Monday, June 09, 2014

May 29


Walking downtown to have lunch with my work buddies.




I enjoyed lunch with my buddies, as usual.  So good to spend time with friends!

Walking home.  Rhododendron.

The 29th was the first time I'd seen him take a nap on the couch upstairs, since he had his dentristy and had the biopsy taken (weeks before).  You know he used to nap here all the time.........

I'm sorry to need to say he got a bad report from the biopsy lab.  Staying true to his plan for having weird things go wrong (mystery congestion, mystery fever, cyst in his jaw...), the lab couldn't decide what it was, for sure, but it's nasty.  Either way, the treatment would be radiation.  And since radiation would mean anesthesia, and it took him weeks to clear the anesthesia from the dentistry, we're not going to go that route at 15 1/2.

His mouth hurts.  The sore place is on top, on the left, behind where the farthest back molar used to be, when he had one (that's the one that was abscessed last fall, and removed at that time).  He squeaks from time to time.  A few times a day.  Sometimes I'm sure it's his mouth, and sometimes I don't know.  He's on two different pain pills.

I'm writing this on 6/8.  He's still not himself.  I was pretty sure when I took him in, all those weeks ago, that there was something bad going on in his mouth.  But I never expected that I wouldn't get back the dog I took in to have the dentistry.  I suppose it may be all the meds he's getting.

He's had some days where he was almost himself, and he's had a couple of days where it seemed like his mouth was really bothering him all day.  He's restless, which is unusual for him, and it's bad when he's restless in the middle of the night and it keeps me awake.

I'm feeling like I can't get a handle on managing him.  I suppose that shouldn't be unexpected.  His congestion ("Allergies?") varies nearly daily.  I should probably be expecting that this will do that, too, rather than stabilizing.  I don't like not knowing what to expect on a daily basis.


He's had a good long run.  He's dodged many bullets -- and has taken a few.
  • Someone shot him (with a gun) before we got him at one year old.  Our vet found metal in his rib and in his leg, when xraying him to look for the cause of his congestion.
  • He had a mystery fever in '09 which involved seriously infected tonsils ("dogs don't get tonsilitis!").  He was hospitalized twice during this, and was finally cured by multiple long courses of antibiotics.
  • He had the cyst in his jaw, which was likely to be cancer, but turned out to be rogue epithelial cells.  It never returned after being scraped out by the vet dentist.
  • He ate so many coffee beans last year that they could well have killed him.
Any of those things could have killed him, but he soldiered on.

At 15 1/2, you know something is going to take him out.  But the landscape shifts when you see the thing that probably will.  Not that I've seen it -- there's no way he's letting anyone touch his mouth (let alone look in it) at this point......



Cindy R said...

Oh Vicki, I'm so sorry. Poor old guy. You know I know how hard this is!

I need orange said...

Thanks. I appreciate the good thoughts.

I've known that he was doing amazingly well for his age, for the last several years. He's had a good long run.

But it still sucks.

Having done this four times before, in different ways, I think I have a good handle on where I think the balance between quality and quantity belongs. Not having a good handle on how he feels makes it hard to assess where he is on the continuum................