My doggy is sick. :(

When my husband and I bought our first house, one of the first things we did was get a dog. His best friend’s wife works at a place that trains and places helper dogs for the disabled, and Kiska, a golden retriever and yellow lab mix, was one of the flunkies from the program. Something like 90% of the dogs end up failing for various reasons–Kiska’s stated reason for failing was the inability to “stay.” And he’s never been good at that, but he’s a damn fine dog otherwise–doesn’t jump on the furniture or other people, is great with kids (the first time we met him, an 18-month-old girl was yanking his toy out of his mouth and he didn’t even bat an eye), and I can count the number of times he’s barked without prompting on one hand. Our daughter, who just turned two, adores him–every night she gives him a big hug before she goes to bed.

He’ll be 10 on September 11th (yes, he was born on THE 9/11) and he’s been slowing down a little bit, but nothing major. Until today. He was fine when he woke up, running around the backyard, then snoozing on his pillows. At about 3:00, he stood up, walked into the middle of the living room, and vomited all over the rug. It looked like he hadn’t digested much at all from breakfast. After that, it was with much reluctance that he walked at all. We waited about 30 minutes to see if it was just residual effects from puking, but when he didn’t improve, my husband took him to the emergency vet.

We expected…well, I’m not sure what we expected, but it wasn’t what we got. He has fluid on his heart. They put in a catheter and drained it. It was bloody. Google and a couple of vet tech friends (not to mention the vet herself) tells us that this is not a good sign. The vet says that since the initial drain, they haven’t gotten any more fluid out of the catheter, which is somewhat positive. He’s perked up a bit, even wagging his tail some. They’re giving him anti-nausea meds because he’s puked twice more since he got to the vet, and they put in a pacemaker (I think? I’m getting this secondhand) because he had a heart arrhythmia. At this point, we can only wait until he gets diagnosed by the doggy cardiologist in the morning, who will do an ultrasound to see if it’s cancer–that’s apparently the most common reason for bloody fluid around the heart. If it is, the prognosis is grim–he likely will have only a matter of weeks to live, and we’ll have to make the tough decision as to whether to put him down immediately or take him home and try to make his final days comfortable.

I hope this is all a terrible false alarm. I don’t know what to tell my little girl if he’s not coming home. She was asking about him all night.

Paws, fingers, toes, eyes, etc., crossed for good news. :frowning:

My gosh, that is so sad.

My sympathy, and hopes it is something that can be overcome.

Saying prayers for Kiska. :frowning:

Me and my pack are sending out good vibrations for Kiska. Here’s hoping for the very best possible outcome.

Hoping for the best. We had a scare with Sadie a couple weeks ago. She’s fine, but the thought of losing her was incredibly stressful. You’re doing everything right, if that’s any comfort.

Finger crossed that things will turn out well. One of mine was diagnosed with a heart problem late last year and he’s doing well on medication - here’s hoping Kiska’s problem can be fixed with a pill!

I don’t know what to say. This must be a scary time for your family, especially your daughter. Let’s hope for the best and that it is something that can be managed at home and that Kiska feels like his old self soon.

Oh, how heartbreaking. I’m sending my best wishes to Kiska, and your family.
Thank you for loving him, and doing all the right things for him.

pleasepleasepleaseplease let it be a false alarm!

Here’s hoping it’s a false alarm.

Best wishes from four Standard Poodles and their humans!


Bad news. It’s definitely cancer. Poor guy has six months to live at most. We’re gonna bring him home and keep a close eye on his quality of life. Most of the advice we’re getting is to not prolong care too much, so if it’s clear he’s in too much pain, we’ll end it. But he has a little girl here who has lots of love to give him, so we’ll make sure he gets as much of it as he can.

I’m so sorry Drain Bead.

Oh, I am so very sorry. Give him a big hug and snuggle for me.

Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear that.

Many hugs and scritches and snuggles to him, and hugs to you guys.

So sorry to hear that, DB. Please give him some extra pats and hugs from me

So, it’s worse than that.

The six months is with surgery and chemo, something the cardiologist did not recommend. Apparently, it’s a death sentence regardless of what we do, so they generally just recommend sending them home, feeding them lots of steak, and putting them down when they get too uncomfortable. Also, he’ll need the fluid tap regularly if we want to keep him alive, at probably about a thousand dollars a pop. They say he’ll need the next one in ten to fourteen days. My husband leaves town on a business trip to Orlando on Sunday and doesn’t come back until Thursday. At most, our little buddy has a few weeks to live.

We’ll talk to our regular vet today (why do they always get sick on weekends?) and see what he thinks. My husband will be bringing him home this afternoon, but I’m wondering if we shouldn’t just give him nice burgers and steak all week and then have our vet put him to sleep on Saturday. At least that way we know his last few days were good ones, and he could be with his family at the end. If he took a turn for the worse while husband is in Orlando, it would be both a logistical and an emotional nightmare.

My heart goes out to you. This is really heart breaking.

I’m so, so sorry.

Oh dear! I’m so sorry for this awful news. Please give him some very gentle skritches behind his ears and tell him what a good boy he is.