End of life health for Chows

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Gabe'smom
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End of life health for Chows

Postby Gabe'smom » Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:49 am

Hello guys. It's been quite some time since I've posted. My Chow Gabe is a few months shy of 12 years old. He has arthritis in his back end for sure. Other than that he has been a generally healthy dog. Recently he has started to have difficulty pooping. I think mostly because of the pain in his back end when he is squatting. Two times last week he pooped in the house. He never ever does that. Then Sunday morning he was on the floor and began making weird movements and scratching his front paws....and then he had a bowel movement while laying down and didn't get up. We have had several instances where he needed help getting up off the wood floor and another instance where he pooped while he was laying down. It's now very runny. He has always been terrified of the vet and I have found a mobile vet that comes to the house. This was my first call to her and it was amazing...he loved her. He had a fever. She took some blood work, gave him a pain shot and and antibiotic shot and gave me some pills to continue giving him. He does appear to feel much better. About two days ago he stopped eating his dog food. He still takes cheese, treats and scrambled eggs but doesn't seem interested in the food still. My question is has anyone had an older Chow get this ill and recover. I have some hope that this won't be the end, but I am trying to keep myself together since this last week has been so heartbreaking. When the time comes whether in two days or two years, I am feeling blessed to have found this wonderful vet who will come to Gabe's home. I could not even think of how terrible that last trip to the vet would have been. So, let me know if anyone has a good story or other info you think might help us through this very hard time. PS My cat went missing on Wednesday as well. Terrible week.

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Re: End of life health for Chows

Postby Gabe'smom » Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:36 pm

The blood work is back and she suspects Cushings Disease. She tells me the meds are expensive and they have sometimes worse side effects than the disease. Urine sample can help rule it out, She wants to do this because the interaction of the pain meds with the natural produced streroids could cause gastric ulcers. Anyone have experience here?

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Re: End of life health for Chows

Postby ski » Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:59 am

I am so sorry to her about Gabe's problems. Our male chow, Loki, is also 12 and has a variety of health issues including severe arthritis of the spine and back hip. When we rescued him he needed surgery in his back leg and it has always been a problem for him. That was ten years ago but the last two years have been tough for Loki.
he has other issues as well, including liver and thyroid disease. He receives shots of adequan every few weeks which helps him be more mobile. I also have him on a low protein diet to aid his liver issues. It has been a tough few years but he is doing better and I feel has a good quality of life, although sometimes getting up on all fours create a problem for him. I had problems getting him to eat so I started to make him braised chicken thighs in salt free broth and add rice and vegetables or sweet potatoes. He loves it and has finally started finishing his dinner. Last visit to the vet he actually gained three pounds after losing weight. We take each day as it comes and I am grateful that he still enjoys his walks and meals. I wish you luck and improved health for Gabe.

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Re: End of life health for Chows

Postby Gabe'smom » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:10 am

Thank you! I am now making chicken and eggs for Gabe as well since he is not interested in his dog food. We are going to manage his pain with meds and keeping him off the stairs and steep hills we have. We also will be taking one day at a time.....I am going to try the sweet potatoes too!!

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Re: End of life health for Chows

Postby ski » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:02 am

Along with his injection, Loki takes tramadol and gabapentin for pain and it is very effective.

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Re: End of life health for Chows

Postby Gabe'smom » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:29 am

Just picked up his prescription for Tramadol. My vet changed it to this due to her concern about cushings disease and the high levels of steroids his body is developing if that is what he has. What is the other med you mentioned?

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Re: End of life health for Chows

Postby ski » Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:34 pm

We give Loki four tramadol a day, or two every eight hours. At bedtime he gets a gabapentin which I call "his super pain med". It enables him to have a a good night's sleep and is a great pain manager. He has been on this routine for over a year. He also takes a liver med and thyroid medication. Prior to the pain management he was restless and had excessive panting. He had a liver biopsy over a year ago that indicated liver disease, although not cancer, but they are not sure what it is. All I know is that our vet has done an amazing job turning him around. Over a year ago I was desperate as I could 't stand to see him so uncomfortable. He walks (or meanders, unless he sees a deer) for at least a half hour every morning and several shorter walks during the day. He has a pin in his hip due to his early years when we rescued him and that accounts for his severe arthritis in his hip but his spine is also severe. Be positive...Loki has improved more than I had hoped. He takes stairs slowly but, as I mentioned, his appetite has returned and he seems to have a good quality of life. We have made adjustments...we have a ramp to get him in and out of the car and he even allows us to pick him up on occasion. Hang in there!!!!!

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Re: End of life health for Chows

Postby Gabe'smom » Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:03 pm

Hi Ski, I just wanted to thank you for your kind words. Gabe is doing much much better. I can't believe it, I was sure that was the end. We are able to manage his arthritis pain with the Tramdol and I am feeding him the chicken, vege brown rice mix. We still walk every morning and he is controlling all bodily functions and sleeping well. I just wanted to thank you for talking to me when I was completely hopeless. Best, Angela and Gabriel

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Re: End of life health for Chows

Postby ski » Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:33 am

You made my day! I am so happy to hear Gabe is improving. As I write this I have a chow asleep on y feet. Our chows are very resilient. Don't underestimate them!! Prayers and good wishes coming your way

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kingalls
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Re: End of life health for Chows

Postby kingalls » Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:45 am

:D Glad to hear Gave is better and eating good =D= What has the vet diagnosed?
Karen, Kohana, Takoda, and our Chow Angels Nahkohe and Shiloh

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JasonandNat
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Re: End of life health for Chows

Postby JasonandNat » Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:52 am

Awesome news. ;)


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