I'm writing this because my husband and I are at our breaking point. Or at least getting very close. Shiloh has now been on her medication about 3 weeks. After seeing some improvement initially, although not as much as we'd hoped, we are now seeing a pretty rapid decline. Yesterday and today were probably the worst days Shiloh has ever had. Despite being on 3 different medications. (We are currently giving her 100mg of Gabapentin 3x a day, Tramadol 1-2 times a day as she waits for her next dose of Gabapentin, and Rimadyl 100mg 1x a day. She is also getting a daily probiotic, Protegrity GI, to help her tummy, which has been much better.)
Throughout this whole process, ever since her new vet told us we may have to put her down at some point, I have been asking people over and over, "How will we know when it's time?". Tonight during her episode, I finally understood. We will know EXACTLY when it's time. If she makes the same sound again that she did tonight, it will be very obvious that it's time. She really has lived her life in pain. Tonight was another level. It wasn't wimpering, or crying, or yelping, or screeching. It was WHALING. TORTURE. I actually felt my heart break inside my chest. It was such a horrible sound I didn't recognize it at first because she's never made that noise before. The last 24 hours have been a rather rapid decline. Today it seems like every 5 to 10 seconds she was air scratching, or displaying one of her other symptoms.
She is currently sedated, hiding under our bed again. As it stands now, our next follow up with the vet is the first week in November. The next step is adding Prednisone, but the vet said this will be our last option. We are calling the vet first thing in the morning to see about starting the steroids right away.
Is this normal to have such a rapid decline? It has been getting worse all week, but since last night she has taken a turn for the worst. When we told my brother, who absolutely ADORES Shiloh, it may be getting closer to the time where we have to put her down, he said, "What are you going to do? Just kill her?"... I know he doesn't understand the situation completely, but that comment just ripped me up inside. I know that at the end of the day it's a decision my husband and I have to make together. I understand that my brother doesn't have a complete understanding of SM and the horrible pain it causes, but it just was hard to swallow. I'm really starting to feel that if we truly love her, which of course we do, putting an end to her suffering is the only option. My parents observed her episode today and they told us that we may be out of options, as hard as that is. My mom went to Shiloh's vet appointment with me this past week and the vet explained SM to her and how painful it is. It was good to have her support.
I guess I'm just writing this to gain support from this wonderful community of Cavalier lovers who also understands SM. Thanks for listening.
Love and light to all
Dre AKA Lucky*