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end stage renal failure

I have a 7 year old shih tzu that is in 4th stage renal failure.  She was diagnosed in May and has exceeded expectations of life expectancy.  We have been giving her sub fluids daily, blood pressure and thyroid medication, epikiton and aluminum hydroxide in her KD.  She's also been given injections for anemia- I can't remember the name.  The past couple of months she's been doing well, playful, and more like our sweet Izzy girl.  Two weeks ago she had a seizure.  I took her to the emergency clinic and the said her levels were getting worse.  Her anemia was at a 14.  I took her back to our regular vet, and she changed her medication because she said her body was rejecting what she was taking.  A few days ago she had another seizure that lasted longer than the first one.  Since then she's not really eating or drinking, sleeping the majority of the time, and not eliminating.  I took her back on Monday and her levels were a little worse.  They want to recheck tomorrow and said that if the levels weren't any better than it was time to make a decision.  I just can't do this.  My heart is just broken.  I love her so much.  I don't want her to suffer or to be cruel, but I don't want to let her go.  I probably know the answer to this, but I just need to hear someone else to say it so I know I'm doing the right thing. I guess some of my questions are: are seizures a sign that her kidneys are shutting down?  is she suffering?  It seems like in the morning she has a little burst of energy, and I keep thinking and hoping she's going to rebound.  Please don't be cruel in responses or think I'm stupid for posting this.  
8 Responses
462827 tn?1333168952
Hello Izzygirl.....Of course, your NOT stupid for posting this...You are not the first to post about this heartache and unfortunately, you won't be the last.....We have Many, many threads about kidney disease/failure...We have so many, it would be impossible to read them all.....I'm sorry you and your Izzy are faced with this difficult disease.....Let me go dig up some threads...I believe you will feel better after you read what others have to say.....My heart goes out to you.....Let me go find some threads.....Karla
462827 tn?1333168952
462827 tn?1333168952
Here's an ongoing thread: May just want to skim over it or go to the few last pages:

7378022 tn?1390751481
First, let me say my heart breaks for you... I had to make "that" decision just last week with my 16 y/o Chihuahua for they same horrible disease.

When they show no interest in food or water, are sleeping all the time, are eliminating less and less and toxins building up in their system, there is no quality of life.

Sure you'll have good days, I believe they give those to us because WE need it, but everyone told me "she'll let you know when it's time," and she did.

Still here 9 months later after the diagnosis speaks volumes of your love and care for her, and I think you know in your heart of hearts what is right around the corner, and will do the right thing because you love her so.

Prayer going out to both of you as you both enter into a new journey in life.
1916673 tn?1420233270
Hello. I just wanted to underline what Karla has already said and say you are in good company here. Lots of us have had to face the situation you are in now - and we all go through a very similar process. It is a heartwrenching decision to have to consider, but as responsible dog parents, we do have to think about it and make a decision one way or another.

Much depends on how much of her kidneys are still functioning - and your vet should be able to tell you. Anything less than 25% is an indication that the end is close, because the body cannot then deal with the gradual build up of toxins and management with fluid therapy and other things that are helpful earlier, may now not be helping very much at all.

Sadly, I think it's going to be a very tough few days coming up. No one can tell you when the time has come, but your vet can give you the information you need to make a decision. In the end, the only person that can truly tell you whether the time has arrived, is your own dog. Look into her eyes. She will talk to you and say either no, the time isn't here yet; or she will say, mum, I'm ready to go.

I wish I could say something to make you feel better, but I can't and I'm very sorry that I can't. My heart goes out to you during this dreadful time. Please come back and chat anytime you like.

Avatar universal
Thank you so much for the threads, they were very helpful.  I've been reading them on and off all day.  We were unable to go to the vet today because we are stuck in Snowmeggedon in Atlanta and everything is closed.  It's been a blessing and a curse.  She's been right beside me all day, and I feel that has been a great comfort to both of us.  Not much has changed.  She did drink some water and ate a couple pieces of turkey that I fed her by hand.  She's also producing a bad odor that I haven't really noticed (as bad) before.  Hopefully, we will be able to go tomorrow, and see what her levels are.  Thank you for being kind and supportive, I really need that right now.  Many people, even family, just don't understand.  I love her as much as one of my own children, and I think she loves me just as much.  I keep hoping that she will give me an answer to what she wants.  I feel like she is torn too.  That may sound crazy, but there are moments where I thing she is about to go, and then there are moments where I feel like she just wants to be with me.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your kind words.  I'm still hoping she will let me know, or I just don't think I can do this.
1916673 tn?1420233270
I meant to add, I don't know if this will help, but it might. Have a read: http://www.infobarrel.com/When_a_Pet_Dog_Dies

Cyber hugs, Tony
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