Hi everyone, I had to let Tayda go today.
She was the model Fanconi patient but she's been declining for the last year (probably more like 2 years if I'm honest with myself). I've been struggling for a long time trying to balance her quality of life with my want to have her around. Then she had a seizure last night. First time ever. It was scary and awful. It lasted a minute or two. When I realized it was happening I just sat down on the floor with her petting her telling her it was going to be okay. She was foaming at the mouth and drooling. it was awful awful awful. I have read that low potassium can be a cause for seizures so I took her downstairs after she stopped seizing to give her a potassium pill, in case that was the reason. As I was carrying her she was very limp and her head was droopy. I actually checked to see if she was breathing, to make sure she was still alive. I put her down to get the pill ready and she just laid on her side very limp. She didn't seem able to stand - I tried to put her on her feet and she just swayed sideways - her legs obviously were not going to support her. I gave her the pill and just held her in my arms hoping she would come out of her daze. After a few minutes she seemed a bit more stable, so I took her outside so she could pee. Normally after she pees she comes straight in, but this time she was wandering around outside in the snow all confused. She was kind of walking around aimlessly and bumped into the side of the steps so I went down, picked her up and brought her in the house. She continued to walk around aimlessly like she was confused and maybe couldn't see. She bumped into a few things. I picked her up and placed her in front of the water bowl and she wobbled a bit and then started drinking. Over the next few minutes she seemed to be able to reorient herself a little, I think, though I carried her back up the stairs to the bedroom. She slept for the rest of the night without any issue and in the morning she was seemingly unaffected. However, I had made my decision already that it was time to let her go.
I took the day off work today and spent it with her and Lenny. We had a nice day. Fed her all kinds of forbidden stuff (yummy high protein stuff she has not been able to have in years due to her kidneys) and cuddled on the couch. Lenny probably gained a pound today also with all the treats. She was happy all day and that makes me happy. It's just how a farewell day should be.
The experience at the vet was not what I wanted, but she did not suffer. I asked them to give her the catheter, bring her back to me, and then give her a sedative before injecting the stuff that would knock her out. When they took her back, I heard her scream - that was awful. I thought it was when they put the needle in (even though she has gotten blood drawn many many times without a peep) but when she came back the tech said she just screamed when nothing was happening. She has done that with my husband many times. I guess it's a nervous thing. She's been doing it for a while. When they brought her back to me, I started feeding her treats and while she was eating them I could see she was getting drowsy. I asked why. They said they had already given her a little bit of sedative. I got upset and told them they weren't supposed to do that until I was ready. He "reversed" it, whatever that means and she perked up a bit, but probably only about 80%. I spent a few minutes with her and it seemed the catheter was a little uncomfortable for her so I gave them permission to inject the other stuff. She went limp very quickly.
I'm trying not to be "angry" about it, but I am. It sucks that there was confusion at the end and I spent that last few minutes wondering "WHY IS SHE ACTING LIKE THIS, IS SHE OKAY???" It was just unnecessary stress on me and I just feel like my last few moments with her (alert) were rushed and kind of stolen? They kept telling me to take as much time as I needed - what did they mean, afterward? Wouldn't I want to take that time BEFORE they made her drowsy and could no longer respond to me???? Ugh?. She was obviously not stressed and she did not suffer, that's the most important thing. What i have to remember is the whole day we spent on the (forbidden) couch eating (forbidden) food and all the cuddling. Those are the moments I'm going to remember. Not the 5 minutes at the vet before she passed. It sucks, but it won't do any good to be mad about it.
Lenny was there with me. He wasn't particularly interested in what was going on, but afterward I put her down on the bench and he sniffed her a few times, walked around the room, sniffed her a few more times, and that was it. He sat down with his back leaning against my back. He didn't whine on the way home or anything. When we got home he seemed calm. There was some food left in Tayda's bowl and I put it on the floor for him to eat. He sniffed it and walked away! He is acting off. Definitely not interested in the food we cooked in the kitchen. He went and stayed in the living room curled up in a dog bed. He NEVER leaves the kitchen when we're cooking.
So? I'm okay, I'm happy her last day was a good one, and she seemed normal - rather than rushing to the vet because she's in pain or already on her way out. Everything about today was perfect, except for the last 10 minutes. She doesn't have to take any more pills, be anxious in her crate, or be confused about where to pee anymore. I miss her already. It's so weird without her here. Even though she mostly just laid around - I walk around the peninsula in the kitchen and expect to see her laying there? I looked at the clock at pilling time and remembered I don't have to do that anymore. I wonder how long I'll continue to do that. Goodbye Tayda.
Thanks everyone for being here for me.