Having a tough time

lesdvs9July 27, 2007

My 10 year old lab, Jackson got some of the last batch of bad food, Authority. They maintained it was the wet, it happened right after I just bought a fresh large bag of the dried. He started vomiting a few days and we just sighed thinking it was his sensitive stomach and he was drinking too much water again in the heat and throwing it all up. He fractured his knee somehow then. We think it happened the last time we had him in for a shampoo. He has a 4" thick coat and at the time weighed close to 120 pounds, on his back legs he can put his legs on my shoulders so he's a big boy. I'm 5'4" so he's also heavy but we think they made him jump down off a table too high and he hurt himself slipping on the linoleum or something. In walks I don't let him up high on anything nor had he fallen anywhere.

Anyways he started limping and we took him in to the vet and she ran tests also when we told her about the vomiting. She said he was in the initial stages of kidney failure but believed we caught it in time, just make sure he had plenty of water at all times but there was nothing else we could do. She still said he was overall very healthy and a happy young at heart dog and gave him a 5 year life expectancy.

Two months later, he threw up 5 times in the house yesterday and day before that the night's dinner came up undigested in the morning. He can't keep his pain meds down for his knee either. My husband took him back to the vet this morning and she ran more tests and I guess his kidneys are totally failing now and other things are going on and she says we're going to have to put him to sleep soon. He's down to 88 pounds. He walked in the house with my husband wagging his tail and happy to see me and how do we do this??? He's not ready to leave and I'm not ready to let go. The vet said it'll be soon. Oh man this is hard.

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calpat(zone9ab No.Ca.)

Leslie, I'm so sorry about your pet! I won't say I know how you feel, we all handle these things differently. My last situation similar to this one of yours just about did me in emotionally. After that experience I decided no more pets for me, I just can't handle the hurt when it's their time to leave me. Hang in there dear lady....

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 6:46PM
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Oh, Leslie, I feel so bad for you!!! And for sweet Jackson!

Our little guy, Clyde the pug, wasn't doing well for a long time before we made the decision (rice alergy, flea treatment allergy, in and out of the vet's office, rebounding, declining...). On that particular day (a few years ago), he was continuing to vomit a LOT, walking in circles over and over, standing in the corner of the living room, facing the wall. As soon as we mustered up the courage to get his blanket and picked him up to get in the car, it was like he knew. He started wagging his little tail and acting "normal". It was THE most heart-breaking thing we've ever done in our lives. We were crying so hard when coming out of the vet's office, people were staring.

Just when we thought we were over the daily crying, the vet sent a card - "Dear Brenda, I am very sorry about your loss of Clyde. I know you did everything for him. Our thoughts are with you. Sincerely, Barb Williams, DVM"

He is happy now, and he's safe, and if nothing else, keeping that in mind when Jackson's time comes will give you some amount of strength to carry you through this. We weep for you, hon!!!


    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 1:37PM
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Thanks, Pat and Brenda. Brenda that would just kill me to make that decision and have my dog acting happy when I'd made the decision to put him to sleep.

Yesterday off the pain meds for the first time in these 2 months he was acting like his old self. He was following me from room to room wanting to go for a walk and nudging his treat can with his nose. The vet hasn't called yet with his test results, if he's going to fight I will too. I don't believe he's in worse pain from his kidneys, he doesn't act like it. She said he'll go down fast, I'll probably be eating these words in a month like she said, but for today, I'm going to enjoy my dog and give him what chance I can. He's still thumping his tail at me and waiting until I'm finished with dinner to see if I've got any meat left to give him some. This dog isn't ready to die yet.

I hope the people who run these dog food companies have pets who suffer what my dog is doing, not nice but he was fine until he ate their food. I sincerely believe in what goes around comes around.

You're right too Pat, this is the last dog for me, it hurts too much. It's family.

Brenda, this has been our vet through all our dogs too. I look at Jackson and I think I can't do this, not until there is no hope and he's ready to go...

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 9:45PM
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Jackson sounds like he's doing very well right now, Leslie. I'm glad to hear he's eating (yay!!!!), and I sure hope you get the results soon. You'll know when it's time. Even with Clyde's behavior when we prepared to leave, we just knew. And we never got another dog, either. Like you and Pat said, it's just too painful. But we have silly Pookie the kitty - 13 years and still kickin! :)

Please let us know how things are going, ok? We'll be thinking about you all!


    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 8:28PM
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CA Kate

We had to have our 2 year old Rosie put down when she got too close to the Gator and had her hip joint unrepairably broken. It's sooooo hard to do to an animal that is otherwise healthy. I hope and pray that Jackson will still be OK. OR, that you will have the strength to do what must be done if necessary.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 10:49PM
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The vet says he's in full kidney failure. He might survive a year, IF he drinks a lot of water and we feed him a special diet that's very expensive. The canned food is 1.50 a can and the dried is $21.89 for 10lbs. My dog weighs 88 pounds right now, that's pretty expensive and all the meds and the food adds up, but I can' do anything else but take care of him and hope. So it's a lot of water and special food, he can't digest any meat or protein at all.

He tried to go like a boy dog and fell down today so he's not as strong as we thought he was either on his one back leg. Sometimes he's walking pretty well on his fractured knee, lightly on that leg, but a lot better.

If he quits drinking water, that's it.
Thanks for the encouragement and words:)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 8:59PM
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I'm so sorry, Leslie. At least you have an idea now on a time frame or WHEN to judge that it's time. Not that it makes it any easier. :(


    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 11:57AM
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I found an old news item buried on the internet yesterday from April that they did need to recall dried Authority pet food, that it contained wheat gluten with melamanie in it. This is the same time frame I bought a new bag of it and Jackson started the symptoms. Too bad I couldn't have found it before I bought that bag because I had looked first that day on the recall list because I was out of dried food.

Our hearts are breaking, we had to put Jackson to sleep yesterday morning. It was so hard, here's two pics of him on Wed. he still had so much spirit inside him. But that day he started refusing to eat much and on Thursday was so weak we couldn't let him go any longer. We knew he was uncomfortable and hurting, he was stoic about the pain he was in but you could see it in his eyes. It would have been an easier decision if he hadn't been so 'aware, we felt so guilty for putting him to sleep, that we let him down somehow.

We're still hurting over doing this. We keep looking for him around the house and outside.

Thanks for listening.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 12:47PM
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Oh, Leslie. I'm so sorry. He's up there with my Clyde (the pug), and they're frolicking their little buns off, you can count on it. You did the best thing in the world, taking away his suffering. He understands, I promise. *HUG*

You hang in there, and holler if you need anything!


    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 6:41PM
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calpat(zone9ab No.Ca.)

Leslie, I'm so sorry about your loss and just saying it doesn't seem to convey my feelings. I can hardly type this as the tears are really blurring my vision. This is why I'll never have another pet as much as I love them all. I just can't handle the emotional part when it comes time to say goodbye to them.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 9:37PM
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Thank you for your support and sympathy, I really appreciate you ladies.
I miss him so much, he's not at my feet by the computer or waiting by the bathroom door for me to get dressed to take a walk. Keeping me company while I work out back in the garden. Evidence of him is everywhere in the house and outside. I picked everything up of his yesterday and vacumed all his hair up for the last time and we put away the rugs that he laid on to keep the carpets clean. I totally lost it and started bawling when I came across an open bag of dog treats he loved.

It sounds silly to grieve so hard for a dog but he'd been part of the family for over 10 years. DH first brought him home as a puppy to keep me from being so lonely up in the mtns. He'd been my companion for a very long time.

I picked up the fixings to make him a special stone in my garden. We couldn't stand the thought of him going to the tallow works so we had him cremated. He was too big for us to be able to dig a hole that large in our clay soil. We're going to bury him in the garden and I bought a couple of roses that will be delivered in a couple of weeks when it's cooler to plant them in memory.

Yesterday one of DH's friends from the Sheriff's Dept offered him a Lab puppy, he told him NO!!!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 12:19PM
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Oh, Leslie, those of us who've loved, and lost, pets know exactly what you're going through. After we had to put Clyde to rest, I kept his little stuffed bed close by. When I was missing him a bit more than usual, I'd cuddle the removable bottom of the bed, because it smelled just like him. :)

The worst was when I would think I heard him snort from the other room, or hear the sound of his nails tic-tic-ticking across the kitchen floor. To this day, I still look behind me before moving my chair or my feet, worried I'll bump into him or step on his toes. The kitty appreciates me for that, at least. :)

My father-in-law keeps trying to get us to accept a puppy from a litter his miniature schnauzer will soon sire. No WAY! Not again! Well....not yet. :D

Feel free to share any stories you have of Jackson and your time together, too!


    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 5:27PM
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