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Author Topic: The hits just keep coming.....(sad post)  (Read 685 times)

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Offline Wilbur

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The hits just keep coming.....(sad post)
« on: June 29, 2017, 11:34:02 AM »
So my Dad died a year ago. Cancer took him but at 84 he had lived a good life. Still difficult to lose your Dad and especially hard to see him at the end and what the cancer had done to him.

My MIL has been handicapped for years, she had a growth of blood vessels that unfortunately for her was in her spine at the base of her neck. Anywhere else and Dr.'s could have just cut it out. But the location prevented them from truly helping her although she had some revolutionary surgeries which did help. But the slow march of time as the AVM impinged on her nerves caused paralysis on her right side, and that slowly spread throughout her body.

Then a few years ago she got dementia and while she never got to the stage of truly not knowing who was around her, it was a challenge and many times left my wife in tears. Her past two years have been in a nursing home under constant care and ultimately she has been bedridden for the past 6 months or so. About three weeks ago my wife got a call that she was spitting up some blood and the nursing home didn't know what was causing it and wanted her sent to the ER. They did that and my wife met them at the ER (her father was there as well as he spent every day at the nursing home with his wife).

Sadly the Doc's knew she had internal bleeding but also knew she would not survive an operation to try to stop it and she died there with my wife and FIL at her side. While we knew the long term prognosis was not a good one, it all happened so quickly it shocked everyone a bit. We had the funeral and it was really sad. This was a beautiful tall elegant woman who loved to dance, was super bright and the diseases she contracted left her just a shell. But I was also glad we avoided the long term effects of the dementia and where that can lead. Her funeral was 2-1/2 weeks ago.

About a week ago I was working at a client site and got a call that Nica (our GSD) couldn't get up. My son had to help her as her back legs wouldn't work. He helped her up but they were crossing etc. The vet was closing so we brought her to a local vet school ER. There they went down the road of DM (Degenerative Myelopathy which is a genetic mutation in some breeds including GSD's that causes the nerves in the spine to die due to inflammation). We had blood drawn and sent off to a lab for testing. We followed up the next day with our vet. (I also had contacted our breeder who said that DM is almost never found in East German shepherds and has never been in her bloodlines- but I do think it makes sense to err on the side of caution with a breeder even though I really like this one).

Our vet did not feel it was DM as it was not symmetrical (her right leg was worse than her left). They felt it was a disk related issue such as a slipped disk or some other disk issue. They took x-rays but it didn't show them a lot- they could definitely see signs of growth on her vertebrae but that was her body trying to "strengthen" the areas, and there was nothing that jumped out at them as being the cause of the paralysis. They had us go to a neurologist for a MRI to get a definitive diagnosis and determination of what could be done.

So yesterday was the MRI. Well the results were not what we had hoped....she has cancer in her spine and more than one growth. The cancer has grown up into her spinal column and is pressing the on the nerves causing the paralysis. She referred us to a oncologist but I don't believe that is in the cards. She is 12 and to go to extraordinary measures for maybe an additional 6 months just doesn't make sense to me. Plus the pain and recovery for her.

This is my wife's first dog and has been her constant companion at home. Every day she went with her on walks. She has been to the beach, mountain climbing, camping, hiking, going to soccer and lacrosse games. When strangers came to the house Nica was right there watching intently and keeping her "family" safe. (We have a command of "place" where she has to be in contact with her mat. She can be standing or sitting or whatever as long as she is touching the mat. But it is also a very easy "release" should that be necessary. Not that she has been attack trained or anything but her presence is just helpful when the odd delivery guy shows up or whatever). She has definitely been our furry four legged child.

Last night my wife spent a lot of time with Nica and after she was just sobbing. She said Nica is "gone" and the dog that would look at you with eyes saying "lets go outside" "lets go play" etc. has been replaced by a sad, old dog who lays there with her head on her forelegs. So hard to see. I was sort of "at this point" a few days ago but my wife seemed to come to the realization last night that prolonging this just to try to help is not the right course of action. The neurologist had given us prednisone to see if that helps reduce the inflammation and helps. But it does not appear to have done anything. Our oldest is coming home this weekend and I think we will need to say our goodbyes. It really sucks. And coming so closely on top of my MIL's passing its just all that much harder, especially for my wife.   

But I want to remember Nica as she was. A couple of years ago we went on a camping trip in the White Mountains of NH. We were at the top of Mount Washington by the cog railway when I grabbed this shot of her. THIS is Nica, not the poor tired broken dog we see right now.  :embarrassed:



Offline cj7ox

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Re: The hits just keep coming.....(sad post)
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2017, 11:41:47 AM »
That sucks, Wilbur. I've been there. I will definitely be keeping you, and you family in my prayers.
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Offline EL TATE

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Re: The hits just keep coming.....(sad post)
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2017, 12:03:17 PM »
Wilbur, I'm a big ol' softy when it comes to pups. I'm actually teary and choked up reading this post. I look at dogs like small children, innocent and full of unconditional love, incapable of sin, gifts from God. I have less trouble with the passing of people than I do Dogs. I refuse to watch Marley & me, ol' yeller, where the red fern grows, anything like that. I truly feel your pain and hope that you find comfort in those memories. In my mind, Sam is still bouncing up and down chattering her teeth because we racked the shotgun but hadn't started walking to the duck blind yet. God bless and comfort you and your family.
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Offline Dawg25385

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Re: The hits just keep coming.....(sad post)
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2017, 01:52:29 PM »
So sorry to hear this. Will be praying for you guys


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Offline stlaser

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Re: The hits just keep coming.....(sad post)
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2017, 04:07:10 PM »
Sorry Wilbur, that sucks. Prayers headed your way.
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Online Bigdave_185

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Re: The hits just keep coming.....(sad post)
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2017, 04:14:36 PM »
Best of wishes WiLbur


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Offline Sammconn

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Re: The hits just keep coming.....(sad post)
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2017, 04:15:02 PM »
Wilbur, I'm a big ol' softy when it comes to pups. I'm actually teary and choked up reading this post. I look at dogs like small children, innocent and full of unconditional love, incapable of sin, gifts from God. I have less trouble with the passing of people than I do Dogs. I refuse to watch Marley & me, ol' yeller, where the red fern grows, anything like that. I truly feel your pain and hope that you find comfort in those memories. In my mind, Sam is still bouncing up and down chattering her teeth because we racked the shotgun but hadn't started walking to the duck blind yet. God bless and comfort you and your family.
Totally with ya tater.
This really sucks, thoughts and prayers for all of you.
Very tough time, and you need to remember all the good ones.
Beautiful picture of the 'happy' Nica.
I just don't want to wind up missing a digit or limb.  I can sometimes get in a hurry to get results.
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Offline cudakidd53

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Re: The hits just keep coming.....(sad post)
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2017, 05:26:03 PM »
Sorry to hear of the pain this is causing all of you, including Nica.  Dogs tend to go way too soon for my liking, and it always sucks when it's well before their expected time.  They give their all - if only people were more like dogs, the world would be a happier place!

God Bless you all!
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Online KensAuto

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Re: The hits just keep coming.....(sad post)
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2017, 05:26:41 PM »
I'm sorry for your family Wilbur. I'll send some prayers.
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Offline cruizng

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The hits just keep coming.....(sad post)
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2017, 10:35:42 PM »
Wilbur,  sorry you and wife are having to go through this. It really is tough and wife and have have been through several as well. They are every bit a part of your family.  Praying for you.


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« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 10:36:32 PM by cruizng »
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Offline Wilbur

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Re: The hits just keep coming.....(sad post)
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2017, 10:43:16 PM »
Thanks all...I really appreciate it. Just really hard, but we will get past it. Thank you for the prayers- they are very much appreciated.

Offline TexasRedNeck

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Re: The hits just keep coming.....(sad post)
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2017, 05:56:14 AM »
Sorry Wilbur. God gave us domain over all the animals and that includes putting them in our charge as pets and friends.  The comfort they give us and our families is a gift from Him.


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Offline Flyin6

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Re: The hits just keep coming.....(sad post)
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2017, 09:33:52 PM »
Just getting back to civilization and catching up

Will, sorry for all this happening to us.

To lose a friend and a dog can be such a good friend is so very hard to bear. And especially in light of the family menbers who have recently passed.

You will get through it. Earthly life is temporary, and not very long. Dwell on the happy times and the good thoughts. Pray often...actually, just talk to God like he was your best friend.
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