Monday, August 26, 2013

Cough, Cough

There is a shorthand that movies use to telegraph information that something is going to happen. For instance, if in an inconsequential scene where somebody is securing something heavy with a rope, they do a quick close up of the guy tying the rope, that rope will come untied in a subsequent scene and the heavy object will crush somebody. Or if somebody coughs, you know that they will later be diagnosed with some kind of horrible disease. Also, if blood trickles from their mouth after coughing, they will eventually die. It never fails.

Sasha has a cough. It started three weeks ago, and we've taken her to the veterinarian at least four times. The first time they gave her some green antibiotic pills. They were huge. To you or me it would have been like trying to swallow a pill ten inches long and two inches wide. After struggling with her the first few times I decided that getting her to swallow the entire pill was useless. I started opening the capsules and sprinkling the powder in her food. This worked once, and after the first time it caused Sasha to quit eating her food. Unfortunately, when I stopped putting the medicine in her food she still refused to eat. Things got ramped up last weekend. Not only did Sasha quit eating, but she quit pooping. In the last ten days Sasha has pooped only two times. So we took her to the vet again. This time they x-rayed her. This is what the doctor told us.
"Sasha has a problem... " She said as we all looked at the x-ray.
"She either has pneumonia, as you can see by this mass above her heart...  or she has congestive heart, as you can see by her enlarged heart...  or she has a tumor, as you can see by this mass on her lungs above her heart."
"Uh, what?"
"Now we could consult a cardio-pulmonary specialist, and we might have to do exploratory surgery, not to mention, if it gets to that point, you would have to do chemo... $$$$$$$$$$$$"
"Stop! Just tell me what to do for the pneumonia."

So we are now giving Sasha antibiotic treatments with a nebulizer three times a day. I am not throwing money at this for chemo treatments, or surgery, or any other voodoo that they want to try. I did that dance with my last dog, Molly. After spending thousands of dollars, Molly only lived for one extra week. And it wasn't a pleasant week. So as bad as I feel for my little schnauzer, I am not going to treat her like she was my human baby girl. I have to prepare for the fact that she is very sick and things will probably go downhill. There is one good thing though, blood hasn't trickled out of her mouth yet.


  1. It is so very hard to watch our helpless pets be sick. I know this is difficult for you Al. My thoughts are with you.

  2. Yes, it is sad when a dear pet becomes so ill and the vet never really knows what the problem is. (Or suggests you spend 100s of $$$ on something that may or may not work, but tortures you and your poor pet in the meanwhile.) You're doing the right thing to treat the pneumonia in a humane way and see what happens. None of us live forever and I'd want my pet to be comfortable just as I would want to be. I hope Sasha gets over this and is better. Take care, Alan.

  3. So sorry Alan, I know she has stolen your heart

  4. Oh no. Oh Shit. I've not stopped by lately because I'm traveling but I am so sorry to hear this. Let us know how things go.

  5. I'm so sorry to hear this Alan. I know how much you love her and I'm glad you are treating her the way you are. You know you'll have a sympathetic hear when you talk to mom.

  6. Sasha update. The doctors have pretty much decided it is cancer, a big tumor. We have her on Prednisone which has given her an appetite and made her a bit more active. Unfortunately this is only a temporary fix. She will eventually succumb to the cancer.