Saturday, June 11, 2011

Max got a bath today.

And boy is he unhappy about it. He's lying on the floor near the doorway between the dining room and the kitchen, alternately shooting me mournful looks and licking his delicate paws.

He also got his toenails clipped. For his reaction, see the previous sentences.

He's a big dog with a whole lot of fur and huge claws. His claws look like parrots' beaks and are just about as hard. Even with the racheted kind of nail clippers, it takes me both hands and a lot of sweating and cursing to clip one nail.

All of this happened today because I think he had a seizure overnight. I woke up to find him lying in a puddle of urine and feces, but unaware that he had soiled the floor. Normally if he has to go out, he's all up in my grill no matter the time of day (or night). He got up and walked fine after, though his back legs are chronically weak, and his reflexes were fine when I Furminated him this morning. If it had been a spine thing or a loss-of-control thing, he wouldn't have been as strong as usual, and he would've been extremely embarassed about soiling in the house. He has standards. If, however, he seized and then slept through the post-ictal period, he wouldn't be aware of what had happened.

So I'm thinking, hoping, praying seizure. Seizures I can handle. Spine problems or joint problems, or, God forbid if You love dogs and I know You do, a tumor, I don't know that I could handle.

Anyway, he got a bath. It was time for his annual bath anyhow; the ecosystem that grows during the fall, winter, and summer in his undercoat has to get evicted yearly to make room for new inhabitants. I'll take him to the vet on Tuesday to have an X-ray and make sure there's nothing screwed up in his lumbar spine.

Much as I hate to say it, I think this might be his last summer. The heat has gotten harder for him to handle as he's gotten older, and now he's a very old dog. His heart was damaged early on by heartworms, so there's that. And now this whole spine/tumor (no, God, please)/seizure thing. . .he's been put down, pushed around, apprehended, and put up wet, and every critter has its limits.

He is, however, the best boy ever. Even if he takes the varnish off the floors because he wants to come in when he's soaking wet. He's a good boy.

20 comments:

Ami said...

I hope it's just.. age. I have a geriatric dog myself. 15 this month. Old dogs definitely have issues. Hard to watch.

terri c said...

Warmest thoughts to you and your sweet old fellow.

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

That’s sweet, I love dogs too and losing my childhood dog was more tragic than losing my grandparents was at that time of life.

bobbie said...

From personal experience, I hear you on the seizure vs. tumor thing...

My heart goes out to you both ~

Kiley said...

I have an old dog as well, she'll be 13 this month. Just found out she is going blind in one eye yesterday. So tough seeing our companions aging :/ Max will be in my prayers

Penny said...

I remember when I had the thought that it was going to be Smithers' last Christmas. It's not easy. We bear the pain, though, because it's the least we can do in return for That Kind of love.

Don't let the specter of "last summer" cloud your time with him. I know you know this, but...just a reminder.

entrop3 said...

I have an older Sheltie (~14) and he's winding down. Sleeps more, doesn't wake as quickly as he once did(sleeps at my bedroom door: I can now step over him to go to the lou and find him still sleeping there). Entropy is the word I think. We all go there eventually. Hate to see it happen though. Like Penny said, "carpe diem".......

messymimi said...

Praying all is well at his check in with the vet.

Dr. Alice said...

Kisses and hugs to Max. Hope all is well.

Bardiac said...

Aww, I hope Max feels better and checks out.

jimbo26 said...

Best wishes to all .

JannieCPH said...

Prayers for Max !!

RehabNurse said...

WildDog is 15 and getting older, too. He has had fatty tumors for a long time, so I always worry that they might change.

The poor thing hates baths but gets them twice a year, 'cause he's so darned furry. It helps keep him cooler in summer.

Hope all goes well with the vet.

Elyse said...

Beaming warm thoughts and support to you and your sweet old boy ♡

Can'tSpell, DVM said...

Could be seizures, could be plain old dog incontinence secondary to caudal spinal stenosis... Good luck!

Rosanna said...

Sending hopeful thoughts and prayers............ (and a comforting little "pat" on his head, too!!)............ to Max.

coulrophobic agnostic said...

Poor old guy. I wish dogs lived longer. I hope it's nothing serious and he just oopsed. Maybe he's getting a little forgetful or arthritic in his old age.

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clairesmum said...

sad to read that Max is starting to show his age - claire is 12, and this past winter she shifted from adult dog to aging dog. she's getting shaved soon, we had only 2 hot days and she developed a big 'hotspot' under her 3 layer coat that she won't let anyone groom. Her teeth are now so ground down from torturing tennis balls over the years that she can no longer do a good job grooming her thick coat. She's been blind in one eye for ages, and the other one is dimming, along with her hearing. These are the indignities of age, but nothing as scary as seizure vs. tumor question. Thinking good thoughts for you and Max.

woolywoman said...

What a good boy. My dog wouldn't let me clip his toenails calmly. Have you considered a Dremmel? Hope its nothing, just a seizure. ( I think only nurses can say "just" and "seizure" in the same breath.)