Sunday 10 October 2010


I mentioned on Facebook how concerned we are about Tilly.

Back in the summer, she started to get an upset stomach, and we changed her food to pouches of  meat, rice and veg formulated for 'senior dogs'  (really, pc-ness for dogs, how absurd) which she loved; nevertheless she started to lose weight and her backbone started to show badly.  The week before last she started to be iffy about eating, for the first time in her life - having been underfed for the first 15 months of her life until she came to live with us, food was extremely important to her - and I had to sit and feed her with a fork.  By last weekend, I had decided to take her for a check at the vets' surgery.  As I mentioned the other day, I took her on Wednesday and she was put on antibiotics because she had a slightly raised temperature, and a blood sample was taken.

By that time, she wasn't really eating.  However, I cooked her chicken, rice and vegetables and she loved it, and spent the rest of the day coming back to her bowl, which I refilled - she had 5 or 6 meals that day.  The rest of the week, she gradually ate less, however, and by Friday afternoon she had pretty well stopped eating.  She would take a few bits from our dinner and eat her Bakers Allsorts treats and that was all.

The blood test indicated a problem with her pancreas, and the vet will phone tomorrow to see how she is and ask if I want further tests.  Well, by yesterday, I'd pretty well come to the conclusion that there was no point.  I know that it's only too easy, out of misplaced kindness, to keep a sick dog a day too long and that you don't know when that time is until it arrives and it is too late for it not to suffer.  This morning, she wouldn't eat at all - I'd cooked her an egg for breakfast and pretended it was for me and I was sharing - and I was in doubt whether to bother giving her her antibiotics.  I say 'bother' not because of the trouble, but because it's really hard to force her to swallow them, it's really upsetting for both of us and if they aren't going to help, I could spare her.

I did give them to her in the end.  I reckoned that, if they keep her temperature down, that's one way she won't suffer.  But I left for church heavy-hearted, quite sure that I'd have to call the vet in tomorrow.

When I got home, the Sage said he'd persuaded her to eat the egg.  I gave her some cake too (she surprised us yesterday by eating quite a lot of cake) and then she had some more Allsorts (which are meaty snacks).  I did chicken pizza for lunch, I had a bad headache and had no spirit for cooking, and also brought some leftover cooked chicken in here and she ate all the meat off the chicken thigh and all the bits of chicken off my pizza.

Ro came over - he was really upset by the news.  It looks like I'm making a fuss about nothing, she wags her tail and looks quite perky, but she is ill.  As I say, she never refuses food normally.  We fed her cake and she ate more than any of us.  I didn't have any in fact, I gave all mine to her.  This evening, I made a chicken casserole and she ate quite a lot.

So I'm hoping against hope for a reprieve.  I'll ask for the blood test and then at least we'll know.  If she has cancer, we'll call it a day.  But if not, we'll nurse her along.

Ro might drop in here - I told him I'd blogged about our day out yesterday - if you do, Ro, thank you so much.  I felt so much better by the time you left, you cheered us all up a lot.  Tilly has slept all evening since dinner, and I've still to give her her tablets, but she's had a much better day than I expected.

It's been a weekend for accidents - Wink's chap Bod's mum fell yesterday and broke her hip and elbow.  They can't operate at present as she takes Warfarin so they have to gradually withdraw it, as her blood won't clot - I'm not sure how long that takes to correct itself.  And my friend Brenda's sister fell and broke her wrist yesterday too - the complication there is that she suffers from osteoporosis and her bones are fragile, and the break is a bad one.


badgerdaddy said...

My fingers and toes are crossed for Tilly. I can't tell you how gutted, how broken I would be if Milly become ill, but I know it has to come one day. And we've only had her for just over a year. Really, I'll have everything crossed - but I know you'll make the the right choice for her, even if it's the hardest one. x

Z said...

At any rate, she's had a lovely, happy life and she's been a dear little friend.

Chairwoman of the bored said...

Fingers crossed for your girlie, Z.

La Fluffita was taken ill in the middle of the night a couple of months back, and the emergency vet said she'd had a stroke and should be P Dd immediately. However we sent her to our own vet in an animal ambulance, and he said she hadn't had a stroke, and after a few days with them was back to her old self.

I have, however, been in your situation with much loved older pets, and completely support your stance, we have to make the right decisions, no matter how hard, for our furry family members, x

heybartender said...

Fingers and paws crossed in Vermont for you as well.

Rog said...

Yes we're thinking of you Z. It's a tough call to balance a dog's quality of life but you sound like you have a positive plan.

Dave said...

What they all said.

Blue Witch said...

So sorry to read about Tilly. Thinking of you.

Christopher said...

So sorry. Fingers crossed - realistically - for Tilly and you. Courage.

Unknown said...

It's one of the tragedies of the human condition, that our pets don't live nearly as long as we do. I know you'll make the right decision at the right time. We've always found that a good, honest, experienced vet will reassure you as to when 'the right time' is upon you.
Regards, Mike and Ann.

Anonymous said...

Thank you all so much. I'm afraid Tilly is not at all comfortable today and, although not in pain, that would be next. So I've spoken to the vet and she is coming here in the next half hour.

On my phone, can't be bothered to log in.

Love to you all, Zoƫ

Roses said...

I'm thinking of you my dear. It's such a hard decision to make, but you make it out of love and respect for your four-footed friend.

Many, many hugs.

Marion said...

The others have said everything I want to say so well. I feel so badly for you all.

Ro said...

I did come to read the post about Ken, I wish I'd come along, hopefully he'll still be flying next year.

You put Tilly's welfare first, which is unbearably difficult but absolutely the right thing. I'm just glad to have seen her yesterday. I left feeling happy to have spent time with her, rather than feeling sorry for her.

See you soon.

Z said...

Thank you all.

Thanks, Ro darling. She was such a happy little dog and we did that for her. She had a hard life until she came here, although she was loved, and she was pampered but never spoilt because that wasn't her nature.

Dad's making her an oak coffin tomorrow. Honestly, you know, if I go first, he'll make one for me!

So glad you came and she was still quite well xx

allotmentqueen said...

I'm in tears for a dog I never knew! You did the right thing, but it's still unbearably difficult. Love to you all.

Chairwoman of the bored said...

Ah Zoe, so sad for you all. x

Z said...

I was sorry to hear about La Fluffita and I hope there isn't a recurrence. When in doubt, it can be better to wait. After all, there's no going back.

And thank you again. If you want a pet to outlive you, have a tortoise. Otherwise, acknowledge the fact that you will grieve, but bear in mind that the years you have are worth it. And it's not the same as a person. How much worse would that be.

Having said which, we feel wretched tonight, of course, and I've still got a whole lot of work to do. Oh dear. Must get on with it or I'll be sorry tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Z, I have just been catching up on posts missed over the last couple of weeks. I am so sorry about Tilly but it does sound as if you made the right decision. It would be unkind to let her go on suffering. We had to do the same a few years ago with two cats in quick succession and it was heartbreaking.

Z said...

That's awful, Alienne. We lost two dogs only 3 months apart a few years ago, one being my beloved Chester and the other my mother's greyhound which I had inherited. But we did still have Tilly then, it would have been dreadful if she had gone then.