The mutt has been peeing blood lately so I purchased some Yunnan Baiyao, which I have given her in the past. I am not a fan of stuff like this (that is stuff with mystery ingredients, not Chinese or herbal medicine in general), but it does seem to work to relieve bleeding - and with no observable side effects. She gets one pill twice a day, and I will give it to her until the bleeding stops, but she was on it for months at a time when first diagnosed in 2015. I suspect that it was probably one of the factors that have allowed her to make it this far. According to wikipedia, it has a very interesting history in China and Vietnam and a good reputation for helping with bleeding. I've found that there are several different companies that make the stuff (some call it "Yunnan Paiyao" though I have no idea if there is a difference). But since the formulations are a closely held secret, I have been sticking with this brand which has been effective in the past, and includes the "red pill" which fortunately I have not had to use yet. The red pill is for serious bleeding or shock according to the information I have read online, and some people have claimed it helped dogs like mine, near the end, to boost energy or mood. The only other thing to add is that my dog will not take these pills unless I coat every part of it with peanut butter since they have an odd smell which is hard to describe. I have tried pill pockets, but she will spit it out as soon as she bites into it.
We had both the worst and the best week a couple weeks ago. On Sunday the 16th, the mutt stopped peeing and so I took her into the emergency vet who, knowing her condition first gave me the talk about how it may be time. Seeing that I was not ready to make that decision yet, he made some calls and came back in the room to tell me that some of the vets and techs who were familiar with my dog's case were willing to come in and put in a stint that day (a stint had been previously been discussed as the next thing to try if she became blocked). I was a bit floored that they would give up their day off to do that and agreed, without really thinking about it. Turned out however they did not have the correct size so they put a catheter in and they kept her overnight. On Monday the plan changed after review, and a port was thought to be a better option based on her tumor location. Her condition seemed worse to me by Monday though, she was having difficulty holding herself up, so I decided that maybe it was time. I looked at her in the yard in the vet hospital and thought, she has looked bad before and come back, but it seemed different this time. I spoke with the vet who had been involved with her case and I was able to take her home that day, so she could be more comfortable.
Having to make that choice to let her go was very painful, but at the time I felt like it was the best thing for her. I arranged to have a vet come in on Thursday to do the in-home euthanasia, still 3 days away so my parents could be there (I could not let her go without letting her see them one last time). She was finally comfortable back at home at least, and I was able to care for her. By Tuesday morning I was starting to have second thoughts since she was getting back to herself, being able to clear her bladder was starting to make her feel better, along with the antibiotics to help clear the infection.
On Tuesday I took her up to one of her favorite spots to say goodbye and see some squirrels for the last time, she stayed in the car and I opened the hatch for her so she could enjoy the cool air and see the sights. We got back in town on Tuesday night, and I took her out for a walk so she could do what dogs do, sniff, poop and pee. At that time though, she had a urinary catheter and peeing for her was my job (4-5 times a day). Fortunately she was unaware of that and tried to pee on her own, squeezing a small amount of urine out around the catheter. In the darkness, I almost missed the spot on the ground but doubled back when the importance clicked in my brain. Earlier, on Monday they had tried at the vets' to get her to pee around the catheter without success, which indicated that she was fully blocked (and due to her cancer it was not unexpected). Peeing around the catheter was therefore a huge deal, it meant that maybe I could have hope - for her, hope was not a problem. Dogs don't hope, the just do and keep on doing (or in this case pee).
The next day we got the catheter out and she was peeing like a puppy within a few hours. On Thursday, instead of being one of the worst days, our last with her, I took her back up to see the squirrels again. This time she was up for a little walk too. Since then she has completed her antibiotics and with some pharmaceutical help, peeing normally. It is suspected that, although she will likely get blocked up again, it was an infection that contributed to the blockage in this case. I am counting every day since July 20th as a bonus day for her, and she has been up to see the squirrels every week since.
That week was an ordeal emotionally, physically (got about 4 hours of sleep a day and noticed some new gray hairs) and financially, but she has a second chance reprieve and is still as happy as ever to go for a ride or a walk. Despite being thankful to have her still, I am realistic about the future, and know that we are getting close to the end. If there is any lesson here, it is not that we should never give up, but that sometimes if you don't give up, life may deal you a better hand.
Now that she is back on her feet, I am getting her a follow up urinalysis, but she is a sneaky fast pee-er and won't go with an audience unless she really wants to. Getting her to pee so I can grab a sample always reminds me of this (skip to 26 seconds and please ignore the add for the watches, this was the best video I could find):
My mission is to lower the collective IQ of teh Internets one post at a time.