Our Dog is Not Well

Here’s the quick update/summary of what’s going on:

  1. The x-rays show that her intestines are squished into half the space they should be in.  There is a massive void in the other half of where they should extend through.  There is a small chance this void is the result of a naturally occurring small liver and the void is simply a large fatty deposit.  There is a very significant chance that this void is a very large tumor.
  2. She has arthritis throughout her body, including down her sternum and spine.
  3. She has hip dysplasia and arthritis in both her hips, although not that sever and likely not root cause of any of her problems. (We’ve suspected this since her check up last year).
  4. Her bloodwork is all within normal ranges.
  5. Her appetite continues to decrease.  She will not eat, and drinking is far too limited to be considered good.

Right now, the action plan is simple:

  1. Wait for another vet who specializes in x-rays to read the x-rays to give a second opinion.  Hopefully he can determine what the void is.  We should hear today.  (This is the both the least invasive and most cost effective next step).
  2. Try to get her to eat, something, anything.  The vet suggested ground beef and rice (our go-to stomach remedy for her, but she hasn’t been interested in it lately) or chicken/turkey baby food.
  3. Lots and lots of snuggles.

The not so simple part is deciding what to do based on the x-ray results.  We suspect the options will be to do an ultrasound or exploratory surgery.  Or, we may choose end of life care.  At this point, only time will tell.

And, so while I’m desperately hoping for good news, I know in my heart that she is not well.

I am completely devastated.

Mr. MPB is completely devastated.

Little MPB is completely oblivious.

While she is a large dog (90lbs), she’s only 7.5 years old.  She’s a mixed breed rescue that was found abandoned in a farmers field with a few siblings at about 4 weeks old.  After living in a foster home until she was old enough to be adopted, she came to live with us at about 8 or 9 weeks old.  The day we brought her home I promised her that she’s always have lots of food, snuggles and love.  I promised to always take care of her, and that she’d never have a worry again.

She has truly been our first child and has been spoiled beyond belief.  She spent her first 5 years of life as an only child, and she soaked up all the one-on-one attention.  She’s been my rock. She’s been at my side with every single pregnancy – I swear she knew I was pregnant before any positive pregnancy test or positive beta.  She’s also been at my side with each loss – I swear she also knew when I lost each baby.  She was glued to my side the second she knew I was pregnant until the second she knew I wasn’t pregnant – she didn’t let other near me and she didn’t ever jump on me or even paw me. And once the baby was gone, she cuddled with me through every miscarriage, even though she’s never been a cuddler.

She sheds everywhere, every single day, making sure to leave evidence of her favourite sleeping spots on the carpet.  She loves a good tummy rub and ear scratch.  She’s been our constant hiking companion, rain or shine.  She’s our camping buddy and evening walking motivator.  She loves everyone she meets and loves people unconditionally.

Life has clearly changed for her now that our son is here.  She definitely hasn’t had as many walks, but we have never, not even for a second loved her any less.  And now, she is our son’s best friend, even though she’s not completely sure about him.  He looks for her at every opportunity, shouting puu-py constantly.  He giggles when she licks him.  He stops to pet her nose first thing every morning.  He enjoys offering her food from his high chair and then quickly eating it himself (he thinks he’s rather funny, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t share the sentiment).  But she especially likes when he is he’s willing to share his food and she happily snaps up whatever he lets go of.  I’ve loved watching every moment of their relationship slowly develop, while she did not love him immediately, she has warmed up to him over time.  I’m thankful she has not eaten him, or ever made a single threatening move towards him.

Truthfully, given her mutt status, we always assumed she’d have a healthy life and a long life.  We feel slightly blindsided right now at the potential of how ill she is.  Yet, we’ve always maintained that if she became sick, we wouldn’t prolong her suffering just for our sake.  But now that we are faced with the possibility of having to say goodbye, I’ll admit, I’m not ready.  And if saying goodbye is her best options, it will take every ounce of courage I have in me.

Just the thought of having to say goodbye is more then my heart can bear today.  So, right now I have to keep hoping that she starts eating and drinking again, and that she just has an oddly tiny liver and a giant fatty spot where her intestines should be.

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34 Comments on “Our Dog is Not Well

  1. Oh, MPB, my heart is breaking! This is supposed to be the prime of her life with you. She’s supposed to grow up as Baby MPB’s steadfast companion. This is just not right.

    It sounds like you’re being realistic about her prospects and doing your best to do what’s best for her, which is probably all you can do at this point. I will be hoping so hard that it’s not what it looks like and that she will make a quick recovery. Sending huge hugs.

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  2. So tough. We lost our “puppy love” at the age of nearly sixteen earlier this year. Animals are truly part of the family. No matter what the diagnosis, prognosis, or decisions you have to make, it sounds like they will be made with love and best interest of your girl, and that is the best anyone can ask for.

    While I have not tried it myself, I have heard adding small amounts of chicken broth (although I suppose any broth could do), to their water to entice them to drink. The only thing would be only small amounts if there is sodium in it so you’re not encouraging hydration with dehydration… or get low to no sodium versions. Does your dog like eating ice? Although if not interested in eating beef I’m not sure ice would be enticing, but if it’d get even the slightest hydration into her, might be worth the shot.

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  3. This is so, so sad. As a three time fur mama (and infertile) I feel for you so deeply here. Like you, I have always promised my pups that I will never prolong their suffering for my own sake – but in that moment, at such a young and unexpected time … ugh I just can’t imagine and I feel for you! I will cross everything I have that it turns out to be a fat deposit…and that she is not terminally ill and gets to experience a LOT more time with your family.

    If she doesn’t, though, she is so very lucky to have crossed paths with you – and you made her life so much sweeter (and, I’m sure, she did yours). HUGS!

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  4. My brother and his wife recently lost their 3 year old fur baby to a cancer, and it was a shocking blow. Of course, we all expect long happy, healthy lives from our pups, especially when raised since infancy, but life is complicated. Sending positive thoughts to you and your family – it’s so hard to struggle with illness in one you love, no matter the species.

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  5. I am so, so sorry. Your love for your dog shows every time you write about her. Every dog should have a family like yours. This must be incredibly difficult for you.
    Fingers crossed.

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  6. Oh my goodness. I do hope she is okay and it’s just a momentary blip. I know exactly what you mean. My dog has been with me throughout and I completely hope he will be immortal. He’s currently “on holiday” (we have a weekend wedding away) with my friend who has cancer and needs cuddles. She says he has healing paws! I love the pictures of your dog. Sending her lots of get well wishes. Xx

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  7. I am so sorry. We lost our dog recently to cancer and he really is missed still and I identify with so much in this blog from when he took ill. Hoping the diagnosis isnt a tumour but I know you’ll act in his best interests. Thinking of you x

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  8. This is my dog Jerzee. She is my rock, been through every single pregnancy loss with me. I don’t know what I would do without her. Big, big hugs.

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  9. I hope that whatever decisions need to be made will be easy on your heart. If she gets to a stable point and you can decrease her pain, try grass fed beef collagen. It’s great for arthritis.

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  10. Oh MPB, “when it rains, it pours”! My heart goes out to you–I can really empathize because I love my pets to pieces and they are family–I call them my kids (plural) and it confuses the hell out of people who think BG is an only child. So much love to you at this difficult time ❤ XOXO

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  11. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. I’m so very sorry. I do hope you get good news. It’s heartbreaking to see family members suffer. I have to thank you for sharing all the good and bad life has to give. This post has been eye opening to me. Our pups life has changed big time since Luke was born. She got kicked out of our bed and is now a downstairs only dog. She’s been even more of a Challenge to deal with since she’s blind and aggressive. I need to be more conscious of my time with her. Like you said she was our first baby and the only baby for years. She was there through the hardest times and I know when we do have to say goodbye I’ll regret the way our relationship has changed since the kids. Best of luck to your pup! Thinking of you!

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  12. I am so sorry your furry baby isn’t well. Dog’s are such a big part of our lives and families.

    I really hope that things somehow turn around for her.

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  13. I am so so so so sorry!!!! I have been in your shoes. My first born was with me through all my miscarriages and infertility treatments. She was my first love and my best friend. She had terminal cancer and I made the excruciating decision to have her put to sleep soon after DC was born. I have left reminders of her throughout the house and yard (bones, her bed, her dish). I still talk to her. All of this is to say I know how painful this is. I hope you get good news from the second opinion and there is a treatment that will help her and prolong her life in comfort!!!

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  14. I’m so sorry your dog is poorly, I know I would be heartbroken if this was mine. I’m keeping everything crossed for you this gets better and you have many more happy hikes ahead x

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  15. I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this. This situation just completely sucks. I have a baby of my own and I don’t know what I would do if she were to get this sick and we were faced with having to make the choice you are. It would crush me. I was away working when the last family dog of my immediate family died. That was really hard because she was a really sweet, kind dog. My parents had already made the decision that they would take her to be put to sleep if she didn’t die in her sleep naturally over night. Thankfully she did so they didn’t have to. You will be in my thoughts.

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  16. I’m so so sorry. How heartbreaking. I’ll be sending light and love to all of you.

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  17. I’m so sorry to hear this. I know what you’re going through, not only because I’ve worked in the vet field for years, but because we lost 2 of our cats last year. I always swore to myself that I wouldn’t let them suffer either. One of them had kidney failure, and I always told my coworkers not to let me hold on to him too long…turns out, I knew exactly when the time was right. It absolutely didn’t make it any easier, it’s never an easy thing to do, but I truly believe it’s a final gift that we can give our fur babies…allowing them to go with some dignity and love before their suffering becomes too great. If you need anything, advice or vent or anything, please feel free to shoot me an email. Sending you lots of love, and hopefully some quick answers from the specialist. *hugs*

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    • Thank you my friend. Unfortuanly her diagnosis was so much worse the anything we could have ever predicted and we said goodbye late today. I’m completely devastated and still in shock. I’ve been trying to email you all day and I just haven’t been able to find the words.

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  18. Oh I’m so so sorry. Losing your first baby/fur baby is so incredibly hard. When we had to make the difficult decision with Loki who albeit was a 14 yr old malamute, we gave him the best he could handle in the remaining weeks; steaks, a rolls Royce new dog bed, treats…so many treats. I took the day off from work and the three of us just cuddled until it was time. No matter what the prognosis is, all decisions are hard. Sending you lots and lots of hugs 💙

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  19. This breaks my heart. I am so incredibly sorry to hear this. Please know I’m thinking good thoughts for you all, especially your fur baby. Hugs.

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  20. Losing a furry family member is so hard. I hope that this is not on the immediate horizon for you, but if it is, I’m very sorry 🙁

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  21. I just read the other comments and I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope you can reflect on all the good times you had with her, and the great life you gave her.

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  22. Sending you good thoughts. I’ve had a few pets with cancer. They don’t get a lot of the negative effects from chemo always so it may be worth it if you can afford it. We had a cat that lived an additional five years with treatment.

    Sending you good thoughts.

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  23. Oh no. I’m so sorry to see this. I lost my dog shortly after my daughter came to live with me, and it was beyond devastating. Sending you lots of positive energy. ❤

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  24. I’m so sorry to read this. We are going through similar things with our cat and it is so hard. I’m so sorry that this came out of nowhere, you don’t expect this with younger pets (our cat is 15.5, so we knew this was coming).

    I can’t write more than that… I’m at a loss for words. Just know that I am sending love your way.

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