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Raven

Registered:
Posts: 14
 #1 
My heart is breaking for my girl.  She is a 15 year old cairn terrier and has been through so much the last month - pinched nerve from a slipped disc, and now 3 bad seizures. He thinks she has a brain tumor.  Our vet put her on potassium bromide on Monday and the side effects are not pleasant - she is having potty issues, has no energy or spark, is weak in the back legs, is moping and restless.  These are all side effects of the meds, BUT she looks so sad!
I am having so much trouble with this.  In 2004 I had 3 dogs, the youngest was 13 and I had to send them all to the bridge that year.  I knew with each one when it was time and had no doubts.  This time I am so unsure!
I plan to talk to the vet tomorrow about adjusting Sam's dosage.  Maybe a lower dose would help the symptoms?  I don't want her to seize again.  I want to do right by her but am so confused and sad.
I'm sorry, this is my first post and it's a long one!  Thank you all for listening.

WooWooWoo

Registered:
Posts: 5,100
 #2 

Dear Raven,

I am so sorry your precious Cairn girl, Sam, is having such a hard time with seizures.  It sounds like you will need to have a serious talk with your vet and get some answers.   I have never had a dog who suffered from seizures so I can't provide any insights into the various medications, but their are several furparents here who have.  I will keep both of you in my thoughts and prayers.

Our next pup will be a Cairn terrier.  When you feel up to it, please come back and tell us more about your girl, Sam.  I have heard Cairns are natural clowns and such wonderful little terriers.  I lost my beloved little mixed breed terrier, Betsy, almost four months ago and I still cry for her each night. 

Again, you and Sam are in my prayers.  I have lit an internet candle for her under her name at AurichWolf's Light a Candle Here thread on this board.  It will remain lit for 48 hours.   Please keep us posted how Sam is faring.

Hugs,
Melissa
Betsy's forever mom

     My Beloved Betsy Noodle

MrMeowgy

Registered:
Posts: 763
 #3 

I am so sorry to hear about Sam. I hope with all my heart that the vet can adjust her medicine, let her have a good quality life and more time with you. It is so hard to see our darlings suffer. You and Sam will be in my thoughts and prayers. Please know we are here for you. Donna, Mr. Meowgy's mom

Meriam

Registered:
Posts: 1,234
 #4 
Hello,

One of my Doxie boyz has seizures. They are scarey when the happen, but Phenobarb seems to control Silvers seizures. he usually has one about every 12 to 18 months. I also have liquid Valium in the house in case he has a really bad one. Sil had had these seizures over the last 8 years.

Our prayers go to you and Sam.

Meriam
Gruntsmomforever

Registered:
Posts: 699
 #5 
Dear Raven,

My heart goes out to you as I know how sad and upsetting it is to see your little Sam so sick.  I agree, a talk with your vet for med adjustment is definitely needed - hopefully a dosage adjustment will help with eliminating or alleviating the side effects.  I keep you and little Sam in my prayers, and hope that you will keep us posted on your baby girl's progress.

Hugs,
Katharine, Grunt's Mom Forever 
basil

Registered:
Posts: 1,205
 #6 

My heart is with you, and your little Sam.  I know how hard it is.  Thinking of you, Much Love, Di xxx

mykittygirl

Registered:
Posts: 881
 #7 
I will hold you and Sam in my thoughts and prayers.

Donna
rangersmom

Registered:
Posts: 445
 #8 
Raven I'm sorry to hear Sam may have a brain tumor, have they done a CT scan or MRI?  My cat Socks had a brain tumor removed last September, she did not have seizures though.  I have heard from others that the seizure medicine is hard to regulate, perhaps it's not the exact dose yet? 

You have come to the right place for support.

Hugs
Judy
katebock

Registered:
Posts: 686
 #9 
Dear Raven

I am so sorry that your Sam is not doing well.  I know how worrisome it is when our babies are sick.  Hopefully the vet will have some suggestions.  You are both in my thoughts and prayers.

Kate (Gus' mom)

Raven

Registered:
Posts: 14
 #10 
Thank you all for your support. I spoke to Sam's vet today and he wants to take her off the medication for 3 days. He is not convinced her behavior is a side effect of the meds, that if she does have a tumor it could be getting worse. Switching to phenobarb is a possibility as well, though the vet is concerned about it having a negative effect on her liver.

Rangersmom, we do not know for sure if she has a tumor. She started having the seizures a few weeks ago. I discussed the possibility of an MRI with my vet and he said that though knowing for sure would be a good thing, it would not change the course of treatment (medication to alleviate symptoms). We feel if there is a tumor she is too old to be a good surgical candidate.

I will wait the 3 days to see what happens. Thanks again everyone for your positive thoughts. After thinking about it overnight I know I can send Sam on to the Rainbow Bridge if that's what is needed. I don't want her to suffer. It still breaks my heart.

Melissa, I am so sorry for your loss of Betsy; what an adorable face on her!
Sam is my 3rd cairn terrier. Their personalities have all been so different! Sam is miss spunky, head of the house. Sweet to everyone once she knows you. Loves being outside and getting treats. She would run around the table at meal time or when there was a cookie coming. She was always very talkative (this is all before the meds, obviously). She was adopted from a breed rescue and has been the perfect dog, feisty yet sweet.

Everyone's kind words mean so much to me! Thank you all so much!







Steffi

Registered:
Posts: 180
 #11 
Raven,
I have been reading through so many posts the last few days, and I just don't have the strength right now to respond. It will be 2 months on May 3 that I lost the love of my life - my precious Dakotah. He was actually 18 years old when he died.  I cannot believe that he has been gone for 2 months, and I'm still as grief stricken now as I was when he died.  I'm just so weak. 
Dakotah had a brain tumor / lesion.
I gave him hospice care for the last six months of his life.  It is the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life.  I did everything I could do, but I could not save him. 
PLEASE don't put dear Sam through MRIs and spinal taps.  She is too old, and far too sick to survive these procedures or withstand anymore pain than she is already in.
Potassium bromide is a much better idea than phenobarb, but is usually more diffiult to regulate.  A combination of phenobarb and potassium bromide (KBr) may be the way to go. 
Dakotah took phenobarb his whole life because he had seizures when he was young.  I should have switched him to KBr a LONG time ago, as those moronic vets I had should have known better.  None the less, if Sam has a brain tumor/lesion, the medications only slow the symptoms for awhile.
I agree with your vet that Sam's symptoms don't sound to me like they are completely a symptom of the KBr, but they could be.  Usually KBr causes a wobbly gate and lethargy.  But, a neurological problem causes the same symptoms.
At her age, I fear that if she is switched to phenobarb completely, it will destroy her liver.
I have to compliment your vet on the efforts he is making for you, and the honesty he showing you. I wish I could say the same thing about my former vets, but I cannot.
I HATE the fact that I can step up to the plate here and say that I have an extensive knowledge of the progession of neurological problems.  Unfortunately, I know the scenerio and the heartbreaking progression of the disease all too well.  By the time Dakotah died, my heart was broken. It always will be.  His death has truly destroyed me.
If I can be of any help or assistance to you in any way, or answer any questions, I will do whatever I can.   You can e-mail me at
nightfox2000@hotmail.com
My prayers are with you.
Steffi
Dakotah's Mom

WooWooWoo

Registered:
Posts: 5,100
 #12 

Dear Raven,

I am so glad you were able to talk with your vet and get some questions answered.  I will be praying for your sweet girl and for you, and hoping for the best.

Yes, my Betsy girl was quite simply my "heart".  Oh, do I miss having a little terrier around the house!  And, I especially miss her little "WooWooWoo" yodel.  She was very vocal, always talking, always singing.  Thanks so much for sharing your experience with your beloved Cairns.  I know we won't ever be disappointed....or bored when we get ours.   They are such pure joy.

Please keep us posted.  And, if you need more support, please know we are here for you.

Hugs,
Melissa

Raven

Registered:
Posts: 14
 #13 
Today we took Sam to the vet to be helped along to the Bridge.  The time off the medication did nothing to improve her symptoms.  After 3 days of my poor girl not sleeping, bumping into things, shaking and occasionally crying - it was time.  I had some doubts today as we sat outside and she rolled in the grass.  Rolling used to be one of her favorite activities and she had shown no interest in being outside in the last couple of  weeks.  Then not too much longer her symptoms reappeared, and I knew, "what if she had another, bad seizure, late at night"?  I could never forgive myself.  So we took her to the vet with one last good afternoon to remember.
I thought I was OK but when I got home and saw her bowls, her beds, her favorite spots in the house, now empty - I am so glad she is comfortable now, but miss her terribly.  She was my feisty, sweet old lady who was so young in spirit, who will always be her momma's girl.
The house will be so quiet tonight. 

rangersmom

Registered:
Posts: 445
 #14 
Raven I am so sorry you lost Sam.  I know it's hard even when you are sure it's the right thing to do.  I am also glad your vet was up front with you and was able to answer your questions. 

Sam sounds like she was a wonderful dog calling her a fiesty old lady made me think of my Ranger kitty and how she would stomp thru the hall (all 5 pounds of her). 

Take your time putting her things away and try to remember the good happy times with your girl.  We would love to see a picture of her if you feel like posting one.

HUgs
Judy
WooWooWoo

Registered:
Posts: 5,100
 #15 
Raven, I am SO sorry you had to make the decision to let little Sam go, but I know she was suffering.  You are a wonderful, loving furmom who bravely did the right thing for your baby.  I will say some prayers for you tonight.   Please come here for support should you feel the need.  We will be here for you.
Sending hugs from one terrier mom to another,
Melissa

GODSPEED SWEET SAM!!!   GIVE MY BETSY A BIG KISS WHEN YOU SEE HER AT THE BRIDGE!!

Raven

Registered:
Posts: 14
 #16 
I lit a candle for you tonight baby girl.  Momma loves you and misses you terribly.  Even though you were lady of the manor the last 3 years, the candle is for Tucker, Ariel and Tigger also, missed these last four years.

I'm glad you can get some sleep now sweet girl.

Gruntsmomforever

Registered:
Posts: 699
 #17 
Dear Raven,

I am SO very sorry to hear that your little Sam didn't improve and that you had to let her go.  I totally know how doubtful you felt when your baby girl was in the grass rolling around like she used to when she was well.  My boy, Grunt, also had a feisty spurt of energy during our last hour together that made me wonder and doubt, was it right to let him go - that moment didn't last very long, and I knew we had to.  I don't know why this happens when they are so sick!  My heart goes out to you with deepest sympathy.  It is awful going home to the emptiness, seeing her things, missing her so very much.

Hugs,
Katharine, Grunt's Mom Forever  
dogrispamela

Registered:
Posts: 558
 #18 
I was just reading your posts about your precious Sam and then read that you had to send her to the bridge.  I'm so sorry that she didn't respond to the medicine and you had to help her so that she is no longer suffering.  This is the most difficult gift of all, I'm so sorry that it comes at the cost of terrible heartbreak!  I know that when Sam arrived at the bridge, she had her family there to welcome her.  I know that my Golda too was there to show her around and will look out for her.  Please know that you're in my thoughts and prayers at this awful time.  Hugs, Golda's Mom

Clare

Registered:
Posts: 16
 #19 
Dear Raven:

My 12 year old cairn terrier Toto just died April 9. She had mast cell cancer, but also was having what the vet thought were seizures and guessed that the cancer was in her brain too. Put her on phenobarbital too, but I doubt it helped much. We'll never know for sure. I too had dogs all my life and always knew when it was time; but like you this time I lamented over whether it was or wasn't the right time. This lasted for 2 months. I know how you felt about the seizures because I was always waiting for the next one too. Finally, in one day we knew, for she became so weak and finally, could only lick at her food. Cairns are very tough little dogs and can stand alot of distress I think. Well its been almost a month and the roughest times are when I first get up and she's not there. However, it is also a relief to not watch the suffering and wondering whether I should let her go or give her another few days. My prayers are with you.

Raven

Registered:
Posts: 14
 #20 
Getting up this morning and coming home from work today have been harder than I thought.  My routine is messed up, with no Sam to take out and feed.  I feel a bit lost.  I'm not ready yet to put away any of her things.

It's been a help to read not just what people have posted in this thread but the support given all over this board.  I hope when I feel up to it I can return the support to others.

A sweet book (meant for children, but it hit just the right note for me) that my vet loaned to me is "Dog Heaven" by Cynthia Rylant.  It's a very simple book, since it's meant for kids, but I recommend it for some comfort.  He told me the author did one for cats also.

As soon as I get the "how-to" instructions I'll post a picture of Sam. 

Steffi

Registered:
Posts: 180
 #21 
Raven,
I am so sorry.  I just saw your post today. 
My prayers and deepest sympathies are with you.
Steffi
Dakotah's Mom
sweetpepe

Registered:
Posts: 143
 #22 
((((((((Raven))))))))))))))))

We took our dog to the vet this morning to be put to sleep.  It was the hardest thing my husband and I have ever done.  Pepe had arthritis but in the end he had very bad leg tremors and last night he could not get up and then tried to walk while dragging his back legs.  We knew it was time.

These are such hard choices we make but we do them for the sake and love of our pets.  I miss Pepe so much.  I know when I wake up tomorrow the first thing I will think is that he is gone. 
Raven

Registered:
Posts: 14
 #23 
Hugs back to everyone, thank you.  Clare and sweetpepe, your stories sound so much like mine.  It has been a long week with no Sam.  We got her ashes back yesterday, the first time I have ever done that with a pet.  We were going to scatter them at her favorite walking place near the water, but now I'm not so sure. 

I wanted to share pictures of my girl.  She is on the couch in this picture, but normally she did not like to be up there, she would get nervous being up off the floor.

Raven

Registered:
Posts: 14
 #24 
Here she is in her favorite bed. 
Gruntsmomforever

Registered:
Posts: 699
 #25 
Dear Raven,

Oh my gosh, your Sam is ABSOLUTELY adorable!!  Cute as a button!!

I'm thinking of you - I know how you miss your little girl.

More hugs,
Katharine, Grunt's Mom Forever
MaxsMom

Registered:
Posts: 258
 #26 
Dear Raven,

I am so sorry for your loss of your beautiful Sam! What a sweet little face! I know what a difficult decision it was to let your girl go - I made the same one back in December.  Yes, you are right, our homes and our hearts feel so hollow without them.  We have to find comfort in knowing that they truly never leave us, and that we will one day hold them again.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Sending many hugs,
Joanne - MaxsMom
dogrispamela

Registered:
Posts: 558
 #27 
Dear Raven,

Oh my gosh, your girl Sam is so beautiful.  I know how hard it is to get their ashes back.  I remember, when we picked up our Golda's a week later, it was just like going thru it all over again.  Please wait a little while before deciding what to do or not to do with them.  When you're greiving, there are so many changes of heart.  Please know that you and your girl Sam are in our thoughts and prayers.  Golda's Mom
WooWooWoo

Registered:
Posts: 5,100
 #28 
I'm crying.  Your Sam is simply beautiful.  Thank you so much for sharing her photos with us.   Again, I am SO very sorry for your loss of your precious girl.
Hugs,
Melissa
robynbythec

Registered:
Posts: 1,093
 #29 
Oh, Raven,  I've just read through all the posts on this thread.  I am so sorry for what you and Sam went through these last weeks.  And, I am so sorry for your loss of her.  She is truly a darling girl.  I know you must miss her terribly, but I also know that she is forever by your side in spirit and that she loves you so for all the difficult decisions you've had to make for her.

When I lost Jake, several years ago now, a friend of mine gave me that book "Dog Heaven".  I highly recommend it, also.  It is very touching and I found it comforting as well.  It's been almost 15 months since I lost Molly, my "soul mate", and I miss her so.  But, on occasion, I will pull out the book "Dog Heaven" and imagine Molly in those drawings...

Big hugs to you, Raven.  Please know that I hold you and Sam in my heart.  I know that Molly is showing her around the bridge, and showing her what trouble she can get into!

HyzenthlayMollyWolf
Robyn
http://www.mollybooboo.critters.com
http://www.petsupports.com/robyn.htm




KatoWolf

Registered:
Posts: 90
 #30 

Dear Raven:

I'm so very, very sorry for your loss.  Sam is such a special girl - such a sweet face - such warm loving eyes, thank you for sharing some photos with us.  I know when I see the photos, it helps me to feel closer to them and to you.  It's never easy to lose those we love so much, but you are right, she is young, healthy, no meds, able to sleep and rest comfortably at the bridge and I'm certain she's with all of our babies. 

We will see them again Raven -  I have full faith in this and that's what I hang onto - seeing all my babies again when it's my time. 

This is a wonderful site and it truly does help so very much to be with others who understand.  Perhaps when you feel up to it, could you kindly tell us more about Sam, some of the wonderful times you shared as we'd love for you to share with us.


Hang in there.
Big Hugssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss,
KatoWolf

Raven

Registered:
Posts: 14
 #31 
Thank you everyone for your kind words.  I can't believe it has been a week already since Sam has been gone, even though the week took so long going by.

Nights are so hard.  I want to take her upstairs to bed like we always did.  I still talk to her, tell her it's time for bed.  I miss her getting me up in the morning if I dared to sleep late!  She would dance around the bed and grumble at me.  She was such a good girl about not messing in the house. 

I miss her so much. 





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