Let me preface by telling you at this moment in time, my sweet senior boy is still very much alive.
He is curled up on his bed with his Tigger pillow and Curious George on the TV.
But, if you follow us on Twitter, then you know that something isn’t right.
Something isn’t right and like your typical, overprotective dog mom, I am worried.
It’s not only that I’m worried, it’s that I’m worried and heartbroken and feeling helpless.
The financial impact of my being out of work has been so severe that even though I am working again, we are still struggling. Struggling so much that I am one of those people that are looked down on by so many in the animal loving community – the people who can’t afford vet care.
I would…I WILL do whatever I have to for Jet. In the past, when we hit hard times this has meant bartering, payment plans, and selling everything that wasn’t nailed down. While these options now are minimal – I have writing and design services to offer, but bad credit means no payment plans, and having sold almost everything that I can, there isn’t much left of any worth – I am still searching for options.
I will do what I have to for my boy.
So, what exactly is going on?
I’ve told you about Jet’s syncopic episodes before. Well, last night, Jet had another.
These episodes have increased in frequency, but last night I thought we got off easy when he seemingly recovered quite quickly.
I lay with him, reassured him, and we rested for a little while.
About 15 to 20 minutes later, he began getting restless. Since he sometimes urinates during a syncope episode but hadn’t this time, I assumed he needed to go out.
I helped him to his feet. His little wobbly legs struggled, but we made it about 24 feet to the front door. At this point, he started to lean against the wall.
It isn’t unusual for Jet to support his back end, especially late at night or right after he wakes up. He has lost a lot of his backend strength since becoming a “senior dog”.
So, I guided him outside, assuming that this need for support was nothing out of the ordinary.
We made it down the singular front step and Jet collapsed. I don’t know if collapse is the right word because it looked more like a fall and a sit-down. More like he does when he gets tired and his weak back legs give out.
So, I went to lift him to his feet and get him back inside. It didn’t matter if he had an accident inside because clearly, he wasn’t quite feeling himself just yet.
As I started to lift him, however, I realized that he had urinated on himself and was also urinating on my arm.
As any mom would, I steadied him, made sure he was finished and brought him inside.
…where he walked into the wall and stood, completely disoriented, waiting for me to do something.
So I guided him over to his bed, lay him down and lay with him.
His CRT was fine, his gums pink, his breathing normal.
Part of me justified that he hadn’t fully recovered from his syncope episode, that he was just exhausted, disoriented, and still getting his bearings. I watched him all night, lying beside him, my hand on his chest, just in case.
We made it through to morning.
This morning, Jet seemed a little more like himself, although still a little off. He didn’t eat more than a mouthful of breakfast.
Come 5:20pm I was exhausted from not sleeping, so I lay with Jet, spooning him on the couch. By 5:45pm I was awake again. Jet was trembling, shivering, with every inhale.
At first, I thought he was cold, so I covered him with a blanket.
He continued trembling.
I got off the couch and came around in front of him. He leaned up on his elbow and now I could see that as he trembled with each inhale, his neck muscles tightened. Almost as though he were having a focal seizure or stroke.
I lay him flat and soothed him and waited for his dad to get home.
As soon as Jet’s dad walked in the door I told him, as calmly as I could, “something is wrong.”
He came over and observed for a few moments. He then lifted Jet onto his own bed.
The trembling stopped.
Jet has been on his bed ever since.
I managed to get him to eat a few more kibble pieces, but nothing huge.
I want to think that his lack of appetite is due to the extra treats he had last night from an overly stressed out mommy.
I want to.
But in the back of my head, all I can think is the saying that “food is for the living“.
Is this it?
Is this where my shadow and I part ways?
Or is this a panicked and guilty mom who can’t think straight because she can’t find a fast enough way to afford to check in with our vet?