Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Day 2679

I was so optimistic yesterday and today it's the exact opposite. Dot had an extensive evaluation at the cancer center this morning and the prognosis was not encouraging. In addition to all her other problems, Dot now has anemia. The oncologist gave her a Vitamin B12 shot, but this is just a temporary solution. The combination of Dot's decreasing appetite, her difficulty swallowing, the ongoing nerve damage, the cancer in her liver, and now the anemia made the oncologist conclude that Dot's body is starting to shut down. She was very worried that Dot was losing her appetite. When I asked how long Dot could maintain a reasonable quality of life, I was told that she probably has two to three months at best.

I kept asking about the cancer, but the oncologist stopped me at one point and said "Dot is a very, very old dog. She's dying of old age." It's hard to deal with the fact that every beginning has an end. Dot has been my constant companion for so long that it's hard to imagine a time when she's no longer there. After much discussion, we all decided that the best thing we could do now was keep Dot free from pain. The oncologist thought that pain might be causing Dot to lose her appetite, because her vital signs and blood chemistry were still basically good. We're putting her on a stronger and much more effective pain medication that is intended for end of life care. Extended use of this medication can cause liver damage, but her liver is quite damaged already. If she's comfortable she might start eating normally again and if she's eating normally a lot of things will improve.

The one bright spot in a rather dismal day was that I discovered a way to get Dot to take her pills. I bought some Velveeta cheese on the recommendation of Dot's physical therapy vet and she loves it. I had no problem getting her to take her meds today. I did have a problem finding the Velveeta cheese at the grocery store. I kept looking in the refrigerated section where all the other cheese was displayed. No Velveeta there. I finally found a big stack of yellow Velveeta boxes sitting on an unrefrigerated shelf next to the chips and dips.

For some reason the Velveeta cheese brings back distant memories of the days when I lived on Ramen noodles and beer. I don't think this stuff is even really cheese, but don't tell that to Dot and Dash. They love the stuff. Actually, it's not that bad. I ate some myself while I was giving the dogs their meds this afternoon and it made me hungry for queso and chips. I may need to go buy a can of Ro*Tel tomatoes.

I walked Dot with her wheelchair again this evening. She walks really well using the device, but it's a little difficult navigating the gravel alley behind our house until we get to a smoothly paved road. Although the wheelchair protects Dot from falling, it is not a magic bullet. Dot still gets tired because she's still moving four very weak legs. We walk slow and I let her stop whenever she feels like it. All in all, the wheelchair is a big plus. I just hope she stays strong enough to continue using it.

I have no big plans for tomorrow. After back to back vet appointments, we could all use a little rest. I did manage to retrieve my jacket today, although I probably won't wear it again until Fall. Summer is definitely on the way.

Pogo is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day