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Tuesday, September 10th, 2013...10:40 PM

I need a pick me up (stolen from my post on the forum)

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I am so busy at work, and I totally don’t have time to be posting… but every so often, you just need some distractions, right?

I try not to stress or worry about things I can’t control, and I don’t even know if “worry” is the right word. Sadness? Melancholoy?

I noted that Sam struggled with bleeding ulcers awhile back–but following the carafate and the pepcid (which he still gets), he seemed to be fine. Appetite came back, resumed his very short walks, etc.

He seemed a bit slower before we left for vacation, but I chalked it up to the heat (even though we’ve run the AC for several weeks–something I NEVER EVER do. I HATE the AC, and would never turn it on, even when it’s about 97 with a DP in the upper 70s. But Sam’s breathing struggles, so I’ve kept it on. Pat half-jokingly points out the dog’s comfort seems to take precedence over his :D –he’s always badgering me to turn it on when it’s over 90).

Jacqie told us he wasn’t eating very much while we were gone, but sometimes he’ll go on hungerstrikes when we’re out, so again, not too unusual. (She said the only thing he’d eat was sour cream (WTF, Sampson??), lunch meat, and occasionally scarmbled eggs, or leftover pizza). She said his energy was “moderate”, and that he would pant fairly often, and his coughing was sporadic but present, but relatively unproductive.

So, on Saturday when we got home, I upped his pred to see if I couldn’t get his appetite back, at least–and this has always worked in the past. Today is Tuesday, and I’ve not seen much improvement. Most meals, he’d eat a few bites, but not enough to give him any energy, I don’t think. I could get him to eat lunch meat with his pills, and a hot dog or two. He’s still take a milkbone. Today, though, it was a struggle to get him to take his pills–and even after that, he didn’t want any lunch meat (and certainly no dog food). I tried cutting up a couple hot dogs and some leftover broasted chicken…he had maybe a bite of the chicken, and left all the hot dogs. He was uninterested in anything else, although he did eat a milkbone.

His breathing is labored more often than not–not I just Usain Bolted around teh yard labored, but certainly not a steady even thing. He pants, usually mildly, but he pants a lot of the time. Often, when he is lying down, he breathes in a…wheeze? It’s not a wheeze, but it’s something. The cough happens most of the time when he exerts himself–if Sadie goes batshit over a squirrel, and he tries to bark or run, if he goes up or down teh stairs too fast. It also happens randomly. It’s a throat-clearing kind of chunky sound?

Really though, he just looks…tired. He has moments where he perks up–he dug up a dead rabbit that our housesitter buried in our backyard (WTF Jacqie??) after Sadie “made friends” with it, and was happily munching on that. Last night he went to the toy box and brought out a toy (but dropped it, and didn’t play with it). He (and the other five) still greets me at the door, tail wagging, when I get home from work. But more often than not, he simply looks like he’s present, but not all accounted for, I suppose.

Aside from the coughing/breathing thing, the low appetite, the decreased energy (er, it’s all relative, I suppose), and the limpiness from the arthritis, though…he displays no real signs of pain/distress. But then again, this is the dog who walked around for (what looks like in photos) at least 5-6 months on a large bony lesion with very little sign of distress, aside from some crankiness at night and a limp right before his amp. (Insert guilt trip here for not noticing it sooner)

He’s always been a quiet, reserved, stoic dog…so it’s hard to tell, really. And it’s hard to  tell whether this too, shall pass, or whether we’re coming to an end point. And… And…

Ah, there’s really no point to my rambling. I have no questions–at least not that anyone can answer. I know all of the things it COULD be. And I know the possible ways to deal with it. Do I take films? Do I just up the pred and maybe the tramadol? Do I try sucralfate again, in the hope that it’s tummy upset? If he doesn’t appear to be hurting…but just appears…to just appear…how long does it go on that way? I’m not to the pennies-in-a-jar point, but even if I were, I don’t know if it would tell me anything. For 13+ years, I have counted my blessings that Sam is the quiet, reserved, aloof guy that he is. But now, it’s frustrating the shit out of me :D Hey, apparently there IS an upside to having a bright, bubbly, in-your-face, velcro dog… temperment changes! Easy to spot! (<–No offense to those with bright and bubbly dogs, er, I have one, too, in fact…we don’t all prefer the same flavors of ice cream, either ;-) )

ANYWAY, I am now SO behind at work, I have got to stop typing :D . There’s no point here, so I am sure it’s not on the right board…feel free to move it. I just needed to write it down :-)

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