Day by Day cartoon

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

There's a sad event taking place at our house

Our aged dalmation Abby has, since yesterday, lost all muscle control over her hind quarters. She did have one hip that was seemingly going lame, occasionally, and sometimes it was ok. So yesterday, because the problem seemed to be worsening, she went to the vet. The vet couldn't find any obvious faults with her but did take some blood for tests to rule out diabetes and kidney failure and general old-dog malfunctions.

Before the results came back today, she had gone completely lame in both hind legs. She can't stand. At all. By this afternoon she seemed to be in considerable pain and so us three humans in the house took her back to the vet.

Thinking she might not be coming back home again.

Well, she did come back home, but she is not well. The doc figures that she has a damaged vertabrae in her spine and that it has cut off the nerve activity she needs to sit and walk. She is getting a big bunch of steroids to curb the swelling, muscle relaxers to ease her fussiness and fear and morphine to ease her pain. The doc did say that she could get better completely from this trauma but he told us to expect it to take 3 weeks or a month. If she gets better at all.

Obviously this has everyone distressed. She can't even support herself enough to relieve herself and she is unwilling to try going potty while being held up by me. She doesn't want food, not even peanut butter and barely takes any water.

If she doesn't improve, we will have to presently make that decision that we have known was coming for some time, that is, when should Abby's life be ended. She is 15, so this isn't a big surprise, its just hard to think about. She has been my kid's dog, the one dog they grew up with. She was a present for Sunday as a puppy and she was my constant companion during the months that Sunday and the boys lived far away before we remarried in 1992. She has had the last bite of my peanut butter toast every day before I left for work all these years.

Its pretty somber around here tonight.

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