Monday, April 11, 2011

Three in Diapers (Not a Pregnancy Announcement)

Gaaah! This is what happens when I go back to work. All my good intentions about keeping up with the blog go out the window. I wrote a big, long post about an epiphany I had, but it's not ready yet. In the meantime . . .

All is not well with Wonderdog. She's a 13-year-old shepherd mix, and she's been having some issues for about two years. At that point, I was pregnant, she seemed to be having some problems with arthritis in her hind legs, and she suddenly started peeing on the floor in her sleep. We took her to the vet, thinking maybe she had a UTI, maybe she was weirded out by pregnancy pheromones . . . we didn't know. Because we're not vets. The vet had no good answers (but wanted to run many hundred dollars' worth of tests). We have had her in a couple of times, but the answers were about the same (long-term anti-inflammatories not a great idea . . . but her heart skipped a beat . . . maybe she needs a pacemaker . . . how about we run many hundreds of dollars' worth of tests?).

Finally, things have become much worse. She's having a lot more trouble with stairs, her hind paws slip a lot, and now she's been pooping a lot in her sleep. And this week it was once in her sleep and twice while awake--and it was a TON of poop those times, and it was all over the place. So Mr. X took her in, and he finally got to see the good DOG vet (as opposed to the BIRD vet), and she did some simple neurological tests and said she's most likely got deg.ener.ative myelo.pathy. Basically, it's a progressive neurological disorder common to shepherds (and some other breeds). She has a lot of muscle atrophy in her legs and behind, she can't tell where her hind legs are in relation to the rest of her body . . . and, when she's sleeping, she loses bladder and bowel control because of muscle atrophy and lack of sensation. Ugh. The poor thing! And the symptoms can mimic arthritis, incontinence is a typical symptom . . . so I'm betting she's had it for at least two years.

She's been such a wonderful dog! And I know dogs don't live for ever, and big dogs in particular don't live forever, but what a bummer that she's suffering with this. So now we have doggie diapers for night, she has booties on her hind paws to give her more traction on the wood floors and stairs (which seems to help), and we got a harness that will make it easier for us to lift her and help her on the stairs. She still loves to go for walks, and yesterday she chased a bunny in the back yard (briefly, but she did it), so she's not down for the count yet. Nonetheless, we'll be making some tough decisions in the not-too-distant future.


Tridentine Wife said...

I'm so sorry about your dog, it is always hard to lose a pet member of the family.

JellyBelly said...

Your poor doggy! It is so hard to see pets age :(

Second Chances said...

It IS so hard to watch our pets suffer. They're so devoted to us and unconditional in their love. It's a tough thing :(

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