i wasn't very hopeful on our way in..i wasn't even sure i would be bringing jewel home again (but i did!)
here are the issues with each of them...
nina's detachment from the rest of the world is increasing. she has never been bonded to any of us, she was just interested in doing her thing.... wandering around, sniffing the ground..looking for anything at all to possibly eat. her poor vision and deafness have isolated her right from the start but she still managed to toddle around doing what interested her and ignoring everything else. the last couple of strokes has changed this somehow..the world became foreign to her and now she is not just insular, she is somewhat lost. she is not actively suffering in any shape or form but she now she is only driven to just seek out food and nothing else exists for her...nina is not really in there any more.
i don't think she is happy, i think her stress is increasing..she doesn't feel safe in her mission in life anymore, it is just a mindless seeking.
the vet agreed that she probably does not have a good quality of life anymore, after 17 years of living, her mind can't find satisfaction or fulfillment, just endless continual need. i will be booking her euthanization for sometime next week. in the meantime we will give her all she wants to eat.
jewel has other issues. not only is her mind still intact but she still makes herself do the things that she likes whenever she can. it is her body that is giving out. it is that chronic and continual pain in her hips right now that is interferring with her living her life the way that she wants to. she is currently on 100 mgs of tramadol three times a day, plus 50 mgs of elavil twice a day, robaxacen twice a day and melixicam too....enough pain meds to knock down an elephant but jewel keeps going..except they are not controlling her pain anymore.
she is continually uncomfortable, she is really cranky with the other dogs but she still hauls her ass out the door if she thinks i am going down to the lower pasture or out near the pond. her back end goes sideways as she gamely tries to keep up, her tail keeps wagging because even if it hurts, she is happy to be out. but if one of the dogs bump her or she steps somehow wrong, she cries and immediately lies down and it takes her some time to brave getting up again to toddle along.
jewel is suffering..jewel is in pain all the time now. it breaks my heart to see this dog so determined to keep on happily living, hurting every day.
Jewel of the Pond (Sunday April 25, 2010)
for jewel, the vet was able to pull one more med out of his hat to try...she stays on everything else and we just add one more pill every day. this drug is called amanadine and it works poorly on its own but works well in conjunction with other pain meds. it is similar to the gabapentins and elavils in that it has anti-neuropathic tendencies..it is worth a shot. we should see if it is effective in helping her feel more physically at ease within 5-7 days. i will pick it up for her from the pharmacy today and see how she does. we are also to start her on another series of cartrophen injections and do each series every three months (that stuff is grossly expensive $600 for just 30 mls)..luckily we stll have some left, but not a lot..her dose is only .7mls so we have enough for this series of 4 and maybe the next.
so no decision on jewel's possible quality of life yet..maybe she can enjoy herself comfortably for a little while more.
i bumped squeakers out of his vet slot and took peace instead...his appointment is re-booked for today.
Warm and gentle pats for Jewel. Long may she run. She was the first Saint to say :I to me at the Open House. I hope I see her again this year.