Guest Nefer13 Posted April 13, 2016 Share Posted April 13, 2016 Hello All. I've never posted here before, but I have a 13-year-old grey in need of help (advice for his mom). My boy, Nefer (means handsome/beautiful) just turned 13 & his body is failing him but his spirit remains remarkably strong. Here's our situation: Basics: - Adopted Nefer from the track at 3.5 years of age - Very tall male - always 72 pounds until about 2 years ago when decreased to 68 pounds...stable at that weight until very recently - Nefer has 2 non-grey brothers & 3 feline sisters (we lost our oldest kitty 2 weeks ago) - Me - divorced/single & starting new business after becoming unemployed 2 years ago. Money situation is tough. My fur-babies are my children! I have carpal tunnel & fibromyalgia (reason I'm telling you this will make sense below) Nefer's Physical Issues: - Diagnosed with Cauda Equina/LS around 6 years ago by awesome vet in Chicago who is/was very grey-knowledgeable - LS diagnosis confirmed by 4 other vets but without any imaging...just based on symptoms - Lost left eye due to antibiotic resistant infection about 2.5 years ago; Right eye impaired due to age with no vision at night - Found slipped disc mid-spine 2-years ago after moving to Georgia & starting with new vet - Developed extreme diarrhea about 3 months ago & is now completely incontinent (100% fecal, maybe 50% urinary) - Weight is now down to 54 pounds - he is skin & bones - Early signs of kidney disease started showing about 10 months ago - Very minor (but real...not the typical greyhound overly diagnosed) thyroid condition managed with meds - Slight hypertension managed with meds Meds: - Soloxine for thyroid, enalapril for hypertension - Started on Rimadyl awhile ago but stopped about a year and a half ago due to the start of GI issues - Switched to Tramadol but has become less and less effective & is clearly no longer sufficient (not sure it ever took away all the pain) - Started Methadone last week in hopes of improving pain management; working to find right dose but does seem to be helping a little...probably too soon to tell - Supplements: ResveraFlex, digestive enzymes, forti-flora, Cell Advance 880, TriCox - Full series Adequan injections (3 yrs ago & again 1.5 years ago - no help at all) - Gabapentin - tried 2x - 1st time no help, 2nd time severe negative reaction...almost killed him Major Alternative Treatments We've Tried Over the Past 6 Years: - Laser - regular treatments for about 4 years (helped a lot at first) - Electro-shock with a large animal vet - really helped for 4-5 months but he had to be sedated for the treatment - Assisi Loop - Nefer hated (but I love it!) - Week-long intensive Pulse Signal Therapy treatment - no real improvement - Special therapeutic beds Nefer's Situation Now: - advanced weakness/wobbliness in rear legs - can't stay fully standing when doing his business or while eating - shakes intensely when trying to stay standing - Difficulty standing up - Sometimes falls when trying to sit on a bed & then doesn't have the strength to get up; cries in pain, sometimes snaps at me when trying to get him up - Painful to touch starting in the middle of his back at slipped disc point & then all the way to rear - Paralyzed tail - rolls on back paws, very slow to reposition to normal - uses front legs for basically everything & back legs sort of just follow along - sometimes better than others - Intense diarrhea...that seems to finally be resolving after 3 rounds of Propectalin & Metronitazol & diet change - no longer able to control defecation, sometimes able to control urination - beyond skinny Current Considerations: - rear harness - could really hurt his back issues + he's tall & I'm short w/ carpal tunnel & fibro...not a promising solution for either of us - rear wheel chair - again concerned that the pain in his back half would be irritated by contact with the chair + getting him in/out doesn't seem realistic for the same reasons that the harness seems problematic. We live in the mountains so he walks up a little slope when outside...not sure he could pull chair weight up hill - Diapers - this could help me - would love a recommendation for any that fit male greys for both urine & defecation; not sure this does much for him...maybe takes away the shame he seems to feel when he has an accident? By now you're probably wondering why I have let this go on for so long. Here's why... - His spirit & desire to engage in life has NEVER waned through all of this - He still looks at me with a bright eye & obvious enthusiasm for all of our regular activities - He eats more enthusiastically now than he ever has before - He still loves to go outside...despite his obvious pain - He is glued to my side...never lets me out of his sight & he clearly savors love, attention & massages (on the front half of his body) - He still tries to engage with my other fur-kids, both dogs & cats So I don't know what to do & I feel like I can no longer see the forest through the trees. I am constantly considering whether it's time to say good-bye because I am so worried about his suffering. But is my suffering playing into this too much or too little? It is physically painful for me to watch him go through all of this. The incontinence is really hard but mostly because it's on top of everything else & because no matter how cheery I am, he knows he's not supposed to go in the house. I can tell how badly he feels & how sorry he is even though I'm not making a big deal of it at all. How do you explain to a geriatric "pleaser" that it's okay & not to worry??? My vet says that Nefer is the kind of dog who may never let go of his amazing spirit...it's just who he is. My hunch is that many grey's are like this. How do I know when the pain is too much when he still has such presence? I've seen "the look" from my other kids when it's been time so I've known what to do. I don't think Nefer is ever going to give me 'the look'. Greys are just so special & different. This is absolutely gut-wrenching; my gut tells me it's not time yet but I'm not sure I should trust my gut given my emotional state. I apologize for the length of this...I think I needed the therapy of writing all this out. What I really need is compassionate folks who love their own sight hounds to give me unbiased opinions &/or suggestions. I really have lost my ability to think objectively at this point. If you've managed to keep reading all of this, thank you! Any/all objective thoughts are most welcome. Please hug your fur-babies. We are so truly lucky to have them. My best, Ellie Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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