We had a close call this week.
All y'all know Brodie is an old girl. She's 13. She has outlived her two brothers, Jack and Gonzo, and made the trip with us to DC to continue her life.
Old is hard. And if you're 13 well on your way to 14, things happen.
In the fall she started peeing and pooping in the house. I took her to the vet, they did a lot of bloodwork and tests and thought she had Cushings disease. More testing to determine which kind of Cushings it was (so they could prescribe the right meds), and no conclusive results found. The vet said that she's just kind of old and encouraged us to limit her access to the parts of the house where she was going and making a mess, and for us to take her out more frequently to help combat her urgest and needs.
On Thursday morning, I took her out before I left for Vermont to see some band named Guster (heh). She fell down a couple of times which is very unlike her. I brought her in, she went to sleep. Geoff texted me before he left for work and said she fell down the stairs to the back porch and she didn't pee or poop outside. I was in the car somewhere in upstate New York at that point, so I told Doug to keep an eye on her.
He said Thursday she was restless and paced the house, didn't sleep hardly at all. Geoff was home all day Friday and reported that she didn't pee or poop all day.
This was concerning. Doug kept an eye on her, and didn't tell me anything was happening - and I enjoyed my Guster experience with my friends and "GusFam" in Vermont.
When I got home Sunday night, she didn't greet me at the door. I did some dishes that were left behind, I made a snack. I sat down to read email to get started for the work week ahead and she finally came out of the bedroom.
She then began to pace. And pace. And pace and pace and pace - all night. Literally from Midnight until 7am, she paced the house. I thought she needed to go out. I took her. She did nothing but walk in circles around the yard. I made sure her water was clean and fresh and her food dish filled, but she had no interest. I called the vet at 7:30am, and they asked me to bring her in.
Her temperature was 104.8, which is much higher than it should be. The doctor said that he wanted us to give her oral antibiotics, and take her temperature and get back to him. Over two days, the temp didn't drop and he was very concerned because all of her blood work indicated nothing abnormal. "She's perfect," he said. Literally for a 13 year old dog, all her numbers were just fine. Why is she running this "fever of unknown origin." He asked me to bring her back in on Wednesday morning. They hooked her up to an IV, and got her hydrated, and full of antibiotics, and continued to monitor her.
He asked me to call him at 2:30pm and we'd see where we were. As the next day was going to be a holiday office closure, so we knew she couldn't stay there. And we needed a plan if her fever would not budge.
At 2:30pm, she still had the very high fever, and the vet and I had a practical heart to heart. We could transfer her to the emergency vet, and she could spend the holiday at their office with 24 hour care.
Or, we could just bring her home, get through the Thanksgiving holiday, continue the antibiotics, and if she still wasn't dropping we could let her go. Doug agreed.
I left work early, met up with Geoff for a beer to talk about the plan. He understood and said we'd give her the best last 24 hours she could handle. I agreed. We talked about how since 1993, there was never a day in my life when I didn't have at least one dog. He said since the day he was born he didn't have at least one dog... we cried a little.
He drank a little too much (he had a head start on me before I got to him) and was sad. I dropped him off at home, and I went to the market. Doug had not done any Thanksgiving shopping while I was in Vermont, and we were so focused on the dog, that we were unprepared. So we needed some something for dinner I guess.
As I was sadly dumping bags of stuffing and cranberries into the cart with no joy, no giddy anticipation, the vet called to report that her temp is 103.3... the fever broke. He wanted to keep her to 8pm to get another bag of antibiotics into her - but he wanted to release her to us, get through Thursday with two oral meds, and see how she was on Friday.
Her temp continued to drop through the next 24 hours. I'm completely impressed at how well Doug can give pills to dogs because hell I sure can't. And Geoff sure can't (Lord knows, he tried...).
We opted to ... not put her to sleep. Her appetite had improved, mostly because we were feeding her hamburger and white rice since she wasn't touching her own food and the vet highly recommended we do that.
It is such a relief that I didn't have to put my dog to sleep and then drive up to see Guster. I don't know that I could handle putting her down and then going to listen to my band. the sadness would suck. The spending time with friends would be in a fog.
Doug texted me yesterday that her temp is 101.5, which is in the range of safety. We have antibiotics to get through to Wednesday - and will consult with the vet tomorrow to make sure we know how long to continue giving them to her.
And I get to go home tomorrow to my pupper. What a relief.