Thursday, September 03, 2009

My heart is breaking


My heart is breaking as I write this post. Our beautiful Alaskan Malamute - Shavez, is unwell and I dont know how much longer he's got left with us.
Lately when I walk the dogs, he’s been a little unsteady on his feet, sometimes slipping over etc. The vet has had him on treatment for arthritis, because he's 13 years old, which they say is REALLY old for such a big dog.
On Tuesday night I noticed that he didn’t get up to eat his dinner, so I put the bowl down in front of him – he ate it all so we just thought he was a bit sore. Then yesterday morning when I got home from gym I noticed that he hadn’t moved (and he was a bit whiney), and when I tried to get him to get up, despite his valiant efforts, he just couldn’t seem to get his legs to work properly. I even tried standing over him and hoisting his upper body up, but he was a dead weight and his front paws just curled over when they touched the ground. I did get him to take a couple of drunken steps but he fell straight over again. I was a wreck over this, actually, I was hysterical, but convinced myself that once the day warmed up a bit he would improve. When I left for work, Elke was just sitting beside him, looking down at him as if to say “Come on, why aren't you getting up??"

When I got home yesterday afternoon, hubby said he was worried about Shavez, so I told him what had happened in the morning and he burst into tears, which set me off again too. So we went out to him and he tried to get him to stand up, and the same thing happened. We rang the vet, who said we should look for a paralysis tick, and bring him straight up there. We flew up there in a panic, and virtually had to carry Shavez (all 45kgs of him) into the consult room, and laid him down there. Vet thought the symptoms were strange, but a tick was his number one suspect. We had to leave him there and they had to shave him down last night to see if they could find one (he’s too hairy to find it normally).

So at about 8pm last night they rang us to say that they couldn’t find a tick, so he next suspected a slipped/herniated disc in his back – but wont know until xrays today. They also think it could be a tumour in his spine, which might stem from his tail removal episode last year. Either way, they've told us he’s too old to have surgery, as they don’t think he’d make it. Either way, it feels like the end.

We have both spent the night and morning sobbing our hearts out. Our pets are like our children, they mean so much to us. It doesn’t feel like theres much hope. I guess we just have to wait and see what the xrays show, and maybe, just maybe its treatable with anti-inflammatories or steroids or something (as long as theres no tumour). I’m also going to ring my chiropractor and see what he thinks.

It breaks my heart. It makes us feel so bad that poor Shavez had to spend the night at the vets, shaved naked and not knowing whats going on, or why we’ve abandoned him. And poor Elke is confused too, we cant explain to her why he's not here, or whats happening. She has never known life without him.

Please keep him in your thoughts...

14 comments:

Nicole P said...

Oh my god Hilary that is so sad and I am bawling my eyes out! My heart goes out to you, your hubby and poor Shavez. Nicole xxxxxxxx

Frankie said...

Poor baby :o( Such beautiful creatures those malamutes, my sister had one. It's so hard when they get older and just can't tell you what's wrong.

I hope he's ok hun, but if not, I hope you're ok xxx

Jadey said...

Oh hon, I know how hard it is when our animals are sick, it's sooo hard to watch. My heart sank while I was reading your post. Thinking of you and your beautiful dogs this week. Keep us updated. xox

Sandra said...

Hilary, I don't know what to say :-(
We had "furry babies" way before kids came along, and I know exactly what you mean...a couple of ours also went that way...after an illness or un-diagnosed condition and it does break your heart just wondering what they're thinking...just remember that you gave him a very pleasant life full of love and care.
xxx

Doris's BEHAG journey said...

OH Hills you got me going again..............we had to put down our old boy yesterday and I have been a tad bit upset of late. My husband is totally besides himself and it breaks my heart seeing him like that. So I totally know what you are saying. David buried 'Old Grunt' under his favourite tree yesterday, wrapped in his favourite black sheet and blue pillow under his head so he would be comfortable. Then the baby 'Diesel' sat ontop of the grave for two hours. That just killed me. Who says animals don't know. I had better stop because I can't see the screen for crying. Talk to you soon chicki at the gym.

Kristy said...

So so sorry to hear this Hilary, best wishes for all of you

Shar said...

Hils
Thinking of you all, hope theres a glimer of light for you.

Shar x

Magda said...

Consider it done Hilary.

Magda

Anonymous said...

Dear Hilary
I'm so sorry to hear about Shavez. This has to be the worst part of having a pet. But you know, being a responsible owner means sometimes we have to let our loved one go and not let them linger on in pain. I'm speaking from experience here, so I totally relate to how you're feeling now.

Kerry W said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Shivez's plight. I'm afraid no amount of words are probably going to comfort you. And I have to agree with 'anonymous', about not letting them linger in pain. Sending you lots of hugs...XXXOOO...Kerry :(

Alicia said...

Hey honey....sorry to hear about Shavez :( My ex called me on the weekend and told me he had to put one of the cats down last weekend due to an adverse reaction to medication. Hopefully you will be able to find out what's wrong and he will be fine.

Hope that bump is coming along nicely :) xoxox

LizN said...

I'm sorry to hear this Hils, hang in there.

Sue Heintze said...

Hils, giving my Big Pud extra loving after hearing what you are going through. My fingers and toes are still crossed for your baby.

x

Lia Halsall said...

Hils I'm so sorry for the loss of your beautiful boy Shivez. My heart is breaking for you, you must be devastated. This photo of him is beautiful, truly beautiful. xxx