Ramble On

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Diary of Gracie's Canine Renal Failure - 10

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I was away last weekend working on chores at the cabin; Jim had to stay at home to catch-up on some office work. We decided to leave the girls with him to reduce their travel stress and to give me a break from the demanding routine of caring for Gracie. Jim administered the correct meds, fluids, and food but Gracie started to refuse food by Sunday, August 23rd. For probably more than a year she has howled on occasion if I have left her even to run errands and she has always been very close to me, following me from room to room and being my constant companion as I work in my home office.

I was able to get her to eat a small bit but her appetite had definitely fallen off to almost nothing. I decided to take her to the vet to have her blood tested to see what we were dealing with and if her meds needed to be adjusted. We saw the vet today. Gracie seems fatigued but her weight seems stable, which may be the result of being weighed in a different exam room.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Gracie’s test results came back and her numbers have risen. Her BUN has gone from 82 to 117, creatinine from 3.5 to 4.3, but most troubling, her blood pressure has risen from 160 to over 200. In response, we have increased her amplodipine dosage from 1 tablet to 1.5 tablets every 12 hours for the high blood pressure, and will begin daily administration of 500 ml of fluids. The doctor has advised us that at this point it is probably best to let her eat whatever she wants just to keep her from starving, even if the food isn’t on the strict diet. The vet also advised stopping the AlternaGel dosages with her food since forcing the liquid medicine down her throat with the oral syringe at meal time is probably not helping her at this point.

I have begun to feed Gracie grilled or fried hamburger, about 4 to 6 ozs. per meal. She will sometimes take penne pasta cut up in small pieces. I also try to entice her with some “maximum calorie” dog food provided by the vet that they give to sick dogs recovering in the hospital. Everything must be hand-fed or given to her in small amounts on the floor as she lies in the kitchen. She will no longer stand and eat from a bowl. Chicken, rice, baby food, even bread are no longer palatable to her. She will still accept small bites of Iams weight control dog biscuits, but it is now a struggle to get her to take her meds in the pill pockets or in the G3 Chews. She seems to have the most problem with the tramadol tablets; I have to break them up and put the pieces in separate pill pockets so she doesn’t have to chew them – their taste is something Gracie definitely does not like.

This situation is not good and I am trying to accept the fact that our long journey with Gracie along this difficult path of canine renal disease may be coming to an end. I will work hard to keep her with us but the disease can not be reversed and it is taking its toll on our dear girl. She still seems engaged and happy and not in pain but she is losing strength by the day.

No comments: