Yesterday was a hard day for Delilah. The vets said that her lungs were doing worse and while there was still hope, there wasn’t much of it. Still, in the two other distemper cases that they’d had in the past years, both had made it through this phase… but it was touch and go the entire time.
Before sending us home for the night, one vet agreed to ease my concerns … When Carbon was so very sick, the night before we helped him across the bridge, I was all alone with him. It was horribly hard and he was in such extreme pain and discomfort… and there was nothing that I could do. I did NOT want to repeat that experience with D. So, the vet sent us home with a shot of enough sedative to either completely knock her out or hopefully end the pain all together. She has an IV catheter in her leg, so administration would be easy, and we’ve had lots of experience with IVs with Carbon. This comfort of pink juice is what made me OK with bringing her home. I didn’t want to watch her go through a very painful final stage where she couldn’t breath and slowly die in agony. It wouldn’t be fair to either one of us and this way, if that moment ever came, I could help her to the bridge, too.
Happily, while close by, the bridge stayed far enough away as to not warrant the need of the pink. D struggled a bit with her breathing, pneumonia does that to a dog, but the meds and nose drops and my constantly wiping the sticky yellow snot out of her nostrils (despite her annoyance with that) seems to have done the trick. She ate a TINY amount of baby food, drank water and pottied outside. She growled once at Monster as he approached her couch and wagged her tail at hubby and I as we came close to her. She seems to have been more alert and herself than she has been in days. Slowly, hope began to build in me, even as the quality of late night/early morning TV lessened.
The vet called after I dropped her off this morning – she was pleasantly surprised. It is good to know that one of the new antibiotics is helping and that her lungs are starting to kick out the gunk that is in them. She is also getting much thinner – and that is not a good thing. Already very skinny when we got her, I can see her continue to shrink – the ingestion of food is critically important as she has nothing in reserve to draw upon. Hopefully, the baby food is more appetizing tonight. I think that we’ve graduated from “extremely cautiously optimistic” to just “cautiously optimistic” – but we’ll have to wait and see what the night brings. No matter how well she is doing now, there is also the grim reality that of all dogs who survive this mucosal phase, 50% will still enter the neurological phase and have to be put down. Hopefully, we will not be in that particular half of the statistic.
So, we are tired, poor and hopeful… it could be worse and it still might be. She seems to be a strong little dog … at least today, there is a wee bit more hope.