Just got back from taking Stevie the Wonder dog to the vet. He's been wandering around the house, mostly trying to stay close to me, and whining for the last 24 hours. The only time it stopped was when I upped his morphine dose, which resulted in a sound sleep for Stevie (and for me) for the first time in weeks. The cancer in his sinuses makes it very difficult for him to breathe while he's sleeping, as dogs don't normally breathe through their mouths when they are at rest. So he'd thrash around all night making some truly yucky noises in his nose and throat while trying to breathe. It was impossible to sleep in the same room with him because it was loud and very distressful.
Last night, after he had been whining a lot, and hadn't eaten for a couple days, I decided I'd better give him more than the usual dose of morphine. Miracle of miracles, he crawled up onto my bed and slept the night through without a peep. But as soon as he woke up he started whining again.
He is favoring his hindquarters, and seemed to have pulled a muscle in a rear leg and was limping pretty badly for a while. Standing with his tail curled under and a very sad look on his face, he wasn't a happy camper.
However, looks and even behavior can be deceiving.
While we were having the Celtic Jam last night he was in the back yard. Suddenly I got a phone call that my dog was at the house next door!
A friendly woman answered my knock and said, "You must be Stevie's mother!" There was a truly george-mongus (hugh's bigger brother) golden retriever with her. Stevie came out looking pretty excited. We introduced ourselves.
"I looked out in back and suddenly there he was," Wanda, the neighbor, said. "Sandy," she patted her giant, brown-eyed sweetie, "and Stevie were just playing up a storm out there!"
Hmmmmm. I thought. So he's playing like crazy with a giant retriever, eh? Can't be TOO sick.
After the vet took two X-rays and a blood panel, our conclusion was that Stevie was suffering from doggie overexertion of old muscles. Not that he and The Pig didn't dash back and forth constantly when they played, but I think the wrestling-type play he did yesterday, plus jumping out of the pickup truck, may have pulled something.
There is no sign of spreading cancer in his belly. His guts are clear and he can pee fine. (I'm glad, because I wouldn't want him to rupture, that would be awful.) His bloodwork comes back like that of a young, healthy dog! (He's 16 and until this cancer, no one would believe it until they saw his teeth.) We think he just has the cancer in his sinuses as the only significant illness.
He sure had ME fooled. I thought he was about to fall apart. I guess we'll have to wait and see how he's doing day by day. As long as he wants to play and eat and can get around, we'll let him do just that.