Last week wasn’t the greatest week around here. I’ve been worried about Cricket, and then we had a scary episode with Sheba as well. Let me say first that everyone is mostly fine right now!
Cricket had been slowing down since just before her birthday, we figured she was having an arthritis flare-up. She’d been off her pain meds for the summer and had been doing great. I can’t say that it’s a surprise that at 12 years old she’d have a bad spell though.
However, she made me worry more last Monday. When I got home from work, she didn’t even bark. Cricket always barks – she and Luke go into a barking craze, and even Sheba joins in at times. We had been limiting her ball playing time, or she’d even limit it herself. But on that day she didn’t even show interest in her ball, and just wanted to go back in the house to lie down. For our ball obsessed beagle, that is very worrisome.
She was a little better later, she did bark when Dadz got home. She’s been acting pretty normal otherwise – no changes in appetite or bodily functions, and she’s still been seen carrying toys around and joining in the barking when the delivery trucks show up. She’s even half-heartedly brought me the ball a few times, or at least carried it around. She’s also been overly obsessed with the new gate we put up off the bedroom, and is quite determined to get through it to find Sam’s food. But she won’t even try to jump up on the furniture and still shows far less than normal interest in her ball. I’ve seen her back legs go out from under her a couple of times too.
We put her back on her Rimadyl the day before her birthday. I stopped at the vet’s office on my way home from work Wednesday and talked to the techs for a bit. At the least, Cricket will need a blood test because of going back on the meds, but we might have her see the doctor too just to be sure nothing else is going on. The lack of interest in her ball concerns me, along with the fact that we’re not seeing much improvement on the Rimadyl (but I didn’t rest her completely initially which I probably should have). The vet’s office did say they’ve seen some arthritis flare-ups now that the weather has cooled off, so that’s at least reassuring.
Hubby and I discussed it later and decided that if she didn’t show improvement by the end of the weekend, she would see the vet. I took her for a walk Saturday morning and she did well. She picked up her ball later and on Sunday. I don’t know which is worse – her not wanting to play or having to say no when she does want to!
At that same time, I discussed Sheba’s situation with the techs as well. Sheba has still been on the antibiotic she was originally put on for her UTI; and I wondered if it was safe to keep her on it, we had just run out. Since she has been doing so well we didn’t want to change anything, and they agreed and refilled her prescription.
That evening as we were sitting waiting for supper to finish cooking, Sheba came into the room walking oddly, and then she fell down. We weren’t sure if she had just slipped but as Dad helped her up we knew something was not right. He took her outside and sat with her. She could not walk right, her head was listing to one side and she was drooling some. Her eyes didn’t look right.
We thought sure she was having a stroke, and that we were looking at the end of her fight with cancer. I was trying not to sob as I called the vet while Dadz stayed with her. Even though it was after hours, luckily one of the doctors was still at the office, so they told us to bring her right down. While I was on the phone, her supper came back up.
By the time we were getting the other dogs settled and getting ready to load her in the car, she seemed better, though she still wasn’t walking quite right. We decided we would still take her so they could have a look at her. As we took her into the vet’s office, we felt foolish, because she was FINE. A slight hitch in her back leg was all that was left of the episode.
The doctor did a neurological exam and the conclusion was that she had had a seizure, not a stroke. As the exam was over, our silly girl ran around the vet’s office like a puppy (headed for the door of course)! We had forgotten her leash because we thought we’d be carrying her in, but no one else was there so it didn’t matter. She has been completely back to normal since (she didn’t even show any after effects that evening!), but the concerning thing is that this seizure may mean that the cancer has metastasized to her brain. We won’t know, and we’ll be watching her closely and continuing to take it one day at a time.
I learned something that evening that maybe I needed to know. If Sheba was going to be suffering in any way, and unable to enjoy all she has been enjoying lately; I was ready to let her go, as much as it broke my heart. We never had to make that decision for the last four dogs we lost, so before this I had my doubts that I could make it. Of course I was also extremely relieved we weren’t there yet.
As we sat down to our lukewarm dinner at about 9:00 that evening, we saw this behind us:
I know that we’re not out of the woods with either of our senior girls, but at least for that moment I could breathe a sigh of relief as I took in the peaceful scene.
Sand spring Chesapeake says
I’m sorry to hear about the bad days, hopefully there are more good days ahead
There have been mostly good days since, thank you, JoAnn! Sheba has only had one more small seizure – it was in the middle of the night and wasn’t nearly as bad as the other one.
2 Brown Dawgs says
Gosh that seizure sounds scary. I am glad it was not a stroke, but still.
It was very scary. We had seen them before, Sheba’s brother Moses used to have them, but it had been a while, and we just didn’t expect that. She has had one more since, but it wasn’t quite as bad and passed more quickly. Thank goodness.
Lynn LaChance says
So sorry to hear of these trials lately, Jan-and so glad that things worked out okay for now, and all are doing okay again. Love to all of you, would tell you to enjoy the good times and precious moments, but you are so doing that!
Caren Gittleman says
My heart sooo goes out to you. I only went through the later senior years with one cat and that was hard enough. I can only imagine the fear and sadness you felt. Thank goodness both are doing much better today. Sending you (((hugs))))
Thank you, Caren. As we always say around here “getting old, or watching those you love get old, is not for the faint of heart.” Right now everyone is hanging in there pretty well, so we’ll take it!
M. K. Clinton says
I am so sorry for the scares. I am now sitting here with my nose and eyes running from crying with you. Have you tried those Dr. Buzby Toe Grippers? (I think that is the name) Maybe it will stop the slips and falls. ♥ You are all in my prayers.
Thank you, Melissa. I have thought of those toe grips, and I think I just might give them a try. Cricket is going to make it challenging though…she wouldn’t even let me do the measurements for them. It will be a two person job when hubby has a chance to help me. You know all about that hound dog stubbornness! 🙂
Dolly the Doxie says
I understand how you feel being worried if your dogs are suffering. I know that I wouldn’t hesitate for one minute to prevent it from happening, but when they act like everything is fine later, it sure does give you a lot of doubt. Which isn’t easy so we’re just keep all paws crossed for you.
Barbara Rivers says
What a very scary evening – I’m just glad to hear that it ended on a peaceful note. I haven’t experienced a seizure yet, but one of my K9 clients is on seizure meds and I always pray that they truly work whenever I add the pill to his food. You are a very strong and loving dog mommy. We’ll keep Sheba in our thoughts.
Thank you, Barbara! Sheba’s littermate and late brother Moses had seizures, so it’s not like we hadn’t seen one before. Hers was a little different than his though, and because of the cancer we just weren’t thinking “seizure” we were thinking something worse. Anyway, so far so good, she hasn’t had another one. They are very scary to see, and it was just so surprising that Sheba bounced back so quickly!
Barbara Rivers says
She’s a little fighter puppy!! It’s good to hear that she hasn’t had another one.
Mary Ruiz says
Oh Janet I’m so sorry to read about your precious pups. It’s so hard as they get older. You know I lost my Toby in March. H was 13.5. He had a tumor on his liver and when I found out I only had him just shy of a month. Our Gibbs has seizures and is on meds. We are lucky that he has been seizure free for one year now. He just turned 8 but that fear is always in the back of my head. Very scary stuff. I’m so glad that your evening ended peacefully with no more episodes. Stay strong friend
Thank you so much, Mary. Sheba’s brother Moses had seizures too but his were infrequent and he never had to go on meds for them. I’m glad for your Gibbs that the meds are helping. I’m sure you must still miss Toby so much, and I wish you’d had more time with him. 🙁 We have at least been very lucky with Sheba as far as that goes. We really didn’t expect that she would still be with us now.
Karen Cantlin says
I’m glad the day ended peaceful, don’t we all wish they could stay with us forever. I know the seizure doesn’t sound good, but I’m glad this time she rebounded quickly.
The last time we put Trixie on the Rimadyl it took well over 2 weeks before she improved. That’s why I was so hesitant to take her off of it. And she pretty much did nothing but eat, she had no interest in anything else. Hoping it’s the same for Cricket, that it’s just taking a little longer than before. Love to all.
Jan, oh my dear Jan, how horrible and scary that sounds. I’m glad, at the end of the day, both of your girls were resting comfortably and you found some peace yourself.
Watching our pets age and making those heart wrenching decisions is the absolute worst bit of being owned by dogs.
I’m going to pray for continued comfort for your girls and for you and the Dadz as well.
The Island Cats says
What a scary time for you. We’re glad everything seems to be okay for now with both Crickett and Sheba. We send you and them a ton of purrs….
"Auntie Sheryl" says
How scary…I’m glad they’re both holding their own for now. Hang in there, Momz. ❤️????
Forest Poodles says
Seizures are scary! Sorry to hear about all you’ve been through. Loving our seniors certainly comes with its highs and lows. Sending you all our best!
Two French Bulldogs says
Sending lots of love to you guys. We were hoping Cricket didn’t bark cause she doesn’t hear so good
Lily & Edward
Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom says
Oh, Jan, I’m sitting here wiping away my own tears. Thank God the girls are a bit better and you all had a peaceful evening!
Oz the Terrier says
Oh dear…Ma would be a basket case in all of this. She was getting herself all worried just reading your post. We are sure glad that after everything that happened, you had a peaceful and happy end to the day. We are sending loving thoughts to all of you.
Trust me, I have been a basket case too! It kind of comes and goes, there’s been a lot of ups and downs, and I just try not to worry too too much. Right now things have been staying mostly peaceful, so we can relax just a bit. I’m kind of afraid to let my guard down though, if you know what I mean.
What an awfully stressful time for you. You’re such wonderful pup parents, your doggies are certainly lucky to have you. I hope both pups continue doing better and that you can have lots more peaceful times. That serene scene is one we hope is repeated over and over again.
Thank you! Every evening we get that everyone is sleeping peacefully, I breathe that sigh of relief.
We are so sorry. It is just awful to see a dog of any age having serious health issues and seizures are so very frightening. We pray for both your sweet senior pups. Hugs to you all.
I know your Mom knows exactly how we feel, Emma. So far we’ve been pretty lucky that Sheba is having more good days than bad, but the scary part is knowing that can’t last forever.
I’m so glad everyone is doing a little bit better–I’ll keep my fingers crossed for continued improvement! That is such a lovely, peaceful picture.
easy rider says
for such a picture of peaceful sleeping pup I would like a lukewarm meal too…. you are a wonderful dog-mom and it is so great that you take good care of your furkids… paws crossed for more peaceful than stressful moments…