Tuesday, November 12, 2013

When your dog has more medications than your husband

There is an email that floats around every so often, I'm sure you have all seen it. It has to do with getting older and caring for things more, one of the lines is 'an old dog with bad hips.' Well, we have an old dog with a bad heart, something her cousin, 14 year old Buster, succumbed to a month ago, shortly after we were at their house for the Viking Cousin weekend.

Sadie is 12 1/2, an old age for a big dog. She is half collie, half german shepherd and we got her when she was about 4 months old. She drove Buddy Collie crazy, the old dog, by worrying his back leg all the time, especially when he was running. There he'd be, on three legs, Sadie carrying a back leg. I don't know how he stood it. But we didn't have a problem with her chewing up things, she chewed on Buddy all the time.

Sadie did have her heroic moment when she let us know Buddy fell in a well pit in the middle of the winter! Buddy, who was pretty arthritic at the time, was never the same after that.

Buddy, a.k.a. chicken killer, Collie, had a reputation so I wanted Sadie to learn right off the bat that the chickens were our friends. Her job was to carry the egg basket and she took it to heart.

When our niece, Kaiza, was here one day, she took the basket out of the house and headed for the chicken coop. Sadie came along side her and took the basket right out of her hand.
"That's MY job!"
Mollie doesn't know that the gator was Sadie's first.
Just as Buddy Collie had to put up with a pesky Sadie, she had to put up with Mollie when she was a baby, but she took it all in good humor.
Sadie was very good with Bonnie and Clyde.
For the last month, Sadie has not been feeling well, it started with an annoying cough that was diagnosed as Kennel Cough. Even though she has not been near a kennel or strange dogs here. After a month of antibiotics, she was no better. I could tell this weekend, she was getting worse.
I know she wasn't eating much, coughing and clearing her throat and panting excessively, even though it's quite cold. Monday morning I got an appointment for later in the day. What worried me most, and Bruce agreed, she was acting like Buster when we were at Tom and Carol's.
When Steve weighed Sadie, we could see she had lost 15# since we were there in June and 10 of it since I had her there in Sept. He was very concerned about her panting and thought it was heart related. The ultrasound machine was out on a job but when it was back in the office they would do an ultrasound and take some x-rays of her heart. Steve said he'd call when they were done and I could bring her home.
It is just as they thought, she has a big, flabby heart with something else in the lymph nodes above it that wasn't very clear. She also has an abscessed tooth in the back, one of her grinders and that was adding a lot of discomfort for her.
So Sadie came home with 3 new medications to add to the 2 she takes now. Bruce takes 4.
She also came home with a case of canned prescription food to stimulate her appetite and it's doing the job. I made little meatballs with the pills inside and give the rest of the can mixed in her dry food soaked to soften it. She loves it.
It's amazing what a difference a day makes, Sadie has a comfy bed in the garage and she is really sleeping well, no more heavy breathing. I don't think she was sleeping very well either and now she is catching up. Sadie had 3 meals today and even wagged her tail, she hasn't done that in quite some time.
I'm not kidding myself, she is still 12 1/2 and on heart medicine, but we do what we can for our faithful companions to give them the best life we can.
I don't think I'll be taking any vacations soon.


  1. how wonderful for you that you could help her out, Julie!! You're never ready to let them go and now she's bounding back, isn't it a relief??? we looked at a puppy yesterday and he was ALL PUPPIE, scratched my face from nose to lip and was pulling on Tom's beard with his very sharp little teeth. We're not sure we are 'young enough' to handle a pup!! I hope Sadie keeps getting better and better, love ya - CG

  2. Good Old Sadie - she has been a good dog, carrying your basket for eggs and all. I'm glad she is feeling better so soon. Love your stories............

  3. Sadie is living her dream.......keeping you happy and being your friend.

  4. Sadie is doing better everyday, this morning she was actually frisking with Mollie. Her tooth is better, the tissue pink and healthy. We take it a day at a time.

  5. I was wondering how Sadie was doing, but was almost afraid to ask. It is good when the Dr can finally find the problem and that there is medicine that she can take to help her along. Hope she continues to improve.

  6. I echo everyone else's sentiments, we don't need 3 of us French members losing our 4 legged children within months of each other!! Hopefully she can be kept comfortable and stay around for a while yet! Sounds like you caught it fairly early at least! BEAUTIFUL PICTURES of your girls........