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Category: Dog Veterinary
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My Farley is 16, 17 this coming October. Over the past 2

Customer Question

My Farley is 16, 17 this coming October. Over the past 2 weeks his appetite and desire to drink has dropped significantly, as well as his weight. He's gone from enjoying being with the family to laying on Mommy's spot in bed, and is literally quivering. :( Body temp is a little low, gums are a little pale and his breathing has slowed to around 10-12 breaths a minute. These past 3 days every time he goes to potty it's watery diarrhea and he lost his bladder in bed today. His zest for life went from go go go a month ago, to mostly sleeping about 20 hours a day and seems confused occasionally when I wake him. I am petrified that these may be his last days, or even hours, and need to know if there's anything I can do to help him be more comfortable? This is devastating as I've prayed that he's my miracle baby that would outlive me, but alas, reality hits. ='k
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the dog. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Farley
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Farley?
Customer: I currently have the a.c. off and him bundled with blankets, but can't get the shivering to stop...ūüėĘ
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 2 months ago.

Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 2 months ago.

Can you tell me when Farley last have bloodwork performed?

Have there been any changes to the diet? New food? New treats? Bones? Has any human food been fed? Torn up toys? Stressful changes to the environment?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
It's been about 6 months. No changes as far as food, treats etc. Same home...
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 2 months ago.

Were there any abnormalities at the time that bloodwork was performed?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hello?!?! I'm just trying to figure out if these symptoms are his way of telling me death is near, and if so what can I do to make him more comfortable?
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 2 months ago.

Are you able to see my responses?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Nothing new, no. He was diagnosed with cancer from a testicle that was misses, and in a month it went from internal to protruding the size of a grapefruit off his right side, but managed very well. No pain ever noted. Please just tell me what I can do to make him more comfy if death is near.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
No. Just the last question of "abnormal bloodwork" that's the last other than asking if I see your responses...
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 2 months ago.

I cannot tell you that death is near. I would urge you to have recheck bloodwork performed. What you have described with the quivering, watery diarrhea, urinating in bed, etc. can be linked to minor afflictions such as a GI upset or something as major as organ dysfunction. I would have your companion checked for liver disease, kidney disease, pancreatitis, a urinary tract infection, etc. This bloodwork should tell you if this condition is treatable or if this is something likely to claim his life. If this is something that will claim his life and he is uncomfortable, your vet will likely prescribe medications to help keep him comfortable as the time approaches such as tramadol for discomfort. It would be worthwhile to consider euthanasia in these cases so that the passing is prompt and humane. That said, nothing that you have shared makes me feel that this is most definitely his time with no hope of recovery.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I KNOW MY BABY!!! He's NOT EATING, ANYTHING! THROWS UP WATER WHEN OR IF HE DRINKS A LITTLE, and even vomits foam if ha has nothing in his tummy, has ZERO desire for food/water. Hes actually very well trained and has lost control of himself in bed, barely looks at me when he's normally by me every step, breathing has slowed ton10 ton12 breaths a minute, and I can't tell you what his heart rate is bc he's trembling/quivering so hard, even under the covers. He's extremely lethargic, and rarely acknowledges my touch today. I can tell something is VERY DIFFERENT with my baby, and considering that he is a 16 yr & 10 month old 149 lb boy, I am having a hard time justifying a vet running painful test on him... So HONESTLY, if this is him showing signs that death is near, WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP HIM BE COMFORTABLE!!??? Surely to goodness not EVERY pet is taken to the vet to be put to sleep!
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 2 months ago.

Bloodwork is not a painful test. It involves a small needle prick to draw blood. If he is difficult to move, consider having a mobile vet come to your home so that he does not need to make a stressful trip.

If you'd like to try something at home for the vomiting, you can administer a dose of regular pepcid (famotidine) every 12-24 hours. This should help with GI symptoms. You will want to give 0.5mg/pound of body weight (a 10# ***** would receive 5mg, a 5# ***** would receive 2.5mg, etc). For this, you can visit any human pharmacy and buy the OTC brand name Pepcid, or you can use the cheaper, off-brand “famotidine” that’s available. Either will be useful. If your companion is avoiding taking medication, you will likely need to using a pilling technique like this one:

You can also use a bland diet to help with the diarrhea. To make this, you’ll combine white or brown rice, boneless, skinless chicken breast and sufficient water for cooking in a stock pot. Boil on medium until it turns to mush and the breast is easily flaked. To avoid nausea, start with small amounts to begin with and offer the amount every 2-4 hours. A few teaspoons to start is typically sufficient and you can work your way up every 2-4 hours in incremental increases until you’re sure no vomiting will be seen. If your companion requires a more palatable food, try adding in pureed baby food in chicken, turkey and similar flavors. Avoid those that contain onion or garlic in the ingredient panel. Work up to feeding exclusively until at least 3 days following the resolution of symptoms. After this, work on slowly switching back to the regular food that your companion typically eats over 10 days. My recommendation is a 10% switch every day. Day 1: 10% new food, 90% old food; Day 2: 20% new food, 80% old food; Day 3: 30% new food, 70% old food, etc. This slow switch process should minimize any risk of GI upset from changing food.

If you believe that this is due to pain, aspirin can be given in a pinch but you'll need to address the vomiting first as, otherwise, the medication will likely be produced in his vomit. Aspirin can also cause ulceration in the GI tract, so giving with food is wise. You can use the dosing info here:

I will be standing by if you have other questions. Let me know if I can help further. Also, before signing off today, please take the time to use the star rating system at the top of the page to leave a rating for me. Until this is done, the website will not compensate me for helping you. You will still be able to chat with me even after issuing a rating.

I will also check in with you over the next few days for updates on your companion to be sure you don’t need any additional assistance. Letting me know how your companion is doing would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to request me in the future for pet-related questions, you can do so by accessing this page:

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
You most certainly dodged answering my point blank question of how I CAN MAKE HIM COMFORTABLE IF HE IS INDEED PASSING!?! And just so you know, I would NOT have wasted my time or money asking you questions that I obviously have the answers to! He's almost 17, so of course I know NOT to change his diet on a whim, OF COURSE I'VE TRIED WHITE RICE WITH BOILED CHICKEN, MEDS TO CALM HIS STOMACH AND EVEN MEDS FOR POSSIBLE PAIN! IF YOU HAD ACTUALLY READ MY MESSAGES, I SAID I AM FAIRLY POSITIVE BY THE SIGNS HE IS EXHIBITING THAT HE IS, SADLY FOR OUR FAMILY, GOING TO PASS AWAY SOON!!! :'( And instead of telling me HOW I CAN HELP COMFORT HIM OR WHAT THE SURE SIGNS OF IMPENDING DEATH ARE, YOU'VE SENT ME A LOAD OF NONSENSE! This is absurd!!
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 2 months ago.

I've given as much information as I can in regards ***** ***** his symptoms to make him comfortable. I'll be happy to opt out and see if another Expert can assist you. Good luck with your companion.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Compassion during this horribly rough time and STRAIGHT ANSWERS to guide me in how to help him be comfortable if he's passing is what I needed your help with! Clearly he can't keep a pill in his tummy, even forced, when he's not holding down even a minut amount of water!!! This site is a joke and I will make sure to let ALL OF MY FRIENDS WHO ARE PET PARENTS know about this experience! What precious time I've wasted on asking uuuyy questions that I could have spent with my baby. "Chat with a VET NOW" is a load of crap!
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