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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy's 14th Birthday!!



Since I first posted about Happy's illness, we went through one horrible day where we seriously considered the inevitable and calling the vet, because Happy was so sick and vomiting and weak and suffering! I prayed for guidance and it became clear to me that even although Happy was suffering several hours a day, he still enjoyed his walks and food and has good days and bad days. Now finally his good days outweigh his bad days. Clearly Happy is ailing, but he is still with us and his hours of suffering (phlegm and wanting to vomit) have narrowed down to maybe one or two hours a day or not even - not bad compared to before when we thought for sure his death was imminent. His latest urine test says he is not diabetic and that there is still a little bit of a urinary tract infection. We have kept him on the medicine for that infection the whole time, though we switched from the antibiotic, Ciproflaxacin to Nitrofurantoin, which he seems to tolerate better. Happy has been struggling with eye and ear infections and skin fungal infections on his feet, which is common here, especially in older dogs. It is as if his immune system is not doing too well in combating infections. We are also deworming Happy just in case. Happy has a great deal of trouble drinking without doing the reverse wheezing afterwards, which is quite distressing to listen to at times. I raised his water bowl and that seems to have helped a great deal. He has a huge growth under his chin and maybe that has something to do with it. He has other benign growths that are big elsewhere too. It really is not fun getting older - not for dogs either. I have not been dealing with Happy's illness very well. I know it is inevitable that he will leave us, but I've been a bit of a wreck at times and I wonder maybe if it has something to do with menopause and hormonal issues. Everyone else in the family is doing better than I am. Anyway, we are very grateful for every day that Happy is still with us and seems to be coping well and not suffering unduly.

For the record, I know this ongoing story about my doggie is not about low-carbing as such, but Happy is eating quite low-carb and totally homemade cooked food, because he does not have the strong, healthy teeth to eat dry dog food anymore. I've been doing this for him for about 2 years.

The photo is of Happy enjoying himself on an outing on his 14th Birthday - 8th of September, 2009. He had a wonderful day and a wonderful night - exactly what I was hoping and praying for. (smile)

4 comments:

Nancy said...

Aww happy is a virgo! Hee hee
His birthday is one day before mine.
I've been worried about my cat, he's 12 yrs old and vomits ALL dry cat food. He does keep some down, but he is forever vomiting all the time. I dont know if its just alot of hairballs or what.

I wonder if its ok to switch him to nothing but canned food or just make him food myself (he doesnt like raw things and all the cat foods I have tried that are "low carb" and have no grain leave him very constipated. So I dont know what to do, he is ok, just doesnt look optimal anymore.

Jennifer said...

Nancy, if I were you I'd ask a vet for some advice and have them check your cat for worms, etc. Your cat is still relatively young, so hopefully they can help you figure it out. Cats usually live much longer than dogs - into their twenties.

You could try the canned food as well as augmenting with, say, ground beef (savory, cooked) with some veggies in it - like cooked peas and chopped carrots. If your cat does better with this kind of food, then it is time to switch. You could also give your cat a little cooked brown rice for the carb portion and for some fiber. I'm not a vet and I'm no expert, but those are probably the things I would try - but definitely do see a vet.

That's funny! Our vet, Tommy, has his birthday on the exact same day as Happy - 8th of September!
The vet is 67.

AnnInMaine said...

Glad to hear Happy is hanging in there. I nursed our other Norwegian Elkhound for 8 months until she finally passed at the age of 7. We had the kitchen set up as a hospital and I did things like I'Vs and hand fed her to keep her going. We developed a very close relationship as she was rescued at the age of 2 1/2 and always had a very aloof nature until she became ill. I know how hard it is to not know, when is a good time, to let them go. Sava fought to stay with us right to the end and we finally, mercifully took her to the vets to end her suffering. It was very hard for all of us.

Jennifer said...

That is amazing and unusual dedication to your dog. I'm not sure I'd go as far as IV's. Wow! I'm so sorry you had to make that decision in the end. I really hope we don't have to do that, but if the doggie is suffering to death, I do understand the reason for the decision. It's got to be so clear though that God sky writes it for me, because any earlier we would have made a big mistake in my opinion. Sure, Happy still suffers for part of the day (and that is really awful) when he is trying to throw up, but after that he's fine and leads a fairly normal life. He loves his food, water, walks, sleeps and loving attention from the family. I think if I were able to ask Happy, he'd want to tough it out for as long as possible.