After a long and hard journey with Shiloh, my husband and I have made the impossibly hard decision to have Shiloh put down. She has been on the maximum possible dose of her medicines for quite a while now, and while she sometimes has "normal doggy moments", she never escapes her pain and suffering. We have tried everything. Done everything we could possibly do. Her vet has been following Clare's treatment algorithm to a T. We took Shiloh to her follow up appointment last week and Dr. Pearce is concerned since Shiloh has started displaying seizure-like symptoms. But more than anything we are all concerned about her level of pain, which is severe. She has been hiding under our bed everyday, for most of the day, just crying. Before we found out about SM and before she was started on the meds, she would do this all the time and had stopped eating. Then the meds seemed to help at first and she had normal moments, although brief, but has declined despite all of our efforts.
The other day she stopped eating, and has been in severe pain. If she is not under our bed, she is in her crate crying. The crying and whimpers are nonstop. She has bitten her paws to the point of bleeding and has had no escape from her pain. On Monday afternoon, after being up all night with her the night before, the pain in her eyes was so evident that I couldn't deny it or ignore it anymore. I knew it was time. I made the appointment for Saturday morning. I was hoping she would bounce back and that it was just a pressure thing, and that maybe I could cancel the appointment after all. But the reality is that she has NO quality of life anymore. And I finally got to the point that the pain of watching her suffer constantly, was greater than the pain of losing her. I can't think of anything more heartbreaking than watching a helpless, beloved dog writhe in pain. It's HEART WRENCHING. I have felt so helpless these last few days. And my poor baby just had her 2nd birthday. Who puts down a 2 year old dog!? SM is HORRIFYING. The whole thing is just horrifying.
I love this dog beyond words. She is so brave. She is a true champion at this thing called life. Despite her suffering everyday, she has brought us so much joy. I can't even begin to know what Saturday will feel like. But I wanted to let you all know. You all have been so helpful and supportive throughout this whole thing. Shiloh and I are so appreciative of EVERY one of you. Your support means more than you know. I hope to still be an active part of the forum, and in Shiloh's honor I'd like to help others the best I can. My tears are blinding me at the moment....
We have a library of videos of Shiloh's symptoms and episodes, and when I'm ready I'd love to post them somewhere to help spread awareness. We have been taking a lot of videos over the last few months. Initially they were for her vet visits, but lately I've been determined to capture the reality of this disease. After all, others' videos online were the very reason we pursued a proper diagnosis so aggressively. It was like a lightbulb went off when we watched them. And I hope that somehow, Shiloh's videos can be the same for someone else, even if it helps just one dog. Then, in a way, her suffering would have some meaning. I really believe that if she had been properly diagnosed and treated early on, she may have actually had a good life. But diagnosis for other dogs won't come easy if we don't talk about it everywhere we go. That was the advice Dr. Pearce gave us. She said, "Rather than try to hunt down the monsters who bred her, talk about it to everyone you meet, everywhere you go, all the time. Spread awareness so people understand how many cavaliers are suffering..." I believe this is good advice. Then she cried as she held Shiloh, and told us, "It makes me so angry that these people are breeding these dogs, knowing that the parents have SM. It is cruelty to animals. No animal deserves this kind of life."
I couldn't agree more. Please pray for us on Saturday. I will be giving lots of hugs to Shiloh the next 2 days and I will be sure to give her some on your behalf. Thanks for the support.