On Monday 02/11/19 my husband took our boy Bailey to vet to be checked out as he had an episode where he just stood and drooled profusely but would not move. It lasted 5 minutes and then he seemed better. Dr. prescribed carprophen (sp?) thinking he hurt himself on all the ice we've had lately in our area this winter. No xrays were taken. Bailey still didn't seem himself so I called the vet that evening and inquired why no xrays were taken and told their machine was down. On Wednesday Valentines Day of all days Bailey had another episode. My husband again took him to vet who stated he thought it was neurological and said we should have an MRI. He sent us 1 1/2 hrs away from our area to an animal hospital in Illinois to have this done. By time we reached the hospital our Bailey no longer had any use of his hind legs. We got him out of car- they brought out a stretcher and took him in. During intake, we had the "spokesperson" come in and suggest we should have Xrays, ultrasound and then MRI. When we questioned why the other tests if the MRI would show the most - we were viewed as "agitated owners" Because we asked? We were presented with the $9,200 quote for MRI and possible surgery afterwards and we paid it. We asked to speak with neurosurgeon once they had results from MRI. We never anticipated they would come in with a tumor entwined in his spinal cord , wrapped around and through which they stated must have been there some time. They stated due to where it was the could only debulk tumor but not remove it. They stated it would give him 2 -12 months only if he had chemo and radiation afterwards. He had a minimal bulge in L7-S1 region dx with IVDD but did not feel that was the cause of losing ability to walk with hind legs. If we didn't agree to chemo radiation follow up there was no point to surgery. The surgeon then stated Bailey had 25-50 % chance of surviving surgery.
Well how do you process all of that information? We asked for a moment and talked and chose to take our boy home. Neurosurgeon stated we made right choice. That still strikes me as odd. Bailey was catheterized, and placed on a prednisone, gabapentin, and med to protect his stomach as non surgical option. After day 4 he responded. He still knuckled occasionally when walking but had strong strength in his front legs. We had hope. My husband and I took shifts sleeping 2-4 hours per day as we tended to our boy and still kept our jobs. Bailey's catheter needed to be emptied every hour to hour and a half due to prednisone. I made him foods he loved to encourage appetite. I am vegetarian and cooked more meat in 3 weeks then ever in my life.
Things were tough but manageable and we had glimmers of hope when he stood and shook his hind end...and walked to the patio to do his business. Then last Thursday he started to refuse food, and water. His urine turned darker, and slower out put. On Friday our vet stated to decrease the prednisone in half as his kidneys may be struggling. We did and he still declined, and worse yet when we attempted to assist him with sling..his front legs were now not functioning. By Sunday he was unable to stand at all, not eating, and we were unable to administer any meds to him. On March 4th our vet came to our home and as we stroked our sweet boys head, we told him we loved him and not to be afraid and what a good boy he was he gently went to sleep- forever. We then placed him in his blanket in back seat of car, and took him to all his favorite walking parks, state park in our area that he loved to go to. We stopped open door and prayed some of his spirit released at each stop.. one last time. We took him to crematorium 6 hours later... and said our final goodbye. I haven't been the same since. I can't sleep, I can't at times breath. I don't want to talk to people because most don't understand just how guilty i feel for having to end my Bailey's suffering. My heart is broken in a million pieces. I called two pet loss hotlines, I try to work and I will just burst into tears at no particular time. I want him back. I question everything we did. Why this? Could we have that? This all happened too fast. He was walking beginning of February and then...our world changed forever. We adopted him from animal shelter 2010. He was our gentle giant and we loved him more than I can ever express.
Photo is shortly after Bailey came into our life...all my other photos are too big? Wouldn't let me attach.