Category Archives: Bailey


A step forward, and a step back.

She’s vomiting more often. Last night when we went to bed, and again around 3 AM. Three times this morning. It’s nearly all water, cause she hasn’t eaten since 6 PM last night. She is again refusing food.

Just got back from the vet where we did a repeat of yesterday–fluids under the skin, blood glucose check, buprenorphin, famotidine, metoclopramide.  I came home with 2 syringes of buprenorphine (for pain), and 1 of  metoclopramide (for the vomiting).

We (Bailey, me, and Dr. B) are back on the path that may end at the bridge. It depends on how she responds over the next 24 hours.

A Cautious Update on Bailey

I think we’ve reached a turning point.

I had a sensible, realistic talk with Dr. B this afternoon, and we agreed on a path to follow. If Bailey did not make some kind of improvement by Friday, we would probably help her over the bridge. Under my desk, I think Bailey must have been listening to our conversation.

Around 4:15 she got out of bed and directed an insistent kind of growlie groan at me. As if to say, “WTW mom?” She followed me out to the kitchen door and decided to eat some mash potatoes. Then she had a little chicken. She kept it down and had another little meal a couple hour later.

And after each meal she had a big pee on the wrong side of the patio door. The first one was my fault because I didn’t get her outside fast enough. The second one was also my fault because I let her come back in too soon. But frankly, I don’t care if she christened the rug not once but twice. God bless her! She seems to be making some improvement.

We still don’t know what brought on this crisis to begin with. But Bailey ain’t crossing no bridge.

Bailey Today

She slept pretty deeply overnight. Woke me around 3 am with a little vomiting, then at 6 am with a request to be set on the floor so she could get a drink. It’s been 2 and a half days since she ate–but Dr. B says that’s not a huge concern. As I watch her, I am more firmly convinced that her tummy is upset and she’s in some pain in her backend.

When I sat down at my desk today, she sat at my feet and kept looking at me and at her bed under the desk. She did not move to get into her bed, just gave me that “I’m miserable” look. Her bed is a nice orthopedic one–I got it specifically because of her tendency towards arthritis and back pain, from a mail order catalogue that claims veterinary expertise. But here’s the oxymoron: The bottom cushion of the bed is very thick, which means that any dog using the bed has to make a “jump” to get into it. The bed is marketed for dogs with arthritis issues. Wouldn’t you think that the creators of the bed would have thought about the fact that it might be painful for a dog with arthritis to “jump” into a bed?

1-13-10 BaileySo, I’ve removed her bed and put a couple of bed cushions under my desk. She was very happy with that, and seemed almost eager to curl up. Just goes to show you: Who needs the expensive new-fangled orthopedic stuff when you got 2 bed cushions?

Around 10:30 we made a trip to the clinic. More anti-nausea/anti-acid shots plus something for pain. And sub q fluids. When we got home, she vomited more water. It was like someone had hooked a hose up to her other end and the water spewed out. She looked surprised.

Still not eating. And we still don’t know for sure what the heck is causing her to be sick.

Bailey Tonight

Not much change.

At lunch today we made another quick trip to the vet so that Bailey could get an injection for nausea. But she’s still not eating. She slept all day under my desk, then all evening next to me on the sofa. I wonder if she got any rest at all while she was hospitalized–Dr. B told me she’s not a good candidate for hospitalization. I have to smile about that–Bailey and I are so bonded I think that’s one of the reasons I argued against hospitalization in the first place. Dr. T told me that each time they tried to put food down for her she tried to wiggle out the cage door. And she was very noisy as they got ready for today’s surgeries–she wanted to go home! As tired as she was, she followed me around today–from the office, to the kitchen, to the bathroom, back to the office. She was frugal in her steps, but she kept me in her sight.

So now it’s bed time. I’m not going to bring her up on the bed with me unless she asks. I figure, if I leave her on the floor to sleep in her own bed she can get to the water easier. And right now she seems content to sleep in her own bed. I normally turn the heat down at night, but I’m gonna leave it up tonight. I HATE sleeping in a warm bedroom, but I worry about Bailey being warm enough.

Probably doesn’t matter because I doubt if I’m gonna get much sleep.

Today’s Report on Bailey

B.R. Vet Clinic called me this morning: come pick up Bailey, she’s making too much noise.

I guess Bailey was being very vocal about wanting to get out of the hospital cage she was in. Dr. T told me that they had to drape a towel over the door to the cage to try and keep her quiet. This is a good sign because yesterday she simply lay in the cage and watched the world go by. Today, she was ready to leave and letting everyone know.

She still hasn’t eaten anything.

I’ve been trying to get her to eat–canned food, biscuits, hamburger, pieces of my toast–she’s just not interested. She’s drinking water–though not at the rate she was drinking before–but I guess that’s a good sign. The last time she ate was Sunday around 6 pm. She looks at me and her eyes say, “Of course you know what it is that I need! Why won’t you give it to me??”  Only I’m just a stupid human and I can’t figure it out. ARGH!! I HATE THIS!!!

So she’s home now. But she’s still not well. And I’m still a basket-case.


I just finished speaking with Dr. T. He says that Bailey is “acting brighter” and “vocalizing more” and that she’s reacting well to treatment. This is good news! She hasn’t eaten anything yet–but I’m not surprised. She has always been reluctant to take biscuits at the vet. Dr. T will turn her care over to her usual dogtor, Dr. B, tomorrow and hopefully Bailey will come home. But she needs to start eating again. I’ll check in again with them this evening.

I counted it up: This will be only the 7th night that Bailey and I will have spent apart in nearly 14 years. I’m not sure if that’s a sad commentary on my personal life or acclaim to the human-animal bond.

An Update on Bailey: Mixed News

First, let me say thank you for those of you who have left comments of support and those of you I’ve talked with. We all love our furbabies, and your kind words are treasured.

I hospitalized Bailey this morning.

Yesterday morning she had to be coaxed to eat her biscuits. She flat-out refused the MiniChunks. In the afternoon I noticed a slight change in her behavior. She was a little more confused than normal (she’s almost 14 and I’ve noticed signs of canine dementia for quite a while).  And she totally lost interest in her biscuits. We made her some lean hamburger for supper–she reluctantly ate it. By bedtime she only took a couple of laps of water. She didn’t wake me during the night to get her off the bed for a drink and potty–I woke her at 4 AM–she very reluctantly went out to potty and had absolutely no interest in water. I knew then that it was time.

So at 7 I got up and got dressed–normally Bailey would have moved from her pillow at the head of the bed to the foot of the bed in prep to getting down, but not today. She refused water, food, and she wouldn’t go out to potty. I called the clinic–both Dr. B (our usual dogtor) and Dr. C (our stand-in from Friday) are off today, but good fortune smiled because Dr. T was in. I used to work with Dr. T, so I knew we would be in very caring hands.

The folks who work at the BR clinic are so wonderful! The 2 receptionists were so caring and empathetic as we waited to see the vet tech. They made a point of coming out from behind the counter and giving Bailey a scratch and me a pat. They are such lovely people.

We met first with the vet tech who got Bailey’s vitals. Dr. T was actually scheduled for surgery–but he was able to put it off so he could meet with us first. He did a very thorough exam, asked me lots of questions, looked over Bailey’s records, and took lots of notes. He also did x rays of her lungs and her liver.

The lung xray was to make sure that there was no cancer in her lungs. They’re clear.

The liver x ray was to see if we could get any hint of what might be happening. Her liver is enlarged, but Dr. T also had an x ray of her liver from a year ago and her liver was enlarged then, too. So no significant change in the size of her liver over the past year. He also looked at her blood-work–again, we had the same panels from last year and there’s no significant change.

He called Bailey “our little enigma.” He said that between the blood-work and the x rays he cannot find a reason for her symptoms and maybe we’re looking at a combination of things. Some of the older dogs he treats have lately had more problems with arthritis because our weather has been so cold. Also, he confirmed something that my friend from work Dr. Amy said to me yesterday: Sometimes older dogs who have symptoms like this simply need some fluid support to snap out of it. I’ll call him later this afternoon to see how she’s doing.

One thing I know for certain: we will not do any “heroic” measures to prolong Bailey’s life. I will not put her through invasive surgery or chemo. Her comfort is my paramount concern–and I will not consent to causing her pain just so I can have her companionship for a few extra months. This is a decision I made 4 years ago when we discussed putting her through chemo and radiation. And please understand, what’s right for me and Bailey is not what I consider right for every pet owner. We each make our own decisions based on our own experiences and knowledge of our pets.

I will probably have the dogtors take care of the bad tooth that Dr. C found on Friday–but I need more information about it before I make a decision.

So Bailey is now in hospital, and I miss her like crazy. The house seems empty without her here. But I still feel confident that I’ve made the right decisions. Keeping her home over the weekend allowed her to rest comfortably, and made me feel better too. But today her condition is beyond my skill and she needs the help of professionals. I’m going to do my best to keep thinking positive and hang on the idea that many dogs snap out of these symptoms after fluid support at the vet’s.

But, oh Dog! the house is so quiet.

An Update on Bailey: At Home

1-10-10 1 BaileySo, a little over 24 hours have gone by since Dr. C advised me to hospitalize Bailey. I still think I made the right decision not to do it.

We had a relatively quiet day yesterday. I FINALLY took down our Christmas tree–that was the last of the holiday decorations. Bailey watched from the comfort of her bed or from the sofa. She is definitely drinking and peeing more than normal. She ate something at all four meal times–twice she dined on biscuits, twice on MiniChunks. Dr. C said as long as she’s eating, staying hydrated, and not vomiting than she’s OK to stay home. I’m doing all I can to pump up her liquids–she finds the beef broth very tasty.

She had a good sleep though the night–woke me only once for a drink and a pee. She certainly slept better than I did! I left the light on all night and slept in my glasses in prep for any emergencies. All my memories of doggie health crisis incidents seem to take place in the middle of the night. And the anticipation of a possible crisis made my sleep fitful.

1-10-10 2 BaileyIt’s hard for me to say if her condition has worsened. Her tail is more at half-mast than at full up–which is a sign that she’s not feeling well. She follows me when I move from room to room–which is normal. But she’s not making her normal demands for cuddles. She is content to lay beside me on the same sofa where normally she would be demanding that I lay down so she can curl up in my legs. She’s alert and barks at noises (real and imaginary). But today she seems more reluctant to eat. She sniffs the MiniChunks and won’t touch them. She was less-than-enthusiastic to eat biscuits for both breakfast and lunch. But  she definitely wanted to share our pancakes this morning.

1-10-10 3 BaileyBut I still am convinced it was right to keep her home. At the hospital she would be confined to a cage with nothing to engage her interest. At home she can supervise what we’re doing, get cuddles is she wants, be socially stimulated. At home, she can go outside to potty. At the hospital she would be peeing/pooing in her cage. And she doesn’t have to listen to all the other dogs, cats, and animals who would be vocalizing at the hospital. I’ve seen how she reacts to that when we go to the vet–the noise is very stressful  for her.

So I’m playing the situation hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute. My stomach is in knots, I’m distracted, but I think a little less of a basket case then I was yesterday. This is all subject to change, though. I’m going to go find a distraction…