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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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sick little puppy

I brought in our almost-7-year-old yellow Lab Sage for a full dental yesterday, and the vet did some pre-op bloodwork before going under general anaesthetic for the teeth cleaning. The results, to our sad surprise, showed that he's in renal failure -- i.e. his kidneys aren't functioning properly. His creatinine level, which should be less than 100, was four times that. His prognosis is not good.

We had a good cry about this last night, abandoning our rules about no dogs on the couch and cuddling with him all evening. He was drowsy, pliable and punch-drunk as the effects from the anaesthetic slowly wore off. Zoë doesn't really understand what's happening, being only 3, but she'll probably catch on later if and when Sage gets sicker. Right now he doesn't really have too many symptoms other than weight loss which started in late summer and some coughing, a bit of vomiting, and copious drinking and peeing.

We'll know more details in the next few days and weeks after we get some more comprehensive bloodwork back from the vet college in PEI and we get some serial bloodwork done to see what his creatinine levels are over time. But from what we know so far, Sage probably can't be expected to survive too much longer than a year. Hopefully he'll prove us wrong on that, though! :)

Dogs are so funny. I love dogs more than many humans I know, and Sage was our first puppy and our first little baby. I cried more for him yesterday than I cried for myself last fall when I was [mis]diagnosed with terminal cancer. Silly little puppy. I can't even type out this entry without tears.
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wickenden November 22nd, 2005
I am so very sorry. My heart goes out to all of you, and you're poor little pup.


mimesis November 22nd, 2005
oh, dear doggies. they are so devoted, and so clear about loving their family. i'm sorry.

grammardog November 22nd, 2005
I'm so sorry to hear that. I hope Sage surprises everybody.

millennialhippy November 22nd, 2005
If caught early (and other symptoms ruled out), he could be put on a special diet of low protein/high carb. As long as lots of water is available (and the ability to pee copiously throughout the day), he can remain hydrated with minimal stress to his system. He's relatively young -- I'm sure he will respond well. =) Plus, it may be due to an outside infection and clear up with antibiotics!

iamom November 23rd, 2005
Thanks Kate, that's the most optimistic thing I've heard so far! Appreciate that.

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iamom December 9th, 2005
You said it, brother. Does it ever.

jaipur November 22nd, 2005
aw geez. ::hug hug hug::

awesboss November 23rd, 2005
oh no. poor beautiful Sage. I'm very sad for him and for you guys. I hope there are still many happy days with him. Love you.

iamom November 23rd, 2005
Thanks Jerry, love you too.

I've been thinking of calling you but it's been emotional. I'd love to hook up with you sometime before the onset of December, though.

awesboss November 23rd, 2005
That would be good. I'm free most days, as usual. I often think of that relaxing lounge area at Seasons.

skygypsy November 23rd, 2005
awwwww :(
there's nothing like the loving bond experienced with an animal companion
when they get sick, it's heartbreaking :(
~blessings and light~

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