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Discussion Starter · #181 ·
thanks guys!! Both of you have hit my fear right on the nose.

More than anything I don’t want him to suffer - and he was suffering up until the beginning of August. You ever read those QOL scales where they’re like “choose 5 of your dogs favorite things and when he can no longer do 3 of them, consider QOL”? Kaizer’s favorite things are swimming, food, people, hiking, and playing. There was a point where all he was doing was eating and sleeping - wasn’t excited to be in a store, barely said hi to people, wouldn’t leave my side when we went for an off-leash hike, barely swam. I almost called it (especially when he had that stroke), but I’m glad I didn’t because he’s been doing better since then. I know he’s tired and stiff and has other things going on, but he’s playing and still loves eating and hiking and swimming. He’s losing his mind to see people again, he just seems happier.

No one prepares you for having to make a decision about a dog that doesn’t actively have anything life-ending (that we know of anyway - lymphoma isn’t entirely ruled out which just adds an extra layer of stress).

I have no idea what to expect, and I hate that. I’m hoping we have a long time left together. For now, I’m taking the dogs on vacation where they can swim and hike to their heart’s content!! Hopefully I’ll have lots of pictures of happy Kaizer and happy Eden to share!
 

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Have a wonderful vacation with your dogs. It sounds like an amazing time - perfect for people and dogs. And hang in there. I know we can't offer any more answers or insight than your vets can, but we're here with support and big ears. Still sending positive thoughts your way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #183 ·
We’re back!! Only gone 2 days with 2 days of travel - I didn’t want to push Kaizer too hard. Unfortunately (or fortunately - since he wasn’t this well a couple months ago), he’s always “go-go-go” and doesn’t know how to take a break.

The dogs got to swim and play and HIKE. I haven’t seen this much from him in a long time. I realize all the energy and spunk is probably an adrenaline and stress response (because Kaizer is still a pretty anxious dog), but I was glad for it.

He was determined to act like an untrained heathen on Wednesday. On Wednesday, in the middle of a walk, he lunged and barked at a poor husky walking by who did nothing but look at him. Definitely my fault since I wasn’t paying attention to him, management definitely failed there. To my complete embarrassment, the couple behind the husky decided to pick up their cute little Boston so the big aggressive golden couldnt get to them. A smart move, for sure, but so embarrassing.

Then I took the dogs swimming at the lake. 25 minutes in, a lady comes with her dog and her dog’s bright orange bumper. I KNEW that probably wouldn’t be good, especially when she ended up at the bank next to us a little further down and started throwing her dog’s bumper, but to my surprise, Kaizer ignored them. Watched the bumper go, but decided to stay. I totally should’ve grabbed the dogs at this point - 25 minutes is a long enough swim and I knew that toy was gonna be a problem, so I should’ve left while we were ahead. I did not. Needless to say, Kaizer did his barky/resource guard the water thing and then played keepaway when I was trying to grab him. The woman kept trying to apologize to ME, which made me feel even worse about the situation.

And then that same day, I left the dogs alone in my car for 30 minutes after a 2 mile walk and a 30 minute swim, and came back to find Kaizer in my passenger seat. He ripped open and ate a whole brand new bag of Stella & Chewy’s meal mixers, whatever was left of my 1# bag of Vital Essentials Beef Nibs, and an entire bag of pill pockets. I leave treats on the floor of my passenger seat because Kaizer rips into bags and eats them if I leave him in his reach. I’ve been doing that for years and he’s never even attempted to climb into my passenger seat before!!

I could have killed him on Wednesday. Thankfully, he seems to have recovered from whatever poltergeist overtook his body that day.

Pictures of the little ****. First, after he reacted at that poor husky. Second, him in my passenger seat with the remnants of destruction around him (sometimes you can’t do anything besides take a picture).
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^^^ This made me laugh. I’m just happy he’s feeling better. Duke has decided he’s old enough and has been sick long enough that rules no longer apply to him. Sometimes you just have to laugh!
 

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Discussion Starter · #185 ·
^^^ This made me laugh. I’m just happy he’s feeling better. Duke has decided he’s old enough and has been sick long enough that rules no longer apply to him. Sometimes you just have to laugh!
I think Kaizer feels that way too. He certainly is not being a rule follower these days
 

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Discussion Starter · #186 ·
Kaizer is pooping bloody liquid again. I’m hoping it’s because he ate all of that stuff on Wednesday (all stuff he’s had before but not in this quantity), but my friend reminded me that I thought he wasn’t feeling good Tuesday. We’ll see
 
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Oh, man. I'm glad you had fun but ARGH! He just had to eat all those extras, eh? I'd bet the upset stomach and diarrhea is indeed from that. Treats are meant to be consumed in extreme moderation. And if his colon is at all inflamed, there will be blood. (Shala is the same). Hopefully some rice will help calm things down for him, too. At least his energy was good!
 
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Discussion Starter · #189 ·
Thanks guys!! Today’s poop was OK - not liquid, but still bloody. That’s definitely improvement! He’s really hungry (and continuing to lose weight) despite me feeding him 5 cups of food. He’s back down to about 72#, from 80#. I’m not sure what’s up with the hunger, he’s no longer on any steroids and I feel like his hunger increased dramatically without any reason? I’m not sure.

I’ve been doing some reading about Systemic Lupis Erythematous (SLE) in dogs. It was something his IMS mentioned really briefly to me a couple weeks ago. It would explain almost all of his super weird symptoms - the hind-end weakness, muscle wasting, skin issues, enlarged lymph nodes, enlarged spleen, muscle pain, nervous system issues (!), the protein in his urine, and even the low protein. The downside is that SLE tends to have a guarded prognosis, but truthfully, I already know Kaizer and I don’t have much longer (in terms of it used to be “years” and now it’s probably more like “year”).

We have to go back to the vet for a Cytopoint injection anyway, so I’ll ask about it. I believe the only way to test for SLE is to do an ANA titer test and to have a couple symptoms. Kaizer has almost all symptoms.
 
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Discussion Starter · #190 ·
And because my friend and I were talking about him earlier and it made me sad, here are 2 pictures of Kaizer spaced a year apart (2020 vs 2021). He’s wearing the same harness in both pics

Kaizer on Sept 7, 2020
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Kaizer on Sept 1, 2021.
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also for fun - Kaizer and Eden on Sept 1, 2021. Almost exactly a year later than pic 1 in the exact same pose (I promise eden CAN sit nice, she was just having none of me). Not even the same spot but it looks similar!
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Discussion Starter · #191 ·
ok actually forget last year! Here he is at the end of June 2021.

Where did all his coat go???
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No matter what - always the big smile.

Interesting info on the SLE.. You might be on to something..
 
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Discussion Starter · #194 ·
I’m gonna call my vet tomorrow and schedule an appt for him. I’m hoping this pans out, I would LOVE a reason for all his weird issues!!

His reactivity has gotten worse - he’s reacted at dogs 4 times this week. 2 of those times were kind of deserved, but the other 2, he totally caught me off guard and was really going after those other dogs (in both cases, the other dog wasn’t even facing him and he didn’t even look until he went off). We’ve passed multiple dogs throughout this that he didn’t even look at, so not sure why he’s reacting again all of a sudden and how he chooses which dogs to react to. I don’t know if this is some kind of backslide or if this is some kind of pain-indicator or otherwise health related somehow.

It’s been years since he’s reacted with this frequency/intensity. So he’d have outbursts but they were low intensity (just one bark vs a lunge and bark/series of barks) and very infrequent. Guess it’s just another thing to ask the vet about?
 
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Discussion Starter · #197 ·
We’re doing complete bloodwork (including thyroid), the autoimmune disease bloodtest, he’s getting his Cytopoint shot, and we got a month’s worth of antibiotics for his skin.

Vet agrees that his spleen is quite large, but we can’t/won’t do anything about it as it’s not posing any pressing issues and the spleen is a super vascular organ. She also agrees that he looks way older than his 6 years and that change happened pretty suddenly:(.

I need to like crowdfund for this dog or something!

I just realized I totally forgot to ask her about his behavior changes. So many other things to talk about
 
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When do you expect the results on the autoimmune test? I so hope you finally get some solid answers.
 
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Discussion Starter · #199 ·
I think we’re expecting results for everything by Thursday?

I’m back at the vet today with Eden, so I’ll ask at checkout
 
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Discussion Starter · #200 ·
No results yet, so hoping they come in tomorrow.
 
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