Thursday, April 12, 2012

Not Yet


I was preparing myself to write an RIP post today because I was fairly convinced we would terminate Jake’s life.  My son Dan, who had thoroughly researched his condition on the Internet, was of a very different opinion about what we should do.  We kept annoying him by saying things like, “Are you thinking about yourself or the dog?”
This afternoon we had a consultation with his regular vet, as opposed to the emergency care hospital where he had been treated.  She was very supportive of the care he had received there and the course of treatment they had prescribed.  She was not at all surprised at the fact that he was wobbling and periodically collapsing to the floor, saying the adjustment to any anti-seizure medication takes at least a week accompanied by a period of “drunken” behavior.  
So instead of putting him down, she suggested we take him home, restrict him to a space with no stairs, give him plenty of light to assist his greatly diminished vision, and just wait for a week to 10 days.  She was fairly confident that his system would adjust to the meditation and the side-effects would subside.  She said there is a strong likelihood that he has a brain tumor, but that they are slow-growing in older dogs.
So tonight we will all go upstairs to bed, leaving Jake in the family room, where he will undoubtedly detect that we are not there.  (Dan slept with him on the floor last night.)  And tomorrow we will watch for additional signs that Jake is settling in to his life post-seizure.  And most of all we will hope the meds work to steer off future seizures.
His day will eventually come, but it wasn’t today.

7 Comments:

Blogger Angela said...

Oh, I know what you are going through. Hope and waiting, and then the questions that arise. When our old dog Zeus at almost thirteen lay under his apple tree and fell asleep in the sun, I always hoped that he could simply pass away softly, right then and there. But no, on the day that his hind legs refused work and he LOOKED at us, as if pleading for a way out, then we did have to call the vet. I was with him, he was at home, it was a sad but very peaceful good-bye. And yet...
Yes, I know.

2:46 AM  
Blogger Steve Reed said...

I hope he does adjust to the meds. Vets will never say outright that it's time, but they'll find some way to let you know if they really don't feel they can do anything more. If your vet is supportive of keeping him comfortable and letting him adjust, it sounds like you're doing the right thing. It's always hard to know, though. Having just been through it ourselves, I don't envy you. Enjoy your time with him!

3:09 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

well, this is good news. Hopefully he will adjust and become more Jakelike soon.

6:20 PM  
Blogger e said...

Poor thing...I hope he is able to adjust and enjoy the time left fully.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad Jake's back home! And I'm sorry you have a tough decision approaching before too long. To paraphrase what a friend said to me and my partner last year when we were in the midst of making our own decision, "Whatever you decide is the right decision."

You might remember that our dog had an inoperable tumor infiltrating his heart. The vets were (thankfully) clear with us about the prognosis, and the two remaining weeks or so we had with our companion were sweet and powerful. Making the decision to end his life felt both profoundly intimate and emotionally complicated. A heavy responsibility, but made with unconditional love and tenderness.

I hope Jake is feeling more comfortable w/the meds. Your photos speak volumes...so much love flowing back and forth!

F.

2:42 AM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Hoping whenever Jake has to depart, it's a smooth and gentle crossing.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

Barbara,
How are things? You haven't posted for a while.
xo

12:28 PM  

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