a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Signs Are Bad

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Signs Are Bad

Last night, an hour after doing the dinner dance and scarfing down a bowl of mostly dry kibble with some canned chickeny dogfood, Rem refused the popcorn that I offered to share while watching a TV show. He started looking droopy.

He wanted to get up once in the middle of the night and go out. When I woke up in the morning, he wasn't on the bed--he was lying near the door, leaning against the wall, giving accusing "I don't feel good and you're not fixing it" looks. I've *never* found him not on the bed in the morning. I'm also surprised that I didn't notice him getting up again; I *was* very tired, though.

We went over to the vet's to get a CBC (blood test to check white & red cells this time), and he was kind of droopy about going out to the car, although he insisted on leaping up into his seat rather than climbing in as he's been mostly doing for the last couple of months except when he was feeling his best, but it was a labored leap.

At the vet, while waiting to get checked in, our vet came through the lobby and I mentioned that he wasn't feeling good this morning and was kind of droopy. She petted him, lifted his lip to check his gums, and said, "Oh-oh."

So he seems to be bleeding again already. His red blood count is down to 32, which was 43 on Friday. We discussed a variety of options. Choice this time was to just put more fluid into his veins, which can sometimes make them feel better. It can also increase the blood pressure enough to exacerbate the bleeding. So I sat on the floor with him for about 4 hours while he got an IV drip.

If he keeps bleeding, we could do another transfusion, although the vet is concerned that we're now in the area where we're simply rescuing time after time, grasping at straws. It's no joy for him to be penned up at the vet's for 6 or more hours while the transfusion or anything takes place. I hate to waste the last day or days of his life, if he keeps bleeding, at the vet's instead of at home.

He's home with me now, but he looks tired. He refused the vet tech's jerky-like dog treat today, which is the first time he's ever done that. I took him some cooked chicken over at the vet's after a quick trip home, which he wolfed down. He refused pretzels in the car on the way home, which is like him refusing popcorn last night--not a good sign. I just offered him dinner (well, breakfast/dinner since he didn't get any breakfast this morning). He quickly ate first half can of chicken-like dogfood but nudged the kibbles aside. I gave him another half a can, which he also ate. Tried another half can, but he wasn't interested. (Something under 1 can would be a typical meal for him.)

I know there are ups and downs. He could stop bleeding again on his own; has happened a couple of times before. But now I'm back to thinking in terms of days remaining instead of weeks remaining. Intellectually I can consider this. Emotionally it's very hard.

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