Friday, January 18, 2008


So Mr. K is not better. He's still peeing all over the place, even 72 hours into the regime of antibiotics. I am freaked, and think it's a sign that something else is wrong. (After all, apparently the tests showed only "low-grade" bladder infection.) He's pacing and restless and sometimes not eating. What's more, it is taking a toll on R, and finally on R and I. She is extraordinarily unhappy. She feels like a prisoner, like she can't go out or do anything, because every time she goes out, he pees all over the place even though he's been let out. Like, even if she only goes out for 45 minutes. Or he pees right in front of her. As well, she says, he's destroying the floors. She says they're starting to buckle in the places where he keeps peeing. She is really angry and fed up - and you must understand that those are the most innocuous descriptors I can think of. She is deeply, deeply pissed in the depths of her soul, more like. And yet she won't do anything about it, and is convinced it is now entirely psychological - that Mr. K is peeing because now he thinks he's allowed to pee in the house. This seems highly unlikely to me. And in any case, I think it's clear that he needs to go back to the vet - like, tomorrow. But she freaks when I say this, and there's an undercurrent to all of it about her being the one who is having to deal with it, so I should shut up. So she's angry and upset and completely consumed by the fact that she feels like a prisoner and her house is being destroyed, and yet she won't do anything about it. And we haven't had a decent conversation for almost a week now because of this. Good times, good times. I don't know what to do. I know that I need to lay I'm not calling and haranguing her or anything. I know that when she is like this, she just needs to wallow in anger. And yet, there is a dog's health at stake. And, too, I feel like I need to make a bigger gesture, since I can't do anything concrete to help. I sent her the entire fee for the expensive antibiotics, instead of just splitting it - that was my token thing. I have sent her cards and emails of gratitude. But I don't know what else to do. Bloody hell.


deciduousfruit said...

Hi, I've never posted on your blog before and I'm not sure if Mr. K is feline or Canine but I wanted to share my recent experience with a similar situation. When our cat started throwing up and stopped eating we looked for bowel obstructions or other digestive issues. He was seen by the vet twice and went to the animal hospital. They thought it might be diabetes (though he showed irregular symptoms) or maybe a problem w/ his kidneys. We treated him as advised but didn't get a full bood work-up and things got much worse very quickly. Ultimately he was admitted to the kitty ICU in an extreme state of shock and they were unable to revive him. If only we had acted earlier we might have known how to treat him. I would suggest getting your pet in soon and having a full blood test panel run. Not all problems can be prevented but knowing what's up can help you make the best decisions given the situation. The one thing that seemed off was our kitty's diet. We hadn't been able to put him on a raw food diet b/c of cost but the common theme in the possible causes of his demise seemed to be diet-related. I recommend anyone with a cat check out low-carb or other non-conventional diet as it seems to make a huge difference in cats' health (our new kitty seems to be doing great on a low-carb kibble). Good luck and I hope your pet has a full recovery!

Maude Lebowski said...

i, too, think the vet needs to do a full blood workup. has R tried not leaving the water down when she's gone? because he still may be over drinking, too. my sister still has to regulate gracie's water drinking, even when she doesn't have a bladder infection because she will drink and drink and then not be able to hold it and just go--even if she's just been out.

one thing that might help the carpet--has R tried vinegar? get a spray bottle and fill it will white vinegar and spray the carpet where Mr. K likes to pee. it destroys the pee enzymes, so he'll quit going to that spot.

can you gently explain to R that the sooner she takes him to the vet the sooner he can get treated and the sooner she will stop feeling like a prisoner in her own home?

is there any chance you can fly home for a couple of days to deal with this--both Mr. K and R? i know it would be expensive and interrupt teaching, but for the sake of the three of you--i mean a sick pet that means the world to you is very similar to dealing with a sick child, only the animal can't tell you where it hurts or how--is that even a possibility? sweetie, i know it's hard. believe me, i know. and i know how you feel, too. it makes me cry to see the divine miss t and the red rocket vomit. so believe me honey, i know how you feel.

and i'm sure you have plenty of people in real life to talk to, but if you ever need a sympathetic ear regarding pet issues, i have two good ones.

here's to Mr. K's health, and keep us posted. i'll be thinking of you!! (and the little dude, too.)

squadratomagico said...

Oh no! I hope Mr. K recovers. I remember that sweet photo of him running in a meadow. He's my favorite blog-dog! I'll be thinking of you both.

As for what to do... it's a tough situation, but like deciduous and Maude, I think you should be more aggressive with R. First of all, you need to do the best for Mr. K that you possibly can, period. That is our responsibility to the furchildren in our lives. Second, there is a potentially great human cost involved here as well. If something happens to Mr. K, you will blame yourself for not having acted, and probably feel awful about it for years. At the same time, you will blame R, and resent her for not having intervened more. It will poison your relationship with her and cause you incredible grief in all ways.

It may be difficult to deal with R right now, but I think it's the better path. She may be angry, there may be some tension... but the alternative *could* be terrible for all three of you, if this indeed turns out to be serious.

(((hugs to Hilaire)))

////pets to Mr. K\\\\

Hilaire said...

Thanks, all. And welcome, Deciduous! (Mr. K is a boxer dog, btw. Your story is very prescient, though - thank you.)

First, let me say that R has come around. After phoning me at 2 in the morning saying that she was ready to take Mr. K to the humane society and leave him there, she has come around. Unfortunately, she can't get him in to see the vet this morning. I told her to go to another vet (there's one nearby who is basically always available, any time of day), but she doesn't want to. She is supposed to be waiting to Monday morning. I may push her again to go to the nearby one. Aggressively - because you're right, S, that I need to be aggressive with her.

Maude, she has been making water unavailable - but he pees and pees and pees. So he's producing urine with no water. Obviously there's something really amiss.

The floors are hardwood, so unfortunately the vinegar trick won't work. Sigh.

And S, you're right - that's the argument I was ready to pull out, if she didn't agree to take him to the vet - the trauma that would ensue if she didn't, and something happened. She was bordering on suicidal - that's not an exaggeration - when our previous boxer died because of being hit by a car while in the care of R's mother (because this almost exactly replicated the foundational trauma of R's life).

Part of this, I am reminded (now that I am sleep-deprived because she called me twice in the middle of the night) is that she is completely sleep-deprived She's been getting up every morning for a week now, at 4 or 5, because Mr. K wakes up and wants to go out. She's going out of her mind. I asked her (gently) this morning why she has called me at 2 in the morning, and she said she doesn't know, she's losing her mind.

Finally, I've thought of the flying home issue, Maude. Yup. It's a cost issue, in part - if we are going to have a major health problem on our hands, I need to save my money to pay for that part of it. Or, if things get really dire, I will need to go out there. I'm not ruling it out completely, though - in fact, it occurs to me that if things get bad, I can just change the tickets I bought for february.

I'll keep you posted. Thanks for the offer of support, Maude - I may take you up on it!

Maggie said...

Oh Hilaire, I'm sorry you're having to go through this.

R might have already done this, but has she padded the whole house (or at least the "trouble spots") with doggie pads? Our dog is a rescue, and is only pad-trained (not house trained), and the pads have saved our floor (and our sanity). Still a pain, but much less so than cleaning up puddles and/or watching one's floor buckle.

And I agree with the previous posters: R should get him back to the vet for the full work-up.

Earnest English said...

Oh Hilaire! I'm so sorry. You've had a hard enough couple months without this!

I don't know anything about dogs, but peeing and peeing without water sounds like renal or thyroid problems (possibly diabetes) in cats. (Deciduous -- low carb is absolutely the best for cats -- cats are completely carnivorous by nature, so any grains in their diet really screws them up -- they are not meant to eat carbs practically at all. This is why raw food is the best, though I don't do it either because of cost and a fussy eater.)

Hilaire, I don't know what to say. The situation with R is hard. It sounds like what you're doing is the best thing. She's doing her best on marginal sleep and panic. I'm thinking of you!!!!!

Belle said...

Vet vet vet! Immediately! If the regular vet 'can't fit him in' you need a new vet. Such problems aren't something that can be ignored. Such actions will increase frustration, tension and guilt. Also probably indicative of fear that something awful is wrong and being sure that it is and that R will have to deal with alone. Even tho she isn't, she is. Perception creates its own reality.

(((((((((Hugs to you and R.))))))))))

Maude Lebowski said...

i agree with belle. a responsible vet should recognize this as a basic emergency. i've never had a vet turn me down for anything--even after hours when i thought the divine miss t was choking on a dog treat and i panicked.

but look, i'm still really hopeful for Mr. K because from what you've described, it still doesn't sound like he's had a personality shift and from what the divine miss t went through (and a former friend of mine whose cat died from renal failure), lack of activity is a huge sign of kidney issues in animals. however, even if it is kidney issues, if it's early enough, it can be treated. the divine miss t fully recovered. but, admittedly, i was a total wreck during this time. i was crying during meetings, during class; i couldn't even stand to be at home when the divine miss t wasn't there. at least though the vet had enough sense to keep her there until they figured it out.

the point of all this comment hijacking is that i still really think that Mr. K is going to be okay. i hope he's going to be okay. and if it gets expensive, then there should be some kind of "Mr. K Fund" I can contribute to. Also, if it's not a chronic thing Mr. K has or if it's not kidney related, you should look into pet insurance. sounds silly, but i wish i would've known about it before the divine miss t got sick. it would be covering her meds right now.

lots of hugs to the three of you!

Anonymous said...

I am delurking because my heart is breaking for Mr.K and also to send both you and Mr.K positive vibes for his speedy recovery. I know how important fur babies are in our lives and can't imagine what you are going through... For what it's worth, I agree with the others, Mr.K needs to see a vet immediately. Oh and if a fund is set up for Mr.K, I would gladly donate too :)

Hilaire said...

Anonymous, thank you so much. Truly. You people are all such miracles - what would I do without you?

I was not successful in getting R to take him somewhere else. I think, Belle, that you are right - I hadn't thought of it this way: R is scared. She has some serious weirdness about treating health problems in general...always shuffling her feet on the dog, completely ignoring her own stuff. And yet she's the most devoted dog parent ever, most of the time.

So, he's going in first thing Monday morning. It makes me crazy that he's had to wait this long...he should have gone on Friday!! Grrr...

Maude, I am going to tell R to urge the vet to keep him overnight until we figure out what is wrong. I hadn't thought of that, but it seems important, both for sanity and health reasons.

We don't have insurance. R made a decision not to get it with Mr. K, though she had it for Mischief (previous dog). I went along with this because I hadn't really known what Mischief's insurance did and did not cover. She felt that the insurance was not that great (didn't pay for some things), and I was not paying for the dog at the time (was in school, she was the one paying at the beginning), so I just went along with it. I know she's regretting not having it, now. So am I. Even if it is diabetes insipidus (the rare form of diabetes), apparently that's a very expensive chronic condition to treat.

Some of the symptoms match diabetes insipidus, but some don't. The biggest thing is that apparently the kidney function was completely normal. WTF? I don't get that. This makes me worry that it's something very serious, like bladder cancer or something. Ugh - we shall see.

I shall report back tomorrow morning as soon as I hear.

Thank you all so, so much for your love and hugs and support. As I say, you are extraordinary, all of you.