Yoshi has been part of our family for a long time. Sox and I love him very much so it was very saddening a few years ago when we learned he had some spinal arthritis issues.
We got him on some medication, modified his exercise routines, and kept him happy. For a long time this was fine.
Recently we started noticing changes in Yoshi. He was having a harder time walking and occasionally on walks he would fall over. This tended to happen when he tried turning around or backing up. A few times he slipped down the stairs too.
A vet trip later and our vet thought a change in medication might be in order. We tried some cartrophen (sp?) shots, but they didn’t seem to do anything. Next up was some steroids, prednisone (sp?). For a couple weeks this seemed to be working.
The side effects are that prednisone makes you thirsty. More drinking makes him pee more. A lot more. Since I was not working, this wasn’t a problem.
This all changed on the weekend. Yoshi was acting funny, whining a bunch, and wasn’t himself. He was panting more too. Sunday morning I went to let him out for his pre breakfast pee he had a hard time getting up and whined loudly. Whining from pain is something Yoshi has never done. This was not a good sign.
Sox got Yoshi in to the vet for another exam and she was immediately concerned. Her thinking is that he has a cervical injury. It may be a lesion on a disc. This is devastating to us. Another indication that he is getting old and that he won’t be around forever.
The treatment is a larger dose of prednisone, and another couple meds. He also is not supposed to move for a month. No walks, no stairs, no running. More pills, more thirst, more peeing. We have to create a gulag for him so he can’t roam around. The pills right now have a sedatory effect so this is a great help, but it is still very sad to see.
The stress level in our household is so high right now. Three of us were diagnosed with strep and are taking meds. I started a new job so I am not able to help with the kids as much as I have been. Now Yoshi needs more care and attention, and agian since I started a new job I can’t help with the extra care.
If all this had happened a month ago, this wouldn’t be a problem. Having it happen now is just killer.
I am just a mess mentally. I’m trying to learn as much as I can for work, but any time I walk in the door all I can think about is Yoshi. He’s 11 years old and has lead a good life, but I am not ready to be without him. I love him to bits and am terrified that soon Sox and I will have to make a decision about whether he will have to be put down because of his failing body. I can’t stand seeing Yoshi in pain, and I firmly believe in quality of life, but that won’t make the actual decision any easier.
I have also thought about the kids. Elliot may have some memories of Yoshi when he is older, but it is unlikely Amy every will. It is hard to fathom that as important and loved as Yoshi is, Amy may not remember him later in life.
And I wish I could do more to help Sox out. That is stronger more than anything else. I want to step in, help out, and make things better. I’ve been so involved in house stuff for the past few months and not having that ability is leaving me feeling a little out of sorts.