Want to know what awful is? Awful is not knowing when you’re supposed to call your vet to come and do the honors. Dave has been reminding me to write a post here to talk about how great Sammi has been doing, and she has been. Up until Christmas. We’ve both been saying, if she makes it til Christmas, her keto diet therapy will have been considered a success. And Christmas Day she started out great. I even posted a cute picture of her by the tree on Facebook. And then, she declined. She got tired, weak, didn’t want to get up. Her gums were pale, she wasn’t able to stand up, or walk around, or do anything, really.
We held her, we spent time with her, hand fed her. We hung out and relaxed, basically what you’re supposed to do on Christmas. Our sweet little family just camped out and relaxed together. And Dave and I fretted over the possibilities of the days ahead. Would she get better? Worse? Was this it? She moved around a bit overnight, her usual patterns, from the foot of the bed where her bed is, to the bathroom where she loves to mess up all the bathroom rugs while she sleeps, to outside our bedroom door. She used to wet herself if she ate too much chicken, but this hadn’t happened in awhile. It happened the morning after Christmas. She hadn’t had the strength to go outside to pee, so we figured it was inevitable. Sweet girl made sure she was on the tile for me though, and it happened in her sleep. My little angel.
We got her cleaned up and propped up on her dog bed and towels and blankets. She laid there all day, the 26th. She ate though, and she drank water, which were both good signs. But no energy, still with pale gums. The day before, I had also started upping her doses of her Yunnan Baiyao supplements. YB is a chinese herbal remedy that stops or slows internal bleeding. Since we were pretty positive Sammi was having a bleed, likely from the growth of a new tumor somewhere in her body, as a result of her hemangiosarcoma, we wanted to stop the bleeding, and prevent it from getting worse. We also started her on her new supplement, which I bought only for her spine and leg, CBD Oil from Pet Releaf, which she actually gobbled up and couldn’t get enough of. Go figure. I have never been a fan of anything cannabis related, but after reading the research on how CBD Oil has helped others for various ailments, I figured why not? I was feeding her some ancient Chinese shit, why not CBD Oil too? At this point, we just wanted her to be comfortable, regardless of her time left with us.
The YB worked, perhaps in conjunction with the CBD. We fed the YB to her around the clock, every hour basically, followed by some water. The bleeding subsided, I am assuming, as by Wednesday (the 27th) she was the perkiest she had been, and she even started getting up and walking around. She barked at the doorbell, and even at Ivan, one of our guys who stopped by to say hello to her and give her some love. We were so thrilled, and we couldn’t contain her energy either. So much so that she went right back into a decline last night, and we repeated the whole cycle all over again.
And again, we were sure this was it. We cried, we held her, we curled up with her and talked to her and told her how pretty she was, and how good she was. Dave took pictures of her looking all cute, some with me curled up behind her. I ended up sleeping on the floor with her last night, as her breathing was so labored, I was worried she wouldn’t make it through the night. Every time we moved her, even just to adjust her little body, she’d get out of breath. The movement was too hard on her and her breathing would become so incredibly labored. So we left her in the living room where she had been most of the afternoon/evening, and I slept beside her. At 4 am, she was still with us, so I finally went to bed. We took turned checking on her, and by 7 am, she had perked up a bit. Which is crazy, because at 6:50 am, when I checked on her, she was almost unresponsive, labored breathing, and seemingly uncomfortable. But 10 minutes later, her Dad walks in the room, and she’s a pile of mush over him. Ears up, whining, sitting up, happy. All very positive signs! And she drank some water, double bonus.
Come breakfast time, she didn’t want any ground beef, cooked or raw. She didn’t want any ground turkey (her latest obsession), and then my eye caught a package of sliced roast beef I bought a few days ago. A friend from the HSA group on Facebook suggested some steak for her, to help replenish her iron stores, and I figured the roast beef might be tempting. Sure enough, she ate almost the whole package. I sat on the floor and fed her, bit by bit, til she let me know she was done.
From then on, her progress has been entirely up and down all day. At one point, again with us sitting around and crying about what to do, I finally texted her vet and said it was time. And then, I gave her another dose of her CBD Oil and her YB pill just in an effort to keep her comfortable, and she perked up, wanted to sit up, wanted to move around, and I again had to text him and be like, yeah.. about that, I think we’re going to hold off for another day or so. Thankfully he’s been so patient with us, and tolerant of my emails and texts to him. Seriously a saint, that man.
So… anyway, after her YB and CBD I mentioned above, she decided she was going to walk around, and moseyed on over to the couch area and laid down for a bit. Then, she decided she wanted to go outside, and Dave yelled “She’s up!” and I went running out to help her, but she was doing it all on her own. I opened the slider, and out she went! We wandered all over the yard, in the freezing, misting rain, and she got tired and laid down. I let her relax and catch her breath, and then we tried again. Finally, she peed. THANK YOU GOD. Her biggest thing in all this has been having to go to the bathroom (no #2 yet… I know you’re wondering), but not wanting to go on her bed where she’s been laying. Even though we have pee pads and towels all around her, just in case.
And that’s where we’re at. Her vet called me to check in, I told him it was all up and down, that this shit sucks. That we don’t feel that it’s right to let her go when she’s perky, alert, trying to walk around, responding to us, and eating and drinking. It would be a different story if she was unresponsive for more than a day or two, but that hasn’t been the case. Every time she regains her strength, she’s interested in what’s going on again. She’s happy to have us around her. So, we will take each day as it comes, and re-assess. We want what’s best for her, but we also don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We are still being selfish, we love and adore her, we want to wake up with her there, but we want her to be happy and comfortable too.