22 December 2009

F@#k!

In my last update about Simon, I mentioned that he seemed to be back to his old self and I was looking forward to having a healthy dog. Well, that was short lived. A few days later, his water consumption and subsequent urination went through the roof overnight. A dog that normally drank 0.6 - 0.7 L of water per day started drinking upwards of 2.5 L. So, off to the vet we went for blood and urine tests. The tests came back suggesting a kidney infection (no signs of any other real concern in the fluid work-ups). A week's worth of Zeniquin (antibiotic) was prescribed and over the next few days, Simon's water consumption returned to normal and he finished up his meds. Big sigh of relief - for two days.

Unfortunately, at this point, his water consumption spiked again (2.8 L), so he was put back on the Zeniquin (for 3 weeks this time). However, his water consumption just kept rising each day (up to 3.8 L). So, yesterday the vet put him on Clavaseptin (another antibiotic) for a week, in addition to the previously prescribed Zeniquin. I was hoping that I would see a dramatic change over night. But, no such luck.

I'm scared he could have Cushing's disease, liver disease or diabetes (although the vet saw no sign of diabetes in the tests). If he doesn't improve soon, I think I'm going to lose it. After months of vet visits and health scares, I'm worn out. I oscillate between terror, anger and weariness.

I'm trying to remain calm and allow time for the meds to work, but I'm about at the end of my rope. I keep reminding myself, that other than the excessive drinking and urination, he seems perfectly fine (good appetite, excited to go for walks). I try to remember that older dogs (Simon just turned 13 in September) sometimes take longer to respond to treatment.

So, folks, help me out here. Has anyone out there had a similar situation with their elderly dog? Any stories to share?

47 comments:

paco peralta said...

Shannon .- My sister had a dog like Simon. I do not want to be the bearer of bad news, but these dogs have a short life. I love animals, so my thoughts are with Simon and his recovery. My best wishes to you and yours, in the Christmas holidays.

cindy said...

I wish that I had some advice. Hang in there. The unknown is so stressful!

Trudy Callan said...

Shannon, I am so sorry for what you are going through. I know that you love Simon so much and that this is very hard. I will pray for his recovery and for wisdom for you and the vet. I hope you are able to have a nice Christmas in spite of this.

Sue said...

Oh Shannon, I feel for you, I really do. Both of our dogs began drinking excessively in their last year with us. The younger one (11years)was found to have a tumour, the elder one (16 yrs) no obvious cause but she deveoped fits. We lost both in the space of six months. However within a week of our dear Sindy passing we rehomed a rescue Dobermann who has given so much joy to us in such a short time. We can see elements of both previous dogs in him so a lovely reminder of them.

KID, MD said...

I don't have any words of advice, but I do hope he gets better soon. (((HUGS)))

cathy said...

My dog is 12 and a half and has been going through his own issues. Earlier in the year the doctor put him on Science diet K/D (for kidney) but he didn't do well on that and after spending about 3 hours at PetSmart looking at all the foods I discovered Nutro Brand for Senior Dogs. He just came back from the vet and his kidney numbers were normal. He doesn't drink excessively, but that could be due to meds. Have you looked at the side effects of the meds? That could be just it and once he gets over his bug he can continue with normal activity.
It's tough. I'm with you. One thing I did ask the doc was some pain pills for the dog so he could at least sleep and that has done wonders. Instead of pacing all night he actually gets about 6-8 hours of sleep. :-)

Faye Lewis said...

So sorry Simon is sick again.

Rose said...

This is bummer news. I don't know about this problem with dogs,but I did have a similar difficulties with my cat who is Simon's age. For my Harry, changing his food to senior food was the cure. I know your patience is being tested, but I think you are doing everything you can. Your grey outfit looks great! Also, I love your holiday polish colors. Try to enjoy your holiday. Maybe, sewing will help - always works for me.

a little sewing on the side said...

oh dear Shannon, my heart goes out to you. Many years ago I had a beloved dog that was with me for 11 years and it was just dreadful during his last year. He had different issues and he was a big dog, so just a different situation altogether. But I feel I do understand your pain. Sending love & good vibes to you and simon.

Lilian said...

Oh Shannon, I'm so sorry to hear that Simon is having troubles with his health again. I have a cat and he is like a child to me. Not everyone understands how you can feel like this about a pet, but I know what it is to be sick to the stomach with worrying about the little one's health, or worse, losing him. So I'm sending you áll my best wishes and a prayer for his recovery. I hope you have some positive news the next time!

Rachelle said...

I have no advice, but if prayers/fingers crossed does anything, you have those, at least!

peacockchic said...

I too have no advice but as a pet owner and lover and I totally understand your frustration. I hope everything returns back to normal soon. That will be my Christmas wish to you.

Marie-Christine said...

Is he on low-fat or elderly kind of food? That's what pushed my cat into diabetes. The low-fat comes at the expense of more carbohydrates, which isn't healthy. Try regular, healthy young dog food, and see if that solves it. Your vet should be checking creatinine levels to see whether you have a sneaky diabetes problems. Good luck to both of you!!

Mardel said...

Oh Shannon, I am so sad to hear this. Poor Simon and poor you as well. My kitties are my children and they are adored and I have been distraught when one became ill and/or passed. I know this is very hard for you. I have lost cats to diseases of age and cancer and still mourn each and every one.

I don't know about dogs, but for cats with kidney trouble I have successfully managed it with medication and a major change in diet, although elderly kitty was still elderly and only lived a few more years.

Good luck and hugs.

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

I'm so sorry to hear Simon is having health issues. I haven't had any problems with my dog however with one of our cats we've had liver issues. He is on a good quality vet cat food, however he was getting into the "dog" food which was not agreeing with him, at all, and causing us lots of liver health issues, to the point where we thought he wasn't going to make it. We narrowed it down to it being the cause and now seriously monitor that he doesn't eat dog food and all is well again. I had no idea the wrong food could cause such problems! Could it be as simple as food for Simon?

Karen said...

Poor Simon! And poor you - I know just how hard it is to worry and wonder if you're doing the right thing, and the frustration of not getting answers as quickly as you'd like.

Fingers crossed that Simon is just taking longer to respond to the treatment than he would have when he was younger, and soon everything will kick in and he'll feel better soon.

One of my cats brought an upper respiratory infection home from the vet last winter and it went through every cat in the house. All of them shook it off easily except for the oldest, who went through 3 medications before we found one that worked for him.

Here's hoping that Simon feels better soon, because then you will, too. Keep us posted.

Sz said...

I don't have any advice to offer, other than to say what you already know - Simon has a loving, wonderful home and caring parents.

You and Simon are both in our thoughts.

lauraborealis said...

My heart goes out to you and Simon. You are lucky to have each other.

Carol said...

I'm sorry to hear that Simon is poorly again. I have had this same thing with an elderly cat. At around age 14 he started consuming enormous amounts of water. By the time he finally died at 19 he was drinking 2 - 3 litres a day, which is a lot for a cat. In the five or six years in between he was otherwise a fairly normal cat. Of course, he was aging, so he slowed down. He slept a lot more and didn't play very much, although he did surprise me (and I'm sure himself) in his 18th year by somehow catching a mouse. His appetite was good for the most part, sometimes he ate less but I never really worried because sometimes people don't feel like eating much either. The vet could find no reason for this change in habit. If your vet can't find any real reason and Simon is otherwise OK, my advice would be to do what I did with Eric, just keep filling the water bowl and enjoy every single second you have together. Incidentally, Eric had a stroke at 19 and lost the use of the right side of his body. I had to make the decision to have him put down. Even though he couldn't stand or walk, he was still drinking water to the end and he even ate a bowl of kangaroo mince that I hand fed to him. Just being there is the best medicine for both of you. Sending you both love and hugs.

Lisette M said...

My previous dog (Echo the beagle) had Cushing's disease. She started with the excessive drinking and then with bathroom accidents. When I did take her to the vet they were able to tell what she had. I think it is a good sign that they haven't found it to be Cushing's or diabetes, but not knowing is not good either:(

I hope he's back to normal soon, hang in there!

Maggie said...

Shannon, So sorry to hear that Simon is down again. I don't know the life span of beagles but unfortunately Golden Retrievers have a seemingly short one so I'm fully aware of the stress and sorrow you can feel in this situation. If you have a vet you trust, you have to go with their suggestions and help. I truly feel for you though.

Anonymous said...

My dog is my best friend and is getting older, too. She will be 14 next year. You, your hubby and Simon are in my thoughts and prayers. The unknown is always hardest to deal with. Sometimes even harder than knowing the worst. It sure sounds like Simon is lucky to have you to love him and you lucky to have him love you.
Let's hope this is just another scare and he will bounce back.


Joan R.

Claire S. said...

No advice here either, but take heart in the fact that you're doing everything you can for Simon. He's a well-loved friend.

Lots of prayers and good thoughts for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I think it is time for you to save your money for some other better cause and just give him a peaceful life in heaven.These dogs do not have a long life span that's what I i know.

Reethi said...

Sharon, I've no dog stories, but I do understand, since my cat is similarly adored. All the best - sometimes these things sort themselves out perfectly well...

Linda T said...

If available to you, I would take Simon to a specialist - internist type or a Vet University Hospital. I have done that when I felt I needed more diagnosis help. All my critters have been worth every penny I've spent on them. you and simon are in my thoughts and prayers.

gaylen said...

Shannon I have no advice, but I do have lots of good karma I can and will send to you. I freak out everytime Beau won't settle now and runs back and forth getting water - that's what he did before his tummy twisted and I always think it's happening again.

Be thankful that you are able to afford to fix him and that other than lots of drinking - followed by emptying - he's doing great. I would ask if there are some steroid in the antiboitics. Often there is and that would cause the increase in thirst.

Keep up posted. g

Jan Swindlehurst said...

Sorry to hear that Simon is sick again, no advice to offer but get well wishes for Simon and Hugs for you. Take care of both of you. Get well wishes. Jan x

Coco, not as in Chanel :) said...

I do not have any advice, but I will keep Simon in my prayers. My little doxie and big lug of a pyrennes (sp?) are my only kids, so I understand. When they are sick, we are sick at heart.

((Hugs to you and Simon))

Chris said...

Sorry to hear Simon is having issues again. At his age it could be anything, even just old age. Sending you good wishes and Simon a "belly-rub"!

Eugenia said...

I'm so sorry that Simon is poorly again. I don't have any useful advice but I do want to send my good wishes to you and Simon - I'm thinking good thoughts for you both.

mochimo said...

Oh, no. I'm so much sorry for Simon and for you. I still feel the pain and fear of when my beloved Frida was sick (and unfortunately she was many times during her life), even if years have passed.
I have no advice. I can only send you all my most heartfelt wishes and hugs.

meredithp said...

No doggie advice, but I thinking about you and Simon. You're doing all you can and at least he's a happy dog--that's the most important thing!

equatorcollection said...

I have no doggie advice but to say that as with any pet or human being, being there for him is what matters most. And you are doing that plentiful. Have a really happy Christmas with the special one!

fiberchick said...

Hi Shannon;
So sorry to hear about your Simon but perhaps this anecdote will give you some hope. At the age of 12 our little hound started drinking tons of water. We did lots of tests and treatments with no way to get a definitive diagnosis without doing very risky and invasive procedures. We did lose our dear old dog but 4 happy years later. Our vet referred to him as "the dog who wouldn't die"... As long as Simon is happy enjoy him and try your best not to worry. He may just be old. Seeing you stressed will be more stressful to him than anything going on in his insides... Happy Holidays.

gwensews said...

Hoping that your little Simon will get better.

austin said...

I'm so sorry to hear that Simon isn't feeling well again. I haven't had experience with the symptoms he is displaying. My older dogs have had neurologic or GI problems.

Pongo and Buddy will be sending doggy zen Simon's way, and I will keep you and Simon in my prayers.

poppy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Summerset said...

No advice, just hugs for you both!

Heather said...

From one animal lover to another - hoping Simon is soon feeling better.

Theresa in Tucson said...

When you have a medium size 13-year old dog there aren't many hopeful scenarios. My beloved old mutt, Chigger, went downhill rapidly the last year of his life and died at 13 the day before we moved to Tucson in '98. I'm going to be facing this again with our heeler, Pat, as she is starting to falter at the ripe age of 12. Just do the best you can and make your decisions based on what is right for Simon. Hugs.

Wendy said...

Shannon prayers for you and Simon are coming your way from our house. Try to calm down, you know how sensitive they are to our emotions, I know how hard this is but we are all praying for y'all. Hang in there!
Many Hugs,
Wendy

Anonymous said...

I think @anonymous (#2) ought to get off the Internet and use that money for much a much better cause. Like cooth lessons. Or buy himself a heart.

what a jerk!

Anonymous said...

I lost two dogs to kidney failure under the age of two and research shows that vaccinations are the cause. Also there is no such thing as a good drug,-antibiotics and rabies shots included. Feed you dogs and cats a proper raw meat/bones diet and treat with colloidal silver for infections. My current dog is now 12 surviving with huge tumours as a result of vaccination as a puppy by the breeder. My unvaccinated raw-fed cat is 16 and healthy and has never seen a vet.
My daughters dog just had $3000 worth of surgery for a perforated ulcer caused by Vet prescribed painkillers for hip dysplasia despite my warning her to stop the drugs.

Don't take my word for it. Check it out for yourself. Vaccinations cause all the same diseases in pets as they cause in people-diabetes, heart disease, autism, auto-immune disorders and on and on.

God bless you all and your beloved pets and may you seek the truth.

Rachael said...

Dang, blogger ate my comment. To sum up, thinking of you and Simon and offering both sympathy and encouragement from one who's had to deal with older pets and odd symptoms.

Kathleen C. said...

Shannon, my best wishes to you and your DH and to poor Simon. I'm sorry that I have no help to offer but that. And know that you are doing everything you can... he's a lucky dog to have you to care for him.

denise@thebluegardenia.com said...

He is so adorable. I wish you and Simon the best. Dogs are wonderful. They make life complete.