On Saturday I took my two dogs (cocker spaniels) to the vet for their annual teeth cleaning. Their dog breath has been AWFUL lately! LOL
Being that both of my dogs are considered to be senior citizens, (they're 10 and 8) I followed the vet's recommendation that they do blood work before administering anesthesia. A little bit after I dropped them off, the vet called me about my older dog, Parley. Apparently his blood work showed that he had some type of kidney infection and that his numbers were really bad. They put him on an IV with an antibiotic and ran a urinalysis. She said she wanted to keep him at the hospital for a few days to observe him and keep him on fluids. He apparently was dehydrated. (Which is weird because this dog drinks water like there's a shortage or something!)
Basically after keeping him on the IV for a few days and running all of their tests he has a few things wrong with him. First of all he has a urinary tract infection. In addition he has kidney disease. Originally they thought that the infection was causing the kidney problems, but it's not. They're two separate problems. The kidney problem is what is making him dehydrated. She says it doesn't matter how much water he drinks, his kidneys aren't doing their job, so the water basically just runs out of him. Right now his kidneys are working at 33%, which is really bad. The vet says that the best thing for him would be to keep him hooked up to IV fluids 24/7, but of course that's not possible.
The craziest thing about this is that if you saw him, you'd never know he was sick. He looks and acts fine. I really had no clue that he was so sick, which makes me feel terrible. I did notice that he's lost some weight, but since I have had both of the dogs on a diet (including myself), I didn't think it was odd. Apparently, he's lost too much weight though, and that's due to the kidney disease.
I normally keep them locked up in the kitchen when I go to work because they have been known to spend the day outside barking, and I got some complaints from my neighbors. Well a few weeks ago I came home and one of them had peed in the kitchen. This is odd because they never have accidents in the house (unless it rains...they're too prissy to go out in the rain). I figured it was a fluke, so I didn't give it a second thought. Well, the next day I came home and found more pee in the kitchen. Again, I didn't get too worried because I thought it was just because they're getting older and can't hold it as long as they used to. Now I know it's because of the disease. Now I'm annoyed with myself because I feel like I should have noticed the signs earlier, but as they say, hindsight is 20/20.
Today he gets to come home. According to the vet, she has no idea when things will go downhill for him. He isn't in any danger of dying right away, but it all just depends. The disease isn't something that's come on all of a sudden. It's been gradual. Being on IV fluids and antibiotics for the past few days has been good for him and has raised his numbers. They're not great, but they're much better. What that means is that now that he's at home and off the fluids, his numbers can go bad slowly or quickly. The vet says that he could be fine for several months, several weeks, or just a few days.
I'm absolutely beside myself with this. I know that dogs die...it happens all the time. My family had three dogs when I was growing up, and they all eventually died. I know this, but it is just devastating news. I've had him since he was a puppy. I took him to puppy training. I taught him how to go up and down the stairs. He is the smartest dog I've ever had. I just can't imagine life without my Parley P.
It always strikes me as funny how we all understand about mortality. We know that no person or animal lives forever, but once we're faced with it, we're kicked in the gut. On an intellectual level I understand it, but on an emotional level, I'm a wreck!!