Thursday, December 2, 2010

the price of love?


bad to the bone :: 47/52, originally uploaded by sarah ....
On my way home today, from my what seems like weekly vet visits, while crying at every stupid sappy song on the radio ... today was for an injection for Jane, due to the gradual fluid build up on her lungs this week. Her HR was 250 a minute ... her breathing rate even when sleeping has been 40 breaths per minute (should be 12 - 15). And this morning and last night, she is losing her breath running up the stairs - like she has just ran a marathon up to 70- 80 per minute. Up until this week she has been doing great. But last night she got us up 3 times in the night and was really restless, I could tell there was a fluid build up - which then causes her to breath heavier because she has to work that much harder to get oxygen.

Hello, Congestive Heart Failure, I fucking hate you.

Her meds are being adjusted the little bit they can, and we are going from there. Hopefully these next couple of injections will level her out again ...

Everytime I think about the literally, Thousands of dollars I spent at the Vet this year ... I have a small to moderate panic attack. But at the same time, I look over at my dogs, and that sick to my stomach feeling goes away. Who really needs to go on Vacations anyway, when I can be at home vacuuming up dog hair and picking up poop from the yard?

Where do you draw the line ....

If I can do whatever I can to keep my dog healthy and happy I will do it. This year really tested us and put alot of pressure on us emotionally and economically. It was literally one thing after another. I guess having 2 senior dogs will do that to you. Pete and I are on the same page, we don't want to see her suffer, but we will treat it if we can, and keep her happy and healthy at almost any cost if it works. What we aren't doing is an ultrasound (we know she has CHF), and we did bloodwork twice and heart stress test - margins were still good from being on the meds, heart is nearly maxed. We know the meds will be hard on her kidneys, we don't need a ton of bloodwork to tell us when they are starting to fail, she will be on the meds until they stop working - and for now, they work great. Our Vet agrees too. She has a couple old lady lumps "her lovely lady lumps" as we call them, well, those aren't going anywhere either.

Maybe we are naive because Jane is our first dog, but the hundreds of dollars a month it costs to keep to ticker-ticking are worth it to us. Good appetite, still has some spunk, loves her car rides, still keen as ever to do do little bits of training, and just cuddle and hang out as she always has.

Sometimes you are put to the test, as we were with Kaleb. As we found out there isn't much choice when your dog has Torsion. Please for the love of doG do what you can - now that is a suffering dog, an awful thing to see. It was a crap shoot 50% chance of him living through it. Signing the euthanasia form was not something I like to remember, but we had too if there was nothing they could do to save him. Unfortunately we would have had to pay the same price even if he hadn't survived, well he did - so it was worth it, or something.

Then there is Jane ... Gall Stone at the beginning of the year, and her Congestive Heart Failure. We didn't treat the Gall Stone with Surgery - just meds. All seemed good! Then the heart ....

No I don't have pet insurance. After this year, I am applying for it with Gyp, however.

All I hope is that 2011 is a better year. Last year I wished for good health for the pooches and me, and I didn't really get it. So this coming year, all I ask is everyone is happy, that's easy enough :)

13 comments:

Dog By Nature said...

Stay strong. It's hard when our beloved ones near their last days but as long as she's happy and not suffering, you're doing the right thing. And the money is just money, nothing compares to the love Jane has given you.

Jules said...

I am sorry. Words aren't quite adequate when it comes to our dogs.

Taryn said...

There's no doubt you have had a rough year. Sending wishes of happiness for 2011.

Anonymous said...

I'd hug you except I've given out my yearly hug already. Catch me in a few weeks. :)

Seriously though your dogs are very lucky to have you and Pete. The fact that Jane is doing as well as she is a testament to that.

I am very sorry that you've had such a shitty year healthwise. It doesn't seen very fair.

Amanda

BCxFour said...

I wish I had something wise and profound to say that will ease your pain, but I don't. Only know that I have you, Pete and Jane in my thoughts, and my heart is breaking for you. I have never held Jane, only have gotten to know her through your incredible photography & blog - I am so grateful you chose her for your 52 week project this year. The memories it brings will be bittersweet but oh so precious in time.

onecollie said...

this sucks :(
I feel so bad for you Sarah, I agree with you though, I'll do what ever it takes to keep my dogs with me, as long as they don't suffer.
From the sounds of it Jane is still enjoying the simple things in her life, eating, & being with you & Pete ♥
If you need a hug I can give you one, I think Amanda's one yearly hug was given to me at the trial :)so I owe you

Jenilee said...

I can't even begin to understand...

Thinking happy thoughts for you all!

gussysmom said...

I'm feeling your pain. What a heartfelt blog. Those four legged animals teach us so much about what's really important. Hugs to you all.

sagechronicles said...

I completely understand, having lost our dear Maggie to lymphoma in January. The vet bills can mount up, that's for sure. It's heartbreaking to know what's ahead, but, at least with Maggie, she didn't suffer and was very happy.

Andrea said...

Stay strong and know that your friends are out here thinking of all of you and this challenge you are living through. Jane couldn't ask for a better family.

The Thundering Herd said...

We are so sorry for the challenges, but know you are doing the right things.

WigglyZack said...

I am sorry to hear Jane is having a hard time, as are you. Love her every day and she will know you are doing all you can for her. I know what you are going through - hang in there.

Nicki said...

It's so hard to watch them get old, or to watch them battle for their life. Stay strong, they will let you know what decisions to make.