Today, I got woken up by my mom saying that she thought that Cody's arthritis was acting up and I needed to get him some medication. So I made a call to the vet, who said it wasn't necessary to see him and would fill his prescription and would be ready for pick up. However, when I came downstairs, it wasn't as simple as my mom made it to be. It was almost as if his back legs weren't working at all. He was very wobbly on his feet, and whenever he would try to walk, he would flop over and have difficulty getting up.
So I was on a wild goose chase trying to find a vet that would see him since his normal vet was full. I ended up doing a drop off appointment because I wanted to stick with a vet that knew his previous history. I dropped him off at eleven. Around 5, I got extremely anxious and upset that they had not called me back yet with any news so I called them. HE HADN'T BEEN SEEN YET. So I leave them with some angry words, and the receptionist assured me he would be seen soon. When I finally get a phone call back 45 minutes later, they tell it it's just arthritis and there was nothing they could do other than give him his medication.
When I finally get him home, I find out they didn't even give me the dosage for his medication (metacam otherwise known as meloxicam). So I call them, and then after going back and forth for awhile - SINCE NO ONE KNEW ANYTHING WAS GOING ON - We find out they give me medication that is concentrated 3x MORE then it should be. If I had gone by what was listed on the packaging, I would have OVERDOSED Cody. By this point I'm beyond livid. They then tell me that if I wanted to get the right medication, that I need to come back, and I may or may not be able to do an even trade because I already opened the medication. So I attempt to tell them I'll be back TODAY. But since they're closing, I have to wait until tomorrow. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW WHEN MY DOG CAN'T WALK??? Also, upon further inspection, the manufacturer included a warning saying that it should not be given to dogs with kidney disease. Is that true? Should I be asking the vet for something else? Shouldn't they have talked to me about this?
I'm beyond hysterical at this point. I KNOW it's not time to put him down because he's still eating. But he's not drinking and I'm having to force feed him water which makes him even more irritated. I can't pick him up because he's in pain. I'm at my wits end. I don't know what to do. Does it seem like it's just arthritis to you? What would you do? What should my next step be?
I'm sorry for the rant . . I'm seriously at a loss right now. This dog is my life. he can't die. He really can't. I'm going to try and get him into another vet tomorrow, but I don't know how well that will go as it'll be a saturday and memorial weekend. This is NOT how I imagined my birthday to be.
The worst part is the third clip . . where he falls over and can't get back up without difficulty. He was worse this morning.
I'm just so irritated about the whole thing . . normally his vet is AWESOME. But I guess you get what you pay for at Banfield. I just feel like I get the short end of the stick because they know I'm a PetSmart employee.
I posted on FB too but I wanted to add that when an animal is in end stage kidney failure they lose coordination because of the rush of toxins poisoning their body and brain. I don't think what you are seeing is arthritis related. The toxins will cause tremors and eventually seizures. I am so sorry ... I know how much Cody means to you. I hope you can make peace with yourself and find the strength to give him that last act of courage and love. *huge hugs*
Our schnauzer had vestibular syndrome. Sounds just like him. For a while he could get back and forth down our hallway leaning against the wall which was the only thing keeping him from going in circles. We tried two rounds of steroids and he would appear better but it was just the meds. One night he cried the whole night and the next day he had lost bladder control. He was laying in our kitchen in his own urine just barking at us. I was still a teenager living at home but I knew that was the day my parents were going to put the poor boy down. He was only 12 but I still wonder if we waited too long. About killed my dad to do it. I really am so sorry. It's horrible to watch them stumble and fall out of control like that. And it's also horrible to try and figure out what the best thing to do is. Big decisions either way. Praying you'll have peace to know what is right for you & Cody!
My Simon, who was a lab/setter cross and lived to be 16, had terrible arthritis. But at some point he began having neurological difficulties, and spondylosis perhaps. He lost strength and coordination in his hindquarters, part of which I blame on feeding too low protein food and developing some muscle wasting. We had to carpet large portions of the house so he didn't slide down. He also developed incontinence and Horner's syndrome. And he had canine cognitive dysfunction. But at his age, we were focused on palliative care. Max doses of tramadol, rimadyl (which I was terrified to give him when he was younger, but it made him so much more comfortable), Dasuquin, adequan injections, home-cooked meals, bladder supplements, and pulse antibiotics. If he'd been a younger dog, I might have made different choices, but he was 14 or so when he got to this point-- and that's quite old for a big dog. He wore a belly band for the incontinence (he dripped, he didn't fully empty himself), and I used that as a sling. It was a big help getting him around the house.
I will say that the adequan injections made a HUGE, almost instantaneous difference in his mobility, especially the back end. He would have trouble standing to eat, and that's when we knew it was time for another injection. By that evening, he was like a new dog, trying to run to greet me at the door. I am a huge believer in that stuff.
I made an appointment at a different Banfield . . utterly prepared to potentially put him down if need be. I left my birthday festivities early and spent all night with him. I don't think either of us slept at all last night. This morning, I took him outside and let him use the restroom. I placed him on his bed before I went upstairs to catch a little sleep before heading to his vet appointment at noon. I came downstairs later to find my mom crouching over him crying.
I took him to the Banfield in Garland as opposed to Rockwall. The new vet was utterly surprised at the medication mix up - or that the vet even prescribed meloxicam knowing his pre existing condition. She felt that it wasn't time to put him down yet (which is good for me, as I was a blubbering mess coming into the store. I feel bad for the store employees). She examined his legs and told me that there was a lot of muscle wasting that had gone on, which would account for his inability to maneuver well. She said that the luxating patella in his back leg could be exacerbating his condition, causing him to fall down when he tries to walk. She recommended me using a sling to get him around outside, so he doesn't fall while using the restroom.
She also placed him on a new medication named Enalapril which would help with his heart murmur as well as his kidneys. She has him on a small dose daily, which we will be monitoring. If there are any adverse affects, then I need to take him off and come in right away. She decided to not put him on tramadol or meloxicam (which she would do tramadol first) because she honestly did not feel like he was in any sort of pain. It was just his legs not responding correctly.
Another plus is she felt that he just needed extra fluids, since he wasn't drinking on his own. She showed me how to do SUbQ fluids at home so now I'll be able to give him fluids every other day or daily to help flush out his system. She didn't feel that it was necessary for me to keep dragging him to the vet and keep paying for it (doing fluids at home would cost me 26/for 1000 mL (which would last him over a week) where doing fluids at the clinic would cost me 200/day).
She didn't feel like vestibular disease was the culprit as his eyes were stable and he wasn't showing any other symptoms.
Fingers crossed that it helps bring him back together . Do you guys feel that if I take him swimming with a life jacket, could I potentially build up the muscles in his hind legs to where he could walk normally again?
I'm so relieved . . I can't even begin to describe how I felt knowing that I could potentially lose him. The best I could describe it was . . dying.