Monday, September 15, 2014

Not in the Mood to Write Much

My biggest Yorkie, Jessie Jane has some major problems.  She doesn't seem to have control over her back legs and therefore can not stand.  I have spent a considerable amount of time with her today, mostly trying to get her to eat and drink, but to no avail.  I have two choices.

I can take her to my vet whose office is about three blocks away.  He is a good vet and he will check her out, keep her there at his clinic, and run more tests than I can count.  And if he can't find what is causing the problem, he will send her off to the University Vet Clinic and charge me a lot of money.  The last dog I took to him with problems cost me nearly a thousand dollars before he gave up and let the dog die.  I don't think I want to put Jessie Jane through that.

My other choice is to have my daughter take Jessie Jane to her vet, who is an equally good animal doctor, but who has a more practical approach.  If the problem is clearly not treatable and if the dog is obviously in distress as Jessie Jane is, she will not hesitate to gently and humanely put her down if that is called for.

I have talked with my daughter and if Jessie Jane isn't better by the time Jeri gets off from her job tomorrow afternoon, Jeri will come get her and take her to her vet for me.

I thought maybe one of her nails had grown into the pad of her paw.  She has wonky nails that can't be trimmed short, so I keep trimming them often so that doesn't happen.  Then I thought maybe it was arthritis as she was moving so slowly, but she doesn't seem to be in pain, so I don't think that is it either.  She has gone from moving slowly to falling down to not being able to stand at all within two days.  I don't see any sign of a miracle happening between now and tomorrow.

Sometimes I wish that I were a little bit more hard hearted and a little less caring about my animals.  Because Damn, it hurts.


  1. It doesn't sound like anything as simple as a nail and it does sound rather DRASTIC. One of my sisters allowed her little dog to "flop" around for weeks. I even tried to steal him, just to get him some treatment or some relief. It honestly sounds more spinal than arthritic and the horror you (and she) are going through should be mitigated as quickly as possible. Sometimes, treatment shouldn't be an option. Sometimes, vets suggest euthanasia because they're not prone to do too much research. I've had too many vets offer to euthanize when there were other possibilities, and vice versa. I've also learned to be my dog's best ally no matter what. She may be paralyzed, but dogs try not to show pain even if they're feeling it. Continue writing me any time you need someone to bounce your thoughts off of.

  2. Thank you, Dana...She is normally a happy, bouncy little dog. Any time there is even the remote possibility of a piece of food - any kind - hitting the floor, she is right there. Right now the only place she wants to be is in her kennel. She refuses food including her treats. She refuses water. She is 14 years old, for God's sake. Unless it is something simple, and I doubt that it is, I will let her go. I really believe that it would be cruel to put her through a lot of poking and prodding. She deserves better, even if that means losing her.

  3. The first time one of my ferrets got sick, I went to the vet. She said he had a respiratory infection that was not going to be resolved in all probability. I demanded more tests. I demanded medicines that "might" help. For three days poor Faye shuddered, cried, and tried to breath. I stayed with the ferret day and night. I even rubbed Vic's salve on Faye's chest in the hopes it might help the breathing. Early in the morning on the third day, in the dark of night, Faye died. Three days of misery that my ferret need not have suffered, but I just convinced myself if I spent enough money Faye would survive.

    Then Jiggles and Rowena got adrenal disease. I spent $500 on drip implants. It worked for Jiggles, but not for Rowena and she died , but peacefully and in her bed, not in paid. That , I consider money well spent.

    Then Jiggles got cancer. All my ferrets are important to me but he was literally my best friend. I went to the specialist a long way away, he and I drove down there. She said at once he had throat cancer. She said they would have to remove his lower jaw, cut out the tumor, and put him on chemo and even then he had almost no chance of survival. I had already decided for myself I wasn't going that route when my time came. I asked the vet to put him to sleep to spare him all that, but I was too much the wimp to stay with him and I'll regret that to my dying day. I took him home and he is buried up on the mountain with his friends.

    The point is, if there's a chance of a cure without too much pain, then it's worth doing. But if it's just to salve your own conscience that you did all you could, but you know it's really hopeless, then the thing to do for a friend is to let them go. Don't put them through all that agony, is my thought.

    I am not religious and I don't believe in any of the creeds floating around, but I think there's something after death, for them and for us. Even if I am wrong, dying is just like going to sleep, and we do that every night.

  4. I once had an old time vet. To see him, you'd think he was rough cut and generally uncaring, except for the purely economic standpoint of animals.

    He was a big man, yet I saw him treat one of my chihuahuas as gently as he would a baby.

    He had the old time common sense. He knew when the fight to keep a loved pet was not the compassionate choice and all the money in the world would only prolong the inevitable.

    So, I've wondered all around how distressing this is. I know how much it hurts you and the agony of the decision you must make. Any decision won't be easy on your heart and I'm sorry it's come to this.

  5. Thank you, Harry, for telling me that. I have pretty much made up my mind that unless it is something simple that can be taken care of with minimal discomfort to Jessie, it is better to let her go. A couple of days ago she was a happy little pooch, dancing in circles to get a treat and using those cow eyes to get a taste of my popcorn. Today she only wants to be left alone in her kennel. She hasn't had a bite of food or a drop of water since yesterday afternoon. No amount of coaxing or hand feeding or trying to get water down her throat is working. If she even survives until my daughter can get here is up for grabs.

    It's not the money, even though my vet is notorious for running up outrageous bills trying to cure the incurable. I give him credit for trying everything possible, but I just am not willing to have her suffer through it all. Sometimes the treatment is worse than the disease. Like you, I made a decision for myself that I wasn't going to spend my last days in misery. If I am not willing to go through that, I surely can't expect 12 lbs. of dog to go through it.

    Her age is against her. I have had her for 6 years. She is 14 years old. I think that the kindest thing I can do, if worse comes to worse, is to let her go peacefully. To keep her going as she is right now would be selfish on my part, for at the moment she is not living. She is just laying there breathing. That is no kind of life. Somehow, I knew you would understand.

  6. Jess...What you say about that old time vet is the very reason I am sending Jessie Jane with my daughter to her vet. The lady is common sense compassionate. I know that she will do what is best for the dog, not what is best for her pocketbook. And whatever the outcome is, I am positive sure that what is done will be with kindness and the least amount of distress for Jessie.

    The decision is pretty much already been made unless by some miracle Jessie can be cured. I am not counting on a miracle, for I will be surprised if she makes it. I just don't want her to hurt.

    Thank you for your kind words. If I were a stronger, tougher person my heart wouldn't be cracking. But then, if I were stronger and tougher, I might not have agreed to take her in at all or had all of the joy that she has brought to my life for the past six years. I am lucky to have had her this long.

  7. When animals "know", they pull away. I had a ferret die by crawling under my dresser and having it happen in solitude. The same for my 11 year old rabbit, and he had gone beside the dresser, into the corner. But when YOU are the one to decide, IT HURTS, even though you would NOT want the furchild to suffer. I still regret putting my last dog to sleep, but mainly because the vet himself was so heartless regarding our furchild, and our reaction to it. He should have chosen another occupation.

  8. Dana...I think you are right. They know. So does my other Yorkie, Lily. The two kennels are in my living room - one on each side of my recliner. Without fail they both sleep in their kennels. The past two days and nights Lily has stayed as far on the other side of the room from Jessie Jane as she can get, only leaving that spot to eat, drink and come to me for attention. They have always gotten along - never, ever fight. This is completely unusual behavior for Lily.

    Jeri's vet is good at her job as well as being caring and compassionate. I have faith in her judgement and I know that she will do what is best for Jessie Jane without putting her through any procedures that will make things hard on her. I really hate this, but I will not let her suffer.

  9. Lotta joy is right. Your little friend is telling you in her own way what she needs.

    It sounds like she was a rescue of some sort or maybe a favor to someone who couldn't keep her anymore. You've given her 6 years of quality life and love that she might not have had otherwise.

    You're both lucky to have had each other.

  10. Matt...Our furry friends have a way of letting us know these things, and I think that is exactly what she is doing. At this point I'm not sure if she will last long enough to get to the vet tomorrow afternoon, but she doesn't seem like she is in pain. She just sleeps.

    Jessie Jane was a breeder at a kennel that sold Yorkies. For 8 years she lived in a small kennel with an outdoor run. When she was too old to have puppies any more, she was given to me. Same is true of my other Yorkie, Lily. Since then I have tried to give them both the best lives I could. But I think they have given me much more.

  11. Vicki, I'm sorry I miss this, yesterday was a busy day for me. I will pray for a good outcome know matter what. I'm here anytime I will check back later tonight as we have dance or email me.

  12. Thank you, Rob. There was nothing that could be done. I posted a little piece about her just now. Thanks for your concern.