a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: It's Almost Over

Sunday, March 08, 2015

It's Almost Over

SUMMARY: My good old girl.

Friday evening.

Message from the vet when I got home in the evening, giving initial blood-test results. Summary: "She's only somewhat anemic but in 90% renal failure." Details for my records:
  • Anemic: 36-60 is normal and she's 30.
  • Kidney measurement 1 (didn't catch the name): Normal is 6-31; in September, she was 78; now is 125
  • Creatinine: 1.6 is high normal and she's at 3.1
  • Phosphorus 6 is high normal and she's at 9

Vet should have rest of tests back Monday and we'll talk then.

Tika ate a whole jar of babyfood turkey, quite a few Charlie Bears, and--something I haven't tried in a while--maybe a quarter of a stick of string cheese (don't want to give her too much dairy at one time). That's a good "meal", one of the best in the last 3 days. Even if I do have to break it up into small servings every 20-30 minutes or so. She's still walking around on her own when she *has* to.

But--Tonight was the first time in her life, other than when she was out of hearing range, that she didn't greet me at the garage door when I came home. Just lying there on the carpet and panting. I have tears.

She has kept on going way beyond any predictions ("2-3 months") when the heart failure was discovered that ended her agility career (Nov 2012). Good old sweet noisy talented annoying clever now-skin-and-bones Merle Girl.

Saturday morning.

She wanted to be out on the lawn when I went to bed. This is normal, except that before now, that would be the back porch. Lawn usually during the early evening.

I didn't leave the sliding door open although I wasn't sure whether she'd be able to get through the doggie door on her own.  I woke up at half past midnight and went down to check on her. She had moved inside onto the carpet and was sleeping soundly, so I guess the dog door was fine, so I left her alone and went back to bed.

This morning, was in a different spot than when I went back to bed, so she is moving around on her own, just oh so rarely. I did insist once that she stand up (I'm leaving her padded harness on all the time now so that I can haul her or help her to her feet as needed) to be sure that she still could stand, but she went right back to where she'd been.

Her gums were pink again this morning, so ... intermittent anemia? Could be: Internal bleeding. Sporadic failures of the heart to pump enough blood. Random other things.

I cooked up a batch of ground beef, added a bunch of water, and gave that to her--I think that she's not drinking much now, so more liquid the better (except, oh, yeah, yesterday she was still insisting on drinking out of that rancid pond out there, walking right past the water dish)--and WOW she was absolutely delighted to make the acquaintance of Tika's Special Beef Soup.

Saturday evening

I left the house for a few hours after that, and then the rest of the afternoon and evening, same things--she laps/eats eagerly for a very short time and then is done again. She's not getting tons of food or liquid this way.  I added minced cooked green beans later to her Special Beef Soup, and she didn't mind that.

Still, not eating very much at any one time. Mere mouthfuls, really. Still happy to take a few mouthfuls more 20 to 30 minutes later. Until yesterday, Charlie Bears were awesome, but now they've joined the list of things that she won't eat. Can still walk out through the dog door to the back yard, but now can't remain standing after squatting to pee. After a rest, can get herself standing and moving again if she thinks there's a good reason to, which mostly she doesn't seem to. But still likes to have the ol' ear/face rub.

When I'd check on her, she'd usually be where I last left her--but then she'd suddenly be lying somewhere else. So, very little mobility. She's become like the Racetrack Playa stones in Death Valley: she has moved, but no one sees her move.

I found her at the base of the stairs inside the house twice; she maybe wanted to be closer to me in the living room, but not sure whether she tried to go up and slipped, or just lay there deliberately (or couldn't turn around and so lay down as the only other option).  The problem with having spread no-slip carpets out for her is that now I can't hear when she's struggling.

I don't think this is a good life for this dog.

I will talk to my vet Monday morning.

I've got the numbers for a couple of mobile vets who also do in-home euthanasia and I'll call them, also, and talk to them.

How odd--my face is all wet.


  1. I'm so sorry, ELF. This is so hard.

  2. Mine too. All wet. So glad I got to meet her (and you and Boost). Quite a girl, Tika. Hugs.

    1. I really need to meet your Queen Sheltie someday, too.