Hanging in there

Casper is hanging in there. She has many hours where she’s just tired, some where she won’t eat, some where she’s vomiting, but she is still able to get around on her own and sometimes seems like her old self. The vets don’t seem hopeful at all but are willing to work with me. I am learning what I can online (fortunately I found a helpful group when she was diagnosed) and requesting medications, but a lot of things just aren’t available here. A couple of European members of the online group have given me some tips but it sure would be easier (not to mention cheaper) to get supplements and supplies in the U.S. Customs restrictions prevent shipping a lot of items.

Her blood values continued to decline even on IV at the vet for almost four days. This was the first time her phosphorus went high, and her creatinine is four times the upper limit of normal. I chose to bring her home because she couldn’t stay there indefinitely, she wasn’t getting better, and the scariness of being away from home is of course a significant factor for my old, shy dog. Quality of life can’t really be great when she’s in an e-collar after chewing on her IV line (leaving her with a swollen, painful leg) and she can only see me for an hour a day, not at all on Sunday, and I don’t believe anyone is at the clinic overnight when they don’t have emergency cases. If her numbers can stay where they are, she might limp along for awhile now that we’re cooking for her and giving medicines and subcutaneous fluids. (Pretty much no one does that themselves here but they were willing to sell me the stuff to let me try. I’m glad I’ve done it before! Plus one of the vets here is from Michigan so she’s sympathetic to American-style vet care.) She could still crash in a couple days, but others with dogs this sick take it one day at a time, so I’ll try.

I was also referred to a holistic vet and I’m considering that approach. I’m a little afraid to jump right in and I wish he were more available for the supplements I’m familiar with rather than going through the entire process, partly because I feel I’m desperate for certain items I can’t get on my own, just to see if there’s a chance she will make it for awhile, and I just can’t concentrate enough to answer a bunch of questions about her background when I fear that dog left last week anyway when her condition worsened. Maybe I just can’t get the analytical side of my brain (that might be the only side) to shut off. Focusing at work has been a challenge but I’m thankful David is at home to keep an eye on her and help during the day.

She hasn’t played with Walter since she came home but she did do her wag-and-bark at David and Walter wrestling, so that’s something, and she’s barking at the doorbell and meeting me when I come home. Walter is being gentle with her, mostly.

I’ve nursed a lot of rabbits and guinea pigs through illnesses, but I feel rather novice now. I’m glad I learned to take charge with vet care and make decisions comfortable for my situation and wishes. The vet reviewed quality of life markers as well and those basics are helpful when things look bleak. It still surprises me how much her ups and downs can affect how I feel all day.

4 thoughts on “Hanging in there

  1. Amy, I feel for you. I don’t know why, but I feel helpless when Kramer or Moses are under the weather. I know what to do for bunnies and piggies, but I’m at a loss when it comes to the bigger furries! I’m thinking lots of good thoughts for you and Casper…

  2. “…but she did do her wag-and-bark at David and Walter wrestling” –> *cry* Sweet thing! I’m glad she’s not in pain any more. So sorry for your loss. 🙁

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