Napoleon, I just don't know where to start

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msvette2u

Napoleon, I just don't know where to start

Postby msvette2u » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:26 pm

As you know, Napoleon came to us last spring, March 24th to be exact.
He was in such horrible shape, and we had to rush him in to the vet the following day for intensive work on his ears, anal glands (severely infected) and then in a few days, an extensive (and costly) dental surgery that took 17 of his teeth.

Image

In three months he'd improved to that - now he's up to 47lbs (from 39lbs. when we found him).

Well, it's like time has fast forwarded - Napoleon has aged so much, and he was medically fragile in the first place, with a possible cancerous tumor in his anal gland (which turned out to be the infection), and possible insulinoma (hasn't worsened since his original attacks of low blood sugar).

Today, I brought him in for a check since he's gotten so bad about not going outside potty - he's housebroken but many times will get part way to the door and just stop and pee there. We always have to put down towels for him, and he wears a diaper contraption when we're gone places and can't bring him. Otherwise he comes along with us and sleeps the entire time in the backseat.

Anyway, back to today's visit, we were not sure if he had a UTI or kidney issue, his urine looked good but the vet began checking him for range of motion in his back end and she could not move his back legs without him crying out in pain. His back legs are tucked under worse than ever, and she mentioned disc disease in his lumbar region.
She checked his heart and he's developed a heart murmur as well and would need medication for that.
He's also got severe gingivitis (his gums bleed if you just touch the gumline) and would need another extensive dental procedure, likely losing all his teeth this time.

We talked at length about these issues, if we wanted to continue trying to medicate him, we'd need gabapentin for the pain, as he cannot move without pain right now. We'd need to do x-rays and a work up to see how his heart and lungs are, and he's having shortness of breath so we're sure it's enlarged and deteriorating, and he'd need the dental as well.

At the end of it all we made the decision to not try to prolong his pain, for our own selves, and we have made the decision to let him go on Friday, after the kids are able to say good-bye to him, and after we've had the better part of two days to spoil him rotten. Our vet told us that one of the issues alone is bad enough but he's got multiple issues in multiple areas and that the pain he's in alone is enough reason to let him go.

I'm going to medicate him with hydrocodone which has helped in the past, so he can be relatively pain free over this next few days.

I don't know what else to say :sad: It has been just one month shy of a year since he entered our lives.

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starrlamia
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Re: Napoleon, I just don't know where to start

Postby starrlamia » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:42 pm

:hug:

You guys have done so much for poor Napoleon, Im greatful that he had you to fuss over him and love him for the past year, thank you!

It must be such a hard thing to have decided but from your description it sounds like it is time for you to make the most heartwrenching sacrifice and let him be pain free again.

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patty
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Re: Napoleon, I just don't know where to start

Postby patty » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:01 pm

Oh Yvette :crybaby: you have loved him soooo much!!!

My brother had a Bassett that lived to be 18 years old and they loved her above everything else. They are special!

:hug:

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Re: Napoleon, I just don't know where to start

Postby spammie » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:13 pm

I'm sorry. That's a tough decision. He's a special boy, isn't he?

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Re: Napoleon, I just don't know where to start

Postby BabyReba » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:19 pm

poor napoleon. and you and your poor family as well--at least he was very much loved for his final year.

msvette2u

Re: Napoleon, I just don't know where to start

Postby msvette2u » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:48 pm

I knew when going into it but it doesn't make it any easier...life was not kind to him.

Although I'm sure someone will find a reason to find fault with our decision on this issue, but interestingly enough, we did manage to locate his former owner - about three weeks ago - and she wanted to know his status.
I asked her about his history without telling her anything - she stated she got rid of him because he "shedded too much", she had a baby and she couldn't have "all that shedding" around her baby.
So she gave him to her "ex", who gave him to his parents, then he lived with [the ex's] brothers for a while.
His name was Fred in his former life. I'm pretty sure it's the same dog...but I told her he'd passed on already.
She didn't even want him back...just an update on his status. Oh, he was originally adopted from a humane society in Texas, but they thought he was 5yrs. old then, and that was 2004.

I told my kids later about this, and my son (17 and sometimes wise beyond his years) says "Mom, you didn't lie, Fred IS dead...this is Napoleon".

I just didn't think anyone so callous (shedded too much!) deserved...to know he's so well loved now that we walk around with freaking white and reddish hair all over our clothes because Napoleon loves to go 'bye-bye' with us and he has to go with us as many places as he can.
He's so well-loved we soak his food twice a day, mix in whatever goodies we can to entice him to eat, he has an excellent diet with top nutrion, he is bathed and clean and brushed out, because you know, if you take care of them properly, bathe and brush them out, the shedding, while a pain at times, is kept to a minimum...if you just love them they blossom.
He's living proof...and they just really didn't deserve to own a dog anyway.

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Re: Napoleon, I just don't know where to start

Postby Nickdawg » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:10 pm

I am so sorry but glad Naploeon knew love with all of you...

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Re: Napoleon, I just don't know where to start

Postby Finnigan » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:57 am

Sorry to hear about Napolean Yvette.

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Re: Napoleon, I just don't know where to start

Postby jamielvsaustin » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:14 am

I'm sorry you have to make this choice. I'm sorry Napoleon is in a place where this is the best option for him. I know how hard it is to make that choice...but it doesn't matter, it's the right thing to do. Like with Sidney for us at least Napoleon had this love. This last year to really know what it was, to have someone ACTUALLY care about him. Give him a big kiss for me and I'll be thinking about you tomorrow.

:hug:

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Re: Napoleon, I just don't know where to start

Postby haircrazie016 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:02 pm

i'm so sorry vette :hug:

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Re: Napoleon, I just don't know where to start

Postby Timas Mom » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:42 pm

He was just lucky to have you and your family, even for a short time. I'm so sorry that its his time. I wish your family all the strength.

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Re: Napoleon, I just don't know where to start

Postby Jazzy » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:39 pm

:hug:

I'm so sorry Yvette. I know what a tough decision this is.

I would agree with you.

You have shown Napoleon love and kindness and he blossomed with you and your family.

But he is an old hound dog; and it is a final kindness to spare him unnecessary suffering (if you think about it, something I think we would all wish for ourselves when the time comes.)

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Re: Napoleon, I just don't know where to start

Postby HappyPuppy » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:48 pm

How sad - all the way around. At least you know he had it good with you! :hug:

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Re: Napoleon, I just don't know where to start

Postby brunomom » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:26 pm

I am so very sorry Yvette. I will be thinking of your family tomorrow and mostly for Napolean to have calm and peace at his time.

msvette2u

Re: Napoleon, I just don't know where to start

Postby msvette2u » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:23 pm

Thank you...he rode around in my new car (see "introducing lil' red" thread), slept most the time but at times he'd sit up and look out and enjoyed being able to see, usually we're in the pickup and he can't see out.


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