Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Advice, proactive, preventive care before euthenasia.

KaptainsMom
February 25th, 2008, 12:00 PM
Hi my Dog Kaptain, has come down with a perineal hernia, which i found out when i brought him to the vet, as i thought he had an impacted anal gland. The doctor put a needle in the swelling beside his anus and withdrew fluid, it turned out to be urine, and not what i thought. The Vet said that unless he could pee, he would die a painful death very soon and to bring him back to her to have him euthanized? My heart was breaking, this is my life-long companion and i am not ready to say goodbye, and i don't know how i will when the time comes.
So me and Kaptain went out for a long walk that night and must have hit a hundred trees, eventually drop by drop he emptied his bladder that had squeezed through the rip in his stomach muscle wall, making a bulge beside his anus.
So daily, I started to walk him allot more and feed him 3 small meals a day with lots of salmon oil. Since then his bladder has gone back into place but his bowel is now in the bulge and so now he has difficultly to poo. I massage his bulge a few times daily to increase blood flow to the spot and encourage his bowels to empty for when we go out...and so with massage, and the fish oil and water logged food, it all seems to be helping him to lead a happy life. He does not seem to be in any pain and still laughs and plays as he always has, except he is very old now at 15yrs. so he does not have the stamina he used to have.
There are days the bulge gets very large and he has more difficulty to empty it, and he gets a sad look on his face and his son starts to cry all the time, and lays his head on his dad to cuddle with him. I begin to panic and fight back the tears as I feel so helpless and he goes from jumping up and down and playing to being very quiet and listless and sometimes won’t eat until we can get his bowels to empty. He may live for months, or maybe even another year, or he could be gone within a day or a week, I am so distressed at the thought of losing him and that is why i am here. Also, when Kaptain refuses to eat, his son Mikey will not eat either, they are so close i am afraid i will lose both of them if Kaptain dies. Anyone who knows any remedies or has had a similar experience who can give advice, it would be greatly appreciated.
Oh yes the vet said there was one Vet in the area that can do a perineal hernia operation for 4 thousand dollars, but because of Kaptains age there are no guarantees that he would live thru the operation, or that the operation would work to hold his organs in place with his old muscles. Help :cry:

russte
February 25th, 2008, 12:26 PM
I am so sorry for your situation, is there no laxatives or stool softners the vet could perscribe to Kaptain so his stool wouldn't be so compacted, it would be more easier to poop for him? Just a thought. Again I'm so sorry for you and your baby, thinking of you both....russte:sorry:

KaptainsMom
February 25th, 2008, 01:19 PM
Thanks for the sweet thoughts. Well Kaptains poo is not hard, he has difficulty pooing because his bowel is twisted into this hernia protuding beside his anus. This is why i feel so helpless. thanks for your response.

badger
February 25th, 2008, 01:33 PM
Why don't you have a chat with the 4k vet and see what he says? Maybe there is an interim solution your regular vet hasn't thought of. Have you tried warm compresses on the 'bulge'? That would also increase blood flow.
You are a remarkably loving mother and Kaptain is lucky to have you on his side. Please let us know what happens.

KaptainsMom
February 25th, 2008, 01:41 PM
thanks for the advice, i have not been putting hot compresses on his hernia, i will start to do this, as it must be uncomfortable for him, though most of the time he doesn't show it. :thumbs up Thanks

chico2
February 25th, 2008, 04:16 PM
Wow,how difficult for you and Kaptain,I have no advice to give,just hope that Kaptain still has some time to enjoy life.
I've heard of old dogs getting through surgery very well,but this might be too complicated,with no certain outcome.
:grouphug:to you and Kaptain:fingerscr

want4rain
February 25th, 2008, 07:38 PM
sending some more love and hugs your way. :goodvibes: i know you guys are trying your best. i hope you find a clear and decisive road ahead of you. when Kaptain is ready to make his trip over the Rainbow Bridge, he will let you know. until then, just keep loving him. hopefully someone will ahve some advice.

anyone know how well comfrey works for pets?? i know it helps with muscle problems in people.

-ashley

katie&thecrew
February 25th, 2008, 10:23 PM
We had a dog like this come in to the shelter I worked at. It required major surgery and we had him on a vet prescribed laxative (the name has just escaped my brain...). It was considered emergency surgery though, just as you have described, it is a very serious condition. It was a very specialized surgery and there were only 2 vets in our area who could even perform it.

I'm so sorry :sad:

KaptainsMom
February 25th, 2008, 11:01 PM
:dog: Kaptain had a good day today and went poop, Yippii... Thank you to want4rain, and chico2, and Katie&thecrew, your thoughts and good wishes really mean alot. There is something about feeling alone with this, and because Kaptain could pass over at any time - and when the dogs won't eat, and Mikey is crying non stop on his dad Kaptain, and Kaptain is looking at me so sad, and unhappy, I just feel so overwhelmed with grief and do not know how i will continue without him.
When i cry, i try to do it silently as they are very sensitive to me and i do not want to distress them and have them think anything is wrong. Since my son moved to another country to start a business 5 yrs ago, it has just been me and my little dogs living together (for 15yrs now). They have become my true family. Some may think that is sad, but they have been a joy and a pleasure to share life with. Through all of life's trials, & ups and downs, their cheerful loving faces have carried me through some very dark times, and life does not get easier as you get older, and the heartbreak of life without them somehow seems more intense. I sometimes just feel overwhelmed with dispair. So i pray for another day with my boys, another week another month, but i know it cannot go on forever, i just do not know how to prepair?
But then Kaptain will (almost) empty is bowels, and he will jump and run around like a kid again, energized and happy, and I feel so releived and can have some peace for another day.
Thank you all for being there, I feel less alone, and i have to give myself a shake as the boys are both alive and happy for now.
So i thank god for another day.
Thank you :)

hazelrunpack
February 26th, 2008, 09:22 AM
I hope you and Kaptain have lots of good days left! :grouphug:

It is so difficult. :sad: I think we can all relate. Come here if you need to vent, rant, cry, or just talk. Many of the members have had a taste of what you're going through. We're here for you...hang in there.

badger
February 26th, 2008, 09:43 AM
What a lovely post. When I look into my old Badger's eyes, I wonder about the same things. He'll be fine, the bugger, but I'll be a mess.
You've definitely come to the right place.

loopoo
February 26th, 2008, 01:23 PM
:grouphug: and my prayers are with you and your little guys, that you have lots of good and happy days together

krdahmer
February 26th, 2008, 02:17 PM
:pray: :goodvibes: & :grouphug:s are all I have to offer! :o

chico2
February 26th, 2008, 03:52 PM
Kaptainsmom,the love for your pups ooozes out of your post:lovestruck:
How do you prepare?
I don't think you can,but if life becomes unbearable for Kaptain,your love will help him through,the same way he helped you through hard times.
But for now,one happy day at a time,with pees and poops:fingerscr
Welcome to the people who get such great joy of seeing normal poop.:laughing:
Jokes aside,we will certainly all be here for you if you need us,I think we all have experienced sickness and losses with our very much loved fourlegged friends:cat::dog:

Hogansma
February 26th, 2008, 10:29 PM
I am so sorry to hear about your boy and his butt troubles!!! I too am living alone with my 2 dogs and they really are my babies so I think I know a little bit of what you're feeling. I lost my Molly (dog) a year and a half ago and it was so hard. My only advice is to enjoy Kaptain now and also take some pictures of him. They will bring you great sadness at first but when you get through that, they will bring back good memories. He is a very lucky dog to have you. :pray:

KaptainsMom
February 27th, 2008, 09:44 PM
The blessings and hugs make me feel less alone and afraid knowing i can come here and write my thoughts and that someone can relate and understand what i might be going through. Kaptain is doing small releases from his bowel but the hernia is quite large today, so i know he has alot of waste inside of him. When he gets like this, he starts to look sad, and sleeps alot more and does not wake up easily. I have to shake him gently several times calling his name. He does not handle the cold very well in the last few days since the temperature has dropped either even for the 8 to 12 minute walk that we take. I have to warm him up with massage and blankets as he shivers and shakes for quite a while. Tonight i had the forsight to turn the electric heating pad on before he went out to do his thing. So after a good rub down he is now under the heating pad, but he only peed a bit and did not go poo and his bulge (hernia) is so big i am thinking it must make him very uncomfortable. I also have to be careful how i pick him up when he has this much waste in his body, as I can hurt him if i put any stress on his old bones, (and he crys out) so i try to pick him up with equal weight distribution, and he seems Ok with that.

When i took him out tonight he was so happy to be walking down the block with me, (just me and him) Mikey stayed in the house waiting for his turn, so I had a talk with Kaptain and told him he may have to let me know when it is time to go, as i will always just be trying to come up with another small trick, of massage, good people food of beef or chicken breast w veggies, which he loves, (and even if he has not eaten in a day or more he will eat that). So I thanked him for sharing his life with me, and being the best dog friend a person could have, and reminded him to let me know when he wanted to go, that i promised him it would not hurt and he would not be afraid and that i will meet him again someday when i leave here.

I just realized it might be kinder for me not to feed him or encourage him to eat when he does not want to, because he has suddenly not been deficating as much as he was, and now i think the food i gave him may cause him pain, as the food is not coming out... I will try to get him to poop a few more times before 12 or 1am when i will go to bed.
He is not a happy puppy tonight and Mikey has cryed himself to sleep beside his father Kaptain.
I am wondering if I should learn about giving an enima to a small dog, but the problem is his intestine is a little squeezed or maybe twisted into the hernia pouch, so i would have to get very clear instructions on how to do this. Or the other thing i could do would be to give a quarter teaspoon of real mushed pumpkin as they say that will loosen a stool and in his case maybe give him diareah which would be easier to get rid of than his growing inability to strain his muscles to do a normal slighly loose poop.
In the last 24 hours he can no longer jump on the couch, so I lift him.. I have recently lost my job, or i would probably be at the vet's everyday looking for guidance. When she sent me home with him 2 months ago, she basically sent him home to die, though she said if he does not pee or poo, to bring him in to have him euthenized, as it would only be the kind thing to do.

But i have kept his spirits up and his body somewhat working with massage and what ever else i can think of... I know i am repeating myself now, but i am running out of ideas of how to keep his body going... and yet tomorrow he may do a big poo and have another good 24 hours... or tomorrow may be his last day... I don't know, and i go from day to day wondering if he will die of starvation when i cannot get him to eat more than a tablespoon or so of food per day, or will it be his bowels that will not empty.:cry: Well i always get quiet after a cry, so i guess that is all i can say for tonight but thank you so much for all your sweet thoughts. 'D' :pray:

Love4himies
February 28th, 2008, 06:26 AM
I feel so bad for you, I know how much you are hurting right now. I hope Kaptain is feeling better today, poor soul.

:grouphug: to you.

hazelrunpack
February 28th, 2008, 08:49 AM
I've been thinking of you today--how is sweet Kaptain this morning? :fingerscr :goodvibes: :grouphug:

want4rain
February 28th, 2008, 08:58 AM
i am so sorry honey, ramble away... thats what we are here for. im so sorry to hear about your job. :( keep up the brave face but dont be afraid to let it go sometimes too.

perhaps a call to the vet asking some advice on an enema and if that would be a reasonable idea??? what are you feeding?? perhaps you could feed him a home cooked diet?? and alter what you need to to loosen up his poo a little. we have lots of folks on here who understand alternative diets. if you feel like giving it a shot, see if some cooked chicken and chicken liver and some pureed pumpkin go down well. include the skin and fat though. as a matter of fact, first try boiling a whole chicken for 45 minutes (dont need to over cook it, your pooch will be fine with slightly undercooked meat) and peal ALL of the skin off and feed a meal of 2/3 chicken muscle and 1/3 fat, lightly fry some chicken liver (not completely cooked!!) and some of the pumpkin and see if that goes down. save the broth from the boiled chicken and offer it watered down after you are sure the chicken will go through. maybe 1/ts of pumpkin to a full pound of the rest??

now IM rambling. :sad: im so sorry. i wish there was a magical solution.

-ashley

KaptainsMom
February 28th, 2008, 10:23 PM
:cloud9: Thank you so much for all the kind thoughts, I think this must be how one prepares for the loss of thier pet and best friend. Kaptain finally ate a few tablespoons of food tonight and he was excited about the food and wanted more but i am only going to give him smaller doses 3 or 4 times per day so he will have less difficulty eliminating. Mikey was so happy that Kaptain was eating he ate his full evening meal after not eating much of anything for a few days. Why they seem to thrive on some days and be at deaths door on others is beyond me, but maybe this is also part of the winding down phase of life. But more and more i get the feeling that Mikey will decide to go when Kaptain dies. I will get psycological help for Mikey when his dad dies and hope that i can turn things around for him. Though Mikey loves me dearly, he has always been Kaptains boy, more than my little puppy (14yrs old) They have been great pals and have played, and teased, and cuddled all their lives, so Mikey really is the one that when ever i was sad, he would cry. I had angina for a while and he would know when an attack was coming on and he would begin to cry about 10 or 20 min. before the attack, now Kaptain is not well and Mikey wants to be not well too. I always called him my talky boy, because it was like he was always trying to talk. I have been very fortunate to have these angels in my life. Tonight is a peaceful night, the dogs are doing well for now. God Bless all who have sent me their comfort, it is working... I am not religious, but i do believe in well wishes and prayer (its the same thing to me) Will stay in touch..:thumbs up

pbpatti
February 28th, 2008, 10:32 PM
KaptainsMom, I am so sorry for this trial in your life. Your boys know that you are doing the best for them and you have obviously loved them so much. I hope that Mikey will decide to stay with yuo though and not follow Kaptain over the bridge. hugs for all of you from Sasha and myself:dog: pbp

hazelrunpack
February 29th, 2008, 09:14 AM
I hope you have another good day today, KaptainsMom. :grouphug:s to you, Kaptain and Mikey.

Hogansma
February 29th, 2008, 11:54 AM
This is quite the ordeal for you but there will be an end and happier days to come. I've had 2 different experiences with having 2 dogs and one passing away. In one case, the second dog did go into a depression and wouldn't eat for days but eventually turned around and thrived. The most recent one was when I had Molly put to sleep at the vets and came home without her. I was sure that Hogan would also go into a depression because they were so close, but it didn't happen. He seemed to know she was gone. I also thought he would sit by the window and watch for her as he did if she was out for a walk, but no. Animals are smart and can sense illness very early on. Maybe Mikie will be okay and accept this loss when it is time. I hope so. My thoughts are with you.