can’t. He can’t play anymore…he wants to but it messes with his head and balance and everything else, so he can’t manage it. Watching him eat, having to move the food to the non paralyzed side of his face is painful. I’m not sure he’s getting enough water, since it just kinda falls out of his semi-paralyzed mouth. He spends his days hiding, preferably in warm places, and sleeping.

2016 01 31_1141_edited-1

He absolutely despises being medicated, so he spends his day hiding from me, and runs at the first sign that I might have a syringe in my hand. I’d give him fluids but we’ve been down that road before, and it is hell for him. The meds help a little, but I can see him slipping further, even as we increase the dosages.

We leave on vacation not too long from now, and Bodhi can board at the vet’s if he is starting a new medical regime, and he’ll be perfectly happy there with all the attention. Thomas is scheduled to board there too, but he hates the vet’s office, and truthfully I don’t know if he’ll be able to manage there…hard to tell if he will adjust or the stress will just add to his woes.

Putting a 12 year old cat down seems impossibly hard. That’s not so old for a cat anymore, and Thomas’s two sisters are happy, health creatures. I’ve seen too many animals kept around long past the point where the quality of life makes any sense, but 12 years old…if he were 18 it wouldn’t be such a difficult decision. I am watching and waiting for wisdom.




19 thoughts on “When it rains…

  1. I can tell you about my experience with Jake. He was diabetic (well managed) for 9 years and had sight/hearing issues including bad cataracts. He would get fearful (feline dementia?) when I wasn’t there and yell in the middle of the night. We tried several meds but none worked. We went away for 2 nights and I boarded him at his vet. He’d been there before because he didn’t let anyone give him injections but me and the techs. When I picked him up the vet talked to me. He had had a terrible time. They couldn’t get him to eat at all and he was totally freaked out. For me it was a sign. He still would lie in sun spots on warm bricks but nighttime was hard on him. I couldn’t leave him. He wasn’t eating much and I suspected he wasn’t all that happy. I made the hard decision. He was 18 so that weighed in but neither he nor I were doing well with his health issues. He was a special cat and I nursed him for a year longer than I should have. I have enjoyed a freedom from “old pet syndrome” for the past year but I still miss that goofy cat. My only regret was that I didn’t make the decision before we went away (the decision on when was hanging in the air). I put him through 2 days and nights away from me that must have been frightening. I understand about Thomas’ age. Good luck with your decision.

  2. Re Thomas? What are the odds of him giving up while you are away…. and how would you feel to come back to that news. Based on what you are saying here, my thoughts would in the direction of giving him the peace he deserves at the earliest opportunity. Just a thought.

  3. It’s never an easy decision. I, personally, cannot bear to see an animal suffer without hope for relief. When our vet said that anything else he could do for Callie would be for us, not her, I knew it was time to let her go. Eleven years is not that old for a Golden Retriever any more either; but the cancer had aged my sweet girl. I made the decision based on what was best for her, not me.

    I wish you all the best.

Comments are closed.