Trying to Help Our Baby Feel Better

Our sweet fur child is getting old, and it sucks.

When you first get a puppy, you don't think 10 years ahead to when you have to watch them suffer as they get older.  It's not fun. I find myself sometimes thinking about the day when he won't be with us anymore, and it just breaks my heart. I know some of you won't get it, but to us, he's more than "just a dog". He is our child!

In the past year or so, we started to see some of the first signs of old age. Asher has always been a pretty hyper and playful dog, but he started moving a little slower, was more hesitant about going up the stairs, and couldn't jump up on the beds anymore. All normal things that happen with old age. We figured he had arthritis in his knees from tearing his ACL a few  years back, but I didn't even think about it being in his spine as well, which I guess is a common thing in older dogs.

He never really acted like he was in pain until one night around Thanksgiving. He was pacing and wouldn't lay or sit down. Every time he tried to lay down, he would yelp and get back up. We tried to wait it out, but we just knew something was wrong. We ended up taking him to the emergency animal hospital that night. Their main concern was a twisted stomach, so they did an X-ray, but it wasn't that, thankfully. The X-ray did show that his back was horrible-lots of bone spurs all along his spine. They gave him some medicine to help with the pain and also recommended an ultra sound for something that looked like a possible mass of some sort in his stomach area.

The pain meds helped, and he seemed to be feeling better the next day. We actually felt like the pain was stemming from his neck, as he would still occasionally yelp when he turned his head a certain way and seemed to not like to look to the right. He also started having incidences where his back legs would give out from under him, which really scared me. Then he started not wanting to go for walks, which for him is NOT at all normal. He LOVES his walks!

So a couple of months later, we took him in for the ultrasound, which showed that his gallbladder was inflamed. We were advised to get it removed, so we set up the appointment with the doctor who would perform the surgery. After telling him about his neck issues and the back leg weakness, he recommended trying to fix the neck pain before removing the gallbladder. He prescribed us another medication and recommended laser therapy and rest from walking for a month.

Last week he did his first 6 days of laser therapy for 30 minutes. Poor thing hated sitting still in that room for 30 minutes! But he got better after the first few days.
The one thing that I have noticed is that he hasn't had any episodes of his legs giving out, but I'm not sure if that's from the laser or from the medication. While he was doing the treatments he did seem to feel better, so we may decide to continue it on a once a week basis. He has been yelping here and there, but not near as often as he was. Right now he pretty much just lays on the couch like this allll day.

We just love him so much and want to try to relieve his pain as much as we can. The average age for a dog his size is 8 years, but we've had SO many comments about how great he looks for being 10 years old. I just want him to have the best life possible for the rest of the time he has with us!

Comments

  1. Hang in there Lindsey. My husband and I went through this with our beagle mix. She lived to be 14 and was our first child before the human children arrived. She was our baby, and the day she passed felt like it was one of our family members that had passed away. She was part of us and it still brings me to tears thinking about it. It will be 2 years for us in August. Try to make Asher as comfortable as you can, he will let you know when he's ready....
    Sending hugs and positive thoughts your way. I know it's not easy watching your baby grow up and get older...
    Love on him for the rest of his days...

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  2. Thank you so much. It's so hard. I wish that day would never come,but I know it will, and it brings me to tears thinking about it. Again, thank you. I really appreciate it.

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