Our hearts are broken. We had to make the hardest decision of our lives - to lay our "baby", our "Bud" to rest.
If you're a reader of our Linda's Blog you know that our "Bud" has been the center of our life and king of our household. You also know that he had a really tough Spring last year from spleen surgery to seizures, which I wrote about in a blog post entitled "He's Our Baby and Our Bud!".
What you don't know is that last July the hits just kept on coming for him. He was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease and a thickening of the walls of his intestine. He wasn't eating, was throwing up and had bouts of diarrhea.
At first we weren't alarmed about his not eating as he had always been a picky eater and had a day here or a day there where he didn't want to eat, but it was never for multiple days in a row. More like once a month or every other month he'd have a day where he didn't want to eat or drink.
Before he was diagnosed with diabetes his not eating or drinking water every once in awhile for a few hours or a day wasn't as much of an issue. After the diabetes the drinking of the water became more of an issue as we didn't want him to get dehydrated. So, on those occasional days when he wouldn't eat or drink the vet gave us mini plastic syringes and showed us how to get water into the sides of his mouth.
This time, after a second day of not eating and drinking water we became alarmed and took our baby to the vets. The vet did some blood work and recommended an ultra sound. She thought it could be inflammatory bowel disease which, while incurable, could be treated with a special diet and/or medication or it could be cancer of the intestines.
After several ultra sounds they determined that he had a thickening of his intestinal wall, but our vet and the specialized vet could not determine whether the thickening was caused by cancer or something else. They would need to take a biopsy of the tissue which required major surgery as it would be difficult to get at this particular layer of the lining.
We refused to put Pepper through another major surgery after he had recovered from his spleen surgery and seizure episodes in the Spring. Our vet told us that the treatment for both was basically the same so first we started him on a specialized diet.
Well, our little guy who was a picky eater from the start ate the specialized "yuck" food for about a day and then refused to eat it. Nope "our king" wanted good food - not vegetarian "yuck!" So, that was a no go.
We also put him on several medicines that had shown promise with inflammatory bowel disease and intestinal cancer in pets. The cancer medicines made him very sick so we discontinued those. Some of the other medicines seemed to give him some relief, but very quickly he reverted back to not eating, throwing up and diarrhea. So, we increased his medicines. The increase seemed to work for awhile and then stopped working. So, we tried a different medicine. It, too, seemed to work for awhile and then stopped working.
The medicine that had shown the most promise for inflammatory bowel disease in pets was Prednisone, but was not an option for our little guy as he was diabetic and Prednisone reeked havoc with diabetics and their insulin levels. Well, when we got to the point where he was losing weight, not eating for days at a time and we were going to lose him the vet recommended we put him on Prednisone.
The Prednisone worked wonderfully for several months, but it too, eventually wasn't working as well. We were at a point where we needed to increase the Prednisone which we didn't want to do as the medicine to help him caused some of the very symptoms he was suffering from along with incontinence. Our little guy was mortified every time there was an accident and we just didn't want to put him through that again.
During the last few months our baby would have periods where he was okay for a few days and then he'd have a day when he was sick. Then he was okay and he would be our old "Bud" again, then he'd be sick.
One of the major side effects of the Prednisone was bloating and his little belly just kept getting more and more bloated. His stamina was slowly failing. But, every once in awhile he'd have enough stamina to walk down the street to see one of his pals which always filled us with hope that maybe he was getting better.
Our hopes were short lived - it was not meant to be and when he started having trouble breathing we made the hardest decision of our lives. We laid our baby, our "Bud" to rest. He was finally free from all his health issues and free to "run like the wind" and, as we imagined, jumping from cloud to cloud.
We had our little guy for thirteen wonderful years. He was our constant companion 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He was always with us and involved in everything we did.
We miss seeing him under the sewing table, in his favorite room - our sunroom, laying between us on the sofa, hogging the bed, following us from room to room always involved in everything we did, running outside like the wind, laying under our feet at the dinner table, gently staring up at us when he wanted to go for a walk or when it was time for him to eat something, barking at his favorite electronic toy, and jumping in our laps. We miss seeing him come running in the house after one of his walks and jumping from rug to rug. He'd stop short where ever I was sitting and look at me as if he was saying: "Did you miss me, Mom! Did you miss me!"
He was the joy in our lives and helped us through the health crises and subsequent death of several family members during his short lifetime. He was our rock and the steadfast love of our lives. Our hearts are broken and the house is so very empty. We can only hope that he is waiting at the gates of heaven - waiting for us.
Rest in peace "Bud" until we can be with you again.