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Severe degenerative bone disease in elderly dog

Discussion in 'Dog Health' started by Rubylove2005, Jun 13, 2020.

  1. Rubylove2005

    Rubylove2005 New Member Registered

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    Ruby will be 15 years old next Saturday, 20th June.

    18 months ago she was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, in early December 2018. She responded really well to treatment and it was only months later than her vet revealed they hadn't thought she was going to survive more than a couple of weeks.

    With monitoring and fluids via drip when needed, plus a restricted diet, she's continued to do really well. Apart from losing most of her hearing, she seemed really well and happy, as well as extremely energetic for a dog her age.

    Just last Wednesday she was running full speed around the marshes, seemingly fully fit and happy.

    On Thursday at around 4pm I noticed her panting heavily and shaking all over. It seemed to come on quite suddenly, and for no reason.

    My neighbour drove us to the vets (it's about a 45 minute drive away, and I am not a driver) where at first they were also mystified. Until, during the consultation, she suddenly started to show a pronounced limp.

    She was kept in overnight for fluids to prepare her kidneys, so that on Friday she could be sedated and Xrayed. The Xrays show severe degenerative bone disease in both her front legs, with joint mice in one elbow.

    She now on tramadol (can't have non-steroidal anti-inflammatories due to kidney disease) and I'm not to let her exercise at all - strictly only very short outings on the lead to toilet and I'm to keep even that to a minimum.

    We'll be seeing the vet again next Friday, to discuss options. He said there are really three options available - one being just continued pain medication and minimal exercise, one being that plus laser therapy, and lastly there is a surgical option (arthroscopy). I don't want to put her through surgery, so really I'm thinking laser therapy is most like, alongside pain meds.

    I'm devastated. Particularly thinking about how advanced he said it is, and that she must have been in pain but not showing it for so long, and also thinking she'll never be allowed to run free again.

    She cried a bit this morning when she woke up, but I gave her the tramadol with her breakfast and she hasn't seemed to be in any pain since, just sleeping a lot.

    I don't really know what I am asking here, even, I'm so sad I just can't think straight at all. I know nobody can predict the future for me, and nobody can make the decisions for me either.

    I'm gutted that there is no more local vets I could take her to, because I think the journeys in themselves are stressful for her. I don't know whether to put her through multiple trips to the vets for the laser therapy, and I don't know what her quality of life can be without being able to exercise.

    I live alone with her, and can't even have visitors come and give her cuddles due to the virus etc.

    If anyone has been through anything similar, and/or has words of advice, or comfort, I would really welcome them right now. I feel very overwhelmed and scared I'm not going to be able to cope. I don't know if I trust myself to make decisions for her and don't know how I'll know what the right decision is. I feel very alone with it all right now.

    I have ordered some Yumove for her, which is supposed to help with joints (glucosamine etc), and I will give her that from now on, but of course I'm kicking myself for not having given her that earlier in her life.
     
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  3. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    How dreadfully difficult this must be for you right now. I don't have any advice but others with more experience will be along soon, I'm sure.

    Just one thing - single people are now able to form 'social bubbles' with one other household - is it possible you have a trusted friend or relation you could get together with, to give you support and Ruby cuddles? It would mean that they couldn't then 'buddy up' with another single person.
     
  4. Rubylove2005

    Rubylove2005 New Member Registered

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    Thank you very much for your reply.

    One friend has offered to come over on Monday and sit on my balcony, with a mask, keeping two metres apart. I don't think they're up for fully doing the social bubble thing but I will talk to them about it then. They work as a nurse, and they don't live alone, so it's a bit complicated for them.e

    My other closest friend is out of town, for the duration of the lockdown.

    It's not a bad idea though and I will give it some more thought.

    Thanks again and best wishes.
     
    JudyN likes this.
  5. Ragsysmum

    Ragsysmum Member Registered

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    I know it's hard but you need to consider her quality of life and how much she might be suffering. If it's time for her to leave you then you must be strong for her sake. Always believe a day too soon is better than a day too late.
     
    Biker John and Hemlock like this.
  6. Hemlock

    Hemlock Active Member Registered

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    I am so sorry you are having to go through this. I can't offer advice because only you can decide what you are best to do. I'm offering cyberhugs and empathy.
     

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