I am sad for the anguish you all are going through. I hate it when it gets to the point that you have to think about things you don't want to think about.I'm sitting here @0530 next to Spock, on his favorite loveseat and he's finally getting a sound sleep after another terrible night. :|
Sorry to introduce a down post in the normally upbeat Chicken Thread, but I feel comfortable discussing Spock's recent decline here with my chicken peeps. Later, I'll start a new thread for both Spock and Eva in the Doberman Health forum. (also, sorry for long post)
After Bug's response to my initial Spock posts about his coughing, we decided to go to 2nd vet after all, yesterday morning, since the onset of his symptoms came so suddenly on Sunday morning. (I ponder now, that his "night terror" incidents of 5th and 15th August might have been two precursor cardiac events)
Spock and Eva's regular vet for more than 8 years suddenly left the clinic just a short while ago and didn't tell anyone where she was going! I even emailed her with Spock's symptoms on Sunday and stated we would be coming in first thing Monday to clinic for exam. When we got there, a new DVM was present, very nice, but apparently inexperienced with Dobes or DCM. We got the prescription for the Doxycycline antibiotic and proceeded home, but still unsure about cough? As mentioned in previous post the antibiotic appeared to work and lessened frequency and depth of his severe coughing spells over Monday night.
On Tuesday morning, we had our normal round the block walk and pondered going to 2nd vet, who our breeder has used for many years. Spock started out at this vet as a puppy for a couple years. Got first appointment available in morning and took. Lady DVM there, very experienced, middle to late age examined Spock, who by that time in mid morning hadn't had a coughing spell for an hour. We explained about coming to rule in/out CHF DCM for Spock, as previous new vet just said lung infection. Did chest X-ray, EKG, followed by Echo gram of heart using Oncura remote diagnostics equipment. DVM says looks initially like cardiac problem. We'll get full Oncura report this morning. Good note: DVM & techs as second vet's office all loved Spock, didn't need any sedative for scary X-ray or ultrasound machines, just acted very calm.
As Bug has described in the numerous DCM threads, this disease can only be detected by Echograms or 24 hr. Holter monitoring, before symptoms start By then it's rather late to prevent, as in Spock's case, and can only be treated to prolong the inevitable.
2nd Vet issued Lasix and Vetmedin for Spock to start on when I went back to pick him up, near closing time of 6PM. At this point Spock was just about free of any coughing events and acting almost normal, except being at vet's office most of the day. Spock didn't eat much food for dinner after coming home and I did a stupid thing... Started him on two new medications at once and after normal vet hours!..:frown3:
The Lasix is just a diuretic to reduce fluid retention, but the Vetmedin are big honkin' horse pills that directly affect heart pumping and blood flow. About 30 minutes after giving him the medications he started having dry heaves, but no discharge, every 5 minutes. Also, some drooling and bit of foaming at mouth. I felt terrible to have caused him additional anguish over the coughing he already had.
This lasted for 7 hours which Spock was like a zombie Dobe, wouldn't drink, eat or settle down. His ears were in fixed semi up position and didn't respond normally to us. Every time he tried to lay down for a bit, he'd end up getting up to dry heave in corner of room. Frequency lessened so we decided to ride it out. I walked him many times around yard and in front of house. Curiously, Spock resorted back to his puppy digging habits, maybe out of frustration with this condition, so I kept him on a lead outside.
After midnight it stopped, no more heaving, he started normal Dober whining, which was actually good to hear- no more zombie Dobe. He started drinking water then and we went outside for his FIRST pee since nausea started many hours prior, even with Lasix! Finally by 2AM he was able to lay down and sleep. Spock is obviously intolerant of the Vetmedin medication.
Back to vet this morning, after Spock recharges. Needless to say, I'm devastated by his rapid decline in health, but not surprised due to his age. His indomitable Doberman spirit is being drained from him in front of our eyes. I almost wish he might just pass peacefully in his sleep at night, so we don't have to face him on that dreadful day, in the near future, when the big decision is made for him.... :crying:
Spock's now awakening and showing me his belly for a rub, even in his poor condition, showing his truly loving, sweet nature... :2smile:
Epilogue: To compound situation, Eva has resumed up an occasional cough again last night, very minor compared to Spock' coughing two days ago. Both are same age, so we knew up front this was likely when adopting her in 2012.
My girl Ktrin had cancer and I hung on to her too long. I promised myself I would never do that again. That's why I felt better about my decision to have Axel and Stryker put down.
Hugs to you and yours!