Update: I took Carson in for an Ultra-Sound today. He started the day out having a not so good morning. I got his medicine down him. He went for a walk, and then he was awake most of the late morning! This was a huge improvement. I still took him to the Doctor. He has some kidney problems and they are not sure why. We are going to try some more powerful medicine and see if we can make him feel better and get his appetite back. I will let you know. We are in a wait and see mode for a little while.
I am afraid I may be facing a tough decision soon. My poor Carsonator (my Dog) is sick. If you follow my blog you know he has been sick. We believe he has Cancer (surgery is too risky as he has tumors pushing on his lungs near his heart, we have tried medicine to rid the tumors for all other non-cancer options). For the past few months I have noticed a decrease in his water consumption. Then I started to notice he was giving me trouble eating his “diet” dog food. Every so often I would supplement his food with this god awful dog food that looks like Hamburger Helper. I know there is nothing nutritious to it but Carson LOVES IT. The past month he has flat out refused to eat his diet dog food. I chalked this up to his stubborn attitude and I assumed he had figured out that the longer he goes without eating his dog food the more likely I was to give him the bad-for-you dog food that he loves. Then he quit eating the yummy dog food and I knew something was wrong.
I took him to the vet and had numerous tests run to find out that he has a urinary tract infection and has lost 6 lbs. That may not sound like a lot but it is almost 10% of his body weight and I am pretty sure he lost that in 6 weeks. The vet also thought he might need to see a Dog Dental specialist as his teeth (what little he has) could be bothering him. Naturally, when I called today to make an appointment I confirmed my suspicion that a Dog Dentist cost an arm and a leg.
So, he has been on medicine for the UTI but it is very hard to get him to eat the medicine because he just as no appetite. I have been tempting him with people food but that doesn’t always work. The most I can get him to eat every day is the equivalent to one small can of tuna fish. He even turned down sausage recently! He has slowed down considerably on his walks and sometimes only makes it around the block. He used to drink water like it was going out of style and now he hardly drinks at all. Today I got about a 1/4 cup of milk in him and a can of tuna fish. He spends most of his day sleeping…and by that I mean he sleeps all day and wakes up for 10 minutes at a time. He is maybe awake 22 out of 24 hours a day. He has always been lazy, but this is so much more so than normal.
He has good days and bad days. When I woke up this morning he was lethargic and it took me 30 minutes to give him his pills. I was upset all day thinking that it might be time to put him to sleep. Then I get home and he greets me at the door with energy and he is excited to see me. He seems peppier and I got him to eat a cup of human food with no problem (and he ate it all…he has been taking a few bites or people food and then leaving the rest). So then I start thinking it’s too soon. But here he is, laying beside me and he refused to eat the additional people food I put in his bowl.
The problem is I have no idea how old Carson is because I adopted him from a homeless pet shelter. He could be 10, he could be 12, he could be 14! How much money should you spend to prolong the life of an old dog? If he was 8, I wouldn’t even ask this question. I also have to wonder about his quality of life? Is it quality to sleep all day and not eat and not drink water? Will he overcome this? How long do I wait? Until he loses 12 lbs? 20 lbs? I have no idea. I call him Fatboy for a reason, because he LOVES to eat. This boy never missed a meal and even learned how to pop the top of his food container and feed himself when he felt I had not given him enough food.
On one hand it is a blessing to have the option to put a sick dog to sleep before they have to suffer too much. On the other hand, I don’t want to think for the rest of my life that perhaps I ended someone’s life too soon. When you see him, you would not even know he was sick because he doesn’t look it.
The last time I had a very sick dog I called Julie crying. I told her everything that was going on with Murphy and what I was trying to do to cure her. (At the end of our college Career Julie had a dog named Betsy and I had Murphy). I so vividly remember crying with her on the phone and saying, “I just don’ t know what to do…I just don’t know what to do.” There was silence on the phone for a bit and finally she said, “Jen… you know what to do.” She was right, even though I ignored her subtle hint for another week. 🙂 I can look back on putting Murphy to sleep and realize I did the right thing…but I also see that Murphy had many more outward signs of being sick than Carson does.
It’s hard. Who knows what to do. I am hoping for a little divine intervention to show me the way.
Carson Sleeping beside me
Carson annoyed wondering why the flash keeps going off waking him.
This is old school Carson who learned how to pop the lid off his food and feed himself.