Dog Update – maybe next week

We took the dog for a check-up this afternoon.  The vet said that she thinks her heart is probably wearing out, based on a heart rate that would be expected in a big black lab instead of a small black rat terrier, a pale color underneath the fur, and general malaise.  Also, this dog is old and that’s kinda what happens.  She said that they could find out more specifically with additional tests and EKGs and mentioned that some people even install pacemakers, but I just shook my head through my tears and said, “No, she’s almost 16.” and she nodded.  The young vet assistant was getting a bit misty-eyed too, and I apologized for crying  when this was just an informative appointment and not even the end yet.

She prescribed a little bottle of a pain and inflammation medicine for treatment of osteoarthritis in dogs, mostly for our benefit I think, to give us some time “making her comfortable” while I prepare myself and come to terms with it.  The vet said that sometimes when it’s the heart animals will go quietly in their sleep, but she’s never been that lucky and has had to make the decision with each of her dogs.  She added that it’s always hard and the best she could offer was that we need to weigh the good days and the bad days and decide when there are too many bad, because only once in awhile will a dog will simply say it’s time for sure and refuse to get up one morning.  Usually people have to make the decision.

I asked about what I’ll need to do when it’s time; she said all I have to do is call and they’ll make sure I can come in that day if necessary, usually during the lunch hour or at the end of the day.  “That’s a good idea,” I said, “you don’t want me sobbing loudly as I come in and then leave afterwards, scaring the others in the waiting room.”

“It’s actually because it’s easier on you to have the time, and less about having an empty waiting room,” she said.  “We do what we can to help you through it.”  She hugged me and the dog when we left.  I said I would see if Kalayna continues to eat better now that she’s trying new food (Cesar Select Senior canned food, the kind you might see served on plate for a tiny Yorkie named Princess Beatrice) and see how it goes for a little while, and I would be in touch.

I have a week off work coming up starting May 14 — I’m going to Washington, D.C. for a few days for my brother’s and sister-in-law’s graduation from Georgetown, but I have three more days off work than I need.  It seems like I’ll probably use one of those days saying good-bye to Kalayna.

May 5, 2009. Dog, Words.

One Comment

  1. You know Who replied:

    You’re doing the right thing being cautious. I especially like they said weigh the good and bad days, that is so important.
    Thanks for the update.

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