2.27.2015

Poor Buddy

A week ago, I took my dog Buddy to the vet and found out his anal gland cancer surgery was a success. The vet couldn't feel any tumor regrowth and his calcium levels had returned to normal, indicating no cancer spread.

Since Buddy's thyroid hormone levels were low, the vet put Buddy on a cheap medicine to supplement it.

This week, though, Buddy took a turn. He had a couple of pee accidents in the house on Tuesday and Wednesday when I got home from work and didn't let him out right away. I didn't think too much of it, because he has always been a big water drinker. However, he rarely has accidents and in these cases he did not go to the door or whimper or give me any warning at all. He didn't even try to go somewhere to do it secretly, he went right in front of me. That was actually good because I was able to stop him and throw him outside.

On Wednesday night though, he started stumbling around the house, crashing into chairs and walls and falling down. He couldn't stop drinking water, even trying to lick the snow when I took him outside. He also subsequently couldn't stop peeing. Because of the bladder control issues, I put him in his crate, lined with a towel, to stop him from crashing around and peeing on the floor. The crate has a plastic base with a lip to keep any liquid in. In the morning on Thursday, I called the vet and brought him in for a day admission for observation.

The vet ran a test and Buddy has Cushing's Disease, a condition where the brain and/or adrenal glands produce too much stress hormone, resulting in a lot of symptoms that Buddy has (and has had for a while) - stiff joints, lethargy, drinking a lot, fat pads on his shoulders, disorientation, instability, etc.).

I took Buddy home Thursday night and kept him crated as much as possible so he could rest and to give me a respite from using the steam vac on his accidents. I had bought some doggie pee pads after work to line the crate, and he soiled a few of them during the nigh. These pads are super absorbent and have a waterproof base to they can be disposed of easily, so clean up was pretty easy but I had to get up three or four times during the night when he barked (letting me know he had peed or crapped himself).

I worked from home for most of the day on Friday and Buddy was not in very good shape. He was very disoriented, fell over a couple times, and seemed to have no energy. I wasn't sure if he even recognized me. When I took him outside, he just lied down on the snow in this freezing cold weather. I had to lead him back into the house. His water drinking is reduced a bit though.

Buddy seems to be doing better today. Still lethargic and unstable, but seems to be more with it and not drinking as much. This morning I took him into the vet to get some blood drawn and obtain some pills that cure Cushing's. Well, not really a cure, because he has to stay on them indefinitely and they are not cheap. I hope the pills work and give Buddy a new "leash" on life (did you see what I did there?). I know Buddy won't live forever, but he has had a good long life living with me the past 14 years. As long as it continues to be a decent quality of life, that's all I can hope for.

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