Our Dog

Paul & Money when she was just a puppy.

Paul & Money when she was just a puppy.

While I was waiting for my mom to come out of recovery at the hospital on Friday (see “Mom’s Knee Replacement” post) I received a call from our veterinarian to discuss the blood work from my dog’s appointment the day before.  My dog is 13 years old.  She is a black lab/dalmation mix and she is such an important part of our family.  She has had two knee replacements a couple of years ago or so and has done really well!  My husband took her to the vet because she just hasn’t been eating right and has started losing weight.  The vet did not have good news. 

Her blood levels were “alarming” and they believed she was experiencing kidney failure.  I was horrified and still am!  She seems like she is doing so well!  She’s happy and playful at times and is perky and affectionate.  She is a little more tired, and doesn’t eat or drink as much as she had been, but I figured she was just getting older.  Kidney failure is not at all what we expected to hear.



I left the hospital with my mom still in recovery.  Thank God for my Aunt Jeanne who had just gotten back to the hospital.  She would tend to my mom while I found my husband so we could figure out what to do next.  They said she needed “intensive care” treatment as soon as possible and we should take her to the hospital.  When my husband finally got home I was a mess.  I had been crying for some time and sitting on the floor with my girl (her name is “Money” by the way.  I didn’t get a vote on the name, but it fits her after all this time.).  He was stunned as I was but held it together and took her to the hospital.

He brought her home that night with a treatment regimen.  She’s on Pepcid to help reduce acid, she’s on antibiotics for a UTI, and then there’s the “fluid” treatment.  We actually have to “push” 1000 cc’s of saline into the scruff of her neck.  Yes, I said one thousand!  We poke her with a rather large needle and squeeze the IV bag to get the fluid in.  I guess this is the canine version of dialisys.  When we’re done she has a lump on her neck about the size of a cantelope filled with saline.  Not a pleasant experience for any of us. 

Money & Cash watch the birds.

Money & Cash watch the birds.

Yesterday was our first attempt to do this.  It was going well at first, but then she jumped up and the needle popped out.  It was devastating because now we’d have to stick her again to finish the treatment.  My husband did it but she was so upset by then that we couldn’t finish.  For the rest of the night she wouldn’t go anywhere near Paul.  Even this morning she isn’t trusting him completely.  It breaks my heart to see her act like this.  Paul is the one person she has trusted completely for all of her life, and to see that relationship suffer now, at this point of her life is just sad.

I called the vet to see if there were any other options.  “No.”  We have to do it!  I feel so bad about this.  If we don’t give her all of this fluid then the toxins will fill her body and she will feel very ill.  They don’t know if this will prolong her life any, but it will make her feel better.  I sure hope this goes better tonight.  It’s killing my husband to have to do this, but he knows we have to.   I’m going to try to be the one to stick her tonight so he can be the good guy.  I’m actually pretty weak when it comes to needles, but I have to try. 

Money with her baby ducks.  She was such a good mom!

Money with her baby ducks. She was such a good mom!

We can’t bear the thought of losing our girl.  I know it’s inevitable but she doesn’t even seem sick right now.  We’re certainly thankful for that.  This is not going to be easy.

My "baby girl".

My "baby girl".

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Christy
    Jul 20, 2008 @ 20:10:36

    Beth–I’m so sorry to hear about Money and your mom. You have a lot on your plate now (as if you didn’t have enough already!). I know that you have it in you to do the saline injection….it’s something I think all of us who have kids with CdLS have in us that we originally didn’t think we did. I feel your pain….we’ve had two of our wonderful cats succumb to kidney failure and it was awful. Believe it or not, Baylee took it the hardest, not because she liked our cats, but because everyone else was upset and that upset her.

    I’m glad to hear Money is still feeling ok and is happy. I hope you have lots more good times with her and I hope your mom recovers quickly from her surgery.

    (BTW–I know another dog named Money.)

    Hugs to you!


  2. Beth
    Jul 20, 2008 @ 20:24:10

    Thanks for your support Christy. I don’t know that I do have it in me to do the needles, but I certaily have to try. Sorry to hear about your cats. Andrew harrasses Money so much, I’m sure he’ll miss her lots.

    And I can’t believe you know another dog named “Money”!


  3. joanne
    Jul 21, 2008 @ 05:44:57

    Beth, Paul, Joe and Justin, my heart just breaks for all of you.

    We had a beautiful Sheltie for 10 glorious years. We had to do the same treatments with her and so I know what you are going through. We were able to keep her for several years, although we had to cook a special diet for her along with the constant vet check ups; it wasn’t easy.

    I was at the Orlando conference in 95…I think I have my dates right; my husband called me to tell me it wasn’t looking good with our “other baby”, Lady. He took her to the vets and they gave her sub cue fluids all weekend. He wanted to make sure I could be with her once more, again. I came home that Sunday after conference and the there was no doubt that it would be my last night with her. I thought it a coincidence that just two years ago… I lost my dad that Sunday night I came home from conference. Certainly I can’t compare…..but I think of the similarites.

    Since then we have had to put down 2 elder cats. They each had enough ailments to fill a vetinary digest! We now have 2 very needy small white dogs (9+) that have had enough medical issues that I should have called them money 1 and money 2!

    The dogs we have now are sisters and are puppy farm dogs….although I did not know the term or it’s implications at the time. They have had their share of complications brought upon them as a product of puppy mill breeding. They are my “children” now that my children are no longer at home.

    I have rambled about my stuff, but this is about you. I am so sorry you nust go through this with your beautiful, “Money”. You have beautiful pictures of him….and you can feel the love just looking at him.

    Beth and Paul….just know that you have friends that know the pain you are going through and wish at this cyber end there was something we could do besides letting you know we know how it feels to be totally in love with our 4 legged babies.

    I will be thinking of you and all you are going through with your mom, Money and the daily storm with Andrew!


  4. Diane
    Jul 29, 2008 @ 13:49:55

    Hey Beth, Paul…I wanted to let you know that I really feel for you. We had to put Oscar to sleep last night (July 28th). He too was 13 years old. It was a very hard decision to make but we knew it was the best thing for him. He has been sick for a long time but it got worse this past week. I couldn’t bear to see him so skinny and not eating. His poor little body just twitching…..anyway..we are sad today but I know in my heart we did all we could for him and he now is playing happily again! It is very difficult to see and to decide! I really do feel for you…I read a poem in the vet’s office last night that made me feel better. I wish I could find it to send to you but I couldn’t — it was about making the decision and that you have given your animal 13 years of a great life and how you shouldn’t feel bad etc etc…I know it doesn’t make you feel any better right now but it gave me peace last night. YOu will be in my thoughts as you go through this difficult time with Money! My prayers are always with you for Andrew! And tell your mom to get out of the hospital!!! Love, Diane


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