One of the worst things about having old dogs is this prevailing sense of dread that seems to constantly lurk in the background of my little brain: is today the day? They sleep really, really well when they’re old, the sleep of the deaf looks like the sleep of the dead. I steel myself every time I see them in that fully relaxed pose. Will she wake up this time?
Scully has lost her spark a little today. She’s back to her pre-fancy dog food shuffle. Yesterday she started coughing a little. Her respiratory rate is up.
I have a sneaky suspicion her terrible heart murmur has decided to evolve into a touch of congestive heart failure. My home stethoscope is broken, the victim of too much time in the hands of my kids and rattling around the junk drawer. I’ll have to run her into work (or to our sister clinic that is closer to the house) to have a listen and see if my hunch is right. If it is, then it will be time for a slew of heart medications (that historically have made her puke) and possibly a downward spiral.
I gave her a pain pill today, just in case she maybe pulled something yesterday. Hopefully that will fix it.
I’ll choose to not think of the alternative for now.
UPDATE: She perked up after the Previcox, so I felt a little sheepish after writing this blog, but I figure that is the roller coaster ride we go on when we own an old dog. Today we took blood and chest x-rays and her heart seems to be stable but she appears to have a spot of pneumonia. Which is weird, because dogs don’t generally get pneumonia for no reason so I’ve placed a call to my go-to internal med specialist Dr. Kelly Nitsche at Animal Diagnostic Clinic (waiting for a callback from him). I also had Dr. Cole, a boarded vet. radiologist at Animal Imaging in Las Colinas review the x-rays and he said it looks like possible pneumonia, or less likely: the big “C”. I will hope for the former, but feel a little uneasy because it’s not a typical thing. I’ll keep you posted.