Jun 20 2012
He was on chemo until January this year, but this became unmanageable due to the cost (including the necessary blood tests it was over £300 per month) and we had already reached the limit on the insurance.
Over the past few weeks he has started to become unsteady on his feet and has fallen over a few times. Within seconds he is fine again and back up on his feet. But i have really noticed that he has slowed down in everything he does. He no longer follows me upstairs every time i go, which i am glad about because of his unsteadiness.
Luckily i am off work at the moment so can spend plenty of time with him, but i am worried about what will happen when i return to work in 12 days time.
Brendan and i recently split up and he has moved out, so now the dogs will be left on their own for eight to nine hours every day whilst i am at work. I will shut the gate on the stairs and move their bed downstairs whilst i am out so there is no risk of him falling down the stairs, but it is going to be really difficult for me to take any time off work as i recently started a new job and am on six months probation! Why does everything always happen at once??
He still seems happy in himself and is eating and drinking well - we even played ball for a while in the garden this morning and he seemed steadier on his feet then than he does just wandering around indoors. But he gets tired really quickly. He still wags his tail loads and he is not in any sort of pain but I know his time is coming to an end and want to make the most of every moment i have with him.
I can no longer take the three of them out together as being on my own i would never be able to get them all back to the car if anything happened to Henry. I can carry him if he is too weak, but could not manage Busta & Pepsi on the lead at the same time, so unfortunately Busta & Pepsi are missing out at the moment. I have been trying to get Henry out on his own when he seems okay, but i don't want to leave him at home on his own to take the other two out afterwards. They all get plenty of exercise in the garden, playing ball etc, but i know they do all enjoy their walks in the forest too.
I can't afford to take Henry back to the vet for them to carry out lots of expensive tests just to tell me that the cancer is making him weaker and i also don't want to put him through any more of that - the time he has left should be spent at home, not backwards and forwards to the vets.
As we have reached the limit on his insurance anything that is linked to the cancer will not be covered and i would have to find the cash to pay for this myself.
I think i need to speak to my vet about everything and also what needs to be done when the time does come. I'm hoping that it will be a while yet, but i definitely don't want Henry to suffer. I will give it a few more days to see if he gets any worse and then maybe ask Brendan if he will come with me to talk to the vet (I know i will just turn into a blubbering wreck). As i said, hopefully it will be a while yet before i have to take him in, but i think it is best to be prepared for when it does happen.
Henry is still so enthusiastic about everything and it is such a shame to see him so determined, but his body just can't keep up any more.
Jun 20 2012
Jun 21 2012
Jun 22 2012
This morning he was so much better i even considered cancelling the appointment, but decided against it as he still isn't 100% right. I am really glad that we went now though as it was very reassuring and we got all the necessary stuff out of the way for when the time comes and also got a lot of questions answered.
Our vet checked Henry's breathing and said that it was okay - as we already know that the cancer had spread to his lungs this is where any issues are likely to be seen first. His temperature was about a quarter of a degree higher than normal, but nothing to be concerned about. He has lost a little weight since he was last there six months ago, but his weight has always been up and down and regarding the short blackouts he has this is probably due to lack of oxygen, which sounds bad, but is most likely down to a reduction in red blood cells - we know from previous blood tests he has always had slightly low red blood cell count anyway. But our vet said if it was seriously low we would already be seeing problems with his breathing, appetite etc and this is all fine.
So basically we just need to keep an eye on him and watch for any changes.
He has been quite lively again today - playing with his basketball and even running around the garden with it. He has been up and down the stairs a few times on his own too (although he does give it a few minutes to see if i am coming straight back down before he follows me up now). But considering how he was a couple of days ago this is a massive improvement!
Our vet did say that he can see he is not his normal self . . . . . he has been his vet from the start so knows him quite well, but considering his condition he is doing extremely well and is still quite healthy!
I also liked the way he put it when he said that it is a year and four months since he had his kidney removed, or sixteen months . . . . . . .or nine years in dog years!!! If you look at it in that way Henry is doing amazingly well!!!
So although he confirmed that the tiredness and unsteadiness are a symptom of the cancer, Henry is still enjoying a good life and there is nothing we need to worry about at the moment - just to monitor for any changes.
Keeping my fingers crossed that he will still be with us for some time to come
Jun 27 2012
Boxer kisses to Henry.