I spend a lot of time here writing about general health concerns and topics that I have either experienced or am passionate about. As I have slowly begun to increase those types of articles, however, I have posted less and less about my sweet boy. So today I want to talk about Jet.
You may remember from my last update, that we had pinpointed his worsening syncope episodes to his Vetmedin. At the time, we halved his Vetmedin dose and saw an immediate stop to his syncope episodes.
The reason we cut his medication in half rather than stopping immediately is because many drugs have negative side effects related to withdrawal. We obviously wanted to avoid this, so we halved his dose.
Currently, however, Jet is no longer taking Vetmedin. This is something we have yet to clear with his vet (please don’t follow my example), but our financial situation, while improving, is still not to a point where we can afford additional vet visits or the $100 a month for Vetmedin at a halved dose.
So, how is he doing now that he’s off Vetmedin?
We added Vetmedin when Jet began coughing more from his heart disease and an ultrasound showed a slight decrease in the strength of his heart muscle.
Since removing the Vetmedin, though, not only are we no longer experiencing those awful syncope episodes, but Jet is not coughing either.
He still takes his Enalapril twice daily and we have moved him to a lower sodium diet.This decrease in sodium content is the only other thing that has changed aside from removing the Vetmedin, so I would hesitantly say that this has had a positive impact on his heart’s function.
When it comes to his hind legs, we are still struggling. Jet has good days and bad, but these days the bad days are harder than they used to be. Still, the good days outnumber the bad, and he is in no pain, so we are thankful for that.
The weakness in his hind end is also what has contributed to his partial fecal incontinence. We still struggle with this, but on most days, a firm routine keeps accidents from happening and we use diapers at bedtime as a “just in case” measure.
Over the past few months, there have been a few moments where I have questioned if it’s “time”. Each time I ask myself that question, though, Jet lets me know that he’s not ready, so we are still taking things one day at a time.
I find myself wondering if he is hanging on for me or if I am hanging on to him, but in those moments of uncertainty, I take stock.
- Is he still enjoying his food?
- Is he in pain?
- Does he have a desire to live?
- Does he enjoy the things he always has?
When I ask these questions, the answer always leads me to the same conclusion – it’s not time yet.
Yes, he has accidents in the house and yes, some days it’s hard to get up, but as long as he is still happy, still enjoying his life with us, still lifts his nose to the afternoon sun and takes a big, deep, thankful breath in…then how can I say it’s time?
I know that the time will come sooner rather than later.
I know that one day the answers to those questions will lead me down another avenue.
But for today, we’re still here, still living moment to moment and making the best of the time we have left.