Suzu had been failing for the last year or so, losing muscle mass, and at some point coordinated use of her hind legs. Even so, she was able to get around and feed herself. When I got home Monday, she had, for no apparent reason, lost the use of her left front leg. She has holding it up, and when I extended it, she had 'paw drop' - no control of it.
I was able to feed her and get her to drink by use of a large syringe. Tuesday and Wednesday, she had a fairly decent appetite, and drank pretty well. Since Wednesday, however, her appetite started to disappear, and she would not drink as much water. (And, lemmie tell ya, when a Shiba says 'No', she means 'No, dammit!!')
I discussed her situation with a couple of friends. Though about building a cart for her so she could get around. No consensus from my friends, and I wasn't sure that a cart wold make any real difference. So, this morning, I decided that a trip to the vet for a consult was in order. (OK, I was pretty sure I knew what was going to happen, but 'consult' let me get us out the door and into the car.)
I took her to the same clinic I took Dakota about three years ago, and was happy to see that the same vet was there - Dr. Lisa Miller. I had worked with her when it came time to let Koda go, so I knew that we were in the best of hands.
Her assessment was honest, unadorned, sympathetic, and not good. A cart wouldn't be of use. Suzu's dog breath indicated that her kidneys were starting to fail. Her left pupil was fixed and small, which suggested a lesion or possible stroke, which would account for the loss of use of her front leg. The prognosis wasn't any better - nothing to be done to alleviate any of the symptoms, and I could expect her to crash rapidly in the near future.
All of which confirmed my thinking, so I decided to let her go. I held her while Dr. Miller administered the drug. Suzu slipped peacefully and quitely. She was almost 16 1/2 years old, which I understand is a bit exceptional for a Shiba Inu.
A bit of her life in pictures, below the fold.
So long, sweetie. I miss you.
|Suzu at about 8 months. My butt on the left.|
|The day she discovered that she was too big for the cat door. Koda's butt, outside, on the right.|
|Looking pretty in Maryland.|
|Being a goof.|
|Snow dog in the snow.|
|On the floor in Huntington Beach.|
|Her 'safe place' in a thunder storm. (A safe place that made sense!!)|