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Bridget 06-09-2014 09:40 AM

Afraid for Heidi and me
This post is probably going to be pretty disjointed and I hope I can even be understood. Heidi is 12, HD. She is getting worse. Now I can't get her to go for walks at all. I took her swimming last week and she did really well and enjoyed it. I told her we would start going every day, but life got in the way and we haven't been back. This morning she had a really difficult time getting up and moving. She did eat all of her breakfast, but while I was getting ready for work she was watching me and had this look on her face and I wonder if this is the telling me that everybody talks about but I haven't experienced in the past. I am so scared. I always think I'll be fine, that it's just another part of life, but that is never the experience, is it? I just have this bad feeling that either she will pass soon or that I will need to make the decision soon. Up till the past few weeks, she was doing so well and I thought we would be the medical miracle and she would see 13 years, which happens next month. I wanted to stay home from work today, but I share work with a co-worker and just as I had about decided to take the afternoon off, call the vet, go swimming, spend it with her, my co-worker called ME and let me know she is ill today. It is frowned upon for both of us to take time off at the same time. Also, I want to spend as much time now with Heidi as I can, but I also worry that the time may come later that I may need to take time off more and I don't want to not have any. Does that make sense? I am so scared.

pyratemom 06-09-2014 09:48 AM

I'm sorry your old girl is having problems. You will know when the time comes. Your dog will let you know. It is never easy. Tell your coworker what you are facing so she will be ready to take over for you for a day. My heart to yours. It is never easy to say good bye but leaving them have some dignity in the end is better. When the day comes and I hope she does make it to 13 then spend time with her, talk to her, tell her that a time is coming when she won't be in pain. I remember my last night with Pyrate. I knew the time had come as he had a stroke or seizure at home and it left him not cognizant of any one around him but he knew I was there. I held him all night knowing it would be our last. It still hurts after two years. :hugs:

Bridget 06-09-2014 10:29 AM

Thanks. I should have taken her swimming yesterday and I don't know why I didn't. Starting today we go every day unless it's raining. I want to call my vet, but I don't really know what to say. I want him to put her on stronger meds, but I don't want her to lose control and sleep constantly and lose her quality of life. Because up to now, despite all this, her quality has been pretty good. I don't want to ruin that now.

Shade 06-09-2014 10:49 AM

I know what it feels like and I wish you strength and peace in these hard days :hugs:

I had to take it day by day, otherwise I found myself literally making myself ill with stress.

Treasure each day, enjoy as many of the fun things as you can without pushing her too much. Talk to the vet about pain management, with probably weeks at most left you don't have to worry about side effects and they should be able to help you with a management plan to keep her comfortable.

In the end Alex told me it was time, on the last night he was whining in his sleep which he never did and he was very mopey and miserable from the pain. I knew it was time and made the appointment for that evening, one of the hardest things I've ever done but I stayed with him for every moment. Once the sedative took effect he was so calm and peaceful for the first time in days and I knew I was doing the right thing. He snuggled into my arms and sighed out his last breath. Knowing he was free of pain and happy again was worth every tear I shed and I truly believe I'll see him again so that is a comfort

The only thing I'll stress about the actual process is insist and don't back down on giving the sedative beforehand. It really makes the whole process smoother and easier

Bridget 06-09-2014 11:16 AM

Thank you so much. My vet always does give the sedative first, so that is taken care of. I did call and he will call me back about getting her some stronger meds. When she had her check-up in March, the vet said to keep taking her for a walk, that she needs to keep her joints moving. I try to encourage her, but sometimes she just refuses. I can't force her or pull her around because she falls off her feet! My husband said if she doesn't want to go, don't make her, so we're playing it by ear. Lately, she won't even go if our lab goes.

I will be going home for lunch. Please Lord, let Heidi meet me at the door like she always does.

pyratemom 06-09-2014 11:26 AM

When Pyrate got to where he couldn't make his usual morning walk I still leashed him up and walked him around our front yard over to the next house and back. That's as far as he could go. We did that for about a month. He enjoyed being out even if he didn't really go anywhere. You are both in my prayers.

Daisy&Lucky's Mom 06-09-2014 11:54 AM

My thoughts are w/ you and Heidi. I think that even getting her out in the yard if possible like Pryrate's Mom said or just outside so she can see folks and things.I think the vet can help you and the quality of life insturment Jean had posted is really good.. Take care

middleofnowhere 06-09-2014 12:17 PM

For the late Barker the Elder, accupuncture & chiropractic really helped. I got a dog cart for her but I should have gotten it earlier to get her used to it.

Old dogs and heart ache... Try to remember their youth and the joy of that.

Bridget 06-09-2014 01:47 PM

Yes, I have considered accupuncture & chiropractic, but, and my vet agrees, with Heidi's personality and her agitation with being touched, examined, etc., I don't think it would work for her. Even if they were able to do it, I fear it would cause her so much stress that it wouldn't be worth it.

My vet has offered us Rimadyl. He admits that he has reservations about it, but says that pain management for Heidi right now is our first priority, which I agree with. So, has anyone has experience with this drug?

Bridget 06-09-2014 03:32 PM

Heidi did meet me at the door at lunch time and seemed to be feeling a bit better, unless that is just my imagination. Because of all the side effects I am reading about Rimadyl, I am considering starting our strict regimen of hydro therapy (also know as take the dog swimming every day) and see if that helps her before starting her on this drug. Last week, after she swam, she seemed to feel a lot better and her spirits were high. Any thoughts?

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