I love every minute of taking care of my misfits but that does not mean it is always easy. I knew when Rosie arrived here that I was going to be dealing with some new challenges…not just on a day to day basis to keep her healthy and happy but also in terms of being faced with difficult decisions.
Rosie came here because her family could no longer care for her complicated health problems. She has serious neuropathy issues that make the simplest things hard; barking, walking, eating, swallowing. Over the 5 months that she has been here she and I have worked hard at getting her strength up. Eating is, at least for now, almost a normal activity (a far cry from where we were). She masticates her food and swallows like a champ! Walking is getting better but its inconsistent. Barking is rare. She is happy as hell though!
I have taken her to several veterinarians since she arrived. All types of tests have been done…none have provided answers. Most recently we went to a neurologist; this
was our last hope for a definitive diagnosis on what is wrong with Rosie. We have learned that almost nothing is definitive when a dog has signs of neuropathy. The conclusion though after this last round of tests (results came in today) is that Rosie’s issues are most likely genetic…which means there is really nothing available to treat her in traditional medicine.
I was given the option to do further (invasive) testing and/or to try some drug therapies typically used for immune disorders without doing further testing… the odds the treatments will help her (very low) do not outweigh the burden they will put on her. Rosie has a very weak constitution…both physically and emotionally. There are limits to what she can handle. The neurologist was not optimistic.
So I find myself in that unpleasant place in dog parenting…when I have to make difficult choices on my dogs behalf. We won’t be pursuing any further testing for Rosie nor will we do any aggressive treatment for an autoimmune disease she most likely does not have. We will continue doing what we have been doing.
Rosie has responded well to acupuncture, physical therapy and laser treatment and we will continue that. She is going to the guru of Chinese medicine in Louisville every week, she is eating great and we spoil her completely rotten. Dogs with serious neuropathy issues don’t typically have very long life spans…we are hopeful that she will defy the odds.
Several months ago Rosie did a session with a psychic. Rosie was very clear that she needed everyone around her to be positive. She just wants to be happy. She doesn’t want to be treated like a handicap dog…she wants to shake it off and move forward. So that is what we will do.
She is such a darling dog…she tugs my heart every day and I am so blessed that she is part of my little family of Misfits.
Hug your dogs…every single day matters.