A poorly dog…

Nursing a poorly dog today, why can’t you explain to dogs that its in their own interest to lay still and chill out, and more importantly to breathe through their mouth and not sneeze ?

Jake is an old dog now, he was 13 years old a couple of weeks ago, a Golden Retriever with all of the excellent elements of that breed and none of the faults, he’s still as active as he ever was as a puppy, that is not very active at all, he is so content that he has only barked about five times in his whole life and his days are mostly spent snoozing and/or eating, such is the life of a Golden Retriever.

His latter years have brought a little stiffness in his hips but Glucosamine sorts that out a treat but last year he started with a snuffling in his nose and then all summer we were treated to sneezing fits which brought deluges of dog snot, carpets and furniture were ruined and a kings ransom was spent at the vets on antibiotics to no avail, eventually a 99p antibiotic spray from Asda cured him.

Underlying all of this was the possibility that he has a nasal tumour or at least some breakdown of nasal tissue, our vet is very honest and explained that we could check him in for a general anesthetic and let them poke a camera up his nose to have a look, oh yes, and hand over £1000 for the privilege, but even if they found out what it was (and there’s no guarantee) then there probably would be no treatment offered, add to that his age and the danger of an anesthetic and we all agreed that its probably just advisable to assume that he has a nasal tumour and move forward from there.

The good news is that nasal tumours do not spread to other parts of the body so will not ultimately be fatal, it will eventually be very invasive in his nose but we’ll cross that bridge if we ever arrive at it (and the chances are we won’t ever arrive at it).

The bad news is that sometimes tumours bleed, and thats what has happened this weekend – it started with a huge sneeze on Friday evening and suddenly a very bright red nose and blood all over the kitchen floor. The bleeding would stop if you kept him calm and laying down but half an hour later he’d sneeze out a huge black blood clot and it would start all over again, I left him in the kitchen on Friday night and expected to get up on Saturday to find him gone to that Golden Retriever kennel in the sky but he was fine, if a little weak, no more bleeding through the night, then an hour later as I sat outside in the sun with a coffee two huge sneezes from the kitchen resulted in big black slug-like blood clots being spread over the floor and cupboards followed by lots of snorting and sneezing as the blood flow started again – the kitchen looked like a CSI crime scene when he’d finished and then his nose continued to dribble blood all day long.

So it was off to the vets at 4pm yesterday and a warning that this might be the point where I don’t get to bring him back any more, I hate this point in a dogs life, the bit where you get to play god and decide when enough is enough, I know all the arguments for humane euthanasia but it doesn’t make it any easier when you are the one holding the dogs collar.

Fortunately the vet wasn’t as concerned by the nose bleeds as I was, in fact neither was Jake so midst the steady drip-drip of blood on the surgery floor we went through all of the options again and the final solution of an overdose of anesthetic was actually dismissed from the start “We’re not at that point yet” he said, “but actually there isn’t much we can actually do but wait for it to stop”

There was one thing actually, he squirted a dose of adrenaline up Jakes nose in the hope that it would constrict the blood vessels, and touching wood and anything else for luck, 12 hours later it seems to be working, all we have to do now is keep him quiet and relaxed – not a very hard thing for Jake to do, the vet actually said that they could take him into the surgery for 24 hours and sedate him to lower his blood pressure, I pointed at Jake laying on the floor ignoring everything and said “Do you think you can sedate him any more than that ?” and the vet had to admit that no, he does seem to be a naturally very sedated dog.

Why can’t good dogs have the same lifespan as humans ?

Taking it easy today

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