December 19, 2015

Day 1 - I'm Crushed - Winston May Have To Be Put Down

I might have to euthanize Winston. I will have a better idea what happens by Monday.

Resting Before The Vet Visit
About the time we normally wake up I hear Winston crying out like he is hurt. It's dark, I'm about half asleep. He had been sleeping next to me in bed. Stella was in her normal spot at the foot of the bed during the night. Normal routine has Winston jumping off the bed on his own, along with Stella if the hounds wake up at the same time. They like to go outside as soon as they get up so they head to the door.

By the time I woke up, Winston was in the hallway along the wall STANDING ON ALL FOUR LEGS. He wasn't crying nonstop but he did yell out a couple of times. My first thought was that Stella had jumped down on top of him when she jumped out of bed. (That might be what happened ... hard to say) Sadie had just woke up so I knew it was not her. Stella is clumsy, walks on me at times and over the bassets like she is not paying attention ... at times.

Anyway Winston could stand but could not walk. He would have had to walk from the bed to the first part of the hallway outside the bedroom. So I am confused what had happened. By the time I had a clear mind from waking up, getting some jeans on to take them outside ... Winston was walking dragging his rear legs on the floor. He could NOT even stand up.

Scott (vet) was open in Worthington 10-2 from what their hand out showed. I get over there and Scott doesn't come in until 2pm and they are open until 4pm. He was aware of Winston's 'old age' back from past examinations. I didn't want to come home and then go back at 2pm, I wanted to get Winston a shot for pain and some anti-inflammatory meds as soon as possible.

I called the vet in Odon (my neighbor). We had a bad cell phone connection but he said his office closed at 10:30am and by this time it was 10:39pm. He sounded ALOOF and said he would NOT be going back to the office. Because of his tone of voice, I will NOT be taking Heidi back to him for her skin exams.

I decided to drive back home and stop at the Bloomfield Vet since I had seen cars on the parking lot on the way to Worthington. I walk in and there are SIX vet techs standing behind the desk but the vet had left for the day.

I seriously thought of just driving home and give him the NonBuffered Aspirin I had given him, thinking it might just be a pulled muscle or inflamed disc. Rest and aspirin would work.

Still I wanted a vet to take a look at him, check his back and give some powerful meds ... ASAP.

I then drove to Lueking's Vet in Linton. Winston had not visited that vet in NINE years. Mr Whittman was still working there. We brought Winston from the FJ to the lab table on a gurney with wheels. He did the following tests:
  • Folded rear paws to see - NO RESPONSE  (it's been that way for the last 3 years)
  • Ran his fingers along the spine and pressed hard on each side - NO RESPONSE
  • Strange that Winston was able to wag his tail coming into the building and on the table.
  • Laid him on each side while pinching his toes with a caliper - NO RESPONSE
  • Inserted a needle along each side of his spine about a 1/3 up - NO RESPONSE

Mr Whittman said Winston was showing no signs of pain. He gave him a shot of cortisone and a shot of some high powered anti-inflammatory meds. Also prescribed a 100mg of Rimedyl, cut in half, fed with food 2x day. He didn't suggest x-rays and did not even talk or suggest possible surgery. 

He said there is not much you can do for this condition in basset hounds. I always knew it might come to this. Harry had the same issues after his bladder stone surgery. He could not walk etc. Yet, he was recovering from surgery.

Mr Whitman said that if Winston did not improve on these shots and meds by Monday or Tuesday then his condition is pretty bad. 


Just like that a life is changed ... perfect health for 11+ years ... just like that in bad shape

It's hard to believe. 

When I asked Mr Whittman about using the two wheeled cart for his rear legs ... He replied ... "Would you really want to do that??"  I answered "no". He then said "I've never thought that was fair to the dog and putting him down would be the best option".

IT WOULDN'T BE FAIR ... he is right about that. It was that exact reason that I put Harry down in October of 2000. 

So as I sit here on the couch typing this, Winston is next to me sleeping soundly. He ate his food when we got back from the vet so there is no loss of appetite. Still, will he be able to poop? He has peed but did it while his hips and rear legs were laying in the yard.

He will lose his ability to control his bowls and urinary functions. 

So I will have a better idea by Monday what Winston's future will be. Mr Whittman didn't sound very confident. 

I am NOT confident either. 

The problem is, for years I thought I put Harry down too soon and didn't give him enough time to recuperate. But they are different. Winston didn't have surgery. Winston's lower back and hind legs are paralyzed. It is just so hard to imagine how quick life can change ... IT SUCKS!!

Maybe with Winston wagging his tail while waiting to be examined and during the exam is a good sign. The vet was surprised he was able to still use his tail for anything. 

I physically hurt thinking about this ... really knowing that it's probably the end for Winston.

How long should I wait to see if Winston regains use of his back legs if he shows no improvement by Monday?????

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