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.
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.
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.