Thursday, March 12, 2015

Canine Degenerative Myelopathy - Mader is Gone

Mader, one hour before his passing
 The first photo is of Mader taken about an hour before his passing. He looks normal....from a distance, but the photo belies his true condition.

Did Mader leave this earth peacefully? No! It took more than necessary to tranquillize him. The vet who came to the house to preform the procedure was genuinely surprised by Mader's fury and his desire to hang on till the bitter end.

It took four shots to end his life. After the first two when we all thought he was going under I grabbed his collar to steady him for the final injection. He immediately spun around and bit me in the hand. Following that incident the vet's assistant had to go back to the clinic to get something "stronger". Meanwhile I was quickly bandaged up.

My wound required a trip to emergency after the vet and Mader left the house, something we had not planned on doing that Wednesday evening. I am now bandaged up, on heavy antibiotics for the next 7 days and in a great deal of pain.

Although he had been deteriorating as a result of his condition the vet felt that there may have been other factors at play that caused his reaction. This confirms our suspicion that there had been a significant personality change in Mader over the past year. Most times he was affectionate and gentle but occasionally he was viscous and unpredictable which really concerned us.

I am not sure much research has been done on this most insidious disease but I would venture to guess that some dogs who have this condition experience other additional neurological side effects that are manifested in significant changes in behavior.

In some ways Mader became quite primal near the end. He was constantly craving food and demanded to be fed by barking incessantly even though he had always had his measured amount. He would bark at us during our meals and had us up at four in the morning to use the bathroom, towards the end.

The second photo is of his food bowl that he smashed to pierces, literately tearing it part with his strong jaws after two injections of tranquilizers.
Smashed food bowl
Mader, you will be missed but you went out with a bang! Yes, you will be missed. In your better years you were a loyal, affectionate, and playful pet.