Feb 20, 2014

What we do and go through for our Fur-Baby, the long version

 About 6 weeks ago Oscar came in one evening completely lame in his right front foot.  I thought it was probably a mild sprain and treated him for several days with aspirin.   It didn't help.
 So a trip to the vets was in order.  After a very painful, for Oscar, exam the vet thought it was probably a sprain and put him on a better anti-inflammatory.  Which he took faithfully with no improvement. 

Fast forward 12 days...Taking Oscar back to the vets this afternoon. The pain meds that he has been on for over a week are not helping. He is not eating well and is really miserable. This is really hard on Sarah, these 2 have grown up together. We got him as a pup a few weeks before she turned 3. He'll be 13 on March 11. The past 5 years or so he has had allergies that turned into skin infections and now he has a lame leg that is not responding to treatment. I hope we can find out today what is wrong and get meds to keep him comfortable for as long as possible. We don't want to selfishly prolong his life if it is something bad, but it's so hard when an animal has been like another sibling. If you're inclined would you say a prayer for all of us?

That afternoon...Just got back from the vets with Oscar. Thanks for all your kind words and prayers.
Dr Foster took an x-ray and there is no cancer which is what we were afraid of. Instead he thinks that O has an abscess in that paw. So he's on antibiotics for 2 weeks at least plus his pain meds and he needs to have that foot soaked in Epsom salts twice a day. So it looks like Oscar will be with us for a while longer!!

Two days later...Oscar feels terrible, constant crying in pain.  It's worse at night.  I'm calling the vet to see if there is something he can take to help him relax and sleep especially at night.

That evening...The vet prescribed a mild sedative to help him sleep tonight.  It's an old, well tolerated drug.  Hope we can get some sleep tonight. 

Have you heard of Restless Leg Syndrome?  Last night we experienced what I'm calling "Uncontrolled Barking Syndrome" (UBS).  With his foot so painful, Oscar, and the rest of us, haven't been getting much sleep.  the video above is just a fraction of the barking he was doing.

Having a drug make you feel all disoriented and weird is bad enough.  And as a human you can at least communicate how you are feeling and understand what is happening.   Imagine your fur-baby going through that.  They. Can't. understand..

Anyway, "UBS" came on within an hour of Oscar taking the sedative.  Preceded by rapid, shallow breathing and the  loss of control of his tongue.

UBS lasted for 10-15 minutes at a time with only about a 10 minute respite.  At first we thought it was just him talking in his sleep.  But when it went on & on & on we knew something was amiss. The barking lasted from about 9 p.m. until midnight.  Finally, quiet, sleep.  For Oscar. Around 2:30 this morning he slid off the bed and is still sleeping where he landed  8 hours later.  (I snatched a couple of hours here and there.)

After talking with his vet, who is befuddled by this entire problem, not just the drug reaction, I'm taking him back in tomorrow for further evaluation.

As I finish writing this post Oscar is still very groggy and unsteady on his feet.  24 hours after that one. small. dose.

Some friends have suggested I find another vet.  I understand and appreciate their concern.  I want the best for Oscar.  But I've had drug reactions myself.  It wasn't the doctors fault.  You don't know you're allergic to something until you take it and react.  So I view it the same for my canine child.

His foot is finally draining, he's let Sarah soak and massage the gunk out of his foot twice today.  The pain in the foot is much, much better.  I think he's on the mend.

We'll visit the vet again in the morning to let the doc and his colleagues check him out as we head to the weekend.

I leave you with a few recent pics of our "Monster Dog"

He chooses to sleep this way...

and sit like this...

He's the best dog I've ever known.

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